I have no idea,” laughed actor Dougie Baldwin, when asked what he would do if he found himself in a situation like the one facing his character in the series Nowhere Boys. “What would you do?” Given the set- up of Nowhere Boys’ story, it’s a question the audience will be asking themselves.
The 13- episode series sees four very different teenage boys – alpha male Jake ( Matthew Testro), golden boy Sam ( Rahart Sadiqzai), nerdy Andy ( Joel Lok) and Baldwin’s misfit Felix – return from a night lost in the forest during a school excursion to enter a very different world.
Actually, it’s not that different except for one important detail: this is a world where none of the boys ever existed. Their families don’t recognise them, their friends don’t know them, there’s no record of them at all.
As the lads work together to unravel the mystery, things only start getting stranger.
For Baldwin, the concept of Nowhere Boys seemed fascinating and unique – “one I’ve never seen before,” he said – as well as relevant to its target audience.
“These ideas of feeling like an outcast, feeling like you don’t fit it, I think they really speak to a lot of people,” he said.
Out of the four boys, Felix perhaps has the most trouble fitting in, stemming from an accident that left his younger brother Oscar confined to a wheelchair.
“His family takes shots at him for what happened to Oscar, and so the guilt Felix has as a result has left him trapped in this emotional state,” Baldwin said.
That was in the “real” world, though. In the alternate world, Oscar never had the accident that left him disabled. The two brothers become friends, and Felix is welcomed into the family that once rejected him.
“It’s a second chance,” Baldwin said. “So it’s somewhat positive but also a little traumatic.”
It’s a second chance for all four boys – “I can’t give away too much but people have different motives,” Baldwin said – and they do become an unconventional team.
“They don’t click straight away but they all bring something different to the table,” Baldwin said.
“They eventually learn each of them has problems they didn’t realise or understand and they come to work together.”
Nowhere Boys, ABC3, tonight, 6.30pm