A dead body on the beach disrupts Sgt Dulcie's day in quirky new series Deadloch. And then she meets Sgt. Eddie Redcliffe.

What do a naked body, a giant fur seal, Princess Mary and “I Touch Myself” all have in common?

The answer is Deadloch a quirky new mystery drama -or is that mystery comedy- screening on Prime Video.

The 8 part series is the work of the two talented “Kates”, Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney (Get Krack!n, The Katering Show, Bleak), now taking a leap into premium drama.

Set in the fictional town of Deadloch, Tasmania, this mystery unfolds when three teens discover a man’s naked body washed up on the beach. It becomes the job of local senior sergeant Dulcie Collins (Kate Box) to protect the crime scene from inquisitive, leering locals in a town where everybody knows each other. But maintaining order until detectives arrive does not come easily, especially when the force includes overeager junior constable Abby (Nina Oyama) and the hapless, very laid-back constable Sven (Tom Ballard).

There’s colourful cast of locals: a mayor Aleyna (Susie Youssef), Dulcie’s doey-eyed girlfriend Cath (Alicia Gardiner), newly-widowed mum Vanessa (Katie Robinson), the victim’s brother Gavin (Jackson Tozer), a forensic pathologist James (Nick Simpson-Deeks) -but these only scratch the surface of the massive cast. You can expect to see Pamela Rabe, Kris McQuade, Duncan Fellows and more.

While our hero Dulcie begins to piece together evidence, her life is upended by the arrival of a loud, foul-mouthed detective sent from Darwin to oversee the case. Dressed in tropical shirt, Sgt. Eddie Redcliffe (Madeleine Sami) rushes in like a bull in a f***in’ china shop, discarding all of Dulcie’s good work, in the hope of arriving at a quick conclusion to get it over with. In Dulcie’s town, she is both ignorant and unwelcome.

Deadloch is also hosting a Festival of Food and Wine amid the local scandal, which adds to the very believable village backdrop created by director Ben Chessell. You really get the feeling this town has many strands, all of which help set up plenty of killer red herrings and suspects.

The Kates also pepper their mystery with some trademark one-liners, with a great ear for the Australian idiom and laconic social observation…. even having the temerity to have a First Nations character deliver a most cynical Acknowledgment of Country. Love it.

But the thick plottens when the body count begins to rise… as the writers chart a more dense series arc.

Kate Box is terrific as the voice of reason in this wobbly coastal town, navigating truth as she is tested by a brash outsider and a clinging girlfriend, the latter cheerfully portrayed by Alicia Gardiner.

Amid all this rich nuance, why the decision to let Madeleine Sami seemingly channel another genre altogether for the irritating Eddie Redcliffe? It’s a cartoon performance, not at all convincing, and, if the intent is to be ‘funny man’ to Box’s ‘straight man,’ a fail for me. It was a disappointing turn in what had otherwise been set up as a quirky, satisfying world…. amounting to an uneven viewing experience.

It’s challenging to enjoy the riches of  Deadloch‘s fertile community, when a deal-breaker of a character barges onto screen.

But then the Kates have been known to be risk-takers, challenging traditions, as they did so bravely in Get Krack!n‘s episode with Indigenous guest hosts.

I guess on this occasion there are three Kates -McLennan, McCartney and Box- to thank for the gems in a town where almost everybody is a friendly face and a whodunnit suspect.

Deadloch airs Friday 2 June on Prime Video.

18 Responses

  1. I’m loving this quirky show. I had all of the same misgivings about Eddie. She is sweary and crass and confronting. But I’ve persevered and the series just keeps getting better. The story is really good. I suspect main stream acceptance was not the goal. If this is the case it’s a resounding success and I look forward to a maturing of the writers as they develop new material.

  2. Sometimes people you just have to get off the high horse, sit back and laugh. What you hear on screen, is no different to the pub, sporting event or railway station. For mine, its a great view that just shows how well we can make TV in this country…

  3. For my money, you can see the’ trying hard to be funny’ – particularly in the first two episodes – which is the fault of the directing – should have told the actors to ease off a bit and relax. But I’m intrigued by the crime story so will keep watching.

  4. ‘Eddie’ was overplayed or over-acted. Too rough, I doubt poor Darwin breeds this ‘type’ …
    Kate Box is great. I agree, the ‘c’ wasn’t needed, ‘f’ was more than enough and now becoming as regular as ‘bloody’, no one flinches much. Anyhow, one dumb detective from Darwin – please don’t send any more. ‘Eddie’ needs a good soak at Mataranka Hot Springs.

  5. Watched the first episode today and review is spot on. Was enjoying it….until the detective from Darwin turned up and she just pulled my out of the story. Bit too over the top.

    Will persevere.

  6. Sadly it’s 6hrs too long for me. If the sound editor creatively reversed all the swear words the joke would quickly wear thin. There are 14 user reviews on imdb.com which is more than some shows with well known stars.

  7. I love it! It’s so silly. Script moves at a cracking pace. So many great oneliners and character reactions that I’d rewind to enjoy again if it wasn’t such a pain to do on Prime. I love the creative use of swearing. It’s such a fun show, and beautifully shot from its opening moments.

  8. May of been good, if it wasn’t for the excessive use of foul language.

    Foul language can be used well but in this case it was nearly every second word.

    Did it enhance the script/plot, No !

    1. Totally agree….unfortunately it is a common practice with a lot of TV shows and movies…it is probably a “fashionable” trend and fad to gain realism….I don’t think any four letter words can be used well (Ricky Gervais and Eddie Murphy come to mind) whats even worse women using them….but I personally do not see the necessity….it distracts from show….my limit is bugger the good old fashion slang.

  9. It’s a Prime Video release and to me this screenplay does look to be up to their current creative standard, however, this type of feminocentric murder mystery detective series is now becoming a bit too familiar and unimaginatively generic now.

    1. It’s a change from the androcentrism (Greek;- male) murder mystery detective series from the past and present. It is not entirely gynocentric (Greek:- female) cast, though your comment seems to be placing a masculine view…useful reading “A Man Made World” by Charlotte Gilmam (humanist)….androcentrism is the practice consciously or otherwise…is a male point of view thereby marginalising the feminine view.

  10. Spot on review David. I was enjoying every moment of what should have been a quirky little Aussie whodunnit, until the Eddie character arrived.

    WTF? It was jarring, annoying and I disengaged immediately. I’ll keep with it as the other characters might just save it. Plus Kate Box is a legend!

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