Seven has co-commissioned a new children’s drama to be filmed in New Zealand.
Mystic is a 13×30’ series described as an “environmental thriller” co-commissioned by the UK’s CBBC and TVNZ.
Based on the Pony Club Secrets books by author Stacy Gregg, the character-driven drama will target a family audience, focusing on the key issue of climate change.
The plot follows a group of horse-mad teenagers who are regulars at their local stables on the fictional NZ peninsula of Kauri Point. Worrying incidents surrounding a new industrial development prove the catalyst for a series of events that means the group have to risk everything in order to save their horses.
Amy Shindler and Beth Chalmers (Pat & Cabbage) will be showrunners, with Slim Film + Television and Libertine Pictures co-producing.
Simon Crawford Collins from Slim Film + Television , says: “We are really proud to be making this ground-breaking children’s drama for such a top flight of international broadcasters whose combined involvement enables us to deliver this series on an epic scale. Over the last 12 months, children have shown the world that they are willing to stand up and tackle the really big issues that adults have continuously shied away from.
“Stacey Gregg’s brilliant and much loved book series, in the hands of Amy and Beth’s bold adaptation, is set to the backdrop of this passion and delivers it with gorgeous characters, complex morals, loads of excitement and yet still manages to be very funny!”
Richard Fletcher, MD Libertine Pictures added: “Mystic taps into themes that are so relevant to young people. It’s not just a simple story about teens who love horses; it looks at the intricate and complex relationships with their families, with each other and with the place in which they live. The intriguing, action-packed scripts are full of humour, adventure, jeopardy and joy whilst interweaving the human impact on the environmental world with the supernatural forces that are unleashed by it. It is very exciting to bring these iconic books to the screen.”
It’s an encouraging move given commercial networks have been vocal about not wanting to make children’s drama any more.
Seven recently announced crime drama One Lane Bridge it has co-commissioned with TVNZ.
Mystic will start filming in New Zealand in January.