Friday, 5 September 2014

The Code. A sneak preview review

The Code , the upcoming mini series on the ABC has been tantalizing viewers via promos for a couple of weeks now , constantly being plugged before and after Dr Who, Utopia and Father Brown with its promise of high production values, top talent and BBC type techno thriller plot. I’ll admit I was looking forward to it, especially with the barrage of Reality television hogging prime time Sunday viewing till the cricket starts. So when I jumped on Facebook just before 4 PM on Friday to see that a sneak preview of the first episode was available for the first 300 viewers from noon, I was gutted. Having missed out on the iView guerilla preview of Chris Lillie’s Jona.
 I resigned myself to missing out on another golden opportunity to jump in early and catch some quality viewing then spend the rest of the week ruining the show for everyone else who would listen or couldn’t escape. So imagine my surprise when I followed the link clicked on the screen and got the first 55 minutes of The Code streamed on to the computer just before knock off time.
 Well, first recommendation, I worked unpaid overtime today.

The Code is a locally produced thriller that puts its value on the screen. Jumping from small outback town to the corridors of Parliament house in quick succession as the characters and the plot are introduced.
And I'm telling you this role will bury all memory of Diver Dan.
 David Wenham who sets the scene early as Deputy PM Bradley, a man who instils fear upon those around him and when he hands a folder of photographs to his chief of staff Randall Keats played by Aden Young, the scene is set for deep political intrigue when a junior Minister is sacrificed to fill the rabid news cycle and bury any hint of what may be a major scandal.

The hard drives been wiped . Wonder how that happened?
Meanwhile we are introduced to the Banks brothers. Ned played by Dan Spielman a young journalist struggling for a story while hamstrung with mentally ill brother Jessie played by the brilliant Ashley Zukerman who made the final episodes of RUSH a joy to watch.
I learnt this on TERRA NOVA.
Their problematic relationship is set up early when an incident outside Parliament house drags Ned away to diffuse a situation that involves a package, Jessie and several heavily armed Federal Police. The tension really doesn’t let off after this point for the entire episode. Hints of a connection of the death of a young girl in an outback town and Canberra when Ned is given the photos from Sophie Walsh (Underbelly’s Chelsie Preston) to run in the aptly named Password an on line news site, a scoop that will give Ned's  career a boost and the Government enough distance from the leak. Ned finds a misplaced note with the name Lindara sandwiched between the incriminating photos given to skewer the out going Minister and quickly links it to the out back town where school teacher Alex Wisham played by, and it took a double take to realize- Xena’s Lucy Lawless. Who, thank goodness has left all her female Hercules histrionics well in the past and really shows us her acting chops.

It was this or audition for Wonder Woman. You do the math.
 Ned begins to investigate the car crash that involved two of Ms Wisham’s pupils, one fatally and finds a deep connection to Canberra. From here we discover Jessie’s “hacking” prowess and computer smarts when he discovers a virus planted on Ned’s computer. While at the Password the same virus is attacking their computers planting seeds of Government interference in Ned’s head.

So when the episode finally wraps with Ned on a plane to Lindara and Jessie bundled into a van it’s a severe case of “You bastards ABC. Now I have to wait another three weeks to catch the next show and I’m no better of than every other Joe.”
So basically I’m writing this to spoil the first episode for everyone else by giving away key scenes and gloating that I got to be one of the 300 (subtle Wenham link there) to be privileged to watch some excellent Aussie drama that will no doubt, judging by the first screening also have a huge international audience.

For the rest of you The Code premiers on Sunday Night 21st September at 8.30

Great stuff ABC.

Here's the trailer to make the wait even more annoying.

I wasn't mentioned in this review.

Danny Nolan