Seven orders more ‘RFDS’

'RFDS'. (Photo: Daniel Asher Smith)

Endemol Shine Australia’s RFDS is set to take off again, with Seven officially commissioning a second season.

Returning cast will include Emma Hamilton, Stephen Peacocke, Rob Collins, Justine Clarke, Ash Ricardo, Jack Scott, Sofia Nolan, Rodney Afif, Ash Hodgkinson and Thomas Weatherall.

The second season will be set one year after Eliza (Hamilton) left Broken Hill behind, much has changed, with lives at RFDS South East progressing at a rapid rate. The determined team will face some of their most confronting challenges to date – in the air, on land, with each other, and within themselves – set against the isolation, beauty and brutality of the outback.

Again, the series will be based on real-life stories of the doctors, nurses, pilots and support staff in the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Writers Ian Meadows and Claire Phillips, who each worked on the first season, are returning with scripting underway. The series will be produced by Imogen Banks and Sara Richardson and executive produced by Julie McGauran for Seven.

Banks co-created the series with Meadows and former ESA co-CEO Mark Fennessy.

Seven chief content officer, entertainment programming, Angus Ross, said: “We’re thrilled to bring the heart, humour and adrenaline-pumping action of this beloved grand-scale series back to screens. RFDS was an incredible success in 2021, which is in no small way a result of the important role it plays in telling the stories of the real Australian heroes in the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”

The eight-episode first season was the most popular Australian TV drama last year on free-to-air, behind ABC comedy Fisk. It has been successful for distributor Banijay Rights internationally, including Channel 4 for More 4 in the UK, PBS in the US, TV4 in Sweden, SBS in Belgium, Talpa in the Netherlands, and TVNZ in New Zealand.

ESA CEO Peter Newman, said: “We are so excited to bring back RFDS for a much-anticipated second season; and to return to working with our incredible cast and creative team. Partnering again with the RFDS, we will raise the stakes and showcase to audiences around the world the incredible work they do.”

Production will begin on RFDS in 2023, filmed on location in and around Broken Hill.