SECRET CITY, THE political drama that had everyone absorbed, is getting a second season. Two-time Academy award-nominee Jacki Weaver will reprise her role alongside Anna Torv – with Wentworth’s Danielle Cormack also added to the cast!
Titled Secret City: Under the Eagle, this new instalment follows Harriet Dunkley (played by Torv), a journalist who was imprisoned but is now released only to be once again caught up in a tale of intrigue among the powers that be in Canberra. Expect plenty of secrets, lies and betrayals as the series plunges back into the dark side of the political world.
Weaver returns as Labor powerbroker Catriona Bailey – who is ensnared in the cover-up Harriet discovers. “She is complicated, which I love because real people are full of contradictions,” says Weaver of the role. “And she’s very powerful.”
Torv, who won a Logie Award for her performance in the first season, is thrilled to be revisiting her character, too, because she resonates with viewers. “I think everyone likes truth-seekers, and that’s exactly what the show’s got,” she says. “Every political journalist I spoke to, without fail, talked about the idea of truth, that through the medium you should be able to change things. I think that’s why journos do what they do. If you break a story, especially something that’s going to affect the country, that pops the lid, it does change things.”
Cormack is a new addition to the series as a maverick Independent MP. It’s through her that Harriet becomes aware of some dastardly dealings, which implicate the military.
“[The series] does show what’s possible, that sometimes the most unexpected things can happen. Skulduggery can happen right under your nose and you don’t realise it,” says Weaver.
Also joining the cast is Logie Award-winning actor Rob Collins (The Wrong Girl, Cleverman), and Sacha Horler and Marcus Graham have also been confirmed to be returning to their roles.
Shooting is expected to begin in Canberra and Sydney this week. And there’s plenty of talent behind the cameras. This series has been written by Matt Cameron (writer/co-producer/creator of Sunshine and Jack Irish) and Belinda Chayko (showrunner/writer of Safe Harbour and story producer/writer of Barracuda), who both wrote for the first series, as well as playwright Angela Betzien (Eggs, The Hanging) and Elise McCredie (Sunshine, Nowhere Boys). Directing duties will be handled by Tony Krawitz (The Kettering Incident, Devil’s Playground) and Daniel Nettheim (Doctor Who, Broadchurch).
Also, political journalists Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis – whose novels The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code were adapted for the first season – are onboard as story consultants.
Stephen Corvini (Safe Harbour, Hyde and Seek) will produce the series. Executive producers are Foxtel’s head of drama Penny Win and drama development executive Carly Heaton, Penny Chapman from Matchbox Pictures and the series showrunner Matt Cameron.
“This new story is absolutely captivating, with twists and turns that will keep audiences both guessing and riveted,” says Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s executive director of television.
SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE will air on showcase in 2018.
THE HIGHLY anticipated political thriller series Secret City – starring Jacki Weaver, Anna Torv, Alan Dale and Dan Wyllie – will premiere Sunday June 5 at 8.30pm on showcase.
Filmed in Parliament House and locations across Canberra and Sydney, Secret City is inspired by the best-selling novels The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code, written by Canberra political journalists Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis.
Amidst rising tension between China and America, Canberra press gallery journalist Harriet Dunkley (played by Anna Torv) forces her way closer to the truth, uncovering a secret city of interlocked conspiracies which will threaten her career, her life and endangers the freedom of every Australian.
Foxtel Insider caught up with three stars from the series, Anna Torv, Marcus Graham and The Walking Dead’s Benedict Samuel to see hoe much they could discloes about this great series.
INSIDER: There’s a lot of expectation about the series and the books that it is based on.
ANNA: Secret City is inspired by the books. There was a big push to emphasis the thriller element from the books, which were a lot lighter in tone.
Steve Lewis is a really respected journalist as well.
MARCUS: He carries a lot of clout too. There was one point where he got in touch with a representative from ASIO and opened a few doors that were rare to enter through. It was quite extraordinary.
ANNA: We did all those scenes in the Prime Minister’s courtyard too.
INSIDER: How does that feel as an actor to be able to access these kinds of places?
MARCUS: Wherever you go you’re with a film crew that kind of take over. But actually in Parliament House, that didn’t really happen. I think everyone was kind of enamoured by the place. Everyone was really polite and quiet. And perhaps feeling like they were being watched all the time.
ANNA: We were. You couldn’t even go to the bathroom without somebody with you.
MARCUS: Just seeing some of these politicians going about their daily business was really interesting. Filming outside of what was then Tony Abbott’s office where those flags are, was a mixture of strangeness, which was really interesting.
ANNA: Getting an insight into the members of the press that actually work at Parliament House and the fact that they can run straight from a media conference to their office was really fascinating. Going from this order of calm at the conference to this chaos in the office of people running around saying, “I’ve just got this!’
INSIDER: Foxtel is establishing a name for hard-hitting, great dramas. What will differentiate this show from others that are out there?
BENEDICT: The style and drama that has been delivered has established a great drive in this series. It’s been a great cast to work with and collaborated with telling a story in an area that hasn’t really been broached before and the way in which it is shot too is a token of the quality that the show has set out to achieve, which makes it stand out too.
Secret City airs Sunday nights at 8.30pm from June 5 on Foxtel’s showcase channel.
Following the premiere broadcast each week, Secret City will be available to watch when you want, on demand, via Foxtel Anytime on internet connected iQ boxes. You can also stream the series on demand on Foxtel Play or Foxtel Go. Foxtel Go is included with all Foxtel residential and Foxtel Play subscriptions at no extra cost.
Australian Sky News has released some footage from the upcoming Australian mini-series “Secret City”, set to be released in 2016. Thanks annatorverse.com for the video.
Foxtel has acquired the rights for Secret City, a political thriller inspired by the best-selling novels of journalists Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlman.
The six-part miniseries, announced by Foxtel on Tuesday night, will star Anna Torv, Dan Wyllie and Damon Herriman and is expected to hit screens in March 2016.
Shooting starts in August.