There was controversy as the result of the fact that James Laurenson, a white man, was hired to play Inspector Bonaparte. However, the producers had mounted a search for a mixed-race Aborigine and had not been able to find one despite many weeks of searching. See more »
'Boney' was an aboriginal policeman working in Australia, full name Bonaparte.
Although primarily aimed at kids, it had a sufficiently mature theme to draw in adults too. Each episode opened with 'Boney' dressed in tribal costume and engaging in an aboriginal dance, as some sort of ritualistic affirmation of his roots.
Originating from the early 1970's, one might have expected a great deal more racism in the show than was actually presented. In fact, the only prejudice I recollect directed towards him arose on account of him being a copper. Which was a bit of a crock, to say the least. Clearly, the censors, makers, sponsors, whatever, didn't want the truth to be shown.
That said, it had an innocent little charm all its own. Rather more intelligent than 'Skippy', but a million miles from 'Mad Max'. The actor who played the part of 'Boney' was actually a New Zealander called James Laurenson. And although he looked aboriginal in the programme, to this day I'm not sure if he wasn't simply made-up. It was a short-run series (unlike the eternal 'Skippy'), but Laurensopn has enjoyed a very long career in film and is active in British television even today.
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