“Maybe there needed to be a beginning, middle and end to this story”

Deborah Mailman doesn't know why Total Control is ending, but is happy where it's landed.

Total Control reaches its final episode soon on ABC, ending a three season run of the drama with Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths.

The show has won AACTA Awards for both of its stars and across much of its run, drawn critical acclaim and strong ratings.

So why is it ending?

“I don’t know exactly the answer to that,” Deborah Mailman tells TV Tonight.

“I do remember when we first started Season One, I’m sure it was Rachel Griffiths -because this is her baby- always had in mind three seasons. I don’t know why.

“I just think maybe there needed to be a beginning, middle and end to this story. (To not) keep forcing it in any way, maybe. So I wasn’t surprised that we’ve got to Season 3 and there’s nothing more.

“I’m glad that’s the choice that production’s made because it means the writers had the opportunity to just go, ‘Where do we start, how are we going to end this bloody show?’ I think that’s really great for a production to have that confidence and go, ‘We don’t need another season. Let’s just do three and let’s create the story with that in mind.’

“Everyone wants to keep working but I do like where we’ve landed on this.”

Surprisingly, it also represents the first series lead for Mailman, and the first series with a black female politician as lead character.

Yet despite all the plaudits, she still admits to some hesitations at watching herself back on screen.

“I’m getting better at it. I’m still not comfortable. I do find it a bit of a weird experience. With the first viewing, I’m not (into) the story. I’m just looking at me. It’s an ego thing. And I just go, ‘Shit I look like that?’ It’s such an uncomfortable mindf*** -sorry for using that language- but it really is!” she laughs.

“It probably takes a second viewing to actually really settle and just go, ‘Okay, get over yourself, Deborah!'”

Mailman is also very grateful for her close association with Blackfella Productions, including Mabo, and Redfern Now.

“I’m very bloody lucky that I’m part of them. They’re the stories that mean a lot to me, and the production values that they try and achieve,” she continues.

“It’s almost become family too, working with them. I’ve worked with Wayne Blair on so many productions now, with Rob Collins, so many productions with Rachel Perkins. We all grew up together professionally. Which is really lovely to now see where we are and what we’re still continuing to do.

“It’s really nice, that close to 30 years all of us are doing our own individual thing, but then having that opportunity to come together on projects, and being able to celebrate that as well. It’s been beautiful.”

Total Control continues 8:30pm Sunday February 11 & 18 on ABC.

3 Responses

  1. Deborah Mailman is brilliant in this and steals every scene with her performance. The character is one of the greats. However, this final season seems too long- should have been 4 eps maybe? And the storylines generally aren’t as compelling as the previous seasons so I think everyone has made a good call to end it.

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