High Country

When a detective encounters a missing persons case in her new rural appointment, it opens a complex crime and raises deeper personal questions.

Detective Andrea Whitford (Leah Purcell) arrives in Broken Ridge in the High Country as an outsider.

In town to succeed retiring local cop Sam Dyson (Ian McElhinney), she will face both policing and personal challenges in the new 8 part mystery from the Foxtel Group.

‘Andie’ will have first-hand experience of a spate of missing persons when she encounters an abandoned car on a mountain road. But this is unforgiving terrain, teetering on dramatic drops and brimming in thick mountain-ash vegetation.

Andie’s colleagues (Nicholas Bell, Luke McKenzie & Matt Domingo) will assist the new town cop with varying degrees of support and scepticism as she begins to piece together what’s happened to a missing local doctor (Frances Greenslade).

Local indigenous man Owen Cooper (Aaron Pedersen) knows the land well, but not much attention is given to old ways over new, at least just yet.

There is also a town outcast Damien (Henry Nixon), who is linked to unsolved previous cases, who seeks to win over Andie with his local ‘visions’ but is he telling the truth.

Meanwhile Andie’s partner Helen (Sarah Wiseman) has a teen daughter (Pez Warner) not happy about the move from city to bush, and struggles to fit into a hostile group of local teens. Helen will also take up work at a local artists retreat run by a glam Linda Cropper.

Before Andie can solve her first local crime, another will rise to the surface….

High Country, shot in and around Jamieson in the Victorian Alps, is certainly full of dramatic scenery. There are vistas and moody landscpaes that look captivating on a big screen TV, artfully contrasted by autumnal reds and yellows from the town’s trees -you can even spot falling leaves as actors are mid scene.

It’s fair to say the themes of High Country, being missing persons and associated crimes, have been explored in a range of other series, including Scandi-noir drama. Here it gets the First Nations treatment thanks to the fine talents of Leah Purcell.

It is up to Trisha Morton-Thomas, as a local elder, to question her as to her roots.

“If you don’t know who your mob are, you don’t know who you are,” she says.

This search for belonging will add a rich layer to the series, which also features Geoff Morerll, Nathaniel Dean, Leah Vandenberg, and Travis McMahon.

Purcell is outstanding as a grounded, diligent cop, using her smarts and following the law, whilst being challenged spiritually. It’s also great to see Sara Wiseman as her partner (Sigourney Weaver was Purcell’s last in Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) in a domestic relationship treated as part of the fabric.

High Country was the final commission by Foxtel’s Brian Walsh and it makes a fine epilogue to a rich drama contribution.

High Country double episode 8:30pm Tuesday March 19 on Showcase / Binge.

2 Responses

  1. I am just so sick of all the crime mysteries. It’s way too much of the same. I know it’s easy viewing and everyone loves a who done it but nothing much stands out anymore when there’s so much of the same on offer

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