Secret City (TV series)
|Based on||The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code|
by Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis
|Written by||Matt Cameron|
|Directed by||Emma Freeman|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Executive producer(s)||Penny Chapman|
|Production location(s)||Canberra, Australian Capital Territory|
|Original release||5 June 2016 –|
Secret City is an Australian political thriller set in a world of secrets, lies, murder and betrayal, based on the best-selling novels The Marmalade Files,The Mandarin Code and The Shadow Game by Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis. It premiered on Foxtel's Showcase in June 5, 2016 and on Netflix, internationally, on June 26, 2018. The series is produced by Matchbox Pictures and Foxtel.
A sequel to the series called Secret City: Under the Eagle was green-lit in February 2018. It aired on March 4, 2019, in Australia and launched worldwide on Netflix on March 6, 2019. It is unknown if there will be a season 3.
The sequel storyline is a departure from the books written by Uhlmann and Lewis, who joined the series as story consultants.
Beneath the placid facade of Canberra, amidst rising tension between China and America, Canberra press gallery journalist Harriet Dunkley (Anna Torv) forces her way closer to the truth, uncovering a secret city of interlocked conspiracies which will threaten her career, her life and endangers the freedom of every Australian.
Secret City: Under the Eagle
The story picks up with Harriet Dunkley (Anna Torv), not long out of prison and unwittingly ensnared in a military and political cover-up with Catriona Bailey's (Jacki Weaver) fingerprints all over it. Harriet's search for the truth leads her back into Canberra's corridors of power, this time working for a maverick Independent MP. What she unearths is a military program so secret even the Prime Minister knows nothing of its existence. Who really is running the country?
- Anna Torv as Harriet Dunkley, a former investigative journalist for The Daily Nation, now Senior Media Advisor to Karen Koutoufides
- Jacki Weaver as Catriona Bailey, Attorney General and Minister for Justice, later Minister for Home Affairs
- Marcus Graham as Andrew "Griff" Griffiths, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Home Affairs, former Senior Political Correspondent for The Daily Nation
- Sacha Horler as Ludie Sypek, host of a SKY political panel show, former Chief of Staff to previous Prime Minister Martin Toohey
- Justin Smith as William Vaughn, Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate
- Aleks Mikic as Thomas Maher, a junior analyst in the Australian Signals Directorate
- Daniel Wyllie as Malcolm Paxton, Minister for Defence
- Alex Dimitriades as Charles Dancer, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officer
- Damon Herriman as Kim Gordon, a senior analyst in the Australian Signals Directorate
- Alan Dale as Martin Toohey, Australian Prime Minister
- Mekhi Phifer as Brent Moreton, US Ambassador to Australia
- Eugenia Yuan as Weng Meigui, wife of the Chinese Ambassador
- Matt Zeremes as Sean Brimmer, Senior Constable, Australian Federal Police
- Huw Higginson as Gus Reardon, Editor of the The Daily Nation
- Miranda Tapsell as Sasha Rose, a cadet journalist at The Daily Nation
- Brenna Harding as Cassie, Australian National University student
- Benedict Samuel as Felix Crawford, lecturer and tutor at Australian National University
- Sean Taylor as Paul Wheeler, Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
- Kate Mulvany as Veronica "Ronnie" Bordoni, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Defence
- David Roberts as General Ross McAuliffe, Chief of the Defence Force
- Anni Finsterer as Vice Admiral Joanna Hartzig, Vice Chief of the Defence Force
Secret City: Under the Eagle
- Danielle Cormack as Karen Koutoufides, Independent MP for Wakefield, South Australia
- Laura Gordon as Caroline "Cal" Treloar, Drone Pilot, Royal Australian Air Force
- Rob Collins as Lieutenant Joseph Sullivan
- Don Hany as Ewan Garrity, Australian Prime Minister
- Andrew McFarlane as Air Chief Marshal Wes Lockwood, Chief of the Defence Force
- Joel Tobeck as Jim Hellier, Minister for Defence, later Acting Minister for Home Affairs
- Louisa Mignone as Mina Al Masi, friend and former cellmate of Harriet Dunkley
- Robert Rabiah as Sami Al Masi, Canberra businessman and husband of Mina
- Tom Wren as Alex Berezin, a lobbyist for Vanguard Energy
- Renee Lim as Major Helen Wu, Australian Army and wife of William Vaughn
- Benedict Hardie as Declan Boyd, assistant to Karen Koutoufides
- Michael Denkha as Michael Lavelle, CEO of South East Asia Operations for Trebuchet
- Di Adams as Gaelene Curtis, Liberal Party Leader of the Opposition and MP from Victoria
- Christopher Kirby as Kip Buchanan, US Ambassador to Australia
- Frederick Du Rietz as Robbie Lambert, lone survivor of the Davoren Park explosion
- Dalip Sondhi as Yasir Younis, Pakistan Ambassador to Australia
- Rhondda Findleton as Madeline Stenders, Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
- Rob MacPherson as Richard Gascoigne, United States Secretary of Defense
- Fiona Press as Sylvie Dunkley, mother of Harriet Dunkley
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||5 June 2016||3 July 2016|
|2||6||4 March 2019||4 March 2019|
Secret City (2016)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Australian viewers|
|1||1||"A Donation to the Struggle"||Emma Freeman||Matt Cameron||5 June 2016||80,000|
|When political journalist Harriet Dunkley sees the gutted body of a young man washed up on the lakeshore she suspects a conspiracy. Her newspaper thinks she’s tilting at another windmill, the police stonewall, her Government sources are silent and a senior contact within Australian intelligence firmly warns her off. But Harriet discovers a link between Sabine Hobbs and the dead boy and determines that, whatever the personal or professional cost, she must pursue a story that could overturn everything Australians believe about our Government and our place in the world.|
|2||2||"The Watchers"||Emma Freeman||Belinda Chayko||5 June 2016||80,000|
|One person Harriet has questioned in pursuit of her story is dead, another is missing. The conspiracy may be hidden deep, but it involves those who are powerful, ruthless and with a great deal at stake, but Harriet won’t stop no matter how deadly her quest becomes. In this game no-one is pure, but are their machinations politics as usual or do they cover something darker? Now, as Harriet continues her search for the truth, someone closer to her inner circle is found murdered.|
|3||3||"Beware the Jabberwock"||Emma Freeman||Belinda Chayko & Greg Waters||12 June 2016||74,000|
|A shocking murder leaves Harriet shattered but angry. Australian intelligence agencies are determined to shut down the story, however, Harriet has been deliberately left a clue that only she will understand and as she pursues the trail of secrets, finds the pieces of several different puzzles forming a larger picture. People she should be able to trust are revealed as determined enemies but she discovers an unlikely ally.|
|4||4||"Falling Hard"||Emma Freeman||Belinda Chayko||19 June 2016||72,000|
|A sophisticated cyber-attack cripples Australia’s air traffic control for 13 terrifying minutes. All the evidence points to China seeking vengeance for their dead sailor.|
|5||5||"Ghosts in the Machine"||Emma Freeman||Matt Cameron||26 June 2016||72,000|
|Determined to become hunter rather than prey, Harriet convinces ASIO agent Charles Dancer to pursue her attacker and the murderer while she investigates how a Chinese assassin can operate in Australia with apparent impunity. Meanwhile Paxton knows it is not the crime that brings down a politician – it’s the cover-up. He picks away at the threads of the 13 minutes cover-up certain that they will lead to Catriona Bailey.|
|6||6||"The Light on the Hill"||Emma Freeman||Matt Cameron||3 July 2016||68,000|
|Harriet’s story on missing Chinese dissidents may have embarrassed Beijing into returning Sabine Hobbs to Canberra, but the connections to Australian intelligence and the murder remain hidden. The path she chooses will blow apart the plans of everyone – Bailey, Toohey and Paxton.|
Secret City : Under the Eagle (2019)
All episodes have been released on stream platform Foxtel on March 4, 2019.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Australian viewers|
|7||1||"Run Little Rabbit"||Tony Krawitz||Matt Cameron||4 March 2019||N/A|
|Harriet Dunkley is out on parole and eager to leave the swamp of Canberra politics behind. But, before she can escape, she is ensnared in a cover-up with Catriona Bailey's fingerprints all over it.|
|8||2||"The War Zone"||Tony Krawitz||Belinda Chayko||4 March 2019||N/A|
|Harriet takes up an offer to work for a maverick MP, while Karen Koutoufides uncovers a link between the home explosion and suspicious phone calls between Bailey and the chief of defence.|
|9||3||"Pale Horse"||Tony Krawitz||Matt Cameron & Angela Betzien||4 March 2019||N/A|
|Prime Minister Garrity discovers the existence of a classified military program. Meanwhile, Harriet learns the truth of Mina's secret criminal activities.|
|10||4||"Broken Bird"||Daniel Nettheim||Elise McCredie||4 March 2019||N/A|
|Harriet turns up the heat on Helen. Lockhart entrusts Sullivan with a low-key mission. Karen pushes to be part of an elite committee.|
|11||5||"From Whom The Bell Tolls"||Daniel Nettheim||Belinda Chayko||4 March 2019||N/A|
|Vaughn breaks the rules -- in more ways than one. Karen worries she may be compromised. Cal demands a sit-down with the prime minister.|
|12||6||"Two Cheers For Democracy"||Daniel Nettheim||Matt Cameron||4 March 2019||N/A|
|Harriet searches high and low for a missing piece of evidence that may prevent a war. Markson comes home. Karen receives a disturbing message.|
Awards and Nominations
|2017||Logie Awards||Most Outstanding Actress||Anna Torv||Won|
|Most Outstanding Supporting Actor||Damon Herriman||Won|
|2017||Australian Directors Guild Awards||Best Direction in a Television Drama Series||Emma Freeman||Won|
|2016||AACTA Awards||Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama||Damon Herriman||Won|
|2016||Screen Music Awards, Australia||Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie||David Bridie||Nominated|
- "Secret City returns". Fox Showcase.
- Knox, David (6 August 2014). "Foxtel to produce political thriller set in Canberra". TVTonight. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Secret City Season 2 Coming to Netflix in March 2019". What's on Netflix. 6 February 2019.
- "Secret City: New Australian political thriller". Foxtel.
- "Secret City | FOX SHOWCASE on Foxtel". FOX SHOWCASE. 24 April 2016.
- "Sunday 5 June 2016". TV Tonight. 5 June 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Sunday 12 June 2016". TV Tonight. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Sunday 19 June 2016". TV Tonight. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Sunday 26 June 2016". TV Tonight. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Sunday 3 July 2016". TV Tonight. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Secret City Under The Eagle - A Foxtel Original Drama on FOX SHOWCASE". Foxtel.
- "Secret City - IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.