EXCLUSIVE: Rake co-creator Peter Duncan is standing firm behind the fifth and final season of the ABC drama amid media reports he had apologised to viewers.
Yesterday the Daily Telegraph suggested Duncan had apologised to viewers who had not warmed to Cleaver Greene’s (Richard Roxburgh) shift from Sydney lawyer to Canberra independent senator.
“I can see why people might be disappointed but we’re having fun with it, so I’m sorry,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
But yesterday Duncan clarified to TV Tonight that remark was no more, no less than a ‘throwaway’ line.
“I don’t want anybody to be disappointed… that’s what that remark was about,” he said. “But I’m certainly not apologising for the show, and I have no regrets about any of the decision that we’ve made.”
Rake returned with 715,000 viewers in August, this week at 505,000. It recently pulled another 116,000 in Timeshifted viewing, the highest number for a Sunday show.
But for those who are not warming to the new universe in which Cleaver Greene finds himself, Duncan is pragmatic.
“There are a lot of people who want the same thing, and I get that. I understand why they want things to be predictable. But my job is not to do that. My job is to create interesting television.
“Where we were going with Rake, certainly by the end of season 4, was pretty bloody interesting.
“Everyone knows there is a logical leap from the law to politics. There are so many lawyers in politics. So we thought it would be hilarious to have the most out-of-control lawyer into politics.”
Scripts are also art-imitating-life, with senators recently voted into Canberra on the slimmest of margins and another leadership-change -all reflected in current episodes despite being penned over 12 months ago. Even a ‘zebra’ costume worn by Richard Roxburgh isn’t too far off the mark of a Pauline Hanson jacket.
“It’s twice we have got lucky,” Duncan suggests.
“We have a nose for future bullshit.”
There are just 2 more episodes to run before 5 seasons draw to a close. Like his central character Duncan is defiant, and unfazed by newspaper headlines.
“It will be wrapping bad fish tomorrow, so it doesn’t worry me. But I’m not apologising for the show,” he insists.
“We think we have presented a handsome corpse.”
Rake continues 8:30pm Sunday on ABC.