Above The Law: about


Above The Law

image Ingrid Ruz

Offbeat, energetic, and definitely different, Above The Law is a new Australian series taking viewers inside the lives and loves of a group of young city dwellers who all have one thing in commo n— an address.

The Metro is a funky innercity block where there are as many stories as there are apartments, where a cafe and a community police station make up the ground floor, and where the penthouse (and indeed most of the building) is owned by a corrupt businessman who enjoys the irony of living "above the law".

Created by veteran Australian television writer Tony Morphett (Blue Heelers, Water Rats) and wife Inga Hunter, Above The Law invites the viewer into a "vertical village" where a host of colourful characters form firm friendships and relationships based on humour, respect, love and lust.

When "Vegas" Pete Murray is sent to jail, his unsuspecting daughter Olivia (Alyssa-Jane Cook) is forced to move into The Metro. While she confronts her father's murky past, she finds herself struggling to control his empire, and learning to live with the other inhabitants of The Metro:

"Unlike most Australian dramas, which are based around the grand traditions of police, doctors, hospitals or laywers, Above The Law is more people than job based, although it does combine elements of those other genres," said co-executive producer Hal McElroy.

"And so the key to a show like this is the characters, and if you create good characters you can get good actors. And we've certainly got both. The point of difference with Above The Law is that it's about a group of people whose only unifying quality is that they live or work in the same building," said co-executive producer Di McElroy. "And when you assemble a groups of characters who have their own separate agendas and they all react and connect to each other in different ways, watch the sparks fly."

Pulling no punches in its content and dialogue, Above The Law is bound to surprise its audience with its forthrightness, the McElroys said. "It's controversial, energetic, funny, outrageous, contemporary, complex, and in-your-face. We set out to do something completely different," said Hal McElroy, "And it worked."

Facts:

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After an exhaustive casting process which saw Hal and Di McElroy screentest 260 Australian actors, they found the crucial right combination of physicality, emotional energy, aura, and intellect required for an ensemble piece.

The ensemble—a blend of well-known actors and new faces—worked together with acting coach Antoinette Blaxland for months before principal photography began, improvising character relationships in workshops, and researching their characters' backstories.

As for The Metro, the inner urban apartment block is almost like another character in Above The Law. It's a towering art deco converted warehouse with an Italian café run by Matt Bridges (Nicholas Bishop) sharing the groundfloor shopfront with a small community police station staffed by Debbie Curtis (Bridie Carter) and Con Stavros (Jolyon James).

With sets designed by production designer George Liddle (Dark City, Rapa Nui, Evil Angels), The Metro is topped by the penthouse owned by "Vegas" Pete Murray, incarcerated father of Olivia Murray (Alyssa-Jane Cook). It is consequently a very masculine space that holds many secrets. There are four other apartment sets, each as individual as their inhabitants.

Filmed in Sydney's Global Television Studios at North Ryde, Above The Law uses the latest in digital television technology, with state-of-the-art digital cameras from Sony.

A joint venture between McElroy Television, Columbia TriStar, and Network Ten, Above The Law will be distributed internationally by Columbia TriStar.