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Series / New Gold Mountain

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New Gold Mountain (Chinese: 新金山) is a four-episode miniseries which first aired on SBS on 13 October 2021. The series was created by Peter Cox and all episodes were directed by Corrie Chen. It tells the untold story of the Australian gold rush from the perspective of Chinese miners who risked everything for a chance at unlikely fortune in a new land. Inspired by real life, the series follows a group of compelling characters brought together by a mysterious murder and takes an unprecedented look into the wild west era of the Australian gold rush.

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The cast includes Leung Wei Shing (Yoson An), the headman of the Chinese miners who maintains the fragile balance between the Chinese and the European diggers; his brother Leung Wei Sun, a ne'er-do-well and opium addict; Belle Roberts (Alyssa Sutherland), a recently-widowed colonist who takes over her late husband's printing press; Patrick Thomas (Christopher James Baker), an Irish miner escaping a mysterious past; Zhang Lei (Mabel Li), the rare Chinese businesswoman representing the "Brotherhood"; Frederick Standish (Dan Spielman), the British protector of the Chinese; and Hattie (Leonie Whyman), a First Nations woman who establishes a shaky alliance with Shing when the body of a white woman is discovered on Aborigine territory.


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This show provides examples of:

  • Act Break: Every episode is broken into four parts, each of which are prefaced with a bilingual title (e.g. Part 二 for Part Two).
  • Bilingual Dialogue: This series features Cantonese alongside English dialogue. The Chinese miners speak a mixture of Cantonese and English, while they speak with the White English and Irish miners and townsfolk in English.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Shing sacrifices himself to save both Gok and his brother from hanging, allowing Gok and Sun to go free. He reveals that the Chinese camp has been keeping a gold seam secret, which is promptly appropriated by the Crown government, ruining Zhang Lei's enterprise and that of the remaining Chinese prospectors. Although Tom is freed from jail and has his name cleared in the Annie Thomas case, he dies shortly afterwards. Hattie decides to leave for Sydney and for a brighter future away from Victoria. Standish covertly frees Shing, who then makes his own way towards an unknown fate.
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  • Historical Domain Character: Frederick Standish and Commissioner William Wright are both real historical figures in the colonial era of Victoria, although the accounts in the series are fictional.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • After Belle publishes her article pointing to an interracial relationship between Annie Thomas and a Chinese, the racist Scottish prospector burns down a Chinese-owned opium den with impunity.
    • The ruthless Zhang Lei is never apprehended by the British authorities when the Chinese gold seam is seized by the Crown. She is last seen taking a fancy horse carriage out of town, with Belle looking on.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Annie Thomas and Leung Wei Sun were in a romantic relationship prior to the former's death and had planned to abscond with some gold from the Chinese camp to start a life together. When word gets out that the former was likely in a relationship with a Chinaman, it prompts a negative reaction amongst the white European residents of Ballarat and precludes violent attacks on Chinese miners and their businesses.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!:
    • After the British government seizes the gold seam that the Chinese miners have been keeping off the books, Zhang Lei skips town in a fancy carriage.
    • Sun takes his brother's advice to leave Australia for good and return to Hong Kong to take the heat off of him.


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