North Shore

Can British & Aussie detectives come together to solve a murder in the waters off the "Chelsea of Sydney?"

When UK detective Max Drummond (John Bradley) is assigned to observe an investigation in Sydney his marriage is struggling and he is raising unwelcome questions about possible corruption in another case close to home.

Max is too ethical for his own good, it seems, but observing a case down under may test him more.

The Sydney case concerns the washed up body of Sophie, the 19 year old daughter of Abigail Crawford (Joanne Froggatt), a British Trade Minister who leans on him to get to the bottom of it all, in 10’s new miniseries, North Shore.

Helming the investigation is Detective Sgt Meg Driscoll (Kirsty Sturgess), accompanied by Det. Paea Leniu (Chris Alosio), who doesn’t welcome the British looking over her shoulder. But the stakes are raised when it turns into the first murder case for Meg.

Grieving mother Abigail also has to deal with political pressures of a trade deal between the two nations, against a backdrop of power games back home and the aspirations of Australia’s Labor Opposition Leader (Matt Passmore).

Writer Mike Bullen (Cold Feet) weaves intersecting plotlines between the personal and professional, dramatised via Sophie’s boyfriend Tom (Max Mayer-Rayment), his best friend Oscar (Jonathan Lagudi), and Tom’s dad, businessman Lloyd Macklin (Rob Carlton). There’s also Abigail’s husband Simon (Dan Spielman), a Labor media advisor (Toby Truslove), Abigail’s UK advisor (George Pullar) and more.

It’s a lot to keep up with as viewers face red herrings, secrets and lies, such as audiences have come to expect of premium drama.

Bullen, who moved to Australia many years ago, also drops in his own cultural observations…

North Shore is “the Chelsea of Sydney.”

“Australians pronounce party ‘pardy’… it’s really annoying,” insists Max.

“Why do you spell Labor without a ‘U’?” is another…

In a serious-heavy drama, these light observations add colour, as do the performances of the cast.

John Bradley’s emotive face, so memorable as Game of Thrones‘ Sam, shows empathy and stress as he ricochets between mother Abigail and Aussie detective Meg. Joanne Froggatt’s cool exterior cracks briefly before she resumes her trademark steely resolve.

“I don’t know what else to do. I have to carry on, we have to carry on…. we have to be strong or this will destroy us,” she tells husband Simon.

Rob Carlton is gnarly as a shadowy multimillionaire and it’s great to see diverse casting of the two local detectives in Kirsty Sturgess and Chris Alosio, although the series is aimed heavily at a UK audience, keeping the pair largely abrasive in contrast to the smarter, kindly British observer. Even an Aussie waitress is unnecessarily rude to her UK customers. Why visit down under, there are sharks, murders, rude cops and dodgy hotels with coackroaches?

Episode two also has a bizarre charade in order to corroborate an ailibi, but these are minor quibbles in an otherwise enjoyable mystery in the antipodes.

10 has been moving towards Australian / UK co-productions of late with Lie to Me from Fremantle, with Riptide and Heat still to come. North Shore directed by Gregor Jordan is produced by Beach Road Pictures, co-founded by David Maher and David Taylor, formerly of Playmaker Media (House Husbands, Love Child, The Code, The Commons) and will keep you guessing.

Two clashing detectives forced to work together may not be a new concept, but in North Shore it is handled with aplomb by the lead cast and a harbour so good 10 is also showcasing it as the home of NCIS: Sydney.

North Shore airs 8:40pm Wednesday on 10.

7 Responses

  1. The second episode, where they actually started investigating the crime, was much better than the first. John Bradley is very good and the only reason I will keep watching.

  2. Not a much fan of American fair on Ten but because this is Australian/UK which I’m all for and there’s murder, mystery and red herrings involved I will watch it…… as for the political aspect I’ll reserve judgement…Some useless information: Labor was spelt without the “u” because the Labor Party goes back to the 1890s before federation and a lot of the unions that formed in 1880s read a lot of American text so the spelling is American English but Labour is old English from old French labeur…..pardy is Australian slang which is my favourite language and unfortunately is being to disappear in favour of all things proper regardless of it being unique to us Aussies.

    1. Getting slightly OT here, but the accepted myth in parliamentary circles of Labor Party’s spelling is that it all goes back to King O’Malley’s note-taking at the first caucus meeting

      To bring things back on topic, I might check this out. The cast seems very watchable. Agree that Joanna Froggatt can be hit and miss, but it looks worth a peek, even if just for curio value.

      1. I’m aware of all that, but there are only so many characters available to use in the comments…as for OT and off topic that’s your opinion… because you’ve contributed further information by using King O’Mally which saved me adding that to it. I was simply explaining for those who might be interested. Or did you not read…the some useless information part…I clearly made reference to. Besides I wasn’t the one who commented on Joanna Froggatt being a bit h/m, but if you do watch I hope you enjoy it for curio value.

  3. I’ve seen the ads and it seems Joanne Froggatt is playing Joanne Froggatt yet again…..however I am a fan of John Bradley and like a good mystery so will give it a go.

  4. They always solve it in the end don’t they. For me getting to that point has to be interesting enough or the characters do that’s why I find most crime shoes boring.

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