‘High Country’: New Original Drama Coming to Foxtel and Binge

High Country
Image credit: Narelle Portainer

Foxtel has announced a new eight-part mystery thriller, “High Country”, in partnership with Screen Australia, VicScreen and Curio Pictures.

“High Country” was commissioned by Brian Walsh, who passed away unexpectedly last month leading to an industry-wide outpouring of grief.

The series will star Leah Purcell (“The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson”), who is also executive producer. Aaron Penderson (“Mystery Road”), Sara Wiseman (“A Place to Call Home”) and Ian McElhinney (“Game of Thrones”) are also in the series.

Production commences this month in Victoria.

Foxtel said the show will be set and filmed in a region of Victoria rarely captured on screen “with the epic, ancient landscape of conflicting mythologies and stark contrasts set to become a character itself”.

Purcell will play Andrea Whitford, a detective who is transferred tot he Victorian High Country. Once there, she is thrust in a baffling mystery of five missing persons who have vanished into the wilderness and discovers a complex web involving murder, deceit and revenge.

Amanda Laing, Foxtel Group’s chief content and commercial officer, explained how the show fit into Foxtel’s positioning and offering.

“‘High Country’ is an original Australian story inspired by the cultures, identities and landscapes of the Victorian Alps – a setting rarely seen on screen,” she said.

“Foxtel Group remains committed to investing in high-quality Australian content and are thrilled to partner with Screen Australia, VicScreen and Curio Pictures on “High Country” so viewers in Australia and around the world can enjoy this authentically Australian story – filled with twists and turns, mystery and an undeniable sense of place.”

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said it’s set to be a landmark television series, while Victoria’s minister for creative industries, Steve Dimopoulos said it was a coup for Victoria’s booming screen industry.

“The production will create jobs for 250 Victorians and inject close to $15 million into our economy, all while telling a story set against the beauty of our alpine region. We are thrilled to welcome this production to Victoria and can’t wait for the series to hit our screens,” he said.

Purcell added: “The opportunity to act and work alongside the talented creative team and my amazing co-stars is incredible. I can’t wait to go to work in the Victorian Alps delving into scripts with adventurous and thrilling storylines. I look forward to bringing this first-class new series to local and international audiences where Country and Australian-ness are central to the story.”

Jo Porter, managing director of Curio Pictures, said the team can’t wait to get started.

“’High Country’ got under our skin from the moment creators Marcia Gardner and John Ridley first described their ambition to create a unique series that redefined and played with the mystery thriller genre. They have delivered a compelling mix of edge-of-the-seat storytelling set in a beguiling landscape, together with an engrossing journey for the central character created with, and for, the indomitable Leah Purcell.

“Creative director Rachel Gardner and I are delighted to be working again with Penny Win and the Foxtel Group, producers Pino Amenta and Sue Edwards and the whole talented cast and crew.”