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The BBC has acquired new Australian crime drama Scrublands, based on the award-winning novel written by Chris Hammer, for BBC Four and BBC iPlayer.

The four-part series from Australian production company Easy Tiger (Colin from Accounts, The Twelve) stars Luke Arnold (Black Sails, Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS), Jay Ryan (It Chapter Two, Top of the Lake) and Bella Heathcote (C*A*U*G*H*T, Relic).

Scrublands is set in an isolated country town, where a charismatic and dedicated young priest (Jay Ryan) calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners. One year later investigative journalist Martin Scarsden (Luke Arnold) arrives in Riversend to write what should be a simple feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy.

But when Martin’s instincts kick in and he digs beneath the surface, the previously accepted narrative begins to fall apart and he finds himself in a life and death race to uncover the truth.

The cast also includes Robert Taylor (The Newsreader), Adam Zwar (Squinters), Zane Ciarma (Neighbours), Victoria Thaine (Nowhere Boys), Stacy Clausen (True Spirit), Genevieve Morris (No Activity) and newcomer Ella Ferris.

Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says: “With its enigmatic central protagonist and atmospheric depiction of rural Australia, the compelling and complex narrative of Scrublands will keep BBC viewers guessing until the very end…”

Scrublands (4 x 50) was acquired by the BBC from Abacus Media Rights who have international distribution rights for the series.


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