Tag Archives: Peter O’Brien

Channel 7 in 2015. New and Returning Shows Announced.

Rebecca Gibney and Peter O'Brien return for Winter in 2015
Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien return for Winter in 2015

A mix of new dramas both locally and overseas made, a reality show juggernaut spin-off and documentaries are all coming our way in 2015 as channel 7 announces it’s line-up for the new ratings season.

Sadly though, it seems with some of the imported US content, Australian viewers will be quite some episodes and by the looks of it, even over half a season behind American audiences.  No fast-tracking programs here.

So just what programs did channel 7 reveal?

How to get Away With Murder: This new US drama is easily one of the best to come out of the new US season.  Oscar winner Viola Davis stars as a high profile defense lawyer slash college law professor who finds herself caught up in a murder investigation along with some of her students.  Comes from Shonda Rhimes – she of Greys Anatomy and Scandal.

State of Affairs: Starting November 17th in the US, this Katherine Heigl vehicle has a mix of Madam Secretary and Homeland and see’s Heigl as a CIA agent working closely with the US President.

Aquarius: 1960’s based homicide drama see’s David Duchovny working with an undercover detective trying to solve a missing persons case that leads them to Charles Manson.

Winter: Spin-off series from this years “The Killing Field” telemovie with Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien back in the pursuit of a killer.

Restaurant Revolution: Another spin-off from the My Kitchen Rules juggernaut taking ‘inspiration’ from My Returant Rules, which will see contestants attempt to run their very own restaurant.

800 Words: New Aussie drama starring Packed to the Rafters favorite Erik Thomson who plays a a widowed father, who moves overseas with his two teenagers, then takes on the job of writing a weekly newspaper column.

House Rules: The home renovation show is back for 2015 and just like The Block, is offering up two seasons in the new year.

Catching Milat: Underbelly-stylized drama around the Ivan Milat murders.

What Really Happens in Thailand: First it was Bali, now it’s Thailand – or a heightened version of what actually happens.  This series is focused more on the emergency rooms, cosmetic surgeons and party hot spots.

Programs returning for 2015 include The X Factor, My Kitchen Rules, Winners & Losers, Border Security, The Force and Better Homes & Gardens while The Big Adventure, Bringing Sexy Back and The Amazing Race were not on announced as returning for the network in 2015.

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Reviewed: The Killing Field

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Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien Inspect a Murder Scene on Channel 7’s The Killing Field. Source: Provided

When a 15 year old girl goes missing in a small country town resulting in the discovery of the work of a serial killer who do you call?  Jane Halifax of course!  Well actually, it’s Detective Eve Sergeant, but they’re both played by Rebecca Gibney and they both have the same kind of job.

Showing that the local police force in the fictional town of Mingara are a bunch of complete dimwits, Detective Inspector Lachlan McKenzie (Peter O’Brien) lures his old partner (professionally and romantically) Eve Winter to help him find the missing 15 year old Becky who disappeared after leaving a party and determine whether the case is linked to the five bodies recently found in a mass grave.

They are joined by Detective Senior Constable Bridget Anderson played by the impressive Chloé Boreham and Detective Senior Constable Dan Wild played by an underused Liam McIntyre and the four in their designer black suits stride into Mingara and immediately make an impact with the beer soaked and unpleasant residents of the small country town.

Without sugar coating it, the main issue with The Killing Field is that it feels like an over-extended weekly crime episodic show.   It’s like we’ve just been thrown into a special movie length one-off where we have already established a relationship with Eve Winter and understand why she’s removed herself from field work, why she has to be lured back and know and care about her past relationship with Lachlan McKenzie.  It’s this lack of lead character development that can feel somewhat jarring when it’s suddenly thrust at us the first time we meet Winter and McKenzie.

Of course, Gibney, cropped hair and business suits, plays as well as she can as the damaged Eve Winter.  There’s a clinical and detached air about her that feels like an homage to DCI Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect) but sadly, Eve Winter, instead of presenting as a powerhouse authoritative figure instead comes off as slightly smug and self-righteous when interacting with potential suspects and Peter O’Brien…well, he’s there, but he’s given as much screen time as the supporting players and his Lachlan McKenzie only seems to be there to distract Eve with inappropriately timed flirtations.

But not all is lost.  As a standard, run-of-the-mill police procedural, The Killing Field should offer enough to keep eyes on the screen until the shocking end. A small country town, a missing girl, a mass grave, mob mentality and a complete set of shady characters – enough to keep you guessing who the killer is until the reveal…it’s got the foundations just not the fortification.

Having watched enough Hannibal-Criminal Minds-CSI-SVU etc etc, The Killing Field aims high but falls short of the standard set by previous outings in the genre, but that said, I enjoyed what was offered to me and happily watched right to the end – even if some aspects of the characters and story lines were frustrating (a suspect is literally paraded around town in-front of local bogans resulting in a rather confronting situation) and it was good to watch Gibney finally shake off the warm and happy shackles of Julie Rafter.

And, there is talk that this movie will be used as a jumping off point for a new series (under a new title as The Killing Field refers to this particular case), which should fit this premise much better and allow for better character development and back story.

The Killing Field airs Sunday night, 8:40pm on Channel 7.