DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

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IDON’T know if I can as­sume you know the story of Ray and Peter Mick­el­berg and what went hor­ri­bly, hor­ri­bly wrong in their life, even though it is one of the big­gest sto­ries of the past 30 years. It’s of Lindy Cham­ber­lain di­men­sions. And I hope one day it’s also a big Hol­ly­wood film. Or at least some­one else here has an­other crack at it and maybe turns it into some­thing more than just a one-off tele­movie that ul­ti­mately feels un­der­cooked. The story alone — just an in­cred­i­ble, de­press­ing yarn — war­rants it.

I think I will as­sume not a lot of knowl­edge. If you fol­lowed the Mick­el­berg case it hap­pened in Perth and the fall­out over the years, you’ll know how this show tonight goes. And it does seem to me pretty ac­cu­rately done. And if you didn’t fol­low it, you won’t want me ru­in­ing it. But ba­si­cally, there are three broth­ers, Peter, Ray and Brian (Todd La­sance, Grant Bowler and Josh Quong Tart, re­cently exMilko from Home And Away, and you’ll be do­ing well to recog­nise him) who wind up in jail, and spend the next how­ever many years try­ing to get out. Shane Bourne and John Batch­e­lor are Don Han­cock and Tony Le­wandowski, the key po­lice in the case.

These are the main ac­tors, and by main I mean the show’s about them, and they’re on screen al­most all night. Each one puts in a very im­pres­sive per­for­mance. The act­ing is the high­light here. It’s also a great­look­ing pro­duc­tion, with a good eye for the pe­riod. But the run­ning time may have worked against it, or per­haps the fo­cus was on the wrong things, but I oc­ca­sion­ally felt short-changed. And ev­ery quiet mo­ment is filled with mu­sic. What’s wrong with si­lence to build drama and ten­sion? And I can’t bring my­self to talk about the nar­ra­tion. The Great Mint Swin­dle Chan­nel 9, 8.30pm

Key cop: Shane Bourne

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