Amazon Prime Video is returning one of our favourite Australian dramas with Back to the Rafters and 6 brand new episodes.
In a TV Blackbox: One on One podcast first, I chat to two television icons. First, creator and writer of Packed/Back to the Rafters Bevan Lee and then secondly Dave Rafter himself, Erik Thomson.
In the first part Bevan Lee chats about:
- the complexities of writing the new iteration of Rafters
- the overall theme of the 6 episodes
- a look at the key characters and how they are re introduced
- Michael Caton’s performance as a dementia patient
- recasting the role of Rachel Rafter
- other favourites returning
- Libby Tanner’s character
- how the Amazon deal happened
- Between Two Worlds
- possibility of season 2 of Rafters
- the magic ingredients of a reboot
In the second part Erik Thomson chats about:
- any hesitancy in returning to the show
- the reunion with the cast
- what is in store for Dave and Julie
- how the show came back together
- who was missed in the reunion
- reuniting with Libby Tanner (from All Saints and Pacific Drive)
- difference between making the show with Amazon as opposed as to with Seven
- meeting now wife Caitlin McDougall
- working with Caitlin on The Alice
- Always Greener
- who is the most popular out of Dave Rafter, George Turner and Mitch Stevens?
- Aftertaste on ABC
- next projects
- the “missing” Logie
Back to the Rafters picks up six years on from when we last saw the Rafter family. Dave (Erik Thomson) and Julie (Rebecca Gibney) have created a new life in the country with youngest daughter Ruby (Willow Speers).
As everyone comes together in Sydney to celebrate Dave and Julie’s 35th Anniversary, history repeats and circumstances force them all to cram into Ben’s two-bedroom home – once again packed to the-you-know-what. During the visit it becomes apparent that the older Rafter children are facing new challenges with Ben (Hugh Sheridan) recently married to Cassie (HaiHa Le) and hoping to start a family, Nathan (Angus McLaren) trying to do it all as a single dad to Edward (Kaspar Frost) and Rachel (Georgina Haig) living a secret life in New York. Granddad Ted (Michael Caton) struggles to find his place, Julie wrestles with the pain of being absent from the rest of the family, whilst Dave treasures his Buradeena easy lifestyle finding a new mate in his young employee, Paddo (Aaron L. McGrath) who shares his love of motocross racing.
Dave and Julie Rafter’s country-town happiness is brought sharply into question when the city reunion reveals crises in the lives of the rest of the family. What will this mean for Australia’s favourite Mum and Dad? Whether they are crammed under the same roof, or spread out across different cities, towns or countries, the same honesty, love and laughter bonds them all and we see that even as life moves on, family doesn’t.
Created by Bevan Lee, Back to the Rafters was commissioned by Amazon Studios and produced by Seven Studios for Amazon Prime members in over 240 countries and territories. The series is written by Bevan Lee, Margaret Wilson, Trent Atkinson and Katherine Thomson, directed by Jeremy Sims, Lynn Hegarty and Catherine Millar and executive produced by Julie McGuaran, alongside Series Producer Chris Martin-Jones, Co-producer Lesley Parker and Associate Producer Katherine Thomson.
Back to the Rafters – September 17th on Amazon Prime Video
Special thanks to Julia Murray at Amazon Prime Video for organizing the interviews
You can catch other recent podcasts here:
Dan Ewing (SAS Australia)
Michael Carrington (Head of Entertainment and Specialist at the ABC)
Angus Ross (Director of Programming at the Seven Network)
Alex Hayes (Celebrity Apprentice and social media influencer)
Nick Bracks (ex Neighbours star and mental heath advocate)
Tony Barber (Australian game show royalty)