Af­ter a tan­ta­lis­ing star turn in The Night Man­ager, El­iz­a­beth De­bicki re­turns to Bri­tish TV in Aus­tralian alien ab­duc­tion thriller The Kettering In­ci­dent

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - NEWS - Tim Oglethorpe

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


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

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