City Homicide: articles

Pedersen and Garner in office

Looking for clues ... Aaron Pedersen and Nadine Garner in City Homicide.

Mystery within mysteries

It's a good thing Nadine Garner is a fan of mysteries: as one of the stars of Channel Seven's new police drama, City Homicide, she plays Detective Senior Constable Jennifer Mapplethorpe, working the toughest beat in policing, homicide.

Every case is a mystery of the highest order, with clues hidden in the smallest detail, killers out to hide themselves and victims long past being able to offer any help.

All she has are her own instincts to find the truth.

It's a situation she can relate to in her own life as she tries to get to the bottom of just who Mapplethorpe is.

"She's a very strong character ... she's not just playing brains to the brawn of the men around her, she's a leading player in a crew of homicide detectives," Garner said.

"But we don't know too much about her personally."

Mapplethorpe and her team, Garner said, are as much a mystery to be solved by City Homicide's viewers as the crimes they investigate.

And that, she said, is part of what will help make the series stand out from the raft of other police shows.

"As writers it must be quite seductive to want to reveal everything to the audience about the character you've created because you're excited about who they are, who they might fall in love with, who they clash with," Garner said.

"But here they've been very clever in setting the characters up and then letting them very subtly carve their way forward."

What Garner does know of Mapplethorpe and her colleagues in the homicide squad of the unnamed Australian city where they work has been more than enough to convince her she made the right decision to return to Australian television after a long break.

Already well-known locally for her role as Tammy Henderson (see flashback), Garner had been working overseas in stage and screen roles.

"She [Mapplethorpe] is one of those well-defined, striking adult female roles that are always great to have land in your lap," Garner said.

"There's always lots of great roles for men and even in this show it's mainly blokes, but there's not so many for women.

"So this was a chance to come home and do something on a local network - some high-profile work in my home town which I haven't done for a long time.

"Even though I've been working for more than 20 years, a lot of the stuff I have done has been either on the ABC or low-budget films or on stage and you just don't reach the audience you do on a commercial network.

"Most of the time as an actor you just swallow that and accept it, so it is always a gift to get a role you love, you are comfortable with and is also going to be seen by a lot of people . . . that's just fantastic."

Why the law is not an ass

It's usually tough enough for Australian actors to land a role in one of the few major Australian dramas produced every year. This year, however, Aaron Pedersen has managed to star in two. In SBS's highly acclaimed The Circuit, he was a city lawyer working the remote Kimberley region and now in City Homicide he's a detective out to solve the unsolvable crimes. "When you're unemployed you always want to be be busy and when you're busy you just want to have time out!" Pedersen said. "But to be honest, I've been absolutely loving it being busy."

The Henderson Kids

Anyone who watched Nadine Garner as the youngest member of the iconic 1980s kids show The Henderson Kids might have had a clue that a career in policing could have been in her future. As 13-year-old Tammy Henderson, she stood up to local bullies, uncovered more than a few mysteries and even helped battle a local land developer. Moving up to homicide was almost a logical step.

By Scott Ellis
August 27, 2007
The Sun-Herald