Channel Seven, Screen Australia and Endemol Shine Australia have announced the commission of RFDS (working title), a gripping new action-drama on a grand scale, based in Australia’s red heart, where the modern-day heroes of the Royal Flying Doctor Service navigate private lives as turbulent and profound as the heart stopping emergencies they attend.
Leading the cast will be acclaimed actress and award-winning singer Justine Clarke (Tangle, Rake, The Time Of Our Lives), Logie Award-winning star of stage and screen, Rob Collins (The Wrong Girl, Glitch, Cleverman) and Logie Award-winning actor Stephen Peacocke (Home and Away, Five Bedrooms).
RFDS opens with a doctor escaping her past, joining the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a day in which a catastrophic emergency retrieval hits the team personally. Together they will deal with the fallout, all while continuing their highly skilled work, fighting the clock and the elements to save people having the worst day of their lives. The question is, at what cost?
Based on remarkable real-life stories and filmed on location in and around Broken Hill, this series will capture the beauty and brutality of Australia’s vast centre where the doctors, nurses, pilots and support staff of the RFDS negotiate the unique challenges of emergency retrievals across some of the most inhospitable places in the country.
It’s also a story about community and people coming together to laugh, to cry and to triumph, in spite of the huge obstacles they face.
Angus Ross, Channel Seven’s Director of Network Programming, said: “We’re thrilled to bring the extraordinary stories of the Flying Doctor to our viewers. This is compelling Australian storytelling on an epic scale, rich with heart, humour and adrenaline-pumping action drawn from the real-life emergencies these medical heroes face every day.”
Mark Fennessy, Endemol Shine Australia CEO, said: “The RFDS is a truly unique part of our vast Australian outback heritage. We’re delighted to be crafting a contemporary and cinematic drama showcasing the incredible work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the gripping stories of regional Australia”.
Sally Caplan, Head of Content at Screen Australia, said: “There’s a whole lot to like about this series. It has a distinctive and well-crafted story from a writing team including Ian Meadows, Adrian Wills, Claire Phillips, Magda Wozniak and Jon Bell. It will showcase remote and regional Australian landscapes not often seen on our screens, and has an exciting cast on board to bring to life the diverse characters. Not to mention the creative team led by producer Imogen Banks and executive producers Mark and Carl Fennessy who have an impressive track record of creating iconic Australian series that audiences really connect with.”
RFDS is an Endemol Shine Banks production for the Seven Network. Major production investment from Seven Network in association with Screen Australia. Financed with support from Screen NSW through the Made In NSW Fund and the Regional Filming Fund.
Production on RFDS will commence in 2020. Written by Ian Meadows, Produced by Imogen Banks for Endemol Shine Banks, Executive Produced by Mark and Carl Fennessy for Endemol Shine Australia and Julie McGauran for Seven.