Foxtel to produce political thriller set in Canberra

2014-08-06_1051A new political thriller based in Canberra, based on a book by written by journalists Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis, is set to become a Foxtel miniseries.

The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code will form the basis of the new project, Secret City, to be produced by Matchbox Pictures (The Slap, Devil’s Playground, Old School).

It will be adapted for screen by writers Belinda Chayko, Matt Cameron, Marieke Hardy, Alice Addison, Tommy Murphy, Kris Mrksa and Greg Waters, and producer Joanna Werner (Dance Academy) for Foxtel.

“We are delighted and excited by the news,” Steve Lewis said. “We have been working with scriptwriters from Matchbox Pictures for more than a year and believe they are developing a mini-series of international quality. And Foxtel has fast gained a reputation for making some of the best and most innovative drama produced in Australia.

“The team at HarperCollins gave us a great opportunity when they took the risk of publishing our first book,” Chris Uhlmann said. “Three years and two books on it’s hard to imagine a better result than having the story turned into a mini-series. And I hope it will help change the way Australia sees Canberra.”

Tony Abbott launched the duo’s latest novel The Mandarin Code at Parliament House this morning.


  1. Could Foxtel please let us know what the “best…and most innovative” drama they have produced is? The stuff I’ve seen has been boring and mediocre including the completely unwatchable Cloud Street. None of it would induce anybody to subscribe to Foxtel’s premium and expensive packages. But I suppose their spin doctors have to say something.

    • Firstly the quote comes from a journalist, not a spin doctor, so probably better to ask him. Maybe he has seen Devil’s Playground. But I enjoyed Cloudstreet. Love My Way was critically acclaimed, Tangle, Wentworth (last eps were rippers). Less so for Satisfaction, Dangerous. Top of the Lake was great but BBC prdn.

  2. @Ronnie,

    Imagine the charges of bias thrown at the ABC if they did.

    One person’s intriguing is another person’s Midsomer Murders.

    Redfern Now
    The Time of Our Lives
    Accidental Soldier
    Paper Giants
    Doctor Blake Mysteries
    The Slap
    Miss Fisher
    Wheat Street
    Jack Irish

  3. You know what I’d like to see, set in Canberra?

    Australia’s version of Morse.

    I think the city would be perfect for a series like Morse. And he/she will drive an HK series Monaro or XB GT series Falcon.

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