New TEN drama Wake in Fright


Another Australian classic has been confirmed for a new TV version with TEN adapting Wake In Fright.

Wake in Fright tells the story of John Grant, a young school teacher who descends into his own personal nightmare after being stranded in the small outback mining town of Bundanyabba.

The 1962 novel by Kenneth Cook was previously adapted as a 1971 thriller starring Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty, Jack Thompson and John Meillon regarded as one of the “New Wave” of Australian films in the 1970s.

TEN’s two part drama will be produced by Lingo Pictures in association with Endemol Shine Australia, with the assistance of Screen Australia and Screen NSW. Lingo Pictures is headed by producers Helen Bowden and Jason Stephens. The writer is Stephen M. Irwin (Secrets & Lies) and the Director is Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, The Principal).

TEN Head of Drama, Rick Maier, said: “There are few Australian stories as original or compelling as Wake in Fright.

“Kenneth Cook’s novel, now re-imagined for a new generation, deals with the biggest themes. Provocative, morally complex and brilliantly realised, this classic story is guaranteed to stay with you long into the night and – possibly – for years to come.

“It will be a privilege to broadcast this major television event on TEN.”

Filming will commence in February in Broken Hill and Sydney with cast to be announced soon.

Earlier this week Foxtel confirmed a new version of another Australian classic, Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Wake in Fright will premiere in 2017.


  1. We make so few Aussie dramas a remake of this classic does seem to be a very poor decision. It was a great film but a remake is unlikely to add any more and the writer wrote a very poor mini-series. I would have thought Foxtel would have learnt too from the very average television reversion of the Devil’s Playground that reversions are not a great idea but they’re now doing the same to Picnic At Hanging Rock. It seems to me like treading water here. Shame.

  2. Like Picnic at Hanging Rock(classic australian 1970s film), this is also a classic australian film that does not require a remake/reboot or retelling, the film is on dvd and bluray(Madman entertainment) and I think one of the streaming services has the rights for it, as well, I think either sbs or the abc have aired it a few times. I just don’t think a 2017 redone is going to get anywhere near the 1970s film. Just my Opinion.

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