Underbelly: The Golden Mile
|Underbelly: The Golden Mile|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original network||Nine Network|
|Original release||11 April– 27 June 2010|
Underbelly: The Golden Mile, the third series of Nine Network's popular crime drama series Underbelly, originally aired from 11 April to 27 June 2010. It is a thirteen-part series loosely based on real events that stemmed from the mile-long nightclub/red light district in the Sydney suburb of Kings Cross, also known as the "Golden Mile", between 1988 and 1999. It primarily depicts the organized crimes in Kings Cross and the police corruption leading up to the 1995 Wood Royal Commission. It's a prequel to Underbelly, which was about the Melbourne gangland killings, and a sequel to Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities. Among the characters presented are John Ibrahim, Kim Hollingsworth, George Freeman, Lenny McPherson and MP John Hatton. Some of the characters, particularly those of the NSW Police, reprise their roles from A Tale of Two Cities.
The series premiered on the Nine Network on 11 April 2010 at 8.30 pm, with the double episode premiere attracting an average of 2.23 million viewers nationally, in the mainland capitals. The series also premiered on TV3 in New Zealand on Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 8:30 pm.
The series begins in 1988, a year after the events of the previous series. An intelligent but rebellious Lebanese high school boy named John Ibrahim joins his friends in Kings Cross with plans and dreams of making a fortune. Throughout the series the plot shows how John began his entrepreneurship by working for underworld figures like George Freeman and Lenny McPherson, who at the time were the ultimate kings of the Cross. The series also shows the continuing corrupt activities within NSW Police ranks stationed in Kings Cross, particularly Trevor Haken, Jim Egan and Dennis Kelly, who reprise their roles from Season 2 and Graham "Chook" Fowler, Eddie "Parrot" Gould and Neville "Scully" Scullion.
As the series progresses, George Freeman dies from an asthma attack, leaving the Cross up for grab by anyone with power on the street. A young woman named Kim Hollingsworth appears, and the series explains Kim's story from being an ordinary working girl to a high-end stripper/prostitute. In the center of the series, social justice crusader and NSW MP John Hatton initiates the Wood Royal Commission to investigate corrupt police officers. Police detective Trevor Haken becomes an informant during the Commission, helping the government blow the lid on corrupt officers in Kings Cross, while his family life is torn apart. The other detectives are all exposed and Jim Egan commits suicide. Meanwhile, in Kings Cross, John Ibrahim has become a notable businessman after acquisition of most entertainment complexes in the area and being acquitted of a manslaughter charge. The dominance of traditional players in the Cross like Bill and Louis is now under threat from the arrival of a stable of new characters, including drug dealer Benny Kassab and his violent and impulsive enforcer Danny "DK" Karam.
Kim Hollingsworth decides to apply for the police academy after growing sick of her life as a sex worker. She is approached by the Royal Commission task force and becomes an undercover agent, but her application for the police workforce is rejected after her previous employment history is revealed, and the Royal Commission abandons her after her uses are over. She decides to sue the NSW Police and wins the lawsuit, though she never receives any compensation. Near the end of the series, Dennis Kelly applies to become Police Commissioner but is forced to withdraw after his corrupted past is exposed. Since the Royal Commission, the Golden Mile has plunged into chaos and violence with turf wars breaking out. As a result, a special task force called Strike Force Lancer is set up to investigate organized crimes in Kings Cross. After Kassab's arrest, Danny Karam has formed a gang called "DK's Boys" in attempt to take over the Cross, but his gang members, led by the loose cannon Michael Kanaan, plot his murder and attempt to take control for themselves, their violence escalates with kneecappings of rivals to an eventual shooting of civilians. Task Force Lance eventually pin down Kanaan and arrest his gang.
The series ends showing that Kim is currently living a normal secluded life in rural New South Wales, while peace has finally been restored to Kings Cross. The police and bikies said to John that they will always watch his back, making him remain as the undisputed king of the Cross.
- Emma Booth as Kim Hollingsworth, former prostitute, student police officer and undercover police agent.
- Dieter Brummer as Trevor Haken, corrupt Kings Cross detective.
- Firass Dirani as John Ibrahim, Kings Cross nightclub owner and eventual King of the Cross.
- Cheree Cassidy as Debbie Webb, Kings Cross detective and whistleblower.
- Wil Traval as Joe Dooley, Kings Cross police officer.
- Daniel Roberts as James "Jimbo" Egan, corrupt Kings Cross detective.
- Damien Garvey as Graham "Chook" Fowler, corrupt head of the Kings Cross detectives.
- Paul Tassone as Dennis Kelly, corrupt Chief Inspector.
- Diarmid Heidenreich as Eddie "Parrot" Gould, aggressive super-corrupt Kings Cross detective.
- Rob Carlton as Neville 'Scully' Scullion, shy and docile Kings Cross detective.
- Peter O'Brien as George Freeman, illegal bookmaker, Ibrahim's mentor, and King of the Cross.
- John McNeill as Lenny McPherson, arms dealer and organized crime leader.
- Salvatore Coco as Harry 'Hammer' Hammoud, Kings Cross stand-over man and associate of Ibrahim. It is argued that this character is really Sam Ibrahim, John's brother.
- Michael Vice as Benny Kassab, Kings Cross drug dealer. Albeit the name is different, this character is based off a Kings Cross drug dealer named Robert Daher.
- Hazem Shammas as Bill Bayeh, King of the Cross and drug kingpin.
- Steve Bastoni as Louis Bayeh, racketeer from Parramatta.
- Dan Mor as Danny "DK" Karam, Kings Cross stand-over man, drug dealer and gang leader.
- Ryan Corr as Michael "Doc" Kanaan, DK's Lieutenant and member of DK's boys.
- Sigrid Thornton as Geraldine "Gerry" Lloyd, Royal Commission investigator.
- Caroline Craig is the series narrator, reprising her role from the first two series.
|Episode||Original air date||Timeslot||Viewers
|Nightly rank||Weekly rank|
|1||"Into the Mystic"||11 April 2010||8:30pm
|3||"Kingdom Come"||18 April 2010||8:30pm
|4||"Fall Guy"||25 April 2010||1.500||1||2|
|5||"Saving Face"||9 May 2010||1.677||1||1|
|6||"Women In Uniform"||9:30pm
|7||"Full Force Gale"||16 May 2010||8:30pm
|8||"Crossroads"||23 May 2010||1.650||2||4|
|9||"Dog Eat Dog"||30 May 2010||1.672||4||5|
|10||"Hurt on Duty"||6 June 2010||1.598||3||5|
|11||"Beauty and the Beast"||13 June 2010||1.384||4||17|
|12||"The Good Lieutenant"||20 June 2010||1.493||4||7|
|13||"Alpha and Omega"||27 June 2010||1.800||1||3|
In March 2010, former King's Cross policewoman Wendy Hatfield lodged an application in the New South Wales Supreme Court, asking to view five episodes of the series featuring a character supposedly based on her, Wendy Jones, to see if she had been defamed. Her concern was that the series, which was based on a book of the same name she believed that defamed her, would also defame her by implying she had a sexual relationship with John Ibrahim. However, her request was denied, with a judge ruling she would only have grounds to lodge defamation proceedings after the fact.
On 25 May 2010, Hatfield lodged a defamation lawsuit with the NSW Supreme Court against the Nine Network, TCN Nine Network Sydney and the producers, Screentime. She believed that she was defamed in episode 6, "Women In Uniform", arguing that the depiction of the character of Wendy Jones, which is allegedly based on her, engaged in an affair with Ibrahim had defamed her and caused her "to be bought into hatred, ridicule and contempt" and "gravely injured her character". The case was to be heard on 22 June.
On 21 December 2010 Hatfield succeeded in a defamation suit against the publishers of Underbelly: The Golden Mile, the tie-in book to the series, being awarded $59,000 in damages.
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