White Collar Blue: articles

Freya Stafford

Caught in the crossfire

TOUGH women, angry women—with men caught in the middle/

Ten and Seven open their accounts for a new season of drama this week with White Collar Blue and Marshall Law—two programs with strong female line-ups.

However, they also are women caught in the crossfire of men—some behaving badly.

The first episodes—critical to "hook" and early audience—ground the women and establish relationships.

On Monday, Channel Ten serves up its first dose of White Collar Blue.

Lead actress Freya Stafford (from ABC's Head Start) is detective Harriet Walker, who gets a double whammy in the first 10 minutes.

She meets her new. abrassive cop partner Joe Hill (Peter O'Brien) at the same time she loses her husband, shot to death in the marital bed.

The series revolves around life in a Sydney police station near Cronulla Beach—cool surfie dudes at sea and villains and corruption in the sleezy back streets.

The cop "formula" is character driven.

O'Brien is street-wise, war-weary and relies on his gut instinct.

Stafford is cool and thinks before she acts.

"That's very much the way my character is written," Stafford said. "Peter (O'Brien) is impulsive and so thetwo of us are bound to clash.

"However, it is a relationship that blossoms as we progress through the series."

White Collar Blue includes in its cast veteran Richard Carter (last seen in Hero's Mountain and Rabbit Proof Fence) as the police station boss.

Other names in the firing line as young cops include Brooke Satchwell (best-known for her work on Neighbours and Water Rats) and Don Hany (formerly of Home and Away and Crash Palace)

In White Collar Blue the centre of the action is Kingsway police station where, as the show's producers state, "crime knows no boundaries".

It is Sylvania Waters—all dark glass and pontoons to the towering cranes which sit around Botany Bay.

"This is really a little-known area," Stafford said.

"Around Cronulla is a place we haven't see much in TV series—a sort of last frontier and a last wilderness."

By Peter Haran
August 11, 2002
Sunday Mail TV Plus