Season Three for Aussie Crime Drama Mystery Road


ABC in Australia has commissioned a third season of the outback crime drama Mystery Road, this one to serve as an origin story for Detective Jay Swan.

Mystery Road: Origin delves into the early years of Detective Swan, to be played by Mark Coles Smith. Set in 1999, it sees Swan as a charismatic young officer who has just arrived at his new station and will explore how a tragic death, epic love and the brutal reality of life as a police officer straddling two worlds shape him.

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

Sally Riley, head of drama, entertainment and Indigenous at ABC, said: “The ABC is excited to bring this new phase of Mystery Road to our audiences. The world and tone remain the same, but we will unpick Jay and his enigmatic journey to becoming a detective. Who knows, we even may see him smile!”

Greer Simpkin, producer at Bunya Productions, said: “Audiences have long been intrigued with the enigmatic detective Jay Swan. Now we peel back the layers of Jay Swan, to discover what made him the man and the outback detective we know and love. Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road franchise has come full circle.”

Screen Australia’s CEO, Graeme Mason, said, “Mystery Road is an incredibly powerful drama that continues to resonate with Australian and international audiences alike, and we are thrilled it’s returning to break new ground, exploring the early defining chapters of Jay Swan’s story. With award-winning Bunya Productions once again at the helm and Dylan River in the director’s chair, following in the footsteps of Warwick Thornton, Wayne Blair and Rachel Perkins from the previous two seasons, Mystery Road continues to be a masterclass of filmmaking, showcasing remarkable parts of Australia not often seen on screen.”

Rikki Lea Bestall, CEO of Screenwest, said, “We are thrilled to have this incredible series return to Western Australia, with the support of our State Government and the Western Australian Screen Fund. The spectacular landscapes of Western Australia have helped the popular show establish its ‘outback noir’ genre. The locations within the Goldfields, particularly Kalgoorlie, will give the prequel series perfect juxtapositions of breathtakingly beautiful and gritty regional locations.”

Head of Screen NSW, Grainne Brunsdon, said, “Screen NSW is proud to invest in the ABC’s third series of the award-winning outback noir thriller Mystery Road, produced by Sydney’s Bunya Productions. We are particularly delighted to support this rich First Nations’ story created and told by First Nations storytellers. We are extremely excited to see the new road the team is taking with a younger Jay Swan, and I am confident the third series will attract wide audiences at home and overseas.”

Louise Pederson, CEO of All3Media International, commented, “We are proud that All3Media International has played a part in the international success of this iconic outback noir series—and that audiences around the globe love the character, Jay Swan. We are really excited to be able to introduce the charismatic actor Mark Coles Smith as young Jay to those viewers, and we know they will love the chance to gain a deeper insight into Jay’s back story and what makes him tick, all, of course, wrapped up in a thrilling crime story.”