The premise of the ABC’S lavish new series, Cleverman – exploring the life of an Aboriginal ‘superhero’, which is wrapped in Dreamtime stories – makes you wonder why this hasn’t previously been commissioned. Series creator Ryan Griffen delivered the idea when interning at a TV production company, wanting to create a tale featuring a superhero “my son could connect to, while learning about his Indigenous culture”. The result is a brilliant, big-budget six episode sci-fi outing set in a dystopian near future featuring superhuman ‘hairy people’ and storylines that engage relevant issues central to immigration, refugees and racism. It showed at this year’s Berlinale (the first local TV production to be invited to do so), has secured US distribution on Sundance Channel and features, another first, a cast that’s 80 per cent Indigenous. With award-winning Wayne Blair as the ‘lead’ director, we see a bold future for relative newcomer, frontman Hunter Page-lochard. Cleverman debuts on ABC1 early June.
FROM LEFT: HUNTER PAGELOCHARD; SCENES FROM CLEVERMAN,
FEATURING RYAN CORR.