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Australian TV Previews and News

Natalie Dormer Headlines Picnic at Hanging Rock Cast

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Foxtel have revealed the first details of the Australian and international cast gathering for Picnic at Hanging Rock, with cameras set to roll in Victoria later this month on the bold event drama produced by FremantleMedia Australia and with production investment from Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 and 2, In Darkness) will star as English headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard in the re-imagining of Joan Lindsay’s timeless Australian novel.

The teachers of Appleyard College for Young Ladies will be played by French actress Lola Bessis (Cassandra, Swim Little Fish Swim) as Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, mistress of French Conversation, Music and Dance; Yael Stone (Orange Is The New Black, Deep Water) as Miss Dora Lumley, mistress of Deportment and Bible Studies; Anna McGahan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Anzac Girls) as Miss Greta McCraw, mistress of Geography and Mathematics and Sibylla Budd (Tomorrow When The War Began, Winners & Losers) as Mrs Valange, mistress of Art and Literature.

The roles of the students of Appleyard College are filled with an exciting contingent of rising stars, including Lily Sullivan (Camp, Jungle) as Miranda Reid, Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began, High Life) as Marion Quade, Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter) as Irma Leopold, Ruby Rees (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) as Edith Horton and introducing Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne.

Other characters both inside and beyond the college walls will be played by Don Hany, Harrison Gilbertson, James Hoare, Marcus Graham, Mark Coles Smith, Jonny Pasvolsky, Philip Quast, Emily Gruhl, John Flaus, Ros Gentle, Julie Nihill, Kaarin Fairfax, Randall Berger, Mayah Fredes, Alyssa Tuddenham, Kate Bradford, Bethany Whitmore, Markella Kavenagh, Felix Johnson, Ines English, Huw Higginson, Rob Jacobson and Kim Gyngell.

Picnic at Hanging Rock will plunge viewers into the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900, taking the audience on a new journey into the revered Australian novel through the six part drama.

Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win said: “The accomplished cast who have been secured for Picnic at Hanging Rock will give new forms to Joan Lindsay’s iconic characters as the actors take up the scripts our writers, Bea Christian and Alice Addison, have drawn from the provocative spirt of the original mystery.

“Though the story remains in 1900, Picnic at Hanging Rock will be 21st century storytelling for the premium Foxtel drama audience.”

FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama Jo Porter said: “Picnic at Hanging Rock is celebrated as an iconic, female-led story and we are thrilled to be announcing our strong and diverse cast who will bring the characters to life in the most vivid manner.

“We have an exceptional mix and depth of established names and exciting young Australian talent who will redefine these characters for a new generation. The strength of the scripts, the appeal of the story and our directors’ vision has drawn an incredible calibre of actors to the project including Natalie Dormer. Natalie is known for her bold choices in playing powerful, smart and fearless women. Her rendering of Mrs Appleyard is sure to be just as intriguing and complex.

“Hot off her listing in Interview magazine’s ‘Hollywood’s Most Wanted’, we look forward to audiences seeing French actor Lola Bessis join us to play Mademoiselle de Poitiers.”

Picnic at Hanging Rock’s executive producers are FremantleMedia Australia’s Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis and Foxtel’s Penny Win, the producer is Ewan Burnett, writers are Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison, directors are Larysa Kondracki, Michael Rymer and Amanda Brotchie. FremantleMedia International is distributing the series worldwide.

Picnic at Hanging Rock will premiere on Foxtel’s showcase channel at a date to be confirmed.

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Australian TV Previews and News

Poldark Series 3 Premieres Sunday 17 June on ABC

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Poldark Series 3

Australian fans of Poldark can relax and breathe a sigh of relief as the ABC announce the premiere date of the third season will be just one week behind the UK premiere. The series will air Sunday nights from 18 June at 8.30pm.

Following hot on the heels of the second series, the 9 episode third instalment in this epic Cornish drama, brings a host of new characters and worlds into play. 1794: Ross must traverse new family, new love, and new conflicts, as the French revolution casts a shadow over life in Cornwall. Facing battles both at home and abroad, will Ross answer the call and risk losing everything he holds dear? Our hero, Ross Poldark tries to rebuild his marriage to Demelza (Elanor Tomlinson), but their fragile peace is disturbed by the arrival of her deeply Methodist brothers Sam (Tom York) and Drake Carne (Harry Richardson).

Adapted from Winston Graham’s novels, Poldark is the brooding drama set in 18th-century Cornwall about Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) who is set on the passionate quest to turn around the fortunes of his late father’s estate. Poldark is filmed on location in Cornwall and the Bristol area and at The Bottle Yard Studios.

Cast: Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner), Demelza Poldark (Eleanor Tomlinson), Elizabeth Warleggan (Heida Reed), George Warleggan (Jack Farthing), Dr Dwight Enys (Luke Norris), Caroline Penvenen (Gabriella Wilde), Prudie Paynter (Beatie Edney), Ray Penvenen (John Nettles), Aunt Agatha (Caroline Blakiston), Morwenna Chynoweth (Ellise Chappell), Drake Carne (Harry Richardson), Sam Carne (Tom York), Geoffrey Charles (Harry Marcus), Captain Henshawe (John Hollingworth), Paul Daniels (Ed Browning), Tom Harry (Turlough Convery), Zacky Martin (Tristan Sturrock), Tom Carne (Mark Frost), Rev Dr Halse (Robin Ellis), Harris Pascoe (Richard Hope), Tholly Tregirls (Sean Gilder), Sir Francis Bassett (John Hopkins), Lt. Hugh Armitage (Josh Whitehouse)

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Australian TV

Tidelands (Netflix 2018)

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Netflix

Netflix’s first Australian production Tidelands follows a former criminal as she returns home to the small fishing village of Orphelin Bay. When the body of a local fisherman washes ashore, she must uncover the town’s secrets while investigating its strange inhabitants, a group of dangerous half-Sirens, half-humans called “Tidelanders.”

“We’re proud these strong Australian storytellers are bringing their vision to the first Australian Netflix original series,” said Erik Barmack, the VP of international original series at Netflix. “We can’t wait to bring the mystery of Tidelands to our members around the world.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Netflix on Tidelands—this story is one that has been itching to be told and we are thrilled to be making it on our home soil in Australia with fantastic creatives and highly skilled crews,” said Tracey Robertson, co-creator and co-executive producer of the show. “The primeval landscapes of Queensland are a perfect setting to tell the story of betrayal, small-town secrets, ancient mythology and, when it comes to family, explore whether blood really is thicker than water.”

cast
No casting announced as yet

key behind the scenes crew
Stephen M. Irwin as Creator
Tracey Robertson as Creator / Executive Producer
Nathan Mayfield as Executive Producer
Leigh McGrathas Executive Producer

show type
broadcast from
Currently in production for 2018
10 episodes planned

network and production companies
Netflix – Hoodlum Entertainment

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Australian TV

Easybeats, The (ABC 2017, Christian Byers, Will Rush)

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The Easybeats ABC 2017

Two-part mini-series The Easybeats tells the story of five young newly-arrived immigrants who met in a Sydney migrant hostel in the swinging 1960s and went on to take Australian rock’n’roll to the world.

The Easybeats is a story of identity, re-invention and belonging, touching on themes of celebrity and redemption, with a powerful contemporary relevance and a killer soundtrack. While the members of the band each confronted their own sense of self and the loss of identity in pursuit of their success, they came to understand that though they were all from different countries, the sum of the musical parts was quintessentially Australian.

cast
Ashley Zukerman as Ted Albert (Australian music industry pioneer and record producer)
Christian Byers as Stevie Wright
Will Rush as George Young
Mackenzie Fearnley as Harry Vanda
Du Toit Bredenkamp as Dick Diamonde
Arthur McBain as Snowy Fleet

key behind the scenes crew
Christopher Lee as Writer
Matthew Saville as Director
David Taylor as Producer
David Maher as Producer
Diane Haddon as Producer
Sally Riley as Executive Producer
Kym Goldsworthy as Executive Producer

show type
biography, true story, period drama

broadcast from
In production for broadcast later in 2017

network and production companies
ABC – Playmaker – Screen Australia – Screen NSW

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