Truth be told 2016 has been very light on for local police dramas.
Aside from Wanted and The Doctor Blake Mysteries it’s been almost absent from our Free to Air screens. Next week two will enter the building with Deep Water on SBS and Hyde & Seek on Nine.
Hyde & Seek is created by NZ writers Rachel Lang (Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons) and Gavin Strawhan (Nothing Trivial, Step Dave, Go Girls) with Episode 1 directed by Peter Andrikidis.
If you’re missing a bit of procedural from our local dramas then this is probably one for you.
Matt Nable plays Sydney homicide detective Gary Hyde who attends a murder scene that goes pear-shaped when his partner and best friend is blown up by a booby trap. As a family man, married to Sonya (Zoe Ventoura), he feels accountable to his friend’s widow, and this crime becomes personal.
On the hunt for clues with colleagues Tanya (Claire Lovering) and Kevin Soga (Tai Hara) life gets more complicated when he is ambushed by Australian Federal Police and later ASIO. It seems his initial victim was wanted for a Madrid bombing and had dark plans for an upcoming Asia Pacific Security Forum. AFP Agent Jackie Walters (Mandy McElhinney) crosses swords with Hyde over control of the case.
Meanwhile NZ immigration lawyer Claire McKenzie (Emma Hamilton) was also pursuing the dead man and wedges her way into the investigation, despite Hyde unwelcome of her input.
Also featuring are Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as a dour ASIO agent and Andrew McFarlane as a police sergeant.
A sullen-face but dependable Matt Nable (who was outstanding in Barracuda) is in almost every scene here. But he never looks to upstage the plot-driven material. In this very serious outing, Nable’s performance helps us to overlook some elements that are a bit of a stretch. I wasn’t entirely convinced of Hyde’s pairing with a NZ lawyer -but at least her surname wasn’t Seek.
It’s good to see Mandy McElhinney out of period costume as an AFP Agent. She is again a woman giving orders, so I hope some vulnerability makes its way into upcoming episodes. Pleasingly there were some diverse faces amongst the wider ensemble -no sign as yet of Deborra-lee Furness….
The idea of homicide police at odds with with federal police is an interesting premise and is hopefully explored for its political dilemmas.
The action scenes are stock stuff, if anything this could have benefitted from more surprises and jeopardy, but that may come once the set-up is out of the way.
Nable is the glue that holds this together so on that point alone this gets the tick.
Hyde & Seek premieres 8:45pm Monday on Nine.