Viewer in the hot seat
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.