Street scene...Rathdowne Street as it appears in The Pacific. AFTER the blood and guts of the opening Rosetta Stone Language two hours of Channel Seven's epic World War II mini-series The Pacific on Wednesday, things turn peaceful in next week's episode as the American troops move to Melbourne for some RR. It's 1943, and our city looks both familiar and strange. There's Station Pier in Port Melbourne, where a troop carrier pulls in to dock while hundreds of pretty girls wave at the shattered US marines, who seem to wonder if they have died at Guadalcanal after all and gone to heaven. There's Flinders Street Station, with lines of 1940s trucks and cars parked outside. Advertisement: Story continues below And there's Carlton, with its thriving Greek community. Hang on, you may think. Greeks in Melbourne in 1943? Didn't they all come after the war? Well, yes and no. While the vast majority of Melbourne's Greek population did arrive after the war, about 2600 Greeks had already settled in Victoria by the time war broke out in 1939. ''They predominantly came from the Ionian islands of Ithaca and Kythera,'' says Nick Vlahogiannis, senior fellow of historical studies at Melbourne University. In the Melbourne episode, US marine Robert Leckie has an affair with second-generation Greek-Australian girl Stella (Claire van der Boom). Stella's mother (Gia Carides) talks about how Language Learning Software she came to be in Melbourne, having fled Smyrna (now Izmir in Turkey) after it was burnt in 1922 during a bloody conflict between the Greeks and Turks. ''Most Greeks who came to Melbourne in the 19s would have come from Smyrna,'' says Fotis Kapetopoulos, English-language editor of Greek-Australian newspaper Neos Kosmos. The war in Smyrna undeniably produced a boost to the number of Greeks here, but as for the depiction of a thriving Greek scene in Carlton - The Pacific locates Rathdowne Street as its epicentre - the jury is out. Mr Vlahogiannis says: ''The first Greek church was established in Victoria Parade in 1896 and there was a Greek church on the corner of Rathdowne and Grattan streets, St Irene's, which was pulled down in the 1980s. But I'm not sure there was a thriving community in Carlton.'' Kapetopoulos is of the same mind. ''I think they're taking a few liberties there,'' he says. Drew Rhodes, location manager for The Pacific, readily admits the little pocket of North Carlton around Rathdowne and nearby Fenwick Street was chosen primarily for its physical attributes rather than on strict historical grounds. ''It was a lovely period street that we could turn back into 1943.'' When they researched the period, Rhodes and his team discovered that the area was indeed quite heavily populated by migrants in 1943, ''but they were primarily Italian and Jewish''. The Melbourne episode - and particularly the Stella storyline - draws heavily on Leckie's memoir My Helmet for a Pillow. But according to Rhodes, Leckie was not too specific about locations. ''It was more a recollection of the city and the time, but we deduced that Stella's house was more likely at the edge Portuguese Learning Software of the CBD, probably the Lonsdale Street district. There was certainly a Greek community there at the time. But we couldn't re-create that as 1943, because there just isn't enough period architecture left. It's not a documentary, it's a drama.''