The first episode was quite good. It threw me in at the deep end with the savage murder of an American family within the first half an hour. The atmosphere was good with Mick Taylor being very inappropriate and chilling towards the family whilst keeping up the persona of someone just passing through. I liked it. You knew there was something very wrong lying just underneath the façade – as did the poor family. Seeing as how he had saved their son from being ripped apart by a crocodile they had extended their thanks to him by inviting him to stay for supper. A decision which would ultimately cost them their lives. Luckily, the teenage daughter Eve escaped with just a bullet wound.
After the first episode it started to slowly go downhill until it became nothing more than a rambling piece of nonsense. Firstly, the police didn’t seem too bothered about a maniac hunting in the outback killing families whenever he felt like it. So Eve had to take on the task of finding him herself. But what about the bullet wound? I hear you ask. It doesn’t matter. Eve seems to have some sort of magical healing powers which enable her to get over whatever damage is inflicted (like getting caught in an animal trap) within a day or two. How convenient. So, after stealing a police file on the faceless killer who murdered her family, off she goes to seek her revenge.
With her family dead she is alone in a foreign land with nothing and no-one, yet she manages to find the money to buy a van. And petrol. And food. And medical supplies. And, I would like to assume, a map because otherwise she must have a built-in near perfect sat-nav. Unfortunately I am only speculating on a map because I don’t think you ever see her with one, except maybe bar one occasion. A bit of happier news is that she finds a wild dog/dingo who she takes on as a pet. Strangely, it is the only dog or dingo I saw in the whole show. And no matter how many times it went off to do its own thing it always managed to find her again. Clever.
When she runs (quite literally) into trouble with the police in a small town she is arrested and taken to jail where she is thrown into a cell next to two rascals who leer over her like they have never seen a woman before. One of the men receives a call on a mobile he has stashed in his sock (guess there are no body searches going on there then) and Eve overhears a deal going down. When the chief of police who is looking for her to send back home and thwart her dreams of revenge arrives at the jail she escapes by climbing onto the knee of a sleeping man in the adjoining cell and hoisting herself up onto a very high window-ledge. There, she somehow manages to squeeze through a teeny tiny window that has no bars on because, come on, who would think that someone could escape through it? Tut tut. Poorly constructed jail if ever I saw one. Seeing the man with the phone in his sock released from jail she follows him to his house. This is a major flaw. She is on foot and he is in a truck. I have no idea how she found him. Perhaps that in-built sat-nav again?
So she is once again free and on the hunt. Coming across the house where the man is she sneaks inside and finds a bag full of money and a gun stashed away in a cupboard. Unfortunately for her the man and his family spot her and give chase until they lose her. So now she has a gun which is good because she is going to need it with all the rapists in the outback who have been starved of the presence of a woman. To say it is stereotypical wouldn’t be correct. Needless to say it is an unfair portrayal of men.
Needing to refuel and tend to her injured leg (from the trap) she encounters a group of men hell bent on gang raping and probably robbing her. Lucky for her a female truck driver arrives just in time to save her skin. Once she’s been patched up and had a cup of tea she returns to the petrol station to get her van and after a lot of menacing eye contact with the leader of the gang she is on her way again. I think it is just after this point that the same gang leader finds her and attempts to carry out the rape he failed at the first time round. Eve shoots him and leaves his body with a flower on it which the police chief finds.
It becomes a bit of a merry-go-round from here with her falling into the same situations with countless men and the chief almost, but not quite, finding her. However, the men she stole the money and the gun from do find her and they have a stand-off in a later episode which sees them falling foul to traps she has planted and eventually leads to her being saved by one of the (very) few nice men she comes across.
I’m not sure how long the series spans, but during it she finds a job in a bar and makes some friends who she is very close with and is even going to be maid of honour for one of them at her wedding. Until Mick finds and kills her that is. She is either the most well-adjusted or resilient young woman I have ever come across. Despite all her brushes with danger and death she continues to search for the man who butchered her family with nothing more than a dog (sometimes) for company. When she finds the parents of another missing girl she suspects has been killed by Mick she goes to their home posing as a reporter to speak with them in the hopes of gaining information. The info is lacking but what she does find is a psychopathic father who killed his daughter in his underground snake room and who then tries to kill Eve. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Oh, wait…
Bitten by a highly venomous snake from the man’s lair she is rescued by a nomad who wraps her bite and waits for her magical powers to heal her once again. Fully recovered, he then teaches her how to use a spear which she learns in record time, becoming incredibly adept at hunting rabbits for her supper. Gaining ground on the murderer she finds a book he has left for her which details the disappearance of his sister when he was a child. Ah. So that’s why he is a murdering psychopath.
Suffice to say she eventually finds Micks lair where he has the chief of police who, at some point in the whole debacle has fallen in love with Eve. Maybe it’s because he is only one of two or three male characters who hasn’t tried to rape her, but she is in love with him too.
The final encounter she has with Mick is both slightly ridiculous and cliché. Sneaking into his house she falls through some floorboards which is, coincidentally exactly where he buried his parents bodies years ago. Spot on, sat-nav. Using her newly found and quickly honed spear throwing skills she tries to hit him but misses so makes a run for it instead. Heading to his barn she finds the chief trussed up and in a bad way. He tells her to run but strangely when it really matters he can’t find his voice to tell her Mick is right behind her. A fight breaks out and the chief manages to free himself of the bonds that have bound him for goodness knows how long and the roof comes crashing down on him and Mick. Eve runs back into the house to get her bag and weapons. Arming herself with a fire poker as a make-shift spear because Mick snapped the other, she is taken by surprise when he throws his hunting knife at her and it spears through her shoulder. At this point there is a lot of animalistic grunting going on which was a bit over the top. Especially when she isn’t injured enough to stop her throwing the fire poker at him and pinning him through the chest to wall behind. Brick wall, might I add. She then takes the snapped spear and sticks both parts in him before pulling the knife out of her shoulder ready to use on him. He dies before she gets the chance.
Going back to the barn she finds the chief who cringingly whispers his love for her in a sickening, banal scene. Returning to the house she sets it on fire before falling asleep on the floor outside. Exhausting work being a martyr.
When she wakes the next day she enters the house which is still smoking, but oddly enough has escaped without its white walls being charred black. Entering the room where she had her final encounter with the serial killer she sees only the fire poker still lodged in the wall. Yep, Mick has escaped by extracting himself from a two foot long metal spike. Does she care? Nope. She just turns and leaves without even so much as a look of mild inconvenience. Laying out the chiefs’ body she covers him with flowers before wandering off into the desert.
You’d think it would end there but it doesn’t. Next thing we see her walking along a road when a truck pulls alongside her and who should get out but the woman who helped her and gave her a cup of tea. Getting in the cab of the truck she also finds her dog/dingo who was found two days before by the truck driver. Not bad considering it’s the only dog in the whole of Australia. As if that wasn’t corny enough, watching in the distance is the old nomad who taught her how to throw a spear. Considering she had travelled across what appeared to be many, many miles of outback, how lovely was it that two of the only kind folks she had met were in the same area watching out for her? Yawn.
Overall I was disappointed. John Jarrett was good as Mick Taylor but he could not save the poor and lazy script. I would be intrigued to know what Australians thought to it. After all, it’s neither a fair representation, nor a good advertisement for their beautiful country.
It has left it open for a second series which I sense is on the horizon. I truly hope if they do make another it is free from the eye-rolling repetitiveness and filler which has littered this season.