emotive and thoroughly
absorbing, the Australian television
police series Mystery Road moves into
its second series to follow an Indigenous
detective as he investigates drug-
dealing, corruption and murder while
respecting his culture and protecting
AGAINST THE HARSHNESS OF THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK, indigenous detective Jay
Swan (Aaron Pedersen: Jack Irish) tries to balance his job as a lawman
with his heritage; respecting his roots while tracking down criminals in the
second series of the absolutely must-see Mystery Road.
Jay is a hard-nosed, hard-drinking but dedicated man with a strong sense of
justice and a steely determination to protect both his family and his people.
A superb, finely-scripted
series that oozes
themes and tightly-
woven action, and
stirs the senses.
spin-off from Ivan Sen's multi-award-winning feature film of the same name and
its follow-on Goldstone (and taking place between the two), the gripping
televised first season of Mystery Road aired to great acclaim and was
hailed as Australia's answer to True Detective. Aaron Pedersen reprises
his critically-acclaimed role in both films as Detective Jay Swan for the two
six-episode television series.
Mystery Road is a traditional, Western-inspired tale of a detective who
lives between two worlds and whose unorthodox methods do not always sit well
with his fellow lawmen. Entering its second season, the series explores Jay's
respect for his roots and his relationship with his former wife Mary (Tasma
Walton: Home and Away), who lives in Gideon.
Opening with the grisly discovery of a headless body in the ocean close to the
shore and the expectation of more to come, Jay is called to the remote outback
settlement of Gideon to investigate, where he is joined by indigenous local
Policewoman Fran Davis (a well-cast Jada Alberts: Cleverman) as they
search the mangroves close to the small coastal town for clues.
Fran joined the police after suffering the loss of her cousin ZoŽ, who disappeared
some years before after leaving town with her boyfriend. ZoŽ had been promised
to Amos (Rob Collins) as his second wife, a tradition that seems to have been
accepted by his 'number one' wife.
Amos is now overseeing an archaeological dig led by Professor Claire Sims (Sofia
Helin: The Bridge's original Nordic Noir star), who is excited to be
researching the Aboriginal heritage on their sacred land, which she considers
to be of great importance to the world. Although there is a lot of resistance
from the indigenous locals, who are protesting about the invasion of their homeland
and disrespect for their sacred grounds, she is proud to be given permission
to continue with her work.
However, this may change as it appears there is concern that Claire may uncover
things that are best left alone. Local head man Jimmy (Stan Yarramunua) considers
himself to be the big man and may know more than he is prepared to say about
the local crimes.
Another body is found, but are these killings linked and are they drug related?
As Jay investigates the murders and local drug trafficking, he is forced to
come to terms with Mary's relationship with former police officer Simon (Callan
Mulvey), whom he does not trust. Mary is still trying to come to terms with
the fallout events of the first series and the effects on her family.
Claire may be instrumental in solving the case but the archaeologist already
has a secret that has caused a rift between her and Reverend Tom (Keith Robinson)
and could well mean the end of the dig which is so important to her. She also
may not be able to keep a promise she made to Fran's sister Leonie (Ngaire Pigram)
which could cost her a vital ally.
Mary has befriended Shevorne Shields (Tasia Zalar) who, with her young daughter
Ava (Ava Farrer), has come to live with her. Shevorne has begun to see Fran's
cousin Phillip (Rhimi Johnson), who has been badly affected by the disappearance
of his beloved sister ZoŽ and is possibly involved with the drug-runners.
Clashing with Station Senior Sergeant Owen Cross (Mark Mitchinson), who is resistant
to Jay's style of policing, Jay finds support from PC McBride (Joel Jackson).
Owen has befriended local Brahman Bar owner Suzi-John Harris (sympathetically
played by Kirk Page), whom Jay believes may also be able to help his enquiries.
Jay needs to show the indigenous community that he is very much on their side
and respects his roots while ensuring he satisfies the local white laws. Indigenous
people are seeing their homeland invaded, protests are erupting and sacred lands
being misused, and Jay and the law are seen as being on the side of the white
Jay will have to put aside his domestic problems while dealing with a treacherous
enemy, unconstrained drug trafficking and a plethora of secrets and lies. A
credible cast ensures the tight storylines knit well together.
The superb, finely-scripted series, oozing with thought-provoking racial themes
and tightly-woven action, stirs the senses. It's utterly compulsive viewing
as Jay attempts to get past the suspicion and deceit to uncover the trail of
underhand dealings and unsolved crimes that litter Mystery Road.
Mystery Road Series 2 was filmed in Broome and Kimberley and on the Dampier
Peninsular in North Western Australia. The episode To Live With The Living
was dedicated to the memory of actor Stephen B'Aamba Albert.
Mystery Road Series 2 also features: Fletcher Humphrys as Dyland Lindwall;
Ursula Yovich as Pansy; Gary Sweet as Alkemi; Sri Sacdpraseuth as Wayan; Vanessa
Poelina as Auntie Margie; Shinji Ikefuji as Ngyuen; Eve Morey as Kayla; Teigan
McCarty as Jessica; Poppy Henschke-Jones as Estelle; Tornina Torres as Dalcie;
and The Fitzroy Xpress Band is: Danny Marr, Victor Marr, Duane Shaw and Joseph
Series Music is by Antony Partos and Matteo Zingales; Series Cinematography
is by Mark Wareham and Warwick Thornton; Producers are David Jowsey and Greer
Simpkin; Written by Steven McGregor, Kodie Bedford, Timothy Lee, Blake Ayshford
and Danielle MacLean; and Directed by Warwick Thornton (Sweet Country; Samson
and Delilah) and Wayne Blair (Cleverman; Top End Wedding; The Sapphires).
* Following the airing of the socially-aware
Australian detective crime drama Mystery Road Series 2 on BBC4 on 19
September, 2020, Mystery Road Series 2 and Mystery Road Series 1 and
2 Boxset arrives, courtesy of Acorn Media International, in the UK on DVD
and Digital on 5 October 2020.
Mystery Road Series 2 DVD: Certificate 15 | Running Time: 360 Minutes
on 2 Discs | RRP: £24.99. Mystery Road Series 1 and Series 2 DVD
Boxset: Certificate 15 | Running Time: 720 Minutes on 4 Discs | RRP £34.99.
Special Features: 12 bonus featurettes consisting of interviews with Cast and
"Riveting, emotive and thoroughly absorbing. A superb, finely-scripted series
that oozes thought-provoking racial themes and tightly-woven action, and stirs
the senses. Utterly compulsive viewing" *****
Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"Closely plotted social racial and political nuances set this series apartÖ
crackles with tension" *****Financial Times
"Magnificent version of the wild westÖ exotic and distinctive" ****Sydney Morning Herald
"Shock twists, car chases and confrontations with villainsÖ the action scenes
have a real kick to them but it is the depth and scope of the
script that keeps you thinking long after the credits roll" ****The Guardian