Blood Brothers set to premiere

In 1993, in Sydney’s affluent Shire district, Stephen and Helen Gilham and their son Christopher were brutally stabbed to death. Their other son, Jeffrey, is the clear suspect but there are no witnesses. He killed them all.

Channel Nine’s latest telemovie, Blood Brothers, retells the story leading up to the conviction of Jeffrey Gilham (Michael Dorman), the man at the centre of one of Australia’s most sensational triple murders, from the point of view of the victim’s brother Tony Gilham (Tony Martin) and Crown Prosecutor Margaret Kennedy (Lisa McCune).

Producer David Taylor says he had to be careful presenting the controversial content of a real murder case. Other recent programs such as Channel Nine’s Underbelly have previously been barred from screening due to legal issues.

“We were really mindful with these stories," Taylor says. "You have to dot your i’s and cross your t’s on all legal issues. And also the characters that are involved in the stories, you need to treat everyone fairly and with respect.”

Debbie Franklin (Sarah Snook) and Margaret Kennedy (Lisa McCune) in the supreme court.

Blood Brothers is an adaptation of Robin Bowles' true-crime book Blood Brother: Justice at Last.

The film was shot over four weeks including several weekends on location at Darlinghurst Courts, where the case was heard. Gaining access to the courts proved to be another challenge, according to Taylor, but the eagerness of director Peter Andrikidis to shoot on site prevailed.

Telemovies have always carried a special degree of popularity in Australian television. The recent success of Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo has given the telemovie/miniseries genre another popularity boost while Taylor recently had success with Wicked Love – The Maria Korp Story.

“Good drama,” says Taylor, “whether it be 90 minutes, or two-by-90 minutes – or crime, as with Underbelly and how it just did at the Logies – good drama is going to cut through no matter what its form.”

Blood Brothers premieres this Sunday at 8:30pm on Channel Nine.