Dust off your mystery solving hat and play the curated road trip playlist as we investigate Mystery Road this week.

Mystery Road

Director: Ivan Sen

Writers: Ivan Sen

Cinematographer: Ivan Sen

Released: 2013

Actors: Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten


Director: Ivan Sen

Writers: Ivan Sen

Producers: Greer Simpkin, David Jowsey

Released: 2016

Actors: Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Jacki Weaver

Director: Rachel Perkins

Writers: Steven McGregor, Kodie Bedford

Cinematographer: Mark Wareham

Released: 2018

Actors: Aaron Pedersen, Tasia Zalar, Tasma Walton

Director: Wayne Blair/Warwick Thornton

Cinematographer: Warwick Thornton

Released: 2020

Breakdown and Analysis

  • Always was, always will be.
  • It’s great to have Indigenous stories being told and have the liberty of being a couple of steps from reality.
  • Brilliant in writing, masterful in cinematography and powerful in presenting topics we may not be aware of.
  • White Australians learning their own history. The James’ family estate has been profitable for generations. Detailed records of ‘discovering’ the land and tricking Indigenous people to stay away from the lake. A natural resource that they claimed as theirs.
  • It wasn’t as if Emma was without blemish but it is believable that this detail about their family wasn’t openly shared.
  • First Nation Peoples knew how to live with the land. There was a code of conduct, a way of living and an understanding of being at harmony with all living things.
  • Acknowledging the irreversible pain to the oldest peoples on earth.
  • Leaders in the community are given a lot of trust by people and there’s a pressure when wanting to speak out and tell the truth. It was heart breaking especially to know that Uncle Larry held no resentment. It was out of her power.
  • To be able to write these stories, there is a dutiful penmanship that only Indigenous people can tell and handle.
  • Within your own community, you can be hurt. There are some elders that you can’t trust.
  • When you get leaders that take advantage, self benefit being the core motivator, they don’t care how it affects other people.
  • Keith represents everything wrong with holding leaders as a symbol.
  • Only people within the community can offer solutions for the community. We can stand in solidarity but it’s the place of the law or our clergy to give advice or forcefully say how the community should conduct themselves.
  • The gradual reveals of Mystery Road Season are wholly satisfying.
  • There’s a running dialogue where Jay only cared about Aboriginal people. And the series stretches and challenges this perception. Would Jay push as hard for a non Indigenous kid.
  • Mystery Road lives up to the hype and the title. With every scene, curious on what will happen next.
  • Mueller presented himself as a bumbling idiot but KT picked up on it early he was someone dangerous.
  • Always be aware of people playing aloof.
  • Whenever you see Callan Mulvey you know he’s the bad guy. No need for great acting or a misdirect, we know where his arc is going.
  • Fran finds herself at conflict between two worlds.

Unrelated but vital points

  • First Australian created and produced we have covered on the podcast.
  • First series to span films and TV shows on the podcast.
  • KT enjoys talking about constants through her Australian TV watching and laying accolades for Deborah Mailman and Ernie Dingo.
  • KT references the example of settlers in Hawaii feeling like the land was theirs over Native Hawaiians.
  • Oti references the fight to claim Mombasa. ‘Discovering’ something where people already exist.