Ending a drama series is not all bad.
Just ask Glitch co-creator Louise Fox who is concluding the series at three seasons on her own terms.
“It’s fantastic. I think every storyteller wants to finish a story on their own terms. We always envisaged three seasons,” she tells TV Tonight.
”It’s a really good shape, particularly for a mystery. You don’t want to overstay your welcome and drag it out and frustrate people.
“I think an end is really important here and an audience needs to feel they have been satisfied.
“You want an ending to be both surprising and perfectly satisfying, at the same time.
“We’ve always had the ending planned from the beginning.”
Yet while it can be difficult to write an ending to S1 or S2 when you don’t know if a broadcaster will renew, Fox says it’s possible to offer satisfying character arcs, of not necessarily resolving the wider mystery around the risen dead.
“I felt like in Season Two that even though all the mythological questions of the show weren’t answered we’d had very big strong character arcs,” she continues.
“Something emotionally I think was resolved by the end of Season 2.”
Season 3 sees the return of Patrick Brammall, Emma Booth, Rodger Corser, Sean Keenan, Hannah Monson, John Leary, Aaron McGrath, Rob Collins, Luke Arnold and Sweden’s Pernilla August.
They are joined by Jessica Faulkner, Harry Tseng, Jackson Gallagher, Dustin Clare, Susan Prior and Anna McGahn.
Fans can also expect more city-based scenes in Melbourne and some shift in the storytelling from Season 2.
“We’re in Yoorana a bit for the first episode but not a Yoorana you’ve ever seen before. It’s a whole new part of it. And then episodes 2 and 3 are largely in Melbourne.
“Season Three, both in form and in content, feels like a quite a reboot”
“Season Three, both in form and in content, feels like a quite a reboot,” Fox explains. “We felt very constrained to follow moment to moment, in terms of time. And now we’re starting to play with this idea of overlapping time periods. The stories are much more contained. People go off and have their separate stories. We don’t deal with every character in every episode like we used to.
“The show opens with the new characters and their story, at least for half the first episode. So you don’t quite know when you’re going to meet your regulars and you don’t quite know where you’re going to go.”
“The show has all those thrills and spills but it’s got a lot of heart”
But fans can still expect to witness the attributes for which Glitch has become famous: paranormal mystery with emotional insight.
“The show has all those thrills and spills but it’s got a lot of heart and it’s actually in the end really concerned with the human experience. It happens to be wrapped around a high concept.
“But ultimately it’s about loss and death and love and all of those things. We’re just finding cool ways to tell the story.”
“I love it when a writer steps up and takes responsibility for their episode as you’re plotting. But I’m there every step of the way, through every draft and through every choice.”
Fox, who has previously written for The Kettering Incident, Broadchurch, Camelot, Rush, Love My Way, Always Greener and Round the Twist is a fan of the four act structure, six beats an act and writing opening and closing episodes.
The show returns as a co-production between ABC and Netflix (on board as investors since S2), with ABC having world premiere rights plus Aussie exclusivity for a year. But having the streaming giant attached has allowed the show to build fans around the globe.
“We’re big in Brazil!”
“We’re big in Brazil! There’s a lot of Brazilian fan sites. I don’t know why, or what they get into. I think initially the morbidity was probably more culturally where they are, and also the high emotion?” Fox suggests.
“But actually it’s kind of everywhere… Eastern Europe, America, the UK, the Philippines, India, Finland, Indonesia…
“There is not a day goes past, I kid you not, where someone hasn’t gone ‘I’ve just discovered this show.'”
“They basically went ‘Do what you did last time.'”
Netflix has not been vigilant in making big demands of the Matchbox production, an ideal creative space for Fox and co-creator Tony Ayres to continue.
“I love them. They are really encouraging,” she continues. “They bought season one, so they knew what they were buying and they were completely aware of it and they loved it. So they basically went ‘Do what you did last time.’
“I had a few note sessions in scripts on Season Two and they certainly look at rushes and they have a few comments on cuts, but it’s a very light touch. This season even more.
“I went and visited them when I was in L.A. and they love the show. For them it’s a really great worker. I think they wish that some of their other originals were as consistently doing as well. They don’t give you the numbers or their secret algorithm, but they gave us this colour-coded map of where we were big.
“We’ve also had the same ABC script executives ,Jo Bell for three seasons, Brett Sleigh for two… that’s the nice thing…people who work on the show really like the show.”
Fox is now working on her next creation, an NBC-U pilot for Hulu, to be made in the US if it proceeds to series.
“Like Glitch it’s kind of a hybrid genre, not just a straight drama. It’s got other elements in it. It’s high concept.
“Careful what you wish for, right?”
Glitch returns 9:30pm Sunday August 25 on ABC