Great War to the fore

World-renowned ac­tors will star in bench­mark Aus­tralian drama

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY TV -

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’’.

Jeremy Sims.

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