Airdate: The Secret River

ABC's period mini-series, starring Oliver Jackson-Cohen & Sarah Snook, will screen in mid-June.


ABC’s period mini-series The Secret River will screen in mid-June.

Based on Kate Grenville’s novel, the two-part drama tells the deeply personal story of Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and Sal Thornhill (Sarah Snook), early convict colonists who lay claim to a plot of land on the then remote Hawkesbury River.

The cast also includes Lachy Hulme, Tim Minchin, Trevor Jamieson and Genevieve Lemon.

Carole Sklan, Head of ABC TV Fiction, said, “Commissioning Kate Grenville’s wonderful novel carried huge responsibility and we’re enormously excited that so many of Australia’s finest professionals – both in front and behind the camera – brought their extraordinary talents and skills together to bring the novel to the screen.”

The Secret River dramatises the British colonisation of Australia in microcosm, with the dispossession of Indigenous Australians made comprehensible and ultimately heart-breaking as Will’s claim over a piece land he titles “Thornhill’s Point”, brings his family and neighbours into conflict with the traditional owners of the land.

Adapted by two of Australia’s most talented screenwriters, Jan Sardi (Shine) and Mac Gudgeon (Last Ride), the series was directed by Daina Reid (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars) and produced by Stephen Luby (Bed of Roses, Crackerjack).

Sunday, June 14 and Sunday, June 21, at 8.30pm on ABC.

3 Responses

  1. It looks like the standard preachy, morose, pseudo art-house melodrama the ABC is obsessed with commissioning. Is there some requirement that all Australian actors shout their lines at each other as loudly as possible while looking as grumpy as possible? Maybe it’s to vent their frustration at the lameness of the dialogue they’ve been given? Haven’t Australian screenwriters ever heard of subtext?

    The one good thing you can say about it is that it avoids the pretentious use of shaky-cam (sorry to sound like David Stratton).

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