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|Index||19 reviews in total|
After years of soap operas that may as well have been produced by its
commercial counterparts, the ABC has finally managed to pull together a
story that doesn't dwell on banal family feuds seemingly drawing
inspiration from the recent success of Nordic crime dramas. It is no
surprise then that this production has been picked up by both DR and
BBC Four. As such, much attempt has been made at ensuring the
characters are diverse (though some clichés still manage to slip in)
and the tone is serious and purposeful.
However, there are three major issues. The persistent use of hand-held close-ups with shallow depth of field does not add to the sense of gravity and drama, despite the fondest wishes of the cinematographer. Furthermore, the script is not as tightly written as one would hope and thus the depth of relationship between the characters remains rather shallow. Furthermore, following on from this, some of the dialogue verges on the inexplicably melodramatic with very little of the characters' baser motivations revealed through nuance as one would expect.
In any case, once again, it is through drawing inspiration internationally (and not just from US sitcoms) that the ABC has started to move in the right direction towards better (and hopefully eventually) more sophisticated drama.
(I can't believe I'm wasting my time writing this review to help Amazon make more money)
Wow, what a promising start to a series. I've seen some really good
quality coming out of Australia lately and wonderful to see a political
thriller now. Absolutely outstanding acting from Ashley Zukerman. I can
see him moving on to films in the states, with that talent.
The pilot is gripping from the very initial scene where the accident takes place. I love the way Jesse's mental health issue is portrayed, it's delicate but raw. There should be more programs showing what life is like for those with mental health issues. Portraying such issues in a positive way helps others to understand that they are people first.
This is a first for me, giving a ten out of ten but this is well worth it. I look forward to watching the rest of the series.
Like many Australians I have been let down by the calibre of television
in this country. Never did I think I would award 10 stars to an
Australian show. That was under I started "The Code". I didn't expect
much from this show, in fact I thought a "Samson & Delilah" esque plot
would evolve from the synopsis. How wrong I was.
There are several plot lines running concurrently. One is set in the bush in a remote town where Alex (a VERY unrecognisable Lucy Lawless) has set up shop as a bleeding heart teacher. Two of her students take her car for a joyride. Cut to Canberra where we get a glimpse into the surprisingly thrilling world of Australian politics. My personal favourite is watching the complex relationship between brothers Ned & Jessie unfold, Ned being an internet journalist who uncovers the story of the missing teens & Jessie being a brilliant but troubled computer geek. This is all tied together beautifully with the Australian version of the NSA on the trail of our would be heroes. Gripping stuff.
This is every bit as slick & well developed as its Hollywood counterparts, in particular Homeland (before it went weird). Give it a go, you will not be disappointed.
On the basis of the opening episodes, Shawn Seet's production looks to
provide plenty of interest. A sophisticated political thriller set in
Canberra and the outback, THE CODE focuses on the efforts of journalist
Ned Banks (Dan Spielman) to find out the connection between
governmental politics and a mysterious accident involving the death of
a teenager. The quest leads him into several inexplicable and often
traumatic incidents; his brother Jesse (Ashley Zukerman) is taken into
custody for having hacked a government website, and roughed up in the
process. When Jesse returns home, he is so traumatized that he can
hardly communicate. No one can be trusted in this world of shadows:
Jesse's girlfriend is not quite all that she might be, while Ned's
ex-girlfriend Sophie (Chelsie Preston Crayford), a high-ranking member
of the government's spin-doctoring team, has a relationship with her
oleaginous boss, who knows what's happened to Jesse, but will never let
Stylistically speaking, THE CODE borrows some conventions from US series such as NUMB3RS - for example, the flashing of computer- screens and computer-generated information on screen to advance the plot. The basic situation owes a lot to NUMB3RS too: Jesse might be suffering from panic attacks, but he is also a computer genius, working in cahoots with his more staid yet respectable brother Ned. Nonetheless director Seet shows that there is a firm filial bond between the two of them: Ned reveals a touching concern for Jesse's welfare, especially when forced to leave home on a business assignment.
THE CODE makes much of the contrast between town and country; the endless plains of the outback, with lonely buildings placed here and there suggests a wild, untamed world, one where it is very easy to get lost. This is precisely what happens to teenager Clarence Boyd (Aaron L. McGrath) at one point. The city world of Canberra is one of gleaming glass buildings and perpetual shadows - a fitting context for a world of politicking in which people try to get the better of one another by fair means or foul. Most government officials' principal interest consists of saving their own skin - which is why they treat Jesse so brutally as someone who has inadvertently fouled up their organization.
The only criticism of the series so far is that director Seet tends to advance the plot through exposition - where characters explain things to us through dialog - rather than incident. This strategy tends to slow the pace of the drama up somewhat. Once the basic situation have been established, however, the drama unfolds smoothly, offering several surprises along the way. Definitely worth staying with.
I'm not going to write a review discussing the profound elements of the show, but just a viewer's opinion. In Canada we just got this on the SuperChannel in January so I do not know how this ends. I watched it because there was nothing on telly.....and then the first episode had me riveted and I wanted, no needed the next episode. I really like this show, and not all specialized series are worth much, in fact there are sooo many police shows, gangsters, spies....when does it end, but this show, completely original, actually has me looking forward to the next episode. I have no idea what will happen in any episode, but the fact is that a lot happens in each episode, it feels so much longer than an hour because the show is constantly throwing in a twist and moving....no drawn out drama. I'm so glad I watched it and I highly recommend "the code" to anyone who wants to watch something different but high in action, the actors are great, they are so believable and I'm invested in them. Ashley Zukerman deserves recognition for his role as he is so believable. Dan Spielman is fantastic as his brothers keeper and I have not seen Lucy Lawless since her Zena days but she really can act and does so superbly. I hope there's another season (even tho I don't know how it ends) and thank you so much for creating a TV series that is original, well acted and addictive.
Australian thriller 'The Code' brings to mind the classic BBC thriller 'Edge of Darkness', with its story of nuclear secrets, dodgy corporations and untrustworthy government. But we make dramas differently now, and the pace is much faster - which is not altogether a bad thing, although the slick graphics and camera-work are sometimes distracting. There are also some disappointing clichés: the genius hackers who can do just about everything, and the expository graphics that the computers conveniently display for the sole purpose of telling us that they're currently being hacked. Another point of critique is that, apart from the good guys, just about everyone else seems utterly ruthless and violent, in a way that slightly beggars belief: our heroes are asked to make constrained choices, but the motivations of the villains are seemingly explained by villainy alone. That said, the plot is both superficially clever and substantially intelligent, and there's some genuine emotion in the relationship of the central protagonist and his socially limited brother. And for Europeans like me, a chance to get a glimpse of the bleak beauty of the Australia itself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thoroughly enjoyed all the episodes of this show. The fast pace was
dizzyingly fun - like riding a roller coaster. The massive amount of
information packed into each episode (fact or not) was impressive. The
wide range of characters allowed for a full understanding of how one
action or inaction can impact so many. The honest portrayal of
relationships (Ned & Jessie's, Hani and her parents) was totally
endearing to me - made me want to keep cheering them on to the truth. I
really appreciated the development of the character Jesse. In the
beginning of the first episode I was concerned he would be marginalized
or 'cartooned'. I am pleased this was not the case. I am mother to a
special needs child. To see real feelings and emotions from both Jesse
and Ned in reference to Jesse's 'condition' was awesome!
In this day of a gazillion reality shows, it is such a joy to find good, intelligent fiction. I have enough reality in my life, TV is for escaping a bit of the craziness in my life.
Well done to the entire crew and cast for their efforts! I look forward to all of your future works...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This six part Australian drama opens with an accident in the Outback;
one teenager is killed another is injured. It would probably have been
written of a tragic accident if a journalist didn't find the name of
the town in a dossier given to him by a government press officer. The
journalist, Ned Banks, starts investigating and, with the help of his
autistic brother, a hacker, he accesses data on the surviving teenagers
phone which shows that what happened wasn't an accident
doing something in the Outback and they will kill to protect their
secret. It isn't long before sinister government agents are after them;
desperate to prevent the secret from being exposed
not only because it
is embarrassing but because in the wrong hands it could be dangerous.
The 9pm slot on Saturday on BBC4 has been dedicated to Euro-drama for some time but the fact that this was from Australia, and thus in English, didn't make it feel out of place. Like the many Scandinavian dramas shown in the time-slot this was dark and gripping. The story gets the viewer hooked fairly quickly and there is the sense that people are in real danger; including the protagonists. This leads to some uncomfortable, but not gratuitous, scenes; most notably while brother Jesse is mistreated in custody. There is violence, swearing and nudity so if you don't like that sort of thing this won't be for you but if you don't mind and like good grown up drama then this is well worth watching. The cast does a fine job and the director manages to maintain a good sense of tension; even making a building as well known as the Australian Parliament in Canberra look sinister thanks to the way it is shot.
This is ABC TV's most ambitious political tense thriller about a Government cover up involving two teenagers (Aaron Grath; Clarence Boyd & Madeleine Madden; Sheyna Smith) in a car accident that collided with a truck- one dies set in the fictitious country town of Lindara ( filmed in Broken Hill). Journalist Ned Banks ( Dan Spielman) comes across this story when he is given a file by a Government worker Sophie Walsh (Chelsie Preston-Crayford) who he gets his brother Jesse (Ashley Zuckerman) who has autism but smart to hack into the computer to retrieve the full video the teens left on their phone. The Code is full of A grade talented actors like Lucy Lawless (Alex Wisham) a school teacher in Lindara who contacted Ned and Aaron Pedersen plays Lindara's police officer Tim Simons, Steve Rogers & Dan Wylie play AFP officers, Aden Young and David Wenham play powerful Government officials desperate to keep the accident a secret.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was captivated by the first few episodes and thought that at last we
had a worthwhile Australian thriller on our hands, complete with Nordic
Noir undertones. The build up of tension was managed competently and,
given that character development isn't a strong feature of thrillers as
a rule, the actors did well. However, the impetus couldn't be
maintained to the end.
That last episode was a let-down: It was as if someone had realised a conclusion must be reached and ends tied up. It was a mess. How everyone could be brought together for the last ten minutes was simply implausible, and the final shots were cringeworthy.
If only this series could have lived up to its initial promise.
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