Brock

brock-season-1-episode1-30

An opening title card for Brock declares what follows is a Drama not a Documentary, noting some parts have been fictionalised.

I don’t know who could misconstrue a 2 part miniseries with actors as a documentary, but presumably this is a hefty disclaimer in case a legal case ensues (thanks House of Hancock).

Former Offspring favourite Matt LeNevez portrays the ‘king of the mountain’ in a dodgy wig in this 70s inspired saga.

Peter Brock was a Holden driving champ who won 9 Bathurst titles and the attention of a nation. But it wasn’t without its controversies in his personal life, many of which pertain to his romantic life.

Holden Dealer Team manager Harry Firth (Steve Bisley) invites rising star Brock to join his team, depicted in an amusing press conference where the brash young driver shows he doesn’t follow the rule book. There were also stars in his eyes with the young driver soaking up the trappings of fame, partying and fast women. But Firth can’t deny Brock’s skill on the track.

“You drive a really perfect race, from top to finish,” he admits.

Bev (Ella Scott Lynch) is one who attracts his attention, despite already being married to team member, James McIntosh.

“One thing I want in life I can’t have,” laments Brock.

He marries former Miss Australia Michelle Downes – a short-lived partnership in which he eventually stands accused of domestic violence.

On the track Brock‘s biggest threat is Canadian-born champ Allan Moffatt (Brendan Cowell) driving Ford. It is Firth’s ambition to knock off Moffatt, and there is plenty of blokey engine talk around the kind of speedster that might do it.

“In the right car he could be dangerous,” Moffatt warns.

But Brock also believes his own publicity and tries to stand as an independent driver after he is fired from the Holden team.

An assured Matt LeNevez plays Brock as a bit a playboy, ambitious, flawed but without malice. Steve Bisley is excellent in the supporting role of Firth, in one of his better roles in recent times. Brendan Cowell is unrecognisable as Allan Moffatt and nearly steals the show. Ella Scott Lynch keeps Brock anchored as fame and success begin to take hold, while Natalie Bassingthwaighte does not appear in Part I.

The script by Adam Todd and directed by Geoff Bennett captures the raw, testosterone ’70s, in all its gaudy shirts and brown suits, but it also sits in third gear for much of the opening episode.

Race scenes awkwardly mix archival footage of Bathurst with newly-staged sequences, some of which are in black and white. It’s all a bit distracting. I guess producers did what they could….

The soundtrack draws upon masculine tracks from Daddy Cool, Russell Morris, Billy Thorpe, Lobby Lloyd, Ted Mulry, Stevie Wright, Dragon and The Angels.

The message of Brock appears to be that ‘Peter Perfect’ was not exactly all that, and I get the feeling it could have been tighter as a telemovie. But paired together with Bathurst 1000, ten years after his death, TEN should do well given our interest in bio-dramas.

Brock
airs 8:30pm Sunday and 9pm Monday on TEN.

4 Comments:

  1. Sthnhighlander

    I turned it off – I thought I was watching an early version of Ramsey Street, it wasn’t a polished production like Hyde & Seek. It’s funny when you are of that era and I was a the time a motorsport photographer mainly shooting car rallies, but I knew Colin Bond and Alan Moffat and I was a bit surprised at the way they implied the Alan Moffat was this old bloke where as in reality he was about 5 yrs older and the actress playing his wife was so dowdy whereas I was at school with her brother and she just wasn’t like that.

    • Not sure how the show implied he was an ‘old bloke’. However, if the attitude from Brock was that he was the new kid on the block, then that would be a way of skewering Moffat, making him feel really old. 5 years difference in any sport is a lot lot.
      As for Pauline Moffat, I never felt she was dowdy – have a look at some of the black and white race footage on Youtube. She pops up in there in one of them and she doesn’t look too far from her depiction on the show.

  2. I agree that the first part never really kicked off, hoping for a bit more tomorrow.
    Interesting to see reactions online of those who didn’t know about some of his flaws, i think they handled it quite well.

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