Underbelly: articles

Gulgong scriptwriter will appear in Underbelly Razor

The Central West hailed Orange resident Kate Bracks' win in MasterChef on Sunday night but the Mid-West has its own television star.

After the recent announcement Underbelly Razor will air from Sunday, August 21, Gulgong born and based television scriptwriter Michaeley O'Brien is eagerly awaiting the biggest moment of her career.

As the first episode rapidly approaches Ms O'Brien said the viewing public could expect to see a rollicking good story with added interest in the Central West because central figure Kate Leigh was from Dubbo.

"This series will have viewers on the edge of their seat," Michaeley O'Brien said.

"I have been gob-smacked with what the producers have achieved when I have watched the episodes in previews.

"The writers, directors, actors, producers and film crews have busted their guts to produce a show, the like of which we have never seen on television before.

"Expect to see a look back at history in an incredible way."

For the past 15 months Miss O'Brien has been working from her Gulgong home writing four episodes of the 13 episode series.

Speaking virtually on the eve of the show's premier she said being asked to be one of the four writers for Underbelly was "the big gig".

"The first three series of Underbelly have been among the most watched Australian television dramas of the 21st century," Miss O'Brien said.

"In writing this series the quality of the show and the people I work with are the best of the best.

"This has brought out the best work in me."

Miss O'Brien has been responsible for writing episodes five, six, nine and 12.

"At this stage episodes five and six are completed and episode nine is being edited," she said.

Already Miss O'Brien has seen the first two episodes she has written and says viewers can expect the colour and fashion of the 1920s on screen, which is an era the audience is used to seeing in sepia or black and white.

"The cast and crew have already viewed episode one," she said.

"When the series airs I think we can expect to see a return of interest in the 'Burlesque' years and the colour and fashions that went with that era."

Compared to her prior work, Miss O'Brien said that script writers fall in love with every show they write.

"However, there is something unbelievable about writing something that is set in the 1920s," she said.

"The actors feel it too as they are being dressed in fabulous clothing designs from that period of time.

"The hairstyles are 1920s too and they come out looking like a million dollars and everyone knows that this is the big gig.

"When you see it on screen you wonder if you'll ever do anything like it again. It's pretty amazing to be involved in 13 hours of life in the 1920s."

Miss O'Brien said she has never written from this era before. She has previously written crime shows, but mainly from the side of the police, not the criminal.

When the first episode goes to air Miss O'Brien said she will probably sit down with a glass of wine and watch it with a few close friends.

"But when episode five (the first of the four episodes Michaeley O'Brien has written) goes to air I think I might just sit at home and watch it by myself," she said.

Episode nine will have added interest for Michaeley as she has been written into the episode as a non-speaking fiddle player.

By Don Mahoney
August 10, 2011
Mudgee Guardian