Australian TV TV

Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities (Channel 9 2009, Matthew Newton)

Underbelly A Tale Of Two Cities

It’s rough, mean, violent and uncompromising, A Tale of Two Cities takes us right back to the mid 1970′s when Terry Clark (played with great charisma by Matthew Newton, even if his beard is a bit too wispy) arrives in Australia from New Zealand and determines to cut himself a part of the Sydney drug scene; Joining forces with Robert “Aussie Bob” Trimbole (Roy Billing) he is instrumental in the scene moving away from pot to the harder heroin. Whilst in Melbourne stand over men Les and Brian Kane are none too pleased to see their profitable “business” going sour thanks to the sudden influx of hard drugs. Playing along side this is the corruption that was rife in the police force in the 1970′s.

This prequel to the huge hit that was Underbelly shapes up to be even better, its hard to watch at times and it certainly doesn’t pull its punches. The fact that it is all based on real events makes it even more astounding. Matthew Newton is surprisingly powerful as Terry Clark and there are lots of well known faces in the cast getting the dodgy hair and kipper tie treatment, not least peter O’Brien as casino owner George Freeman who with his flyaway white hair looks like an evangelical preacher.

Number 2 in the Underbelly series, this covers the years 1976 through to 1987. See also Underbelly Razor.

production details
Australia / Channel 9 / 13×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 9 February – 4 May 2009

Executive Producers: Des Monaghan, Jo Horsburgh

cast
MATTHEW NEWTON as Terry Clark
PETER O’BRIEN as George Freeman
ROY BILLING as Robert Trimbole
ANNA HUTCHINSON as Allison Dine
KATE RITCHIE as Judi Kane
ASHER KEDDIE as Senior Detective Liz Cruickshank
PETER PHELPS as Detective Inspector Joe Messina
ANDREW McFARLANE as Donald Mackay
DIANE CRAIG as Barbara Mackay
DUSTIN CLARE as Christopher Dale Flannery
CON MELANITIS as Alphonse Gangitano
TIM McCUNN as Brian Kane
MARTIN DINGLE WALL as Les Kane
JOHN WOOD as Murray Farquhar
DIETER BRUMMER as Trevor
ELIZA SZONART as Trisha Kane
MATTHEW PASSMORE as Detective Warwick Mobbs
DAMON GAMEAU as Andy Maher
Narrated by CAROLINE CRAIG

THE EPISODES 9 February – 4 May 2009
1. AUSSIE BOB AND KIWI TERRY (9 Feb 2009)
2. BAD HABITS (9 Feb 2009)
3. BRAVE NEW WORLD (16 Feb 2009)
4. BUSINESS AS USUAL (23 Feb 2009)
5. A TALE OF TWO HITMEN (2 Mar 2009)
6. STRANDED (9 Mar 2009)
7. A NICE LITTLE EARNER (16 Mar 2009)
8. DIAMONDS (23 Mar 2009)
9. JUDAS KISS (30 Mar 2009)
10. THE RECKONING (20 Apr 2009)
11. THE BROTHERHOOD (20 Apr 2009)
12. O LUCKY MAN (27 Apr 2009)
13. THE LOVED ONES (4 May 2009)

Episodes 1 and 2 were both shown consecutively on the same evening and episodes 10 and 11 were also both shown consecutively on the same evening, the series returned at that point from a four week break.