Emma Booth, Ewen Leslie explore a dark world in ‘The Gloaming’

Ewen Leslie and Emma Booth.

Emma Booth and Ewen Leslie are playing detectives and former lovers who investigate the brutal murder of an unidentified woman in The Gloaming.

Aaron Pedersen, Rena Owen, Matt Testro and newcomer Josephine Blazier are co-starring in the eight-part drama commissioned by Stan and Disney’s ABC Studios International, which is now shooting in Tasmania.

In her follow-up to The Kettering Incident, Sweet Potato Films’ Vicki Madden is the creator/showrunner, teaming up with Fiona McConaghy and 2 Jons’ John Molloy and Jon Adgemis. Michael Rymer is the set-up director, working with Greg McLean and Sian Davies.

“The plot combines crime, Gothic and the supernatural, a space in which Australia does not do a lot,” Madden tells IF.

“Stan and ABC Studios International’s Keli Lee are very collaborative. They are giving me the freedom to tell the story which taps into Tasmania’s convict history.”

Booth (Glitch, Once Upon A Time, Hounds of Love) plays unconventional Detective Molly McGee. Leslie (The Cry, Safe Harbour, The Daughter) is Alex O’Connell. They were lovers 20 years ago until he was forced to leave town after the murder of a girl with whom he spent time on that day.

What begins as a routine investigation exposes political corruption, shady business dealings, sinister crimes and occult practices. To catch the killer, Molly and Alex must face the ghosts of their past, the unsettled dead that linger in the space between light and dark, life and death.

(L-R) Fiona McConaghy, Vicki Madden and John Molloy.

Owen, who stars in the mermaid drama Siren, which screens on Disney’s young-adult US cable network Freeform, is cast as Grace, who runs a community drop-in centre for wayward kids.

Pedersen plays the head of a police task force with Blazier as Molly’s daughter and Testro (Nowhere Boys, Neighbours) as the killer. Blazier, 16, made her screen debut as Kate Kelly in Justin Kurzel’s The True History of the Kelly Gang.

Madden said she hired Rymer due to his expertise in handling elevated dramas such as Hannibal and American Horror Story, which are among her favourite shows.

She was thrilled when McLean accepted the gig, his first TV assignment since Stan’s Wolf Creek. Davies’ grasp of the supernatural and folklore and the way Madden had fleshed out the key characters impressed her. Davies’ credits include Bad Mothers, Playing for Keeps and Nowhere Boys.

The Tasmanian Government is investing $1 million in the series through its new new Screen Innovation Fund. The investors include Film Victoria and Screen Australia.

Sally Caplan, Screen Australia’s head of production said: “Vicki Madden has carved out her own niche – Tassie Noir. Her new series is appealing because it’s a compelling crime drama centred on a complex and flawed female police officer set among striking Tasmanian landscapes which bring their own uniquely Australian identity to the series.”

Stan’s chief content officer Nick Forward added: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with our international partner ABC Studios International in taking Vicki Madden’s next trailblazing project to audiences in Australia and around the world.”

The Gloaming will premiere on Stan this summer and will be distributed by Disney’s Global Content Sales and Distribution, a part of the studio’s direct-to-consumer and international segment.