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REVIEW - Blue Murder: Killer Cop

ReviewSteve Molk

Roxburgh as Roger Rogerson
Image - Seven

Roger Rogerson is a sad old man currently serving a life term for the murder of Jamie Gao. As a Detective in the New South Wales Police Force he was highly decorated, while also found to be corrupt and implicated in but not convicted of murder, bribery, assault and dealing drugs. He has profited from a career under a cloud by playing on society's current obsession with stories of "the good old days of crime and policing".

As the subject of a TV mini-series, and when played by Richard Roxburgh, he's never been more charming. Or old - the make-up team performing their special brand of magic.

Seven's sequel to the ABC's 1995 series Blue Murder drops us into Rogerson's cell in the modern day and then spends a good 15 minutes Back-to-the-Future-ing his life (including some great inclusions from the original series to maintain the flashback authenticity) as he re-tells where he came from, and to allow the story of how the septuagenarian ended up in prison to play out over the two episodes.

Roxburgh is a stand out as the charismatic Rogerson. It's his show and he knows it. The narration offered in character often makes the scene more chilling knowing how relaxed he is about what is about to transpire. An ugly character in these good hands delivers a deft performance.

Director Michael Jenkins (who also directed Roxburgh in the original series) presents a tale well told with a cast largely borrowed from every Underbelly/esque series ever. Matt Nable is always a stand out and doesn't disappoint; the same with Day Wyllie & Aaron Pederson (despite a criminal lack of screen time). Toni Colette pairs wonderfully with Roxburgh as his new love, almost understating the complexity of the relationship with her performance.

Add in the likes of Damian Walshe-Howling (Underbelly), Justin Smith (Underbelly), Andrew Ryan (Underbelly) & Robert Mammone (Fat Tony & Co) for a rogues gallery of some of the best Australian acting has to offer.

Tony Martin & Peter Phelps also reprise their roles (Neddy Smith & Graham Henry respectively).

It's sharp, punchy and to the point. Blue Murder: Killer Cop leans hard on the current true crime trend and delivers a solid, if at times plodding, dramatic re-telling of the later parts of Rogerson's inglorious life.

Blue Murder: Killer Cop starts Sun 6 Aug 8:30pm on Seven.
Concludes Mon 7 Aug 8:45pm.