Saturday, 1 June 2013


Detective Sergeant Harry Anglesea returns to Auckland from his native Samoa after a short break due to a personal tragedy.

Back to work under the scrutiny of the police psychiatrist, he's assigned a robbery homicide case involving drugs and a vicious biker gang.
Harry tries to maintain the precarious balance between his job and his personal life as the tension between him and his teenage daughter is growing.  

Harry is a cop drama from New Zealand, where it started last month on commercial channel TV3. Samoan-born Oscar Kightley, best known by New Zealanders for his comedy work with the Naked Samoans group, stars in the title role. Internationally acclaimed New Zealand actor Sam Neill returns to his country television screens as Detective Senior Sergeant Jim "Stocks" Stockton, Harry's mentor and friend. Created by producer Steven O'Meagher (This Is Not My Life), who founded Auckland-based prodco Desert Road in 2005, the six-part series is written by Christopher Dudman - who directs too, with former South Auckland cop Neil Grimstone and Oscar Kightley.

Grimstone, who's also technical consultant, provides realism to the scripts and Harry is filmed like a documentary in different Auckland locations. Budget is certainly a factor for the sobriety of its style but production manages to transform this modesty into effectiveness. In a drama environment overcrowded with "gritty crime" shows, Harry comes like a breath of fresh air because it focuses on the story of a man and a father trying to recover from a tragedy while doing one of the most complicated jobs. Steven O'Meagher says his main inspirations are Cracker and Prime Suspect. Oscar Kightley succeeds in giving his character a profound humanity.

The role of Mele Anglesea, Harry Anglesea's 13 year old daughter, is young Hunter Kamuhemu's first acting job. Harry also stars Erroll Shand (Underbelly: Land of the Long green cloud), Stephen Lovatt (Top of the Lake, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena) and Theresa Healey (The Blue Rose). Michael Koloi plays DC Mosese "Moss" Tuitonga (Harry's assistant) and Matthias Luafutu is impressive as the ruthless Afa Sorrenson. D.J. Stipsen is the director of photography and the music is composed by Karl Steven (The Blue Rose). His atmospheric theme intro is highlighted by a brilliant title sequence from Blockhead.

Produced by Desert Road, Harry is a presentation of TV3 in association with NZ On Air's Platinum Fund. This crime drama from New Zealand deserves our attention and is a valuable counterpart to the most recent British entries in the genre.

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