THE BEST TV LISTINGS
After a tantalising star turn in The Night Manager, Elizabeth Debicki returns to British TV in Australian alien abduction thriller The Kettering Incident
Don’t miss a thing with our 52-page guide, featuring a special preview of Night Manager star Elizabeth Debicki’s spooky new drama
The last time we saw Elizabeth Debicki on British TV she was playing an innocent pawn in a highstakes game of international arms dealing as the beautiful but vulnerable Jed in the BBC’s acclaimed drama The Night Manager.
Now, a year on from the spy thriller that also launched the career of Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth’s back on our screens in Sky Atlantic’s spooky new Australian drama The Kettering Incident. She plays Dr Anna Macy, a woman whose life’s been blighted by an extraordinary episode in her childhood. But did Anna play a part in the disappearance of her friend Gillian one night 15 years ago in a forest near the town of Kettering on the island of Tasmania? Or was Gillian abducted by aliens?
‘All you see in the opening scenes are the girls making their way through the forest, some very strange noises and a dazzling set of lights, seemingly from a craft hovering just above the tree tops,’ explains Elizabeth, who was born in Paris but raised in Australia from the age of five. ‘Gillian runs towards the lights and eight hours later Anna is found alone, terrified and covered in blood.’
The action in the eight-part series, shot entirely on location in Tasmania, quickly moves to the present, with Anna now working as a doctor in London. She suffers regular nosebleeds and can’t account for what she’s been doing for long periods. Unaware of what happened to Anna 15 years ago, one of her colleagues at the hospital suggests she could be suffering from stress and that a break in her native Tasmania might be the best thing for her. The next time we see Anna she’s lying in a car parked in the middle of a remote road in Tasmania a few miles from Ket- tering. ‘It’s not clear how she got there but she isn’t welcomed back by everybody when she hitches a ride into town,’ explains Vicki Madden, who co-created and produced the series. ‘Some people still believe she was responsible for Gillian’s disappearance.’
Among those who do provide Anna with a warm welcome are her father Roy, a former police officer, and Fergus McFadden, a serving cop who’s known Anna since she was a child. His colleague however, detective Brian Dutch, is not convinced she’s innocent.
But there’s another reason why Anna finds the atmosphere in Kettering hostile. ‘The town’s become a battleground between environmentalists who want to preserve the surrounding forests and businessmen who want to exploit them,’ says Henry Nixon, who plays Fergus.
Mill owner Max Holloway is desper-
ate to chop down as many trees as he can to boost his bank balance, while Jens Jorgenssen, a charismatic environmentalist, is leading the fight to stop him. Meanwhile, Anna finds support from Max’s daughter Chloe, a young woman desperate to escape the claustrophobic surroundings of rural Tasmania the way Anna did.
The disappearance of a second girl in Kettering increases tensions still
PRIZE AND JOY
Elizabeth Debicki won an AACTA, an Australian BAFTA, for her portrayal of Anna Macy. The awards cover film and television – Brit Kate Winslet won one for her performance in The Dressmaker in 2015. further as Anna is suspected of being involved again. ‘She finds herself in a terrible situation,’ says Elizabeth, ‘and decides to get to the bottom of what’s really going on in the town. The secrets she discovers are extraordinary, terrifying and quite possibly life-threatening to her – and to others too.’
The Kettering Incident starts on Wednesday at 10pm on Sky Atlantic.
(ELIZABETH DEBICKI) A doctor who fled to London after her friend vanished 15 years earlier – raising suspicions she was involved in the girl’s disappearance. ANNA MACY
BRIAN DUTCH (MATTHEW LE NEVEZ) MAX HOLLOWAY (DAMIEN GARVEY) Having trodden a more urban beat in mainland Australia, the detective is more cynical than his Tasmanian colleagues. A hard-nosed businessman with a logging yard on the outskirts of Kettering. He’s determined to beat the eco-warriors. CHLOE HOLLOWAY (SIANOA SMIT-MCPHEE) She forms a friendship with Anna after a rift develops with her father Max when she falls for an anti-logging protester. (HENRY NIXON) A friendly local police officer who’s known Anna since they were children and still holds a candle for her. FERGUS MCFADDEN