Nowhere Boys

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Nowhere Boys
Nowhere Boys Title Card.jpg
Opening title
Genre
Created by Tony Ayres
Directed by
Starring
  • Dougie Baldwin
  • Joel Lok
  • Rahart Adams
  • Matt Testro
  • Kamil Ellis
  • William McKenna
  • Jordie Race-Coldrey
  • Joe Klocek
  • Luca Sardelis
Theme music composer Cornel Wilczek
Opening theme Nowhere Boys Theme
Composer(s) Cornel Wilczek
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Michael McMahon
  • Helen Panckhurst
  • Tony Ayres (season 2)
Producer(s)
  • Tony Ayres (season 1)
  • Beth Frey
Cinematography
  • Simon Chapman (season 1)
  • Dave Cameron (season 2)
Running time 26 minutes
Production company(s) Matchbox Pictures
Distributor
Release
Original network ABC Me
Picture format PAL (576i)
Original release 7 November 2013 (2013-11-07) – present
External links
Website www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/nowhere-boys/

Nowhere Boys is an Australian teen-oriented television drama series created by Tony Ayres. It was first broadcast on ABC3 (which is now officially named ABCME) on 7 November 2013. The first two series follow the adventures of four mismatched teenage boys – goth Felix Ferne (Dougie Baldwin), nerd Andrew "Andy" Lau (Joel Lok), golden child Sam Conte (Rahart Adams), and alpha jock Jake Riles (Matt Testro). Nowhere Boys was renewed for a second series which began airing from 23 November 2014. An 80-minute feature-length movie based on the show, titled Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows, premiered in selected Australian movie theatres on 1 January 2016. A third series of Nowhere Boys, titled Two Moons Rising, started airing in 2016 with a new cast and characters, replacing the original cast members.

Series summary[edit]

Set in the fictional suburb of Bremin, the series follows four mismatched year ten students—Felix Ferne, the Goth (Dougie Baldwin), Andrew "Andy" Lau, the Nerd (Joel Lok), Sam Conte, the Golden Child (Rahart Adams) and Jake Riles, the Jock (Matt Testro)—who would never be friends. The boys are unwillingly grouped together during a school orienteering excursion in the forest and get lost. After they spend a terrifying night in the forest, they return to Bremin and discover that they have come back to a parallel world where they were never born. Nobody, including their family and friends recognise who they are, and all public records of them have vanished.[1]

When Felix comes into possession of an elemental talisman through the local magic shop owner Phoebe Hartley (Michala Banas), the boys use the talisman to ward off a restoring demon that is trying to kill them. However, as the demon grows more powerful, it gains the power to possess both humans and animals. The boys are forced to work together to protect themselves against the demon, find out what happened to them and how they can return home.[1]

Andy later finds out that Felix is the reason they are in the parallel universe. Felix discovers that his brother Oscar (Sean Rees-Wemyss) is the fifth element; the missing ingredient needed to bring the boys home. At the end of series one, they fight off a furious tornado (the spirit of Phoebe's sister Alice who is the demon) by saying Felix's unmaking spell together, which takes the boys back to their world. The boys then discover that they each have a power of the element they represent—Felix with the power of Fire, Andy with the power of Water, Sam with the power of Air, Jake with the power of Earth, and Oscar with the power of Spirit.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Dougie Baldwin as Felix Ferne (series 1–2)
  • Joel Lok as Andrew "Andy" Lau (series 1–2)
  • Rahart Adams as Sam Conte (series 1–2)
  • Matt Testro as Jake Riles (series 1–2)
  • Kamil Ellis as Luke Hamill (series 3)
  • William McKenna as Ben Ripley (series 3)
  • Jordie Race-Coldrey as Jesse Banda (series 3)
  • Joe Klocek as Heath Buckland (series 3)
  • Luca Sardelis as Niccolina "Nicco" Pandelis (series 3)
  • Sean Rees-Wemyss as Oscar Ferne (series 1–2)

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Michala Banas as Phoebe Hartley (series 1–2)
  • Darci McDonald as Ellen O'Donnell (series 1–3)
  • Tamala Shelton as Mia (series 1–2)
  • Cecilia Tan as Lily "Nai-Nai" Lau (series 1–2)
  • Victoria Thaine as Alice Hartley (series 1–2)
  • Jim Russell as Roland Murphy (series 1–2)
  • Laura Grady as Brooklyn Wansbrough (series 3)
  • Charmaine Chu as Peta Chen (series 3)
  • Shareena Clanton as Sonia Jarra (series 3)
  • Tegan Higginbotham as Quinn Banda (series 3)

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Nicholas Coghlan as Brian Bates (series 1–3)
  • Michelle Gerster as Viv Lau (series 1–2)
  • Zelman Cressey Gladwin as Dylan (series 1–2)
  • Logan Phillips as Trent Long (series 1–2)
  • Damien Richardson as Gary Riles (series 1–2)
  • Libby Tanner as Sarah Riles/Bates (series 1–2)
  • Simon Mallory as Roberts (series 1–3)
  • Sam Sharwood as Mike (series 1–2)
  • Heidi Arena as Kathy Ferne (series 1–2)
  • Pearl Tam as Nicole Lau (series 1–2)
  • Daniel Di Giovanni as Vince Conte (series 1–2)
  • Jesse Williams as Sammy Conte (series 1)
  • Nicole Nabout as Dee Conte (series 1–2)
  • Anthony Brandon Wong as Michael Lau (series 1–2)
  • Lester Ellis Jr. as Pete Conte (series 1–2)
  • Ben Anderson as Ken Ferne (series 1)
  • Pieter Wyatt as Lachlan (series 2)
  • Aidee Walker as Michelle Keats (series 2)
  • Peter Stefanou as Tom Conte (series 1)
  • Phoebe Roberts as Saskia Bloom (series 2)
  • Ben Keller as Bear (series 2)
  • Tony Briggs as Brett Hamill (series 3)
  • Stella Carroll as Kayla Pandelis (series 3)
  • Elle Mandalis as Anna Pandelis (series 3)
  • Fin van de Wall as Claudia Topper (series 3)
  • Renai Caruso as Rachel Ripley (series 3)
  • Youssef Sabet as Ali Bitar (series 3)
  • Francesca Waters as Yia Yia Pandelis (series 3)
  • Louise Crawford as Katrina Buckland (series 3)
  • Damian Hill as Stuart Buckland (series 3)
  • Liam Mollica as Warren Rawson (series 3)
  • Georgia Bolton as Coach Jane (series 3)

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On 26 October 2011, it was announced that Matchbox Pictures and producers of The Slap were developing a thirteen-part youth-oriented drama series for the ABC called The Lost Boys.[2] However, due to copyright reasons, the show's name was later changed to Nowhere Boys.[3] The series creator Tony Ayres conceived the idea for Nowhere Boys after learning that the ABC, which had already enjoyed success with Dance Academy, was looking for a new series that would appeal to boys.[2][4] Ayres developed Nowhere Boys with a range of writers, including Roger Monk and Craig Irvin.[4] He became the show's producer and showrunner alongside Beth Frey, while Michael McMahon and Helen Panckhurst served as the executive producers.[4][5] Panckhurst left her position as executive producer at the end of the first series.

The first series of Nowhere Boys was financed with the assistance of the Australian Children's Television Foundation, Film Victoria, ABC3 and Screen Australia.[6] Filming took place in Melbourne, Victoria from 18 February 2013 to 23 May 2013.[7][8] Episode one was filmed at the primary school and Were Street in Montmorency, Victoria, as well as the skate park and high school in Greensborough, Victoria.[9] The first four episodes premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2013.[10]

On 4 April 2014, it was announced that Nowhere Boys had received funding from Film Victoria for a second series to consist of thirteen episodes.[11][12] It was financed with the assistance of ABC Television, Film Victoria and the BBC.[13] Frey returned as producer and McMahon returned as executive producer.[14] Ayres took over Panckhurst's position as executive producer. Filming for the second series commenced in Melbourne from 7 July 2014 to 17 September 2014.[15] Actress Rachel Griffiths made her debut as a television director during series two.[16] In November 2015, ABC announced that a third series of Nowhere Boys will premiere in 2016 with a new cast and characters, replacing the original cast members.[17] Filming for the third series began in May 2016.[18] The storyline for the third series will pick up several years after the events of the second series.[18][19] On 19 June 2017, Film Victoria announced funding for a fourth series.[20]

Casting[edit]

In April 2013, it was announced that Joel Lok, Dougie Baldwin, Rahart Adams and Matt Testro were cast as the four teenage boys.[3] Lok portrays Andy, a geek of Singaporean descent who loves science and Bear Grylls.[4][9] Ayres, who previously worked with Lok on The Home Song Stories (2007), revealed that he had him in mind for the role of Andy.[4] Testro plays alpha jock Jake and Adams plays the skater boy Sam.[9][21] Testro said that he and Adams both auditioned six times for the roles of Jake and Sam, with both originally auditioning for each other's characters.[4] Baldwin stars as Felix, a Goth who has an interest in magic.[4] Sean Rees-Wemyss was cast as Felix's younger brother Oscar, a disabled social outcast who is bullied at school.[22] Rees-Wemyss revealed that he initially auditioned for the role of Felix but the directors felt he was too young for the part.[22] Darci McDonald plays Felix's best friend Ellen. Tamala Shelton plays Sam's popular girlfriend Mia and Michala Banas plays the mysterious magic shop owner Phoebe.[4][23] Libby Tanner and Damien Richardson were cast as Jake's parents Sarah and Gary, and Heidi Arena was cast as Felix's mother Kathy.[23][24]

In November 2015, it was announced that the third series would feature a new cast and characters that will replace the original cast members.[17] Kamil Ellis, William McKenna, Jordie Race-Coldrey, Joe Klocek and Luca Sardelis were revealed as the new cast members in May 2016.[19] Ellis will portray "tech-nerd and sci-fi enthusiast" Luke, McKenna will play the role of Ben, Race-Coldrey will play "musical theatre geek" Jesse, and Klocek will portray "the school's bad boy" Heath.[17][19] Sardelis was cast as the show's first "Nowhere Girl", Nicco.[19]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Nowhere Boys received generally positive reviews. David Knox of TV Tonight awarded Nowhere Boys 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated that the series "is so well produced and performed."[25] Knox went on to say that "it's great to see a fully-fledged ABC3 production with male leads" following "a number of female-skewed projects" such as Dance Academy and Dead Gorgeous.[25] He concluded, "Nowhere Boys hits its mark from the outset with a clever mix of drama and mystery."[25] Rebecca Marshall of the Sunshine Coast Daily noted that the series features "a fascinating mix of fantasy, mystery, dark magic and drama" and commended "ABC for opening up opportunities for new-generation actors to hone their skills."[26] The Sydney Morning Herald's Melinda Houston awarded Nowhere Boys 3 out of 4 stars and praised the "great talent behind the camera" which "gives the young actors plenty to work with."[27] She concluded, "The result is bound to please its target audience and many more."[27]

Myke Bartlett of The Weekly Review praised the script as "fast enough and funny enough to keep the kids hooked, with degrees of cleverness and subtlety likely to please a more mature palate."[28] Bartlett concluded his review by stating that viewers finally have "a reason to watch ABC3."[28] Luke Buckmaster of Crikey stated that after viewing the first four episodes, "both grown-ups and adolescents will find it addictive viewing."[29] He also added, "it's good stuff: pacey and addictive yoof-tainment with snazzy packaging and a compelling 'what if' existential premise."[29] News.com.au's Dianne Butler wrote that she enjoyed watching the first episode and described it as "funny and kind of disturbing."[30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2014 AACTA Awards Best Children's Television Series[31] Nowhere Boys Won
Best Original Music Score in Television[32] Series 1, Episode 1 Nominated
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program[33] Nowhere Boys Won
Australian Director's Guild Awards Best Direction in a Children's TV Program[34] Peter Carstairs for Series 1, Episode 7 Nominated
Craig Irvin for Series 1, Episode 8 Nominated
Prix Jeunesse 12–15 Fiction/Non-Fiction[35] Nowhere Boys Nominated
International Youth Jury Prize[36] Won
Banff World Media Festival Rockie Awards Youth Fiction[37] Nowhere Boys Nominated
AWGIE Awards Children's Television[38] Craig Irvin for Series 1, Episode 3 Won
Screen Producers Australia Awards Children's Television Production of the Year[39] Nowhere Boys Won
Interactive Production of the Year[40] Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy Nominated
TV Tonight Awards Best Kid's Show[41] Nowhere Boys Won
International Emmy Kids Awards Best Series[42] Nowhere Boys Nominated
2015 Kidscreen Awards Best New Series – Tweens/Teens category[43] Nowhere Boys Won
iKids Awards Best Website[44] Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy Won
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program[45] Nowhere Boys Won
Australian Director's Guild Awards Best Direction in a Children's TV Program[46][47] Peter Salmon for Series 2, Episode 1 Nominated
Craig Irvin for Series 2, Episode 7 Won
Banff World Media Festival Rockie Awards Youth Fiction[48] Nowhere Boys Won
AWGIE Awards Children's Television – C Classification[49] Pete McTighe for Series 2, Episode 7 Nominated
Screen Producers Australia Awards Children's Television Production[50] Nowhere Boys Won
British Academy Children's Awards International[51] Nowhere Boys Nominated
AACTA Awards Best Children's TV[52] Nowhere Boys Nominated
2016 International Emmy Kids Awards Kids: Series[53] Nowhere Boys Won
British Academy Children's Awards International[54] Nowhere Boys Nominated

Broadcasting[edit]

Nowhere Boys is sold in Australia and New Zealand by the Australian Children's Television Foundation.[13] In Australia, the first series premiered on ABC3 on 7 November 2013 and ended on 30 January 2014.[10][55] It aired on Thursday nights at 6:30 pm.[56] The second series moved to Sunday nights at the same timeslot.[57] It premiered simultaneously on ABC, ABC3 and ABC iview on 23 November 2014 with a double episode.[57][58] On 31 December 2014, a special one-off mini episode that bridges episodes six to seven of series two was broadcast during ABC's New Year's Eve special.[59]

International broadcasts[edit]

Nowhere Boys is sold internationally by NBCUniversal.[13] On 28 April 2014, it was announced that the show had been acquired by the BBC for broadcast in the United Kingdom on their kids channel CBBC.[13][14] The BBC also pre-bought series two.[13] CBBC's Head of Acquisitions and Drama Development, Sarah Muller, stated "Nowhere Boys offers CBBC an amazing opportunity to acquire a really top-notch international drama from a world-class production company to complement our existing slate of UK-produced shows."[14] The show premiered on CBBC on 1 September 2014.[60] In Canada, episodes of Nowhere Boys began screening on the Family Channel in October 2015.[61] In the US, the show has been revealed as part of the starting lineup of shows for the new network Universal Kids, set to launch in September 2017.

Other media[edit]

The first series of Nowhere Boys was released on DVD in Australia on 5 February 2014, six days after the series one finale aired on television.[62] The second series DVD was released on 4 March 2015.[63]

Online game[edit]

Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy is an interactive online game that coincided with the first series.[64] It was created by Matchbox Pictures and built by Melbourne-based online developers Millipede and released on the ABC3 website on 7 November 2013.[10][21] The game allowed the player to take on the persona of a fifth "nowhere boy", who is lost in a strange world and has to try to find his way home.[64] The platforms in Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy were intertwined to give the player the feeling that they are directly in control of the direction of the television series.[64] For example, when the player passed objects through the dimensions in the game, the object would appear in the show.[64] These objects helped the Nowhere Boys on their mission and were often key to their survival.[64]

Movie[edit]

On 23 December 2014, it was announced that Screen Australia would be funding a movie based on the television series titled, Nowhere Boys: The Rise of the Bear.[65][66][67] However, in July 2015, it was revealed that the movie's name was changed to Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows.[68] The 80-minute feature-length movie was directed by David Caesar and written by Tony Ayres, Rhys Graham and Craig Irvin.[69][70] It was produced by Beth Frey and executive produced by Ayres and Michael McMahon.[69] Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows picks up a year after the boys crossed dimensions, discovered magic and battled the restoring demon. Having grown apart, they are drawn together again when Felix discovers a magically sealed Book of Shadows, which unwittingly releases a powerful force of chaos. The boys are reluctantly drawn into a showdown that threatens their world and loved ones.[71][72]

Dougie Baldwin, Joel Lok, Rahart Adams and Matt Testro reprised their roles as Felix, Andy, Sam and Jake. Others who also returned for the movie included series regulars Darci McDonald (Ellen), Sean Rees-Wemyss (Oscar), Michala Banas (Phoebe), Victoria Thaine (Alice), Ben Keller (Bear), Tamala Shelton (Mia) and Michelle Gerster (Viv). Angourie Rice also joined the cast.[73] Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows began filming in Melbourne in July 2015.[68][71] It screened in selected Australian movie theatres on 1 January 2016 and had its television premiere on ABC3 on 6 March 2016.[74][75]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]