TV GUIDE

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - FRONT PAGE - with Shane Douthie

PINE GAP

IT will be in­ter­est­ing to see how the Aus­tralian tv view­ing pub­lic warms to the new ABC drama Pine Gap. And con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s open fear and loathing of Aun­tie, it will also be ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing how they view it too. Sadly, many of our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives have trou­ble sep­a­rat­ing truth (global warm­ing) and fan­tasy (clean coal) and they might not re­alise this Pine Gap is a pure work of fic­tion. The pro­duc­tion qual­i­ties are su­perb as is the cast and you wouldn’t be­lieve it is filmed in a stu­dio and not the real Pine Gap de­fence fa­cil­ity in South Aus­tralia. The plot ex­plores the so­called strong al­liance be­tween Aus­tralia and the United States but, as in real life, it’s not all roses and choco­lates. A shock­ing se­cret will also bring the world to the brink of de­struc­tion; not bad for a lit­tle Aussie spy fa­cil­ity that has been protested against since it was built. An im­pec­ca­ble source re­veals there are 800 plus em­ploy­ees at the CIA com­plex which is jointly run by Aus­tralian spooks so it’s sur­pris­ing noone else has thought of us­ing it for a tele­vi­sion series. The cast list is im­pec­ca­ble led by Parker Sawyers, Jac­que­line McKen­zie, Tess Haubrich, Stephen Curry, Steve Tous­saint, Mark Leonard Win­ter and Sachin Joab. The series be­gan with the de­tec­tion of a mis­sile be­ing aimed some­where in Asia, far too close to where the US Pres­i­dent hap­pens to be at that mo­ment. Is it de­lib­er­ate or co­in­ci­dence? And why didn’t Pine Gap know about it be­fore­hand? The Amer­i­can mis­sion di­rec­tor Gus Thompson (Sawyers) takes the fall for the fail­ure to de­tect the chat­ter, and the mys­te­ri­ous Ja­cob Kitto (Curry) is called in to in­ves­ti­gate what went wrong. Gus still has time for an af­fair with an Aus­tralian spy of Ser­bian back­ground, Jas­mina Delic (Haubrich), even as his boss Ethan (Tous­saint) is telling him not to trust the Aus­tralians, who are more in­tent on cov­er­ing their own back­sides than un­cov­er­ing the truth. This is good look­ing and fun and far more ap­peal­ing than the com­pe­ti­tion in this dis­ap­point­ing times­lot that fea­tures so-called cur­rent affairs pro­grams, re­peats or re­al­ity tv. Let’s hope Alan Jones likes it so it’s not pulled be­fore the series can end.

◆ SO ADULT: Aus­tralia’s very own spy drama Pine Gap fea­tures one hel­luva cast.

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