SHOW: Safe Harbour CHANNEL: SBS TIME: Wed, 8.30pm (premiere)
FOR some people, any talk or coverage of asylum seekers and refugees attempting to land on Australia’s shores is enough to send them into frenzy.
Those in favour of Australia helping refugees find safety here rail against the Federal Government for its hard-line policy while those that favour our no boats allowed attitude have little sympathy for the refugees’ reasons for making such a hazardous trip.
For many television viewers the mere hint of the issue coming onto the screen is enough for them to hit the remote control but in the case of the new SBS drama series ‘Safe Harbour’ that would be a terrible mistake.
Safe Harbour is described as a bold new psychological thriller about a group of friends whose sailing holiday of a lifetime alters their lives forever after they cross paths with a struggling fishing boat overloaded with asylum seekers en-route to Australia.
The Australians decide to tow the refugees, but when they wake the next morning the fishing boat is gone.
Five years later they learn the truth – someone cut the rope between the two boats, with tragic consequences.
For most of us there are no personal physical consequences if refugees are abandoned at sea or not, but ‘what if’ we had assisted such a boat in distress one minute only to find next day the boat had been let loose by a shipmate and then some five years later we came face to face with one of the people we had deserted who is now a taxi-driver.
We then learn that because of our actions seven people on the boat died, including the daughter of the taxi-driver.
Even just viewing the trailer there is a sense of foreboding that will make it hard not to tune into this spellbinding plot.
Safe Harbour has superb production values, great cast and sense of maturity and quality not often viewed on Australian television.
Forget reality tv, this is more like the real thing.
Safe Harbour airs over four weeks, premiering tonight at 8.30pm on SBS.
BEST LAID PLANS: When some holidaymakers on a sailing trip come across a refugee boat they don’t realise how much it will change their lives.