|Created by||Robyn Butler|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||20 x 30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Gristmill Productions|
|Original network||ABC Me|
|Picture format||16:9 HD|
|Original release||21 June 2019 –|
The Inbestigators (stylised as The InBESTigators) is an Australian children's mockumentary comedy drama television series created by Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope and broadcast on ABC Me and Netflix outside Australia and New Zealand. The series is produced by Gristmill Productions with Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria and the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF). The series stars Anna Cooke, Aston Droomer, Jamil Smyth-Secka and Abby Bergman as Maudie Miller, Ezra Banks, Kyle Klimson and Ava Andrikides, four fifth grade kids who solve crimes around school or the neighbourhood.
The Inbestigators is written by Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope, Molly Daniels, Lisa Marie Corso, Maddy Butler, Jayden Masciulli, Bob Franklin, and directed by Wayne Hope, Robyn Butler, Ian Reiser, Tim Bartley and Nina Buxton. Executive Producers are Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope, alongside Greg Sitch and Bernadette O’Mahoney. The series was filmed at Moorabbin Primary School in Moorabbin, Victoria.
The series premiered on 21 June 2019. Later, a second season premiered on 11 November 2019. The series was nominated for a AACTA Awards in the Best Children's Program Category.
When Ezra Banks meets Maudie Miller, an aspiring private investigator, they form a detective agency run by children. They are joined by two other kids from grade five, Ava and Kyle. Ava brings the social skills and Kyle brings the athletic prowess. Operating out of the granny flat in Ezra's backyard and led by Maudie, they scour through clues to solve a school or neighbourhood whodunnit mystery in each episode.
Season 1 (2019)
Ezra Banks is an 11-year-old boy who studies in fifth grade along with Ava Andrikides and Kyle Klimson. (Ezra and Kyle are best friends.) His mother wanted him to be influenced from a special project, and Mr. McGilick says he is taking care of the school's new student, Maudie Miller, and he, Ava and Kyle are impressed with her intelligence that was able to solve a case without question. This brings the four together and merges an investigative agency called The Inbestigators to solve crimes at school and in the neighbourhood. At first, they were underestimated by adults for being children, so they always impress them with their cleverness and advanced investigative skills.
In the middle of the season, Maudie loses her special notebook, which she uses for writing the clues for all cases and more things, and gets possessive desperate. Ezra, Ava and Kyle decides to help her remember how she lost her notebook to find it. The case ends when Kyle founds Maudie's notebook inside one of the boxes of Mrs. Parides' sports shed. Then, Maudie is free from her desperating possession and gets happy for Kyle. She reveals some photos along with her mum, who died when Maudie was only a child and was one of her last moments before the tragedy.
In the season finale, Maudie is 11 years old and Ava is shocked to realize that Maudie has never had a birthday party. Meanwhile, the Inbestigators set out to solve a case at the behest of Mauide's father Brian Miller, who missed a letter from a conference in Hong Kong. Maudie discovers that it was a case invented by Ezra, Ava and Kyle like a form to celebrate her birthday and at the same time, Ava reveals having a surprise party at Maudie's house and she considers it the best day of her life ever.
Season 2 (2020)
The Inbestigators are back with more crimes to solve, more retinas to burn out, and continue to report their adventures at school and in the neighbourhood, which they post in their blog and became together biggest friends. One of these new crimes includes persons being accused of crimes they did not commit. Then, Maudie, Ezra, Ava and Kyle tracks the real culprit for these crimes and the motive for realizing that. Also, one of The Inbestigators continues to being victim of these type of crimes.
In the season finale, Ezra announces that the group will make a commercial, but then, they got interrupted when Ezra's goldfish seems to be missing, and then, they get interrupted for more two mysteries to solve: Sarah Banks, Ezra's mum, lost her ruby earring and a red bucket. Then, it was revealed that Poppy, Amelia and Ezra's dad did accidentally: Poppy painted with some equipments from Ezra and painted with Michelle's paws, Ezra's dad vacuumed Sarah's ruby earring and Amelia put Neil in the bathroom to leave him with more space. After that, they finished their commercial and watch it.
Season is not out
|Anna Cooke||Maudie Miller||Main|
|Aston Droomer||Ezra Banks||Main|
Taysha Farrugia (child)
Austin Archer (child)
|James Saunders||Mr. McGilick||Recurring|
|Maria Angelico||Miss Tan||Recurring|
|Hannah Jonhston||Amelia Fitzgerald||Recurring|
|Clarke Richards||Mr. Barker||Recurring|
|Madeleine Jevic||Mrs. Helen Parides||Recurring|
|Eliza Ong||Poppy Banks||Recurring|
|Sienna Foggie||Esther McCarthy||Recurring|
|Marita Wilcox||Mrs. Maniaci||Recurring|
|Hannah Leigh Struckett||Pixie Jones||Recurring|
|Frank Woodley||Brian Miller||Recurring|
The InBESTigators is created by Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope, which are also known for Little Lunch. After the overwhelming success of Little Lunch, Gristmill producers Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope are looking forward to introducing another children's comedy to the world. "We took the comic tone of Little Lunch and married with it the private detective, mystery genre (one of our favourites), inventing a ground-breaking procedural comedy for kids. We are immensely proud of the show that we have produced," says Butler and Hope. Inbestigators EP and ACTF Head of Development and Production, Bernadette O’Mahony says the new series will be a hit with children and their parents.“The Inbestigators is fresh and original, every episode keeps you guessing and smiling. And the characters are just divine – we’ve fallen in love with them and know the audience will too."
The creators added that: "One of the reasons we made the show was as a response to the world we're living in, which is increasingly us and them," Butler explains. "It's so toxic and you can feed your narrative of what you perceive – whether it's the news channels you look at or the Facebook world you exist in – and never really be challenged. We felt that if you just start from the ground up, with a bunch of kids and you put ethnic diversity and gender equity and respect and integrity and kindness in there, you can maybe foster something else in a kid when they're growing up." Joanne Orlando, a researcher in Technology and Learning at Western Sydney University says: ‘Growing up in a world of fake news doesn’t have to be a heavy burden for kids. Rather, it requires extra support from adults to help them understand and navigate the digital world.’
In June 2018, ABC and Screen Australia greenlights The InBESTigators, along with Hardball, 100% Wolf and a second season of Mustangs FC. Screen Australia’s head of production Sally Caplan added: "It’s vital that young Australians are able to see their country, their stories and hear their accent reflected on the screen, so we are incredibly proud to be working with the ABC on this significant slate of children’s programs. "The characters in The InBESTigators, Mustangs FC, 100% Wolf and Hardball are distinctive and inclusive, and tell stories that are innovative and culturally significant. We have high hopes young viewers will connect with these tales and keep enjoying Australian content as they grow up."
Writing for the series begun in 2017. The Inbestigators is written by Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope, Molly Daniels, Lisa Marie Corso, Maddy Butler, Jayden Masciulli and Bob Franklin. The advice Butler and Hope gave to their novice writers was to keep the script simple without dumbing it down, and to never put adult words into a child's mouth: "Rather than writing what was funny or nostalgic for them, they had to get into the bones of a 10-year-old."
Bernadette O’Mahony, Executive Producer.
With the scripts all written, all focus turned towards production. With Butler and Hope both directing on the series, the hunt was on to find the lead cast. According to them, it occurred 715 individual auditions for the main cast. In June 2018, was announced the cast for the series, starring Abby Bergman as Ava Andrikides, Aston Droomer as Ezra Banks, Anna Cooke as Maudie Miller and Jamil Smyth-Secka as Kyle Klimson in the main cast. Also, in recurring roles, has Maria Angelico as Miss Tan, James Saunders as Mr. McGilick, Hannah Johnston as Amelia, Clarke Richards as Mr. Barker, Madeleine Jevic as Miss. Parides, Eliza Ong as Poppy Banks, Soraya Briggs as Max, Matilda Hardwick as Caitlin, Sienna Foggie as Esther, Ayiana Ncube as Ruby, Marita Wilcox as Miss Maniaci, Hannah Leigh Struckett as Pixie, Milla Bishop as Miranda, Zakariah Rahhali as Mario, Ethan Pham as Diet, Bailey McMilian-Power as Justin, Monty Henderson as Toby, which first appeared in the second season, and Jack Goodsell as Archie. Butler and Hope said, "We’re delighted to be combining two of our favourite things: kids and crime. Okay, that sounds wrong… We mean we’re excited to watch our eleven-year-old detectives crack the very big cases like who stole Pixie’s solar system diorama?"
The series was filmed beginning on 9 July 2018 at Moorabbin Primary School in Melbourne, Australia, and was pretended to end in December 2018, but filming officially wrapped in November 2018. Dan Maxwell acts as photography director, with Simon McCutcheon acting as production designer. For the studio for the detective agency, the creators wanted originally to create it on the school grounds, but due to not having space on it, they mounted it on a staff car park.[a] During an interview, Anna Cooke says that: "The episodes were not all filmed in order so if we had a bunch of scenes, in say the playground, then we would film them in one go, even if they were in different episodes".
Abby Bergman, during an interview in January 2020, said that: "It’s hard to say because each episode is made up of numerous scenes and each scene is often filmed in different locations on different days. After the end of filming the editors took all of the individual scenes that we filmed out of order and put them together to make each episode. It took 20 weeks to film 40 episodes." Bartley said after 20 weeks of filming, "It really feels like a little family here on set. It’s been a marathon effort, but the kids are just really great." In between takes, the crew voiced words of encouragement – "good job", "great energy – that was awesome" and "you got this – good on you, mate". When a break was called, the cast and extras hopped on the playground to chat about their holiday plans together. Other cast and crew members played footy together during lunch, and hacky sack in the shorter breaks.
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||Netflix release date|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||21 June 2019||10 July 2019||9 August 2019|
|2||20||11 November 2019||30 November 2019||10 January 2020|
The InBESTigators premiered on ABC Me in Australia and New Zealand on 21 June 2019. The series' first season ended on 10 July 2019, being released on Netflix worldwide on 9 August 2019. On 12 August 2019, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on 11 November 2019 and ended on 30 November 2019. The second season was released on Netflix worldwide on 10 January 2020.
On 31 May 2019, the first trailer for the series was released in ABC Me's official YouTube channel and was watched by 35K viewers. The second trailer was released on 13 June 2019 on Gristmill's official YouTube channel and later on the Australian Children's Television Foundation's official YouTube channel on 30 June 2019. A trailer was released on Netflix's Futures' channel on 27 July 2019, and was watched by 33,000 viewers. The trailer is currently available on Netflix website in The InBESTigators page, known as the trailer of the first season of the series.
Later, the second season was first teased at some extra videos from ABC Me's official channel available on The InBESTigators' playlist. The extra videos showed some scenes from some episodes of the season, but nothing has been officially confirmed. The 30 sec trailer for the second season was released on ABC Me and Gristmill Productions' official YouTube channels on 20 October 2019. The series was also promoted with promotional posters. The international trailer from the second season was first shown at the Gristmill's Twitter account on 29 December 2019, and was also available on Netflix.
TV Tonight’s David Knox says Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock has competition. "At just 15 minutes per episode, The Inbestigators is fresh fun and very nearly the next best thing since Essie Davis gave up on Miss Fisher," he said. For viewer Jo Russell, The Inbestigators lives up to Little Lunch’s legacy: "Finally, a replacement for our much-loved Little Lunch — step forward The Inbestigators! Brilliant viewing for adults and kids alike," she says. Viewer Dave Holloway had been co-watching The Inbestigators with his children. He said his whole family had ‘absolutely loved’ watching the series together. He said, "Have you seen The Inbestigators? The performances are terrific, the scripts tight and the delivery spot-on. It’s so utterly enjoyable and well-conceived – I can’t recommend it enough". Ready Steady Cut (UK) considers the snappy pace, fun premise and energetic nature of the show a good fit for short attention spans: "The various cases taken on by the Inbestigators are pitched just right as low-stakes and kid-friendly while being just complex enough that there’s some fun to be had in figuring them out. And of course, this being a kids’ show, most of the clues amount to a life lesson of some kind; there are no deranged serial killers in The Inbestigators, only kids crying out for attention or struggling with some relatable issue. Here's a show that knows its audience well, how to entertain and subtly teach them... Tell your kids about it this weekend," says RSC writer, Jonathon Wilson. Vodzilla (U.K.)’s Brendon Connelly says the well-crafted mysteries offer a chance for all ages to play detective at home."Tightly-woven plots give each story a sleek shape, but many of their beats also pack emotional resonance, or hit the audience hard on their funny bones. This is a crime show – albeit one with crimes at the cosiest, gentlest end of the scale – that makes it a priority to be tolerant and open-minded about how people make mistakes and find themselves doing wrong.
Libbie Doherty, Head of Children’s at ABC Television, says "The Inbestigators launched to great excitement and quickly secured the #1 crown for our Winter School Holiday "Best Fest" on ABC ME. Fans immediately connected with the four junior detectives and loved the twists and turns of each episodic mystery. Australian creators Gristmill know exactly how to pitch the humour to our audience and have crafted a funny, clever and warm series that has already become a firm favourite." In the UK, Brendon Connelly of VOD magazine Vodzilla.co says the well-crafted mysteries offer a chance for all ages to play detective at home…. "Tightly-woven plots give each story a sleek shape, but many of their beats also pack emotional resonance, or hit the audience hard on their funny bones. This is a crime show – albeit one with crimes at the cosiest, gentlest end of the scale – that makes it a priority to be tolerant and open-minded about how people make mistakes and find themselves doing wrong. There’s a lot to love in The Inbestigators… the show is nicely crafted, makes a lot of its modest budget and focuses all of its efforts on storytelling. Fully recommended", he says.
Meanwhile, in the US, Decider Magazine's Joel Keller says he's been surprised how funny the show is for adults, too.... "When we picked this cute Australian kids series to review, we thought we would smile at seeing these little kids solve crimes, or maybe even think the tiny Aussie-accented voices would be adorable. But what we didn’t realize about The Inbestigators is just how clever it is. It’s got a sharp sense of humour with a lot of gentle snarkiness. The snarkiness is a signature of Aussie humour… it’s such a pleasure that it made us more than chuckle on multiple occasions. Our call is to stream it. The Inbestigators is a great show to watch with your kids so you can help them figure out the mysteries the show presents. But it’s also funny enough to make you want to actually pay attention as well," he says.
For Melbourne production company Gristmill, The Inbestigators marks their first Netflix Original production. Following the international success of their series Little Lunch, which Netflix acquired for major English language territories, this latest offering has already proven to satisfy and build on their loyal fanbase worldwide.
According to Vodzilla: "Maudie (Anna Cooke) is an instant-classic character, a 10-year-old puzzle prodigy who comes in through the classroom window and solves her first lateral thinking puzzle before even appearing on screen. She’s immediately pitched as a Holmes-ish eccentric – her first appearance ends with another character asking “What just happened?” – but the show doesn't wait long to start letting us know more about what makes her tick. Indeed, the four lead characters, who come together in the first episode to form the improbable-but-delightful InBESTigators detective agency, are well drawn and beautifully complementary. There's Ezra (Aston Droomer), who likes tech and has an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a charming relationship with his little sister, Poppy; there's Kyle (Jamil Smyth-Secka), who isn't in a hurry to think too deeply, has energy to burn, and who is effortlessly warm and disarming; and there's Ava (Abby Bergman), who brings the most emotional intelligence and sensitivity into the mix, going some way to offsetting Maudie's more brusque behaviour."
Butler added: "One of the defining features of Maudie is that she doesn't care how she looks". "That's a really unusual thing to see on television or social media, to see someone who cares about the way the world works and how people think and feel, rather than anything else. I know with the young women that I'm raising (17-year-old Emma, and actor Molly Daniels, one of three young writers on the series), they want to look good but they're also more accepting of another way of being. They value intellect."
In Other Media
The InBESTigators: Crime Crack
The InBESTigators: Crime Crack is a short web-series released on ABC Me's official YouTube channel starring Abby Bergman and Anna Cooke, who play Ava Andrikides and Maudie Miller, recounting each episode in six steps: the crime, the red herrings, the culprit, the clues, the motive, and the moral of the story. The series was released on 18 July 2019, which only two episodes was released, based on the second and the fifth episode of the first season.
|No.||Title||Starring||Original release date||Viewers|
|1||"The Case of the Missing Solar System: Crime Crack"||Anna Cooke and Abby Bergman||18 July 2019||0.091|
|2||"The Case of the Sleepover Secret: Crime Crack"||Anna Cooke and Abby Bergman||18 July 2019||0.054|
On 13 September 2019, a Cast Q&A Webinar for primary students was announced by ACTF. It premiered on 22 November 2019. Schools from Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria participated in their most recent video conference, which featured Anna Cooke, Abby Bergman, Aston Droomer, and Jamil Smyth-Secka – cast members from the popular children's series The Inbestigators. It was released on YouTube on 18 December 2019.
Awards and Nominations
|2019||AACTA Awards||Best Children's Series||The InBESTigators||Nominated|
|Australian Screen Sound Guild Awards||Excellence in Screen Sound||Nominated|
|2020||53rd Annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival||Remi Winner||Won|
- The filming set was also revealed by actors Anna Cooke and Aston Droomer, which portrays Maudie Miller and Ezra Banks, on a video on the ABC Me's official YouTube channel that was released on July 11, 2019.
- "Cast announced for kid's series The InBESTigators". tvtonight.com.au. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
- The Inbestigators : ABC iview. Iview.abc.net.au. Retrieved on 2019-08-21.
- "ABC greenlights 'The InBESTigators'". if.com.au. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
- "New Series The Inbestigators Debuts June 21". Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- McManus, Bridget (9 November 2019). "FTA lead preview M Magazine November 10". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- Pavlovic, Lily (3 September 2019). "The Inbestigators: Teaching Kids to Get Facts Right". ACTF Blog. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- Groves, Don (2 July 2018). "ABC greenlights 'The InBESTigators,' 'Hardball,' '100% Wolf,' more 'Mustangs FC'". IF Magazine. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
- "The InBESTigators are on the Case". 19 July 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- Knox, David (29 June 2018). "Cast announced for kid's series The InBESTigators". TV Tonight. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
- "The Inbestigators (2019) - The Screen Guide - Screen Australia".
- Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope (9 July 2019). "How to Make a TV Mystery: The Case of The Inbestigators". ACTF Blog. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- Heilbron, Alexandra (20 November 2019). "Child star Anna Cooke talks about her show The InBESTigators". Ed Movie Guide. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- Heilbron, Alexandra (30 January 2020). "The InBESTigators star Abby Bergman exclusive chat!". tribute.ca. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- "Clue in to the Action on The Inbestigators' Set". Lily Pavlovic. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Airdate: The Inbestigators". tvtonight.com.au. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- "Netflix New Releases: August 2019". Hollywood Reporter. Kelsey Lentz. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "The Inbestigators Goes Global on Netflix". ACTF. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- "'The Inbestigators' Season 2: Release date, plot, cast, trailer, and all you need to know about the comedy-drama". Retrieved 7 January 2020.
- "What's On TV? Monday 11 November – Sunday 17 November".
- "The InBESTigators - Season 2 - IMDb".
- "New on Netflix: January Releases". Ajac Bojalad. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "More #TheInBESTigators !! Season 2 drops on Netflix worldwide on Jan 10 @netflixfamily (@ABCTV now in Australia!)". Gristmill. 29 December 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "What Critics are Saying about The Inbestigators". Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- "The Inbestigators Goes Global on Netflix". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- "Netflix UK TV review: The InBESTigators". Brendon Connelly. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- Buxton, Nina (11 November 2019). ""One of the defining features of Maudie is that she doesn't care how she looks, and that's a really unusual thing to see on television or social media." - Robyn Butler talking about #theinbestigators #television @butlerandhope @sundayage". (@buxton_nina) on Twitter. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
- "The Case Of The Missing Solar System | Crime Crack | The Inbestigators - YouTube". Retrieved 18 July 2019.
- "The Case Of The Sleepover Secret | Crime Crack | The Inbestigators - YouTube". Retrieved 18 July 2019.
- "The Inbestigators Q&A Webinar Announced for Term 4". Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- "Curious Kids Quiz Inbestigators Cast in Live Q&A". Retrieved 28 November 2019.
- "The Inbestigators Cast Q&A Webinar - YouTube". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- "The Inbestigators Teaching Toolkit".
- "Examine the Mystery Genre with The Inbestigators". ACTF. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- "The InBESTigators - Awards IMDb".[unreliable source?]
- "Congratulations to all the cast, crew and criminals of #TheInbestigators @ABCTV @netflixfamily @OzKidsTV @ScreenAustralia @FilmVictoria". Gristmill. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "Gristmill / The Inbestigators".
- "BIG SHOUT OUT (pun intended) to our sound team for #thebestigators who just picked up a nom for best sound. Amazing given our sets were inside a tent next to a major hwy and a very 🌬Símbolo de rapidezoval - not 1 word of ADR! Major Símbolo de aplausos to Scott Findlay (Sound Design) & Manel Lopez (Sound Rec)". Gristmill. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "ACTF on Twitter: "Big news for #TheInbestigators! The bite-sized detective series has taken out a PLATINUM award at the 53rd @worldfest Houston #RemiAwards. Excellent work, and congratulations to all involved!"". 22 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
- "The Inbestigators and Hardball Recognised for International Awards". ACTF. 4 May 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2020.