The following review contains a few spoilers. Catching Miliat is one of Seven’s most anticipated Mini Series events – but is it worth watching?
The Miniseries opens in January of 1990 as viewers see Paul Onions (Alex Williams, Underground) trying to catch a lift. After a few unsuccessful attempts, he is offered a lift by Ivan Milat (Malcolm Kennard, Devil’s Playground) which he gladly accepts. The pair stop on the outskirts of the Bungalow State Forest.
Two years Later, Detective Senior Constable Paul Gordon (Richard Cawthorne, Fat Tony and Co) is typing up a missing persons report when he hears about the disappearance of two backpackers. As time passes, two more backpackers disappear.
Things really pickup when two runners discover a skull and Detective Neil Birse (David Field, City Homicide) is called in. Paul, having delivered devastating news to the parents, becomes invested in the case and determined to find the killer.
A task force is set up after another skull is found. Task force Air will be headed up by Superintendent Clive Small (Geoff Morrell, Cloudstreet) and their challenge is to find the backpacker serial killer. As we know he is found, but the journey getting to that point makes for very compelling viewing.
Taking place over a number of years, Catching Milat uses both flashback and archive footage to enhance its story, The tight script is engrossing and disturbing all at once The cast deliver solid performances but Malcom Kennard takes on the role of serial killer Ivan Milat with such velocity that he will send shivers down your spine from the very first scene.
The show also takes the interesting approach of showing Ivan with his family and it’s clear that he is loved. These scenes also give the show some light to balance out the dark subject matter.
Worth watching, yes – just don’t do it in the dark.
Catching Milat airs 8:40 pm Sunday May 17 and 24 on Seven.