"Vale Robert Caswell" said an email in my inbox last week – the postmodern way by which you find that your world has changed. Caswell, a screenwriter, died in October – he will be best known to Australian viewers as the writer of Scales of Justice, the extraordinary miniseries a clef of Sydney crime and corruption in the 70s and 80s.

No-one who’s seen it easily forgets the scene in which the crooked cop forces the crim "Nipper" Jackson to blow his brains out or die by having his bits bolt-cuttered off.