“We were lucky to get another season because Cloudstreet was such an extravaganza,” admits Catherine McClements.
By default, viewers are also lucky to get more of this highly underrated drama, returning to Showcase later this month.
There are only six episodes this season, with the lavish Cloudstreet taking priority for the Pay TV channel. But if they are any bit as good as the first two seasons, they will surely pack a punch.
“There’s never enough money to go around but we had some people in there fighting for it,” she says.
McClements returns as Christine Williams, mother to Max (Blake Davis) and troubled wife of Tim (Joel Tobeck). Last season she had a fling with her husband’s colleague, played by Don Hany.
Now reeling from her own actions, and separations from her husband and son, Christine will have plenty to process.
“Things collapse pretty much for poor old Christine,” says McClements. “I think you create the universe you live in and your greatest fears become your realities. Sometimes that happens for Christine. She’s got a lot of fears and is trying to hang on to a lot of things that begin to disappear before her eyes. It all sort of collapses around her.
“With Christine sleeping with one person is quite enough to rock her. You go there and you think ‘Right, you get it.’ Now she can deal with the fall out of that. For certain other characters kissing someone doesn’t mean that much, but for Christine it was huge and it changed her life. So it’s not like we have to keep revisiting that situation with Don.
“Even though I would love to do more scenes with Don! It’s not essential to tell Christine’s story.”
With its trademark emotional scenes, Tangle asks of its actors to dig deep. McClements says the show’s themes stay with her beyond the day’s shooting.
“It’s so funny. I don’t understand acting, really, but you start to feel in life the things that your character is feeling. I don’t know which way it’s going but you start to become that person. I don’t know, I can’t explain it,” she says.
“I suppose you start to contemplate those things and start to see them in your own life. So it becomes part of you.
Also returning are Justine Clarke, Kat Stewart, Matt Day, Lincoln Younes, Eva Lazzaro, Blake Davis, Georgia Flood, Joel Tobeck, joined by Dan Wyllie, Kick Gurry, Jane Allsop, Tony Rickards and Nicholas Bell.
But McClements says she has many solo scenes this time round.
“I speak a lot to my husband on Skype in Singapore. But Christine doesn’t have a lot of friends this series. She should get herself a dog!
“If Christine was my friend I don’t know how I would counsel her. She can’t seem to work it through. It’s too painful.”
Gauging the audience reaction to a Pay TV show isn’t always so simple. Overnight ratings don’t factor in those who have recorded it to watch later. But McClements says responses from members of the public are a great indicator.
“The reaction we’ve had for Tangle is like nothing else. When you do Rush and other television shows you get young people coming up but with Tangle it’s a much more considered approach, and from people who don’t normally do that,” she says.
“They call me by my character name, and often they’re people who don’t normally see me. It’s like a completely different audience.
“I think it’s an extraordinary piece of television. It’s so difficult to understand what makes good writing in television because you have 4 lines in a scene sometimes, and some 4 lines are good and some are not. But this is certainly an amazing piece of writing.”
Produced by John Edwards and Imogen Banks, the series is again scripted by Fiona Seres and Tony McNamara. Viewers can expect more uneasy tales for the two generations of characters, this time with a maturing for the younger cast.
“It says that the universe is unfair, which I like. We always feel that the universe is fair but it’s not. Tangle doesn’t constantly feel the need to say everything’s going to be ok and the good will win,” says McClements.
“It’s a different idea about the way we live.
“It certainly comes from their heart. It’s a great piece of television.”
Tangle returns 8:30pm Sunday March 25 on Showcase.