WHEN ANOTHER GIRL GOES MISSING, IT SEEMS THE CURSE MIGHT NOT BE WITH HANGING ROCK, BUT ON THE COLLEGE ITSELF!
Hester Appleyard is on the very brink of a nervous breakdown when another schoolgirl goes missing!
Something wicked this way comes at Appleyard Ladies College, where headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard rules the roost with an iron fist she loves to wield.
In the wake of three schoolgirls under her care going missing at Hanging Rock, Hester (Natalie Dormer) has been fighting a losing battle to keep it together. In the wake of the scandal of the missing girls, aftershocks have rocked not only the school but the entire community, and each little ripple has done more damage to Hester’s carefully constructed façade. Her pretence of being a society lady of regal standing is rapidly crumbling, and so is her tenuous mental state. In upcoming episodes of
Picnic at Hanging Rock, Hester begins a slow and dangerous descent into madness as the chapter engulfs every aspect of her life, causing her to unravel at her starched seams...
There’s no order in Hester’s life any longer; each new day seems to bring another dagger to her tiny heart, upending her world. Fearful parents continue to arrive at the gates to pull their children out of school, and as a result, the place is largely empty.
And Hester’s not just fighting a rebellion among the students and their parents, but the teaching staff as well. They’re questioning her increasingly bizarre behaviour and her strange reaction to the chaos of the shocking police investigation. When news arrives that a Scotland Yard detective is sailing out from London to head up a whole new line of inquiry, it sends Hester into a state of utter panic! Anything to do with the Big Smoke and the sordid life she left behind there has the power to terrify her.
She becomes obsessed and distressed by the thought that someone might be able to put all the pieces together to work out just what a fraud she is!
Hester believes she has done a good job in making her veneer impenetrable, and as a result she stands on the verge of respectability as the potential new wife of town medico Dr MacKenzie (Don Hany). He offers her the chance to start all over again as a doctor’s wife, but Hester fears that this time she simply can’t outrun her demons.
Despite the devoted attention of the doctor, there are two people who have begun to see through all her deceit and lies –
and they are schoolteacher Mademoiselle Diane de Poitiers (Lola Bessis) and young student Sara Waybourne (Inez Curro).
Diane, in fact, has become increasingly concerned by the erratic way the headmistresses is behaving, and the way she’s running the school. She can see that Hester’s out of control, and worries about what she’s capable of doing next.
When Diane finds a pile of paperwork that reveals just some of the inexplicable decisions Hester is making in regards to the school, she fears they could all be in trouble!
But it is the wise way-beyondher-years Sara who can see right through Hester and knows the darkness of the heart that lies beneath the prim exterior.
Sara is all-seeing and all-knowing, and has already worked out that Hester is losing it. What makes this worse for Sara is that Hester knows the young girl has already worked her out and she becomes dangerously paranoid. Hester believes the only way to keep a firm lid on this out-of-control situation is to lock Sara up for good!
Hester is sure she can deal with Diane and Sara, but it’s when local marble mason Tomasetti (Marcus Graham) makes a surprise visit – complete with cryptic promises -- that Hester freezes. She knows the rough knockabout from the bad old days in London and the dirt he has on her about her vile past would destroy her reputation and force her to flee town if it was ever revealed!
Her paranoia reaches near-hysteria as Hester feels she’s being attacked on every front and starts lashing out at everyone. The ice queen is losing her grip, and that means those around her are in grave danger... So when yet another girl goes missing from the school, Diane and Sergeant Bumpher (Jonny Pasvolsky) become convinced that Hester is involved in all the disappearances! While the haunting power of Hanging Rock has been blamed for everything thus far, both Diane and the detective are certain the culprit could be far more human in form.
So when a new piece of evidence is unearthed, it sheds disturbing light on the case of the latest missing girl, and Diane is convinced the victim is in serious danger, if not already dead. At this point, Diane is convinced that nothing is beyond Hester!
But the past is far from finished with the school ma’am, and she’s now terrified in a way she has not known in years. When a woman like Hester is scared, there’s almost no telling what she might do. Hester has fought monsters, both real and imagined, throughout her life, and one thing is now for sure – she will not admit defeat without a brutal fight to the finish!
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK SCREENS ON SUNDAY ON FOXTEL’S SHOWCASE
Hester Appleyard (Natalie Dormer) is reeling as her façade rapidly crumbles.