Viewer in the hot seat

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News -

A NEW tele­vi­sion se­ries puts the spot­light firmly on part of the Out­back Aus­tralian life­style that most Aus­tralians prob­a­bly wouldn’t even know ex­ists.

But True Ringer does just that. The three-part se­ries gives view­ers an in­side look at the hard­work­ing, hard-liv­ing life­style of the contract mus­terer in the Top End of the Ter­ri­tory.

And it comes with the hot, dusty and des­o­late con­di­tions com­plete with wild beasts and ma­chin­ery that would be more of­ten than not found in a Hol­ly­wood post-apoc­a­lyp­tic science fic­tion movie.

“There are el­e­ments of it that look like some­thing out of a Mad Max film,” se­ries creator Tom Lawrence told Ru­ral Weekly.

Lawrence said he hopes the se­ries cap­tures the essence of what “95 per cent of Aus­tralians only imag­ine” what life in the Out­back is truly like.

“Most peo­ple don’t know what hap­pens in the bush. They have an im­age of beau­ti­ful sun­sets and peace and quiet.

“While that is there, the re­al­ity is there is a lot of hard work and some con­fronting things to see out there and I hope peo­ple see the se­ries and re­alise there is more go­ing on than they thought.”

The se­ries, which was pro­duced ex­clu­sively for ABC iview is now avail­able on the na­tional broad­caster’s stream­ing ser­vice.

The show fol­lows the for­tunes of Top End contract mus­terer Jeff Har­rower and his mot­ley crew of pro­fes­sional ringers as they try to cap­ture 300 wild buf­falo on Con­way Sta­tion about 500km south of Darwin.

The buf­falo, which are deemed a pest on the sta­tion be­cause of the wide­spread land degra­da­tion they can cause, would then be set for the ex­port mar­ket, if Jeff can se­cure the elu­sive contract from his ex­port agent.

The show hones in on a three-day pe­riod when Jeff and his crew still need to catch 120 wild buf­falo in those three days. Af­ter two poor days filled with all the dra­mas that would stop a city slicker in their tracks, the boys are be­hind the eight-ball head­ing into the fi­nal day. Dras­tic mea­sures are called for to push the herd over the magic 300 mark, and whether or not they make it and what they go through to get there are the un­der­ly­ing themes of all three episodes.

The brain­child of for­mer Darwin man Lawrence, True Ringer was pro­duced by pow­er­house pro­duc­tion com­pany Ronde Pro­duc­tions, led by Ben and Ash Davies.

Ben Davies was the creator of TV hits such as Bondi Res­cue and Here Come the Habibs.

“The whole pro­duc­tion team were fan­tas­tic to work with,” Lawrence said.

“Ben and Ash Davies are two of the best pro­duc­ers in the coun­try and to get them up into the Ter­ri­tory work­ing on this show was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Ash, our se­ries pro­ducer, is very tal­ented and we all en­joyed work­ing within the for­mat for iview,” Lawrence said.

“It (iview) was some­thing dif­fer­ent, but it pro­vided us with a great amount of flex­i­bil­ity.” That flex­i­bil­ity comes through in the se­ries when look­ing at the tim­ing of each episode, which range from about 16 min­utes down to 10 min­utes.

It makes the se­ries just as easy to watch on mo­bile for­mat as it does on a large-screen TV.

While the back­drop for the show is a key el­e­ment to its suc­cess, like any re­al­ity TV show, it’s the char­ac­ters who make it. True Ringer is avail­able to watch on ABC iview.


NEW SHOW: True Ringer is a three-part se­ries that gives view­ers an in­side look at the hard­work­ing, hard-liv­ing life­style of the contract mus­terer in the Top End of the Ter­ri­tory.

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