/News 26.10.21


Mystery Road: Origin will delve into the early years of fan favourite Detective Jay Swan with proud Nyikina man Mark Coles Smith cast as Young Jay in Season 3 of the acclaimed series.

Screenwest is thrilled to announce that Mystery Road: Origin has kicked off filming in Kalgoorlie-Boulder this week, with AACTA award-nominated Broome actor Mark Coles Smith (KGB, Last Cab to Darwin, Pawno, Will Australia Ever Have a Black Prime Minister?) taking over the reigns from Aaron Pederson, starring as the young Jay Swan. 

It’s 1999, and Constable Jay Swan, a charismatic young officer arrives at his new station. Fresh from the city and tipped for big things, Jay might be the new copper, but he’s not new to this town.  His estranged father Jack lives here, as does the woman who will change his life forever, Mary. 

Mystery Road: Origin. Courtesy of Screenwest

Mystery Road: Origin will explore how a tragic death, an epic love, and the brutal reality of life as a police officer straddling two worlds, form the indelible mould out of which will emerge, Detective Jay Swan. 

“After two seasons shooting in the magnificent Kimberley region of WA, we are very excited to be working in the Goldfields region for our third series of Mystery Road. The landscape is astounding with its red gums and red desert dirt – its perfect for a western like Mystery Road.”

Greer Simpkin & David Jowsey, Producers.

“The grandeur of the past, reflected in the incredible buildings of Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, provides a perfect setting for our mystery drama. We are excited to be working here and the community has generously embraced us. We can’t wait to share this special place with the world.” Simpkin & Jowsey explain.

Screenwest’s CEO Rikki Lea Bestall said “We are thrilled to have this incredible series return to WA, with the support of our State Government and the Western Australian Screen Fund. The spectacular landscapes of Western Australia has helped the popular show establish its ‘outback noir’ genre.”

“The locations within the Goldfields, particularly Kalgoorlie-Boulder, will give the prequel series perfect juxtapositions of breathtakingly beautiful and gritty regional locations.”

Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest CEO

The series is written by Mystery Road veterans Blake Ayshford, Steven McGregor, Timothy Lee and acclaimed Western Australian writer, Kodie Bedford (Firebite, Robbie Hood, All My Friends Are Racist).

Mystery Road: Origin will showcase an exciting new generation of Indigenous filmmakers and performers including Director Dylan River (Robbie Hood), DOP Tyson Perkins (The Moth Effect) and Producer Penny Smallacombe (True Colours) as well as a stellar cast including Toby Leonard Moore (Billions, Mank), Daniel Henshall (Clickbait, Snowtown), Lisa Flanagan (Total Control), Clarence Ryan (Stateless, Wrong Kind of Black) Steve Bisley (Mad Max, Water Rats), Caroline Brazier (Rake), Hayley McElhinney (Doctor Doctor), Dubs Yunupingu (Ready For This), Kelton Pell (The Circuit, The Heights), Leonie Whyman (New Gold Mountain), Salme Geransar (Clickbait), Nina Young (Harry Potter, Clash of the Titans) and rising stars Jayden Popik and  Tuuli Narkle (All My Friends Are Racist) as Jay’s first love Mary.

“The announcement of the third Mystery Road series is much welcomed news for our local industry, which is one of the many sectors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a wonderful opportunity for creative professionals across the State, not only enlivening their passion but contributing to what will be another successful Australian series.” said Minister David Templeman, Minister for Tourism; Culture and the Arts.

Mystery Road: Origin will air on ABC TV and ABC iview in 2022.

Mystery Road: Origin is produced by Bunya Productions for the ABC, with major production investment from Screen Australia’s First Nations Department in association with Screenwest and the Western Australian Screen Fund supported through the State Government of WA’s  Royalties for Regions program. Financed with support from Screen NSW, with all3media International handling international sales.