Mystery Road becomes spin-off series for ABC

ABC has announced a new drama series Mystery Road: The Series, a six part spin-off from the 2013 Ivan Sen feature starring Aaron Pedersen.

Pedersen reprises his role as an indigenous detective, impressively joined by Judy Davis.

Ivan Sen, who also produced the 2016 sequel Goldstone, returns as an executive producer on the series, Rachel Perkins will direct, while Michaeley O’Brien, Steven McGregor, Kodie Bedford, Jon Bell and Tim Lee are writers. David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin will produce for Bunya Productions with Sally Riley, Kym Goldsworthy joining Ivan Sen as executive producers.

In the series Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) is assigned to investigate the mysterious disappearance of two young farm hands on an outback cattle station. One is a local Indigenous footy hero, and the other a backpacker. Working with local cop Emma James (Judy Davis), Jay’s investigation uncovers a past injustice that threatens the fabric of the whole community.

Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin said: “It is a great honour to be working with our exceptional lead cast Judy Davis and Aaron Pedersen and accomplished director Rachel Perkins on the Mystery Road series. Our hope is that the series will not only be an entertaining and compelling mystery, but will also say something about the Australian identity.”

ABC TV Head of Drama Sally Riley said: “The ABC is thrilled to have the immense talents of the extraordinary Judy Davis and Aaron Pedersen in this brand new series of the iconic Australian film Mystery Road. This series promises to be a landmark event for 2018.”

Penny Smallacombe, Head of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, said: “We’re extremely proud to have supported Mystery Road from its early beginnings as a feature film, through to Goldstone and now as a rich, captivating drama series from the experienced team at Bunya Productions. Television audiences around the world are embracing Indigenous stories and with Rachel Perkins at the helm, a stellar cast on board and stunning locations, the series is set to be a success both in Australia and internationally.”

The series is set to premiere on the ABC in 2018.

Mystery Road: The Series is produced by Bunya Productions for the ABC with funding support from Screenwest, Screen Australia, the Western Australian Regional Film Fund supported by Royalties for Regions and Create NSW, produced in association with all3media International who will be handling the international sales.

Michael Brealey, CEO of Create NSW, said: “Create NSW is proud to support NSW production company Bunya and acclaimed director Rachel Perkins, also from Sydney, to bring this high-end television series to the screen. Post-production on the series will take place in Sydney. NSW is experiencing a surge in television production with the two-year $20m Made in NSW fund contributing to a doubling of television production expenditure in the State over the past financial year.”


  1. I would be certain that the overseas marketing potential for this show made making this series option obvious.
    If the ABC wants to increase its funding with its partners for more drama this is the way to go, develop further shows which have good potential for international sales.

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