Dangerous: articles

Authorities may put brakes on hoon TV

PRODUCERS of a new Australian television drama highlighting ram-raiding and drag racing are bracing themselves for protests from road safety campaigners and police.

"It does stretch a lot of the boundaries in television," said John Edwards, who has created the new series titled Dangerous for pay-TV provider Foxtel.

"It is about a lot of stuff to do with alienated kids and hooning some of it is fun and some is truly dangerous. But that's what is happening in our streets."

In June, road safety campaigners, politicians and motoring groups feared a Hollywood movie glamourising illegal street racing would spark a copycat fad. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift featured illegal urban street races with long "powerslide" sequences, in which cars skid sideways.

Queensland police were so concerned they asked cinemas to hand out road safety pamphlets at screenings of the M-rated film.

Mr Edwards, who created the successful Ten series The Secret Life of Us and Love My Way for Foxtel, said the series, which will be filmed in Sydney, would feature scenes of ram-raiding and drag racing as well as drug abuse.

He said it was too gritty and dangerous to be shown on free-to-air television. Australian drama has been woefully represented on free-to-air television in the past two years with no new successful series and the axing of Seven's Blue Heelers and Nine's The Alice causing networks to be cautious about commissioning new drama.

"This kind of drama would not be seen on free-to-air in the present climate," he said. "I've been speaking to a few commercial networks and they have said show it on Foxtel first and then they will go with it."

Mr Edwards said the eight-part series, directed by David Caesar (Blue Murder), would screen later this year and would be a landmark in Australian TV drama, starring a raft of new young faces and exposing the underbelly of Sydney's suburban crime scene.

By Sandra McLean
July 31, 2006
The Courier-Mail