There's something both surprising and not so surprising about the new ABC series Les Norton.
The surprising thing is that no moviemaker decided to make a film version.
The 10-part TV show is based on some very popular books by Robert G Barrett.
There are 20 books in the series - the first published in 1984 and the last in 2010.
They sold like gangbusters; one estimation has them passing the million-copy mark in Australia. They proved really popular with people who don't normally read.
But despite having such a ready-made market for a movie version of even one of those books, it never happened.
That's in part because, for the longest time so much of the Australian film industry has been caught up with being arty, with telling the stories of inner-city junkies rather than stuff with broader appeal.
Look at this way; Australians love sports, yet where's the biopic of Don Bradman? Where's the movie about Bodyline? Where's the Dawn Fraser movie, or the one about the skulduggery surrounding the formation of World Series Cricket.
Nah, because moviemakers often are more interested in impressing their friends than making movies that might actually sell some tickets.
So it's not a surprise that TV comes in and tells these stories - and the Les Norton story too.
If you don't know about the story, Les is a big bloke from country Queensland who comes down to Kings Cross in 1985 and lands work as a doorman at an illegal casino.
He also ends up getting called in to provide the muscle for some of his boss Price Galese's other criminal escapades.
The books were ocker and blokey, and some of that has made its way to the series; but it has been toned down a bit (and the odd male character in the books has become female in the series).
The series is a bit of fun and it doesn't take itself too seriously. Alexander Bertrand brings a nice mix of smarts and naivety to the role of Norton; he knows things are a bit shady but still seems surprised by just how shady they are.
David Wenham also appears as Galese, and Justin Rosniak stands on the right side of caricature in his portrayal of fixer Eddie Salita.