Scott Ryan plots the next chapters of Ray Shoesmith’s adventures


Scott Ryan in ‘Mr Inbetween.’

In the heart-wrenching climactic scene of the last episode of Mr Inbetween, Scott Ryan’s Ray Shoesmith carried out the mercy killing of his brother then torched the house.

So what is next for the troubled hit man and single father as Ryan maps out the third season of the FX/Fox Showcase drama laced with dark humour?

Without spoilers, the show’s star, creator and writer tells IF: “Season three will probably be more like season one in tone; it won’t be as dark as season two. But there will also be room for some pretty dark stuff.”

Justin Rosniak as Ray’s gormless best friend Gary will be even more prominent in the new season. Also returning are Chika Yasumura as his daughter Brittany and, he hopes, Damon Herriman as his boss, nightclub owner Freddy.

Ryan is still weighing up whether there will be scope for Brooke Satchwell as Ray’s ex-girlfriend Ally. Their relationship ended when Ray hurled her brother through a sliding glass door at a family party, simply because he took a present that was meant for Brittany.

In addition, he plans to introduce new characters and is considering bringing back some cast members from the first series.

Nash Edgerton, who directed the first two series, is expected to take the reins again, produced by Jungle Entertainment, Pariah Productions’ Michele Bennett and Blue-Tongue Films.

The exact number of episodes is to be determined. Ryan is at the first draft stage, working with notes of storylines and scenes, and he already knows the end-point. He hopes to complete the scripts in time to start shooting before the end of the year.

Nicholas Cassim, who played Ray’s brother Bruce, stood outside the burning building in that final scene, prompting him to yell out, “Get out Bruce!” Cassim is such a fine actor that Ryan has had second thoughts about writing him out of the show.

Scott Ryan as Ray Shoesmith and Chika Yasumura as Brittany (Photo credit: Jordan Kirk/FX).

Ryan was exhausted and needed a break after he wrapped the second season so he set off to drive around Australia in his campervan. The scripting phase was so intense he got by with as little as four hours sleep on some nights.

Cast and crew actually shot enough for 13 episodes but edited that down to 11. He likens the process of churning out those episodes to writing three or four feature films in the space of six months.

He’s chuffed to know the first two seasons have reached a broader audience in the US on Hulu after the Walt Disney Co. bought FX and other Fox entertainment assets, and have been screened in multiple international territories.

“If you had told me 15 years ago when I did The Magician (the mockumentary which later spawned Mr Inbetween) that I’d have a show on Disney, I’d have fallen off my chair,” he says.

Ryan acknowledges the series treads a fine line between asking audiences to root for the protagonist and condemning the violence he administers to his victims.

“I see the good in the guy,” he says. “I have to believe that to play him.”