I must admit I have been in a bit of a writing drought. The extent of my absence was recently brought home to me when my gorgeous nine year old godson questioned me about my blog. He also had a recommendation for me – Nowhere Boys, which is currently airing on ABC3 in Australia. So Callum, this one is for you!
Nowhere Boys is part adventure, mystery and sci-fi and is aimed at the tween/teenage market. However after catching up on the first six episodes in record time I have to say that its appeal is more wide-ranging, or that is what I am telling myself!
The premise is not original but it is still effective. It begins with four teenage boys. While they are from the same town they have vastly different backgrounds and school social standing. After a well-meaning teacher groups them together during a school excursion and a freak storm hits, they suddenly find themselves having to learn how to co-exist and rely on each other.
Let’s have a closer look at the boys themselves. On the surface, there is the anti-establishment goth Felix played by Dougie Baldwin, Joel Lok as the over protected Andy, Matt Testro as the jock Jake and Rahart Adams as Sam, Mr Popular. It doesn’t take long though for the audience to connect and understand the boys at a deeper level. Dougie may be a goth but he is fiercely loyal and caring towards those he loves. Andy may have been smothered by his family but he is smart, adaptable and definitely not a push over. Jake is being raised by a sole-parent mum who is the single most important person in his life. And finally there is Sam. You do get the feeling that Sam has led a pretty easy life up to this point. Possibly, because of this, he is having the hardest time accepting what has happened.
Nowhere Boys has many strengths. The young cast handle themselves very professionally and the interaction and chemistry between the boys is believable. It is not surprising that with Tony Ayres as creator and head writer the dialogue is excellent and our four heroes are able to easily draw the viewer into their mixed up world. It helps that they are supported by an outstanding selection of experienced Australian talent; from Michala Banas as the mysterious magic shop owner, Libby Tanner and Damien Richardson as Jake’s mum and dad, and Heidi Arena as Felix’s mum.
Six episodes in and I am intrigued. Why is it that the mums all have a physical reaction when they are close to their sons, but not the dads? When are the boys going to share this information with each other and realise it is a common experience? What is Phoebe’s motivation and how much does she actually know about what is happening? What is the strange presence that keeps stalking the boys? There are seven episodes remaining in season one and I am hoping that these and more questions will be answered. In the meantime I suggest to sit back and lose yourself in a brilliant all boys adventure.