Great War to the fore
World-renowned actors will star in benchmark Australian drama
AUSTRALIAN TV networks are being offered a high-end local historical drama, designed to rival benchmark shows Downton Abbey and Deadwood.
The TV miniseries in development, based on the bestselling novel Vale Valhalla, is being produced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.
Beneath Hill 60’ s producer Bill Leimbach and director Jeremy Sims have been retained by the novel’s author, Joy Chambers ( Neighbours regular and wife of television mogul Reg Grundy), to produce the 13-part series, Caroline’s War: Vale Valhalla.
The series will trace the lives of three families from the early 1890s in Brisbane through the years prior to and during the Great War of 1914-1918, culminating at the end of that harrowing conflict.
Sims says the epic drama is driven by action, tragedy and romance and will tap into the fascination that the world has for the Great War.
‘‘I will look to a series like The World at War for historical detail as a guide as it’s one of the most popular and profitable documentary series ever made,’’ he says.
Sims says he will find the right writers and directors to work with.
‘‘The story offers a unique opportunity to dramatise both the conditions that laid the foundations that swept the world at the end of the Great War and the war itself,’’ he said.
Sims says they intend to bring together a great cast of world-renowned actors to ‘‘deliver the emotional punch’’.
While no one has been cast, the producers have cheekily used an image of Australian actor and Thor star Chris Hemsworth for their promotional poster. Leimbach says with Hemsworth’s star rising in Hollywood it might be difficult to secure him ‘‘but he’s at the top of our wish list’’.