Foxtel in partnership with Sky UK and See-Saw Films has today announced production of a major new Australian drama series, The End, starring internationally acclaimed actresses Frances O’Connor (The Missing, Mr Selfridge) and Dame Harriet Walter (The Crown, Succession).
Created and written by Samantha Strauss, The End is about three generations of a family with separate but intersecting obsessions – trying to figure out how to die with dignity, live with none and make it count.
The announcement comes at a key time for Foxtel with popular drama A Place To Call Home currently airing its final season, while Wentworth is expected wrap-up in 2019.
English born, Australian actress, Frances O’Connor plays Dr Kate Brennan, a senior registrar specialising in Palliative Care medicine. Euthanasia is a hot-button topic in Kate’s field of work and Kate is passionate in her opposition. On the other side of the world, Kate’s mother Edie Henley (Walter) is just as passionate about her right to die. Kate has little choice but to ship Edie out from England and deposit her in a nearby retirement village - Edie’s worst nightmare.
While Kate struggles with her own problems, her children are trying to work out who they are, and who they want to be. The End is about Kate and Edie’s stumbling, fractious journey as they find their way back to a relationship. It’s a story about parents and children, ethics and emotion, and mostly how it’s never too late to start again.
The cast will also feature Noni Hazlehurst (A Place to Call Home), Robyn Nevin (Top of the Lake), Luke Arnold (Black Sails), John Waters (Offspring), Alex Dimitriades (Secret City) Roy Billing (Rake) and young Australian actors Morgana Davies (Devil’s Playground) and Ingrid Torelli (Matilda).
The series will be filmed on location with assistance from the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland.
Foxtel’s Head of Drama Penny Win said: “Commissioning The End was a wonderful opportunity for Foxtel and we’re excited to be collaborating with our colleagues at Sky on this, our joint first co-commission. The End will present a universal story that affects us all, with Sam Strauss’s beautiful storytelling being brought to life by an exceptionally talented cast and crew.”
“It’s thrilling to be returning home to Australia to be part of such an original series and to be playing a character as complex, interesting and conflicted as Dr Kate Brennan,” Frances O’Connor said.
“This is a really original project and I can’t wait to get stuck in to the character of Edie who is not quite like any other part I’ve played. Exciting,” Harriet Walter said.
Set-up director is Jessica M Thompson, whose feature directing debut, The Light of the Moon, had its world premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in the US in 2017, where it won the audience award for best narrative feature. Jonathan Brough (Rosehaven) will also direct.
Production begins in October. The series will air on Fox Showcase on Foxtel in Australia, on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV in the UK and Ireland during 2019.