Winter takes the Broadchurch-lite approach as Rebecca Gibney returns to solve a murder mystery.

2015-02-03_1538Not sure if anybody has noticed, but Winter is about to premiere in Summer on Seven.

Despite the odd contradiction, Rebecca Gibney’s character, Eve Winter, is rugged up with scarves and a nice coat, even though the fishing town setting doesn’t seem to hint at the chilly season.

Welcome to the series follow-on from the 2014 telemovie The Killing Field, in which Gibney’s character was hard at work solving grisly murders in rural New South Wales.

We are now south of Sydney for this series (Seven is always coy about how many episodes of their shows for fear of tipping off the opposition schedulers), only this time we are hugging the coastline.

With this in mind, it has to be said: Winter looks very much like it is trying to be Broadchurch lite.

There are dramatic and aerial shots of a rugged and alluring landscape, but it is home to a much darker tale: the death of a 23 year old young mum, Karly. The series opens with her terrified -and somewhat melodramatic- expiration at the hands of an unseen assailant. Like Broadchurch, this victim also tumbles over the edge, only to be found by her sister (Tara Morice).

City detectives Eve Winter and Lachlan Mackenzie (Peter O’Brien) are on the case, piecing together pieces of information about Karly’s final hours and assembling possible local suspects. But Lachlan is convinced the culprit is a local crim who murdered a young girl 8 years ago.

Joining the hunt is federal policeman Jake Harris (Matt Nable), pursuing a hit and run accident involving a street worker from King’s Cross -and a friend of Karly’s. This artfully forces the state and feds to work together. If there was any sexual tension between Gibney and O’Brien’s characters in the first season, for reasons that aren’t apparent it has now been relocated to Gibney and Nable. Perhaps producers decided the first wasn’t lighting up the screen enough….?

There’s a bit of good cop (Gibney), bad cop (Nable) within these two, but thankfully it isn’t quite so straight-forward. Eve Winter manages to turn on the tough talk in ways Julie Rafter would not, but she’s still human enough as to warrant viewer empathy.

Joining the cast are two younger detectives in Antonia Prebble as Alesia Taylor and Akos Armont as Milo Lee (no more Liam McInytre). While they get the plot offcuts as far as crime-solving goes, I thought they were good additions. Hopefully they will be afforded some sub-plots across the series.

Various red-herrings in the story subscribe to the procedural genre, complemented by just a hint of the personal lives of our heroes.  Rachel Gordon is a nice touch as Eve’s sister, Melanie, teasing our central character over her close working relationship with Harris. You get the picture.

Winter is also shot rather nicely, making the most of some moody backdrops. Overall it feels more clearly defined than the fly-in fly-out squad of The Killing Field.

But the biggest problem I had with the first episode is that what struck me as being a standard procedural crime did not resolve the case by the time the credits rolled. I was ready to move onto a new case next week but apparently that’s not to be. Given this I have concerns that the story is not grand enough to warrant a miniseries, or serial, form. When there are so many other drama and binge temptations vying for my attention, is Eve Winter enough to justify a regular commitment?

Time will tell.

Winter airs 9pm Wednesday on Seven.

26 Responses

  1. Hmm…not bad. Have seen it all before though in numerous other Aus crime/cop shows.
    Much better than Killing Field though.
    Great to see Rebecca back on our screens – have always liked her.
    Dunno about the full winter regalia and black turtlenecks though -sort of looks out of place in beachside Aus.
    Gorgeous scenery.Where is this filmed? Northern beaches of Sydney maybe? Looks familiar.
    Peter doesn’t add much as his acting is very wooden

  2. I was looking for a repeat (“oncore” ha ha) of this, but 7 seems to be showing lots of “TBA” according to their TV guide on Yahoo – is that their latest program?
    Couldn’t find another scheduling of Winter, and not interested in viewing on computer, so guess will not bother.

  3. I watched this tonight having not seen The Killing Field, and quite enjoyed it. Matt Nable is a strong actor, both here and on Arrow season 3. This is easily the best Australian drama I’ve seen in the past few years although I will admit the only other recent ones I watched were The Code and Party Tricks. Never got into girly/female skewed shows like Wonderland, Offspring or Winners and Losers

  4. Thanks David. Yeah Seven are very coy. Only today we found out what’s going on Sunday. Still waiting for Downton Abbey and also i’m very surprised Seven has put 2 movies on Sunday and Monday the first 2 rating nights of the year. Mind you Pitch Perfect is a brilliant movie none the less.

  5. Perhaps each story will run for 2-3 episodes as is common for a number of the better quality shows of this type. Will definitely give it a chance.


    A minor point, David, but the Broadchurch victim (in series 1 at least) did not “also fall over the cliff”. He was placed on the beach after meeting his end elsewhere.

  6. I’ve been looking forward to this. I am so glad to see Rebecca Gibney back on our screens. If its done well i think it will do well. Can’t wait to see it.

    David is there any information how many episodes have been ordered?

  7. The reviews I have seen so far are all about the same rating (3’ish out of 5) with quite a few flaws pointed out.

    I missed ‘The Killing Field’ so will probably give this a miss also.

  8. I still don’t get how they cancelled A Place To Call Home, supposedly on demographics and yet they commission a new series that will skew just as old.

  9. The last one was very ordinary, but i’m a sucker for Aussie crime drama & like the cast so i will pvr this to watch at some point. The same thing has happened as last year, too many premier programs on at the same time slots early in the year, theres only so much one can fit on the pvr & catch up with.

  10. I wasn’t convinced with The Killing Field, enjoyed the very start and the end wasn’t too bad but the middle fell flat. Hoping Winter is better.

  11. @Ronnie So you are saying they don’t have faith in How to Get Away with Murder and whatever show goes on Monday nights (most likely Revenge). Doubt it. MKR goes for 1.5 hours Sun-Wed and Thursday is lower ratings so where else can they show it??

  12. Once again ch7 have gone with a sometime after 9pm start time for a drama on a week night which is sure to be rammed with ads and a finish time of something past 10 or 10.30 who knows….who would trust a programmer?…..they are killing themselves

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