Based upon Australian author Chris Hammer’s debut novel of the same name, Scrublands is set in Riversend, an isolated country town in New South Wales, where a charismatic and dedicated young priest (Jay Ryan) calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners.
One year later, investigative journalist Martin Scarsden (Luke Arnold) arrives in Riversend to write what should be a simple feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy. But when Scarsden’s instincts kick in and he digs beneath the surface, the previously accepted narrative begins to fall apart, and he finds himself in a life and death race to uncover the truth.
“Each episode of Scrublands starts with the shattering events of the year earlier, revealing it from a different character’s perspective,” reveals Hana Palmer, head of sales at Abacus Media Rights, to TBI.
“Returning to this moment in different ways mirrors Martin’s journey as he struggles to uncover what brought this charismatic young priest to make this terrible decision, while also mirroring the experience of the townsfolk, unable to move on from this shattering moment.”
The 4 x 60-minute crime drama series is directed by Greg McLean, written by Felicity Packard, Kelsey Munro and Jock Serong, and produced by Ian Collie, Rob Gibson, David Redman and Felicity Packard.
Its cast also includes Zane Ciarma, Adam Zwar, Victoria Thaine, Robert Taylor, Stacy Clausen, Genevieve Morris and newcomer Ella Ferris.
“We were aware of the producer’s work, which was very successful and established,” says Palmer of Easy Tiger’s Ian Collie and Rob Gibson, who worked on Colin From Accounts and The Twelve. “We had early visibility of Scrublands and liked the adaptation and scripts, so we made an early commitment when they were close to getting greenlight with Stan.”
Even though Scrublands is a closed-ended story, Palmer adds that the show is designed to be a returning series with Scarsden at the centre of events, opening the door for future instalments
Producer: Easy Tiger
Distributor: Abacus Media Rights
Broadcaster: Stan, Nine Network (Australia)