Fighting Season Review

Foxtel has delivered some fantastic Aussie drama this year, and closing out the year is the highly anticipated war drama  Fighting Season.

When the series opens, Captain Ted Nordenfelt (Ewen Leslie, Top of the Lake, and The Daughter) is sending a message to his wife, Captain Kim Nordenfelt (Kate Mulvany, Secret City, and The Great Gatsby). Little does he know it’s to be his last piece of contact with her as he is killed in action during a tour of Afghanistan in 2010.

His squadron – which consists of Sgt Sean “Speedo” Collins (Jay Ryan, Beauty and the Beast, and Offspring), who is clearly suffering the effects of PTSD; Pte Jarrod Vogel (George Pullar, A Place To Call Home, and Playing For Keeps), a young private who has found his calling; Pte Illsara’elu “Izzy” Ulalei (Marco Alosio), a wounded soldier and young larrikin; and Cpl Peter “Pepsi” Aboud (Julian Maroun, Romper Stomper, and Janet King), a mischievous joker who loves the adrenaline rush and feelings of making a difference in the world – return home after the loss to a near-empty airport, with only their families to greet them.


As we make our way through the first episode, it’s clear that there’s more to Ted’s death than we are originally led to believe. This story is only just beginning to unravel. However, this series isn’t just about the men and their tour of duty – it’s about their families, in particular Kim and her search for answers, and Sean’s wife Vanessa (Sarah Armanious, Bite Club, and Cleverman), who struggles with Sean retuning home a little more damaged after each deployment.

Leading man Jay Ryan gives a truly memorable performance that is among some of his best work. Pullar, Alosio and Maroun are a dynamic trio who will be some of Australia’s brightest stars in the years to come.

Creator, Blake Ayshford (Barracuda, and The Devil’s Playground), does a stellar job at balancing the action of war sequences and the human effects of it. With a captivating and compelling script that pulls no punches, it gives an authentic depiction of its tough subject matter.

The pilot is an exciting, thought-provoking, and captivating Australian Drama that shows that war is only half the battle, and you don’t stop fighting just because your home. It’s only just the beginning of a must-watch story.

Fighting Season is the best Australian drama you will see this year.

5/5 stars

Fighting Season premieres 8:30 pm AEDT Sunday October 28 on Fox Showcase.