Wildside (TV series)

Wildside is an Australian police procedural television series broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 1997 to 1999.

Created byMichael Jenkins
Ben Gannon
StarringTony Martin
Rachael Blake
Alex Dimitriades
Aaron Pedersen
Jessica Napier
Abbie Cornish
Mary Coustas
Theme music composerPeter Best
Country of originAustralia
No. of episodes60
Executive producer(s)Ben Gannon
Michael Jenkins
Andy Lloyd James
Producer(s)Steve Knapman
Running time50 minutes
Production company(s)Gannon Jenkins Television Pty Ltd
Original networkABC TV
Picture format4:3
Original release23 November 1997 
2 July 1999

The show consisted of a one-hour format that followed police interactions in inner Sydney. It starred Rachael Blake, Tony Martin, Richard Carter and Alex Dimitriades.

The series was filmed in Sydney. It was characterised by its use of ad lib dialogue and hand held camera work. It won several Logie Awards, including Silver Logies for outstanding work by Rachael Blake and Tony Martin for acting, as well as the Most Outstanding Miniseries Logie in 1998. It was also nominated for several Australian Film Institute Awards.[1]

Cast and characters

Wildside featured several regular characters from the police force and an inner-city crisis centre.

The regular cast included Tony Martin, Rachael Blake, Aaron Pedersen, Jessica Napier and Alex Dimitriades. Martin starred as Detective Bill McCoy with Dimitriadis joining him a third of the way through the first series as his partner, Detective Charlie Coustos.[2] Pedersen, Napier and Blake portrayed the staff at the crisis centre. Detectives McCoy and Coustos were often called upon to investigate clients of the centre, creating tensions with its staff.[3] Richard Carter appeared in several episodes as a fellow officer Detective Brian Deakin critical of Coustos.[4] Abi Tucker joined the show at the beginning of the second season, playing Kate Holbeck, a colleague of Coustos (and his girlfriend) and McCoy. Mary Coustas joined the series in a regular role late in its run, appearing in the last ten episodes; her character replacing Aaron Pedersen's as the crisis centre's resident lawyer.[5]

The recurring cast includes:

  • Tony Martin as Bill McCoy, a former detective who comes to Sydney looking for his missing son and is persuaded to rejoin the police.
  • Alex Dimitriades as Detective Charlie Coustos, McCoy's partner.
  • Rachael Blake as Maxine Summers, a doctor who runs a community crisis centre.
  • Aaron Pedersen as Vince Cellini, a lawyer at the crisis centre.
  • Jessica Napier as Gerry Davis, the receptionist at the crisis centre.
  • Mary Coustas as Louise Arden, Vince Cellini's replacement in the last series.
  • Abbie Cornish as Simone Summers, Maxine's daughter.

Martin, Blake, Pedersen and Napier were the only actors to appear in every episode. Martin and Blake began an off screen relationship during show's run and married in 2003.

Production and broadcast

Wildside was originally produced a 2-part miniseries created by Michael Jenkins and Ben Gannon. It was broadcast on 23 and 24 November 1997.

A further 36 episodes were broadcast between February and September 1998. A second series of 20 episodes was broadcast between February and July 1999.

In repeats and syndication, the miniseries was edited into the first four episodes of the 40 episode first series.

The style of production was very similar to Jenkins' earlier series Scales of Justice and Blue Murder, particularly the "observational" use of multiple hand-held cameras and the density of semi-improvised dialogue.[6] Many of the cast had previously worked with Jenkins in Blue Murder.

DVD release

The series has been released by the ABC on DVD in three volumes, each containing 20 episodes across 5 discs.[7]

Awards and nominations

Year Awards Category Nominee Result
1998Logie AwardsMost Outstanding Actor in a SeriesTony MartinWon
Most Outstanding Mini-series or Movie Made for TelevisionWildsideWon
Most Outstanding Actress in a SeriesRachael BlakeNominated
AFI AwardsBest Screenplay in a Television DramaTim Pye (for episode 17)Won
Best Achievement in Direction in a Television DramaPeter Andrikidis (for episode 17)Won
Best Mini-Series or TelefeatureSteve KnapmanWon
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Television DramaRachael BlakeWon
Best Episode in a Television Drama SeriesSteve Knapman (for episode 17)Won
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Television DramaTony MartinNominated
APRA AwardsBest TV ThemePeter BestWon
Australian Screen Sound GuildBest Sound in a Television Drama SeriesFor episodes 35 and 36Won
1999Logie AwardsMost Outstanding Actor in a SeriesTony Martin
Tied with David Wenham
Most Outstanding Actress in a SeriesRachael BlakeNominated
Most Outstanding Drama SeriesWildsideNominated
AFI AwardsBest Episode in a Television Drama SeriesSteve Knapman (for episode 59)Won
Young Actor's AwardAbbie Cornish (for episode 59)Won
Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television DramaSamuel Johnson (for episode 59)Nominated
Best Screenplay in a Television DramaKris Wyld (for episode 59)Nominated
Best Direction in a Television DramaPeter Andrikidis (for episode 59)Nominated
Australian Screen Sound GuildBest Achievement in Sound in a TV Drama SeriesFor episode 59Won

See also


  1. Awards for Wildside on IMDb
  2. "Wildside series 1". Australian Television Information Archive. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  3. "Wildside". Australian Television Information Archive. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  4. Full cast and crew for Wildside at the Internet Movie Database
  5. "Wildside series 2". Australian Television Information Archive. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  6. "Curator's notes for Wildside". Australian Screen - National Film and Sound Archive.
  7. "Wildside (1997) – Volume 1: Episodes 1–20 (5 Disc Set)". EzyDVD. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
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