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ABC joins with Netflix for geo-political thriller inspired by US-Australian ties

The enigmatic joint US-Australian defence facility in the Northern Territory known as “Pine Gap” is the subject of a new ABC-Netflix co-commission.

The facility has been in operation since 1970, when 400 American families moved to Central Australia. Since then, the operations of the facility, which is partly run by the US CIA and NSA, have been shrouded in secrecy.

The six-hour drama series Pine Gap is created by Australian TV legend Greg Haddrick (Underbelly, Janet King, Cloudstreet) and Felicity Packard (Wolf Creek, Anzac Girls, Underbelly), and will be filmed in 2018 across South Australia and the Northern Territory. Haddrick also serves as show-runner.

The ABC’s synopsis reads:

“Set in the secretive world of intelligence, Pine Gap exposes the stress inflicted on nations and individuals when ultimate loyalty is under threat, and true motives endanger the famously strong American/Australian joint military alliance through conflicting interests, personal ideals … and one tragic mistake.”

The Screentime production has major support from the South Australian Film Corporation and the South Australian State Government.

It’s the second co-commission from the ABC and Netflix after the new series of Glitch. Earlier this year, the streaming giant announced its first Australian production, the ten-episode supernatural crime drama Tidelands.

The ABC’s Director of Television David Anderson said of the partnership with Netflix: “Pine Gap is shrouded in intrigue for many Australians. It’s the perfect anchor, and a timely subject, for an Australian drama that can resonate both locally and with a global audience. This partnership enables a high-end Australian drama to be produced for all Australians, and for locally produced content to be delivered to an international audience.”

Featured image by Kristian Laemmle-Ruff

4 responses to “ABC joins with Netflix for geo-political thriller inspired by US-Australian ties

  1. Oh, not too much fiction, please, there is very little diverting about Pine Gap. It has long been a strategic target. Not enough believable information has been released by the Australian Government. It is difficult to believe that its very presence is anything other than a service to the Five Eyes security network. We should close it down. We need desperately to get a Bill of Human Rights, to protect our rights to privacy. And Pine Gap must become accountable to the Australian people. We should not become entrammelled by the US alliance.

  2. With the financial and editorial pressure being applied to the ABC by the current government, and by those the government needs to pass legislation, it is a great pleasure to see real drama still being produced in far larger quantity, and in most cases, quality, than their commercial counterparts.

  3. I hope they cover my ground breaking photos of the installation showing 5 radomes when only 2 had been approved – this lead to a Parlt debate etc. Later we had a protest rally to the fence line where a sign hanging off many balloons inflated by helium was flown over the facility, with beer cans hanging off the bottom to provide a radar intercept to put the facility on full alert. Wes


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