The Newsreader: episode guide

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A Step Closer to the Madness

Episode 1.04
Sunday, September 05, 2021 (ABC, 8:30)
444,000 viewers (11th)
Written by Niki Allen
Directed by Emma Freeman

Dale Jennings (Sam Reid) is a diligent young reporter, desperate to become a newsreader. Helen Norville (Anna Torv) is a notoriously ‘difficult’ star newsreader determined to build credibility. Paired together over three months, Dale and Helen will cover an extraordinary chain of news events— from the shock of the Challenger explosion, to the hype of Halley’s Comet, to the complexities of the AIDS crisis. From messy beginnings, a deep bond is formed that will upend their lives and transform the very fabric of the nightly news bulletin. This is a story of a grand, unconventional relationship in a world on the cusp of change.

Helen is deeply apprehensive about meeting Dale's mother, while Dale gets lumbered with royal wedding puff pieces. But their everyday concerns are thrown aside when a bomb goes off on Russell Street.

Note: the Russell Street bombing was the influence for the groundbreaking 1992 ABC drama Phoenix


  • Marg Downey as Evelyn Walters
  • Robert Taylor as Geoff Walters
  • Anna Torv as Helen Norville
  • Sam Reid as Dale Jennings
  • Robert Grubb as Dr McCormack
  • Tony Rickards as Dr Shaw
  • Chum Ehelepola as Dennis
  • Michelle Lim Davidson as Noelene
  • Stephen Peacock as Rob Rickards
  • Caroline Lee as Jean
  • William Mclnnes as Lindsay
  • Edwina Wren as Cathy
  • Chai Hansen as Tim Ahern
  • Jackson Tozer as Ross
  • Stephen Lopez as Bartender
  • Maria Angelico as Cheryl
  • Maude Davey as Val Jennings
  • Peter Houghton as Radio News Announcer
  • Mason Gasowski as Registrar
  • Rhys Mitchell as Brian
  • Cullen Gorman as Jacko
  • Cecilia Low as Detective Vanessa Myers
  • Greg Larsen as Terry
  • Stephanie Panozzo as Jenny
  • John Leary as Murray
  • Bert Labonte as Gordon
  • Rohan Mirchandaney as Gary