Mystery Road, Episode 5, ‘The Waterhole’

2019 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

Investigating the disappearance of two young jackaroos in the Australian outback, Indigenous detective Jay Swan attempts to prove Marley’s innocence in this compelling fifth episode of the television drama series Mystery Road reimagined from two Ivan Sen features. Local tough-as-nails cop Emma James delves into her own family’s history to uncover a much larger crime, one that has been hidden for generations. 

In his taut, suspenseful script, Lee skilfully brings together diverse characters each with their own tightly-held secrets. We are offered shifting perspectives on the dramatic events that unfold as the script draws on the past to complicate the present. The light, shadows and colours of the Black Springs waterhole are presented as a central player. Lee thus infuses the mystery–thriller genre with moments of poetry and lyricism to create a tense, well-written drama.