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Mystery Road

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Big landscapes, stunning scenery and incredible rivers of crystal blue water set against desert mountains. This is Patterson, the remote town detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) is sent to when two young jackaroos (farmworkers) go missing from an outback cattle station. Jay thinks it will be a simple three day job. But it soon becomes clear the teenagers didn’t just wander off and get lost. Local boy Marley knows the country, he would have stayed with the vehicle. It appears they’ve been taken by force. But by who? And why? And who is the backpacker missing with him? Reese, the name he’s given is a fake. So who is he? What’s he hiding from? And has his secret caught up with him?

Jay – always a loner – now has to work with smart, tough local cop Emma James (Judy Davis). Born to a wealthy pastoral family and proud of her pioneering history, Emma’s life is embedded in the town. But Emma has her own secrets – bound up in the history of the town. Jay is also saddled by the arrival of his daughter Crystal, who’s run away from her own trouble at home, and his wife Mary – who comes after her daughter but really wants to save her marriage.

As Jay and Emma uncover Reese and Marley’s relationships and secrets, their investigation will cause them to unpeel the layers of the town. There is a secret lying hidden in the water. And a body. But Jay’s ability to hunt beneath the surface will ultimately uncover another secret, a crime committed ten years earlier. The wrong man has gone to gaol and the real criminal walks freely in the town. Jay will come to realise it’s that crime that’s at the heart of the boy’s disappearance. And his digging into the past will uncover another miscarriage of justice – perpetrated a hundred years earlier.

In solving the mystery of the missing boys, Jay and Emma – and the town - will learn a hard lesson – you have to be truthful about your past to understand your present, and to have any sort of future.


6 x 1 hr




Bunya Productions - Australia


Australian Writers Guild Awards 2018 - Best Television Series (Nomination)


"If Fargo were to swap the snow for red dirt, it might look something like this six-part spin-off series of Ivan Sen's 2013 feature film"
The Sydney Morning Herald 

"Director Rachel Perkins leaves her mark on this satisfying spin-off of Ivan Sen's film with the aid of a stellar cast and outstanding cinematography"
The Guardian

"Mystery Road is Australia's answer to True Detective"

"Mystery Road shaping as one of year's best shows"
Geelong Advertiser

"Judy Davis smoulders"
Sunday Age

Credit Line

Bunya Productions for ABC, Australia in association with all3media international with funding from Screen Australia’s Indigenous department, Screenwest and Lotterywest, the Western Australian Regional Film Fund supported by Royalties for Regions, Create NSW


Aaron Pedersen, Judy Davis, Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair, Colin Friels, Ernie Dingo


David Jowsey, Greer Simpkin


Rachel Perkins (Redfern Now, Jasper Jones

Additional Credits

Executive Producers: Sally Riley, Ivan Sen