The ABC has revealed the cast, writers and directors of its new 13-part period series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (previously known as The Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery).
Produced by Every Cloud Productions, it will feature Essie Davis (Cloudstreet, The Slap), Nathan Page (Underbelly, All Saints), Miriam Margoyles (Babe, Harry Potter) and Hugo Johnstone-Burt (Cloudstreet).
Based on the best selling Kerry Greenwood novels, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries will be produced by Every Cloud’s Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox. Deb Cox is also head writer for the series.
The star of the series is lady sleuth, Phryne (pronounced Fry-knee) Fisher, to be played by Essie Davis, who sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of late 1920’s Melbourne, fighting injustice with her pearl handled pistol and her dagger sharp wit. But behind the façade of elegance and charm are the scars of the past which drive Phryne to find justice for those who can’t help themselves and to pursue the truth of her own dark history.
“The 18 crime books in the Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery Series have sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide and we’ve discovered that they have a very, very loyal following,” Fiona Eagger said.
“Deb Cox and I think that Phryne’s tremendous appeal is that, although set in the 1920’s, she is a thoroughly modern woman. The 1920’s was such a fantastic age for women. Sadly, many men had died in the war or returned seriously damaged and that paved the way for women to move into less traditional roles. The number of female explorers, aviators, adventurers and writers increased dramatically during this period.
“Socially, there was a lot going on during the 20’s so Phryne gets very much involved in the issues of the day, while solving crimes, wearing beautiful frocks, sipping exotic cocktails and having delicious affairs with assorted gentlemen friends.”
Carole Sklan, Head of ABC TV Fiction said “Every Cloud Productions are bringing tremendous creative flair to the adaptation of the novels to the screen. This series is a fantastic opportunity to give a distinctive Australian voice to the popular murder mystery genre and period drama. Phryne Fisher is an unconventional, captivating heroine during a fascinating period of Australian social history.”
The start-up director for the series is Tony Tilse. Other directors are Clayton Jacobson, David Caesar, Kate Dennis, Daina Reid and Emma Freeman. The writers will be headed by Deb Cox, with Drew Proffitt and Chris Corbett as script editors. The other writers are Shelley Birse, Michael Miller, Liz Doran, Ysabelle Dean, Josephine Martino, Kelly Lefever and Elizabeth Coleman.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries has been funded by ABC TV, Film Victoria, Screen Australia and international distributor, All3Media and will screen on ABC1 next year.
Production starts in Melbourne next month.