'Peter Perfect' was not quite all that, according to TEN's testosterone new bio-drama.
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.