Directed by Matthew Saville, the series has some excellent performances from its Australian cast. Stephen Curry is the hapless Sam Pickles, a luckless gambler who has lost the fingers from one of his hands in an accident. Essie Davis plays his unhappy, promiscuous wife, Dolly, and Emma Booth, the older version of their sensitive daughter, Rose. Kerry Fox is the no nonsense matriarch of the Lamb family, Oriel and Geoff Morrell is her husband, Lester. Morrell describes his character as a kind of saintly fool. There are times when the script doesn't quite make the reasons for a character's actions clear, but the performances are emotionally compelling in spite of that. One caveat, accents, especially Curry's, can be a problem.
Bonus material includes a long feature on adapting the novel as well as short segments on the film's design, music, and sound. There is also commentary on each of the major characters from the actors. Although, some of the interview footage is repeated in different segments, much of the material is illuminating and does help to explain some of the things one may not understand watching the miniseries, as well as some of the things one won't even know that they don't understand.
While the miniseries has its moments, there are for instance some stunning visual effects as well as some truly dramatic moments, as is often the case it doesn't quite live up to the novel's reputation. Sometimes it is best just to read the book.