Chang­ing times on A Place To Call Home as drama fast-for­wards four years.

A Place To Call Home fast-for­wards four years when it re­turns to TVNZ 1 this week with some chal­leng­ing times for Sara Wise­man’s Carolyn Bligh. Kerry Har­vey re­ports.

The TV Guide - - CONTENTS -

Step­ping back in time to 1958 was no nos­tal­gic walk down mem­ory lane for A Place To Call Home’s Sara Wise­man. “You were prop­erty back then,” says the New Zealand ac­tor of her lat­est out­ing as Carolyn Bligh in the Aus­tralian pe­riod drama. “Be­ing quite an in­de­pen­dent per­son my­self and feel­ing the shack­les go on the char­ac­ter was ac­tu­ally quite in­ter­est­ing. She’s as real to me as talk­ing to you and there was the frus­tra­tion of what so many women go through in terms of the self­less­ness needed to put the fam­ily first or to put the chil­dren first or the hus­band first. It’s quite a rocky road for her.”

Sea­son five be­gins four years af­ter the in­car­cer­a­tion of Regina (Jenni Baird) in a psy­chi­atric ward. The Bligh fam­ily have had to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives.

Ever-in­creas­ing changes have oc­curred in Aus­tralian so­ci­ety over those years. The world of wealth and priv­i­lege is be­ing eroded, moral val­ues are chang­ing, and a new, young gen­er­a­tion is ris­ing, chal­leng­ing their el­ders and rules.

At Ash Park, Ge­orge (Brett Climo) and Sarah (Marta Dus­sel­dorp) are rais­ing their son David to­gether,

Anna (Abby Earl) is mov­ing on af­ter her di­vorce from Gino (Aldo Mignone), and Carolyn, now mar­ried to Dr Jack Dun­can (played by Sara’s real-life hus­band Craig Hall), is drown­ing in do­mes­tic­ity.

“She throws her­self into every­one

“I think it is re­ally com­mon with a lot of women, how much they do sac­ri­fice for fam­i­lies. They put their ca­reers on hold, they put their lives on hold.” – Sara Wise­man

else’s world. She’s tak­ing care of the fam­ily, she’s tak­ing care of the homestead, she’s tak­ing care of her hus­band,” Wise­man says.

“I think it is re­ally com­mon with a lot of women, how much they do sac­ri­fice for fam­i­lies. They put their ca­reers on hold, they put their lives on hold and this is very much the case in 1958 – she’s done ex­actly that and it’s not sit­ting too well.

“It’s a kind of ele­phant in the room with the Jack-and-Carolyn re­la­tion­ship where he’s very much a tra­di­tional coun­try boy and very happy to be in that world. Their re­la­tion­ship is strug­gling.”

Mat­ters come to a head be­tween the cou­ple when Carolyn cham­pi­ons in­dige­nous war veteran and as­pir­ing artist Frank Gibbs (Aaron Ped­er­sen) who, while he fought for his coun­try, is de­nied even the most ba­sic civil rights once he’s back home.

“She throws her­self at this and takes on things on her own ac­cord with­out ask­ing per­mis­sion. I mean, who wants to have to do that?” Wise­man says, adding the sto­ry­line re­ally res­onated with her.

“I learnt so much about the in­dige­nous dig­gers com­ing back from the war and how they were treated. It’s ab­so­lutely heart­break­ing and that is brought to light in a very hon­ourable way be­cause Aaron Ped­er­sen is the bee’s knees. He’s ex­tra­or­di­nary.

“His hon­our and his abil­ity to get that story and that char­ac­ter across is just amaz­ing to watch. I felt very lucky to be part of that sto­ry­line.

“It’s very af­fect­ing for Carolyn as well and she sticks her nose in with good in­tent but doesn’t think about the con­se­quences, or the per­son that she’s try­ing to help, too much.

“That’s how des­per­ate she is to make her mark on the world. She re­ally feels like she’s dis­ap­pear­ing and has lost her way.”

Wise­man says Jack and Carolyn’s

strug­gles con­tinue into the drama’s sixth – and fi­nal – sea­son which will take the char­ac­ters up to 1960.

“The nostal­gia is def­i­nitely kick­ing in,” she says about the show com­ing to an end. “It’s bittersweet but it is won­der­ful for our cre­ator Be­van Lee to fin­ish it on his own terms rather than for it to be ripped out from un­der­neath him. To ac­tu­ally give it a re­ally good send-off and wrap it up well is a rare thing.”

Aus­tralia’s Chan­nel Seven axed A Place To Call Home af­ter two sea­sons but, af­ter an out­cry from fans, Fox­tel picked it up and pro­duced four more sea­sons. It now screens in 130 coun­tries around the world, in­clud­ing on the BBC in the UK and is also pop­u­lar in Amer­ica.

“It’s just such an hon­our to be a part of some­thing so mas­sive and so ac­cepted. And it’s re­ally nice to be on some­thing that’s not just gra­tu­itous killings,” Wise­man says.

“I just watched some­thing re­cently where the body count was off the charts and I didn’t feel a thing – and that’s ter­ri­fy­ing. It’s re­ally nice to be part of a show where the themes are uni­ver­sal around ig­no­rance and big­otry and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der is­sues and hu­man­ity.

“It’s life on a melo­dra­matic scale but we can re­ally re­late. Every­one’s life is their own melo­drama re­ally.”

Above: Sara Wise­man (Carolyn) and Craig Hall (Jack)

Sara Wise­man and Aaron Ped­er­sen

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.