Tidelands Review

The first Australian Netflix Original is about to debut, Tidelands, but is it worth spending your weekend on a binge session?

The series follows Cal McTeer (Charlotte Best, Home & Away and Puberty Blues), a young woman who returns home to the small fishing village of Orphelin Bay after ten years in juvenile detention and jail. It’s soon made clear that Orphelin Bay and its residents are shrouded in mysteries, which start to unravel and reveal themselves when the body of a local fisherman, Zac Maney, washes ashore, exposing the town’s secret drug trafficking ring.

But one of the town’s biggest mysteries is the commune of outcasts who live in a hidden pocket of the bay – a group of sexy and dangerous half-Siren/half-humans referred to as, you guessed it, “Tidelanders”. Adrielle Cuthbert (Elsa Pataky, Fast & Furious), their mysterious and alluring leader, will go to any length to protect her tribe from harm.

Other residents at the forefront of the series are Cal’s brother, Augie (Aaron Jakubenko, Spartacus: War of the Damned and Neighbours), who is misguided and secretive, and Cal’s childhood friend Corey Welch (Mattias Inwood, Will and The Shannara Chronicles), who is a senior constable in the police force.

Just like the residents of Orphelin Bay wanting to hide their secrets, Netflix has asked for the secrets of Tidelands to be protected, wanting you to uncover all that this show has to offer, so I’m not diving any deeper plot specifics.

I was incredibly lucky to watch the entire series for this review, the first episode of which was written by Stephen M. Irwin (Secrets and Lies) and introduces us to the world of Orphelin Bay. Instantly drawn into the mysteries of the town and Cal’s quest to uncover them, the script doesn’t hold back as we get to explore these characters and their past, which is bound to hook and reel you in as the twists and turns unravel.

The cast is a sublime bunch that includes Dustin Clare (McLeod’s Daughters and Anzac Girls), Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began and Picnic At Haning Rock), Brad McMurray (Neighbours) and Peter O’Brien (The Killing Field and Neighbours), just to name a few. But it’s Charlotte Best, Aaron Jakubenko and Elsa Pataky who deliver the goods here – all three give performances that make it hard to look away.

With only 8 episodes, Tidelands is a great addition to Netflix’s diverse slate of Originals, and a great start to what we can only hope to be the first of many Australian Originals. It was definitely worth the wait and with episodes clocking in at just over 40 minutes, the episodes are sharp and quick and don’t feel like they are dragging things out to fill in time.

If you’re looking for something to binge this weekend, this is it.

4.5 /5 Stars

Tidelands launches  Friday at 7:00 pm AEST on Netflix.