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This is widely viewed in Australia as one of the best cop dramas ever
produced here ... and for my money, anywhere. It's raw, gritty, the
characters are real, the situations are believable and it doesn't shy away
from the darker side of life confronted every day by cops and the
victims, lawyers and other people in their various orbits.
This show ran for 2 seasons and was discontinued because the show didn't sell well overseas. We are all sorry for its loss: however, like Fawlty Towers, we will be able to revere this as a limited-length series of uniformly high quality.
Alas on Friday the 2nd of July 1999 this brilliant show came to an end. But
all good things do. Wildside was the best cop drama ever. One of the few
shows that did not ask you to like the characters. A refreshingly original
premise, especially where the "goodies" and "baddies" are all so clear cut
on todays shows. One episode where Sgt McCoy handcuffs a suspect to a car
and proceeds to drive at high speed remains vividly in the
The conflict was brilliantly balanced by the crisis centre across from the police station, thus we are not stuck in the police station all day listening to search search warrant requests and the like.
It is impossible to single out any one person, cast or crew as both were outstanding in every facet. All performances were first rate, set design refreshingly original, cinematography and direction flawless and stories that were hard hitting not afraid to go into the underbelly of society.
Wildside will be greatly missed. A superb show that ended before its time
In the ten years since Wildside aired, nothing has really come close to
its quality in local production. This includes the two series of the
enjoyable but overrated Underbelly, which have brought to life events
in the recent criminal history of both Sydney and Melbourne. The
miniseries Blue Murder (which also starred Tony Martin, but as someone
on the other side of the law) may be the exception.
Wildside is currently being repeated late at night on the ABC. Having not watched the show in quite a while, I'm still impressed by its uncompromising story lines and very human characters. The cast is excellent: Tony Martin as a detective haunted by the disappearance of his son, Rachael Blake (who later hooked up with Martin in real life) as a community worker struggling with alcoholism, and Alex Dimitriades as a young cop whose vice is gambling. Equally good support roles are provided by Aaron Pederson, Jessica Napier, Mary Coustas (yes, Effie herself), and a young Abbie Cornish.
The ABC inexplicably released only the first three episodes on DVD a couple of years ago. The logic of this sort of marketing is beyond me, but I'm guessing it may have something to do with licensing disagreements with the original producers.
A great series which has aged remarkably well. Here's hoping the ABC's DVD department gets its act together.
(According to a moderator on an ABC message board, some sort of further DVD release is due in December 2009)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm writing this 9 years after the final episode was aired and I am
still reeling from the impact Wildside has had on me.
It has effectively gone where numerous other cop dramas have gone and succeeded. But it took it further and didn't stray from the realism of the streets, often portraying life events and characters down to a T.
I am sorely missing this series, instead we have are given the stupid "Underbelly" which is over dramatised and acted creating a whole load of American-esquire garbage.
Wildside stayed true to the uniqueness of Sydney and for that I am truly indebted to this wonderful series. The acting was A-grade and it's a shame to see only a few actors have furthered their career whilst others have faded into obscurity.
I don't want Australia to forget this wonderful piece of their television history, thus I ask the ABC to release the complete series on DVD, not the first three. Give this series the ending it deserves.
I am from London so had never seen this brilliant show until 2005,
whilst living in Sydney for a year. I was lucky enough to come across
this superbly acted, excellently written, warts and all portrayal of
inner city police work and drop in centre.
I loved the fact that it appeared to not try and cover up the fact that their are officers of the law who will bend the rules to succeed. I also thought the sub story of Tony Martins character, having a son who was in trouble with drugs, was handled excellently.
I only wish it was available to watch on DVD as i note the only one available has only 3 episodes.
3 episodes out of 60? Thats just a disgrace.
Come on ABC, get theses sold in a special pack for the fans.
Wildside still continues on New Zealand and to hear now thats its been canned is tragic.This show could finish after one hour of unravelling plots and still have you gasping at its greatness.Alex Dimitriades is close to the best Australian actor to enter my television screen.I would like to say **** you to the ABC for pulling what has become so popular on both sides of the tasman believe it of not.Now i'm stuck with Stan Zemarnik instead I guess then.
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