16 June 2003 | Djo-2
`After the Deluge' is superb Television.
"After the Deluge" has to be the pinnacle of Australian television. Bringing together an impeccable cast which includes Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, David Wenham, Samuel Johnson, Catherine Clements and Ray Barrett the show seems set for acting brilliance. But Australian productions have brought together amazing acting talent such as this in the past and failed to deliver.
Fortunately, here we not only have brilliant acting but writing talent that defies words. Moving and inspirational comes close. Andrew Knight who has been responsible for a lot of what is good about Australian TV (Simone de Beauvoir's Babies, My Brother Jack, Kangaroo Palace and Sea Change) has brought it all together with "After the Deluge". Here is an intricate weaving together of the lives of three brothers trying to come to terms with their own failures and the destruction of their hopes and dreams, as their father slips further into his past life via the White Rabbit hole of Altzheimers. What they can never know and what the audience is privileged to be allowed to see, is that their father also suffered through the destruction of his hopes and dreams. To them he was just a cantankerous, domineering father who never showed them or their mother any love. But the audience knows the truth and all the characters are portrayed sympathetically despite their faults.
The imagery of water reflected in the title is used to represent birth, death and rebirth. The score is superb. A combination of classical violin and contemporary rock guitar, it reflects not only the musical generation gap represented by the struggle between patriarch Cliff Kirby (Ray Barrett) and his oldest son Martin (Hugo Weaving), but the movement between the eras as Cliff slips in and out of the past.
`After the Deluge' is superb Television and in this era when Reality TV and lifestyle programs dominate the ratings and Australian production companies, it's so good to see quality dramatic television still getting commercial attention. Kudos to Channel Ten for producing what is usually left up to the beleaguered ABC.