Secret City: Thrilling new political drama will make viewers vote with their remote

Holly Brynes

15/05/2016

WITH the federal election likely to wallpaper our television screens for the next seven weeks, it would have to be something special to draw viewers into watching even more politics, but Foxtel’s thrilling new drama series Secret City should force you to vote with your remote when it premieres at 8.30pm on June 5 on Showcase channel.

The first two episodes of the stunning adaptation of two novels by Canberra press gallery veterans Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis were “teased” to media last week and like the national capital’s icy winter weather they delivered just the right kind of chill.
Anna Torv is newspaper journalist Harriet Dunkley, who stumbles into a story of murder, betrayal and international intrigue. She leads the goosebump-inducing action and a first-class cast which must have cost producers the GDP of a small Pacific nation to assemble — including two-time Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver, Logie-winning actor Alex Dimitriades, Love My Way’s Dan Wyllie, The Beautiful Lie’s Benedict Samuel, Love Child’s Miranda Tapsell and Damon Herriman, who has to be one of Australia’s most remarkable and under-appreciated talents.

Directed by Emma Freeman (Tangle, Love My Way), the early pace is a scintillating slow burn in the style of Scandi-noir series like The Bridge or the UK original of House Of Cards.

Torv, who all but bypassed Australian television for immediate fame in US dramas like Fringe, will undoubtably earn the adoration of local viewers for her impressive performance and screen magnetism.

With plot points that include defence contracts for a flotilla of new submarines, cyber security, and the Machiavellian manoeuvrings of our elected officials, this drama involves the hot button issues of today.

But the skilled weaving of the storylines, the cinematic quality of the production and mostly the world-class acting will force you to look twice at the real players lining up to earn access to those same corridors of power.