SHOWBIZ: Aussie-Sing drama for TV


Serangoon Road, a fast-paced detective series set in 1960s Singapore, stars top Asian and Australian stars in a co-production venture

IN a major collaboration between ABC TV and HBO Asia, the cameras are currently rolling in Singapore for Serangoon Road, a prime-time drama co-production between Perth’s Great Western Entertainment and Singapore’s Infinite Studios.

The financing partners include HBO Asia, ABC TV and ABC Commercial, ScreenWest, and international distributors Content Television and Digital, a division of Content Media Corporation.

Serangoon Road is a 10-episode hour-long fast-paced detective drama series set against the exotic, tumultuous backdrop of 1960s Singapore.

Serangoon Road tells the story of Australian-born Sam Callaghan (Don Hany), whose childhood was spent in World War Two’s Japanese internment camps and who returned to fight in the Malayan Emergency. He is a man deeply scarred by both these experiences.

When his neighbour, Patricia (Joan Chen), asks him to help keep her recently-murdered husband’s private detective agency afloat, Sam reluctantly agrees.

So begins a journey that sees Sam enticed into an unpredictable, dangerous world where the Chinese Secret Society gangs fight to control the streets, foreign powers vie for power and covert intelligence, and the city itself is a hotbed of racial and political turmoil.

His investigations, and his lover (Maeve Dermody), draw him into the privileged world of the European expats with their fading colonial attitudes, opulence and political intrigues.

The detective agency’s activities also quickly bring Sam and Patricia into conflict with some of Singapore’s most powerful and ruthless factions — factions that are not afraid to kill to keep their secrets.

The drama has attracted one of Asia’s leading actors, Joan Chen (The Home Song Stories, Red Rose, White Rose) along with Singaporean talents Alaric Tay (18 Grams Of Love, The Noose) and Pamelyn Chee (Little Nyonya, The Princess Of Nebraska), and a stellar Australian cast including Don Hany (Black Tide), Maeve Dermody (Brothers In Arms), Rachael Blake (Wildside, The Straits) and  Michael Dorman (The Secret Life Of Us).

Jonathan Spink, chief executive officer of HBO Asia, says the series marks the beginning of “our commitment in producing top quality, relevant and riveting content.”

The series is created and produced by Paul Barron and has attracted Australian award-winning key creatives including directors Peter Andrikidis and Tony Tilse, writers Michaeley O’Brien and Tony Morphett, line producer Richard

Clendinnen, DOP Joe Pickering and production designer Herbert Pinter.

Joan Chen is among the stars in the series

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