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Wake in Fright 

A young schoolteacher finds himself marooned in a small mining town in the outback, where a string of dangerous events render him a broken, desperate man.




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Series cast summary:
Sean Keenan ...  John Grant 2 episodes, 2017
Alex Dimitriades ...  Doc Tydon 2 episodes, 2017
Caren Pistorius ...  Janette Hynes 2 episodes, 2017
Gary Sweet ...  Tim Hynes 2 episodes, 2017
Robyn Malcolm ...  Ursula Hynes 2 episodes, 2017
Anna Samson ...  Mick Jaffries 2 episodes, 2017
Lee Jones ...  Joe Jaffries 2 episodes, 2017
Jada Alberts ...  Sandy Fanshawe 2 episodes, 2017
David Wenham ...  Jock Crawford 2 episodes, 2017
Di Adams ...  Joyce 2 episodes, 2017
Fayssal Bazzi ...  Donald 2 episodes, 2017
Elissa Burke Elissa Burke ...  Maisy 2 episodes, 2017
Randall Dart Randall Dart ...  Vic Killen 2 episodes, 2017
Alan Dukes ...  Wayne 2 episodes, 2017
Hannah Fredericksen ...  Robyn 2 episodes, 2017
Gregory J. Fryer Gregory J. Fryer ...  Thomas 2 episodes, 2017
Sonya Giesekam Sonya Giesekam ...  Robyn's Mum 2 episodes, 2017
Jason Lee Hansen Jason Lee Hansen ...  Charlie 2 episodes, 2017
Muriel Hunter Muriel Hunter ...  Indigenous Girl 2 episodes, 2017
Andrew David James Andrew David James ...  Tattooed Barman 2 episodes, 2017
John MacLeod John MacLeod ...  Elderly Man 2 episodes, 2017
Andrew McGregor Andrew McGregor ...  Yindee Barman 2 episodes, 2017
Paula Nazarski Paula Nazarski ...  Bea 2 episodes, 2017
Iziah Nean Iziah Nean ...  Lucas 2 episodes, 2017
James Parbery James Parbery ...  Desk Sergeant 2 episodes, 2017
Josephine Peter Josephine Peter ...  Elderly Woman 2 episodes, 2017
Jerome Pride ...  Small Driver 2 episodes, 2017
Heath Williams Heath Williams ...  Lifesaver 2 episodes, 2017
Philip Partridge ...  Luke 2 episodes, 2017
Jesse Rowles Jesse Rowles ...  Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Hunter Stratton Boland ...  Lizard Boy (uncredited) 2 episodes, 2017
Christopher Tauro Christopher Tauro ...  Two Up Controller 2 episodes, 2017
Matthew Vandenbergh Matthew Vandenbergh ...  Two Up Controller 2 episodes, 2017
Timothy James Cooper Timothy James Cooper ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Michael Grant Michael Grant ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Tomo Jovanovic Tomo Jovanovic ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Dale McGuffin Dale McGuffin ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Joseph O'Connor Joseph O'Connor ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Stuart Rawe Stuart Rawe ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Glen Robinson ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017
Ben Sullivan Ben Sullivan ...  RSL Worker 2 episodes, 2017


This new adaptation of Kenneth Cook's classic Australian novel will tell the story of John Grant, a young schoolteacher who descends into his own personal nightmare after being stranded in the small outback mining town of Bundanyabba. Provocative, morally complex and brilliantly realized, Wake In Fright is guaranteed to stay with viewers long into the night and - possibly - for years to come. Written by AnonymousB

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tv mini series | See All (1) »


He's stranded in a place far from home. No money... no friends... no way out. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 October 2017 (Australia) See more »

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Remake of Wake in Fright (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

A Largely Impressive Re-Imagining of a Classic Cautionary Tale
16 July 2018 | by luke-eberhardtSee all my reviews

Whenever someone thinks about 'Wake in Fright', they can't go past the classic 1971 film adaptation of Kenneth Cook's debut novel, which is also acknowledged as a classic of modern Australian Literature. Although, one thing I heard from an interview with the late Kenneth Cook; was that he thought the film was a "very successful translation of the book" for which I couldn't agree more. However, he personally thought Gary Bond who played the lead role of John Grant was "far too old and not nearly so sensitive and young as he should have been to be the hero of the book", because to his mind the validity of the hero's situation will only be there when he's a "young, soft, sensitive man" also touching on the fact Gary Bond looked too old and competent and could've got out of it too quickly. Looking back at the film now, I can't say the casting of Gary Bond bothered me especially in comparing the film to the book. The film itself has become timeless due to the suspenseful nature of what a man pushed to his limits would do to desperately get out of a situation that involved resorting going back to primal instincts of animals. Due to its confronting subject matter and wry sense it has since resonated into Australian Culture and Cinematic history incredibly well.

An often common and outspoken criticism I've heard countless (and tiring) number of times about various rehashes and remakes (however people may perceive them) is that re-doing something that has already been done or seen won't add anything new to the vastness of what's been put out there. Even in that vague statement rarely is it a case of improving upon what's been done, but more re-imagining what was done with a more modern skills and/or techniques in mind.

I don't dare say that this miniseries re-adapting Kenneth Cook's harrowing tale into a more modern time setting or context will deter whatever was done with the classic 1971 film (or book from when it was written). However, keeping Cook's own criticism in mind as well as what could be experimented with adapting Cook's timeless novel into a more modernized context, I would say there is necessity to what the makers of this new 'Wake in Fright' could do in terms of experiencing this story along different avenues.

First and foremost, the casting of Sean Keenan in the role of John Grant almost parallels Cook's criticism of the original film adaptation. Where we could see what a 'young, soft and sensitive man' would do when trapped in a remote town in the middle of the Australian Outback would do when he's then exposed to the rough and tumble nature of its locals and getting involved in their almost inhumane behaviour no one like a city-raised local like himself would experience. Thus, his descent into this madness is almost just as shocking and affecting as it was the first time around.

Secondly, this adaptation takes plenty of liberties from both the book and original film, it shares plenty of its major plot points, however in the modernization of all things there's a compelling edge added to the drama and conflicting nature of the characters, that it's within the modernized setting's nature to serve the narrative well rather than lessen the effect of the original film, which most certainly sets it apart. There's some excellent cinematography that capture the dangerous and unsettling beauty of the Australian outback, as is a compelling edge to the characters within the instilling dramatic conflicts revealed within the nature of the plotting.

Overall, it's the character development of this adaptation that really make it stand out, in opposed to the competent casting decisions, but confident enough to carry it due to the change of time setting from the 60s-70s to present day. The depth and dimension of these characters is what makes the miniseries a compelling locally produced drama here in Australia, able to show how our film/television industry can tell edgy stories, especially involving the unique subject matter of the source material. While it might not be so testosterone fueled as the original film, but it's still able to capture Kenneth Cook's cautionary nature about the foreboding dangers of the Australian outback.

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