What will be the legacy for A Place to Call Home?
Audiences responded to traditional storytelling & family say cast, as Bevan Lee drama wraps.
This Sunday another Aussie drama will depart our screens when A Place to Call Home wraps for the very last time.
The show ran for 2 seasons on Seven before it was axed then famously rescued by Foxtel where it continued for 4 more seasons.
Ahead of the finale, TV Tonight asked stars Marta Dusseldorp, Frankie J. Holden & David Berry what they thought the show’s legacy would be?
“The show is based on kindness when a lot of shows are driven by plot,” Dusseldorp explained. “Our show sustainably had a community at its core. And that’s ok. It’s enough to have people trying to understand each other, to maintain an audience level and interest, love and need.
“It doesn’t have to be ‘punch it up, kill it up, make it quirky or strange with weird things going on’. It has a very traditional form of storytelling at its core.
“So we really were a family and will always be a family.
“It’s ok to just explore humanity sometimes.”
“But there isn’t a death here. People often say to me ‘How will you live without them?’ But I don’t, they will always be with me.
“So those two things combined tell me that it’s ok to just explore humanity sometimes.”
Frankie J. Holden who played local farmer Roy Briggs said over the 6 seasons he had come to know the Inverness characters intimately.
“It will be like losing a large family.”
“It was a huge slice of their lives throughout the show and I am able to stand outside and look at it as a viewer might look at it. I really felt that I knew those people and hat I would miss them out of my life. So I think that will be the take out for a lot of people,” he said.
“It will be like losing a large family. But not in a bad way because they haven’t died.”
David Berry, who played the Bligh family’s ‘black sheep’ James believes the fan campaign to rescue the show from oblivion will be long-remembered.
“That will be part of the legacy, and I think embedded in that is that the show came at a time when we were putting a lot of money into Australian drama. So it was seen as an expensive show. But I hope this isn’t the pinnacle of expensive shows on TV. I hope it’s the springboard for more stuff. I hope that it’s it legacy,” he said.
He added that while Australian TV has always been ’embarrassed’ by earnest storytelling, A Place to Call Home embraced its emotions.
“In many ways this took its tonality from American drama. Bevan was inspired by Douglas Sirk in the 1950s,” he continued.
“To earnestly attack emotion and display it on the screen was something that was one of the strengths of the show. And that’s why people responded to it internationally, as well.”
“When Foxtel came on they were completely on board with it.”
The three also noted the benefits of having Lee as a true showrunner in Australian drama.
“There’s normally a network exec who wants to stick his neck in!” Holden observed.
Dusseldorp agreed, “When Foxtel came on they were completely on board with it. They were always present around the table but there weren’t any directives.”
“They had respect for Bevan so that was another reason why the show maintained its vision and it wasn’t sidetracked into becoming something else,” Holden added.
The show also won praise for tackling social taboos in a period piece, forcing its key characters to deal with change. Dusseldorp is a fan of works that hit a target audience but can also effect change.
“When they think they are watching one thing and you show them something else… that’s my favourite type of theatre,” she continued.
“People say ‘I never thought I would understand that, and now I actually do,’ because they relate to whatever taboo we were putting up. So that was really clever.
“It was lovely to be given a woman who could be silent”
“And Sarah was not a likeable character, I really liked that about her. You didn’t necessarily want to snuggle up with her with a hot toddy and have a chat!
“It was lovely to be given a woman who could be silent and have her own ways and means of doing things. (Bevan) put that within the centre of a lot of fabulous characters.
“So I enjoyed the strength I was allowed to play.”
A Place to Call Home finale airs 8:30pm Sunday on FOX Showcase.