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Mystery Road: Origin, Episode One, ‘The Whipping Tree’

2023 - Shortlisted


Judges' Commnents 

This is stunning script on the page. It is vivid, controlled and sometimes breathtaking writing, with pace, mood and atmosphere expertly handled by the writer. With this show now in its third season, it feels like its characters, world and plot have their feet firmly in the format, and this is replicated strongly in this script — the writing is grounded, rich and suitably surprising. As the opening episode of the third season, the script announces the show’s return with a sense of authority yet there still being unfinished business. 

In his script, Blake Ayshford successfully captures the outback minimalist feel – dry as dust but full of strong flinty imagery. His skill in dialogue transcends traditional television technique, feeling much more cinematic in style — sharp, highly individual to character, biting. The script is rhythmically very strong and manages to roll effortlessly out of the previous season without missing a beat. Just like the show itself, the script has a timeless, mythic and resonant quality that will ensure it does not date easily.