Airdate: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

ABC1 will premiere its second high-profile local drama for 2012 -but not where we might have expected it.

ABC1 will premiere its second high-profile local drama for 2012 next month.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is a 13 part period series, based on the Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery novels by Australian author Kerry Greenwood.

Essie Davis features in the title role and the cast also includes Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings and Miriam Margolyes.

ABC has announced another surprising timeslot for a local show: 8:30pm Fridays from February 24th.

Fridays have undoubtedly been popular for mysteries, though often of the dark and grisly kind from the UK.

In the same week ABC1 will have the lighter Midsomer Murders at 8:30pm Sundays, where it has been a big drawcard. But would the show have had too much tough competition on a Sunday? It will be fascinating to see whether the audience responds to the show in a Friday timeslot (Saturday nights are its other big night, with shows like Doc Martin).

That said, ABC1 will certainly have an impressive slate of scripted local content in the same week: The Straits, Outland, Woodley and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the opulent, exciting world of Australia’s leading lady detective Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis), in ABC1’s new 13-part drama series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Phryne (pronounced Fry-nee) is a glamorous and thoroughly modern woman of the 1920s. Our lady sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of Melbourne, fighting injustice with her pearl-handled pistol and her dagger sharp wit.

After many years abroad, Phryne returns to Melbourne, in part to start a new life in her home town, but to also ensure that Murdoch Foyle (Nicholas Bell), the man thought to be responsible for her younger sister’s mysterious disappearance, never gets out of jail. But before her very proper Aunt Prudence (Miriam Margolyes), a well-known society matriarch, can drag Phryne off to attend her first soiree, Phryne finds herself embroiled in a murder.

She befriends the most unlikely of murder suspects – an innocent Catholic girl, Dot Williams (Ashleigh Cummings), who over time becomes one of Phryne’s closest companions. With Dot’s natural intelligence in all things domestic and catholic she is often an unexpected asset in Phryne’s murder investigations. From illegal abortions to union disputes, exploited workers and missing girls, Phryne finds justice for those who can’t help themselves.

As she delves deeper into the murky world of murder, Phryne crosses paths with the local constabulary, befriending the handsome Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) and his trusting deputy Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt). Leaving a trail of admirers in her wake, our heroine makes sure she enjoys every moment of her lucky life and along the way she unlocks the truth of her own dark history.

In the first episode, the Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher disembarks the Orient at Victoria Dock, returning to Melbourne after years abroad. Almost as soon as she checks into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned husbands, cocaine smuggling rings and illegal abortionists – not to mention erotic encounters with a handsome Russian dancer. Her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish Bath Palace off Little Lonsdale Street.

The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher began life in 1989 as the daring lady detective protagonist of a series of 18 crime books written by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood.

8:30pm Friday February 24th.

8 Responses

  1. I’m looking forward to this – I’ve read a couple of the books and I hope the series is just as fluffy and stylish as the books are. I’m not sure why everyone’s so hung up on the timeslot, it’s going to be available on the iView, surely? (which is how i watch most ABC these days).

  2. @ Nathan It will really depend on the tone and storytelling. If the crimes and how they are solved are gritty and plausible it should be a hit. There seem to be many dedicated fans of the books eager to see the series so that’s a great start. However, if it’s somehow silly and girly it could descend into the mess Carla Cametti found herself in.

  3. I look forward to it and I don’t say that about many Australian shows these days . I’m surprised as well that they didn’t put it on Sunday. Although it doesn’t worry me too much. But I wonder how many will miss it on Friday.

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