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Blue Murder: Killer Cop

Original airdate: August 06, 2017
Directed by: Michael Jenkins
Written by: Peter Schreck
Produced by: John Edwards, Carol Hughes...
Episodes: 2 episodes
Running time: 240 minutes

Two-part television sequel to the miniseries Blue Murder which screened in 1995 on. A floating body, a drug deal gone wrong, and two former detectives the perpetrators. Life imprisonment is the end of Roger Rogerson’s (Richard Roxburgh) story. The last Blue Murder ended with his expulsion in disgrace from the NSW Police Force. In this instalment, Rogerson struggles to make a living in a world that’s rapidly changing, caught between the pressures of criminals, police and a love (Toni Collette) that might save him.

Cast & Characters

Richard Roxburgh (Roger Rogerson), Toni Collette (Anne Melocco), Dan Wyllie (Les Mara), Matt Nable (Mark Standen), Tai Nguyen (Detective Filkins), Emma Booth (Julie Wienthall), Gary Clementson (Detective Cleal), Steve Le Marquand (Larry Churchill), Robert Mammone (James Kinch), Rebecca Ratcliff (Henrietta), Tony Martin (Arthur ‘Neddy’ Smith), Michele-Antonio Mattiuzzi (Ricky Hazell), Peter Phelps (Abo Henry), Emanuele Avezzano (Arresting Squad), Jill Deason (Arresting Squad), Glen Robinson (Detective), Aaron Scully (Arresting Squad), Mitch Garling (RSL Detective), Rebecca Hitch (Detective Adams), Brad McMurray (RSL Cop), Shaun A Robinson (Luke bikie), Anthony Brandon Wong (Loan Shark)

Production Notes

In this two part telemovie Richard Roxburgh reprises his heralded portrayal of Australia’s most notorious former detective Roger Rogerson in Blue Murder: Killer Cop, leading an all-star cast including Toni Collette, Matt Nable, Dan Wyllie, Emma Booth, Justin Smith, Damian Walshe-Howling, Steve Le Marquand, Aaron Pedersen, Aaron Jeffery – and reprising their original roles, Tony Martin and Peter Phelps. This new chapter, helmed by its previous director Michael Jenkins, charts the events leading up to his life sentence for the murder of Jamie Gao, with Det. Glen McNamara (Justin Smith). The script by Peter Schreck notes “Blue Murder Killer Cop is a scripted drama not a documentary. Some characters and events have been created for dramatic purposes.” If Blue Murder took a broader view of NSW Police Corruption, including with criminal Arthur “Neddy” Smith (Tony Martin), then Killer Cop zeroes in on Rogerson with all the notoriety of an Underbelly punch. It opens with Rogerson imprisoned, eyeballing the camera, remembering how as a young boy he admired the police.

“All I ever wanted to be was one of them. A hero. And I am,” he says. “I probably know more about criminals than any other 10 blokes in the country. “There are the facts and there’s the truth and they aren’t always a match.” In 1989, 3 years after leaving the NSW Police Force, he struggles to make a living as a bouncer at a King’s Cross strip joint. But he keeps his enemies close and the NSW coppers closer, leaning on mates to falsify evidence for cocaine king Michael Hurley (Dan Wyllie). But Det. Mark Standen (Matt Nable) is on Rogerson’s case, aided by Internal Affairs pursuing corrupt cops Larry Chuchill (Steve Le Marquand) and McNamara, with the latter turning whistleblower on his own. After Rogerson loses his only protection, he goes down with a 3 year sentence for a “dodgy bank account” despite being acquitted of shooting of fellow police officer Michael Drury (depicted by Steve Bastoni in the 1995 original). Amid the bent storylines and constant malevolence, a romantic sub-plot is forged between Rogerson and local neighbour Anne (Toni Collette). “You’re Roger Rogerson?” she asks. “Yes. Guilty,” he admits. “Don’t believe everything you read in the papers.”

Anne is easily charmed by his rogue personality, although it isn’t readily clear why she lacks any doubts. When he is released from prison, Rogerson looks old enough to be her father…. Much of the first part of this two part miniseries is about creating the circumstances to bring McNamara and Rogerson together, given we already know the fatal outcome. Justin Smith is excellent as a nervous McNamara who finds himself in over his head, in this male-dominated story. But it is Roxburgh who has a field day with his swaggering, morally-bankrupt cop. He throws the Australian vernacular around like the phone books used for bruise-free interviews. He’s in just about every scene and chews up the scenery. Amongst the better scenes is Rogerson turning the tables in a police interview with inexperienced detectives, and the vengeance he wreaks on a Long Bay jail warden. There is also select flashback footage of the 1995 Blue Murder, which was held from screening in NSW for so many years. Rightly so, it has since gone on to become one of the most acclaimed Australian dramas.

Reviews

The Sydney Morning Herald, August 06, 2017
Toni Collette is superb. She nails the strident Sydney accent and strangely sensual frump of the printing shop worker whose heart Rogerson stole. But the most frightening thing by far is the man himself, his murderously indignant death stare that of the righteous psychopath. Never has a balding, liver spotted, bespectacled man in a casual beige jacket appeared so utterly menacing.

The New Daily, August 05, 2017
Blue Murder: Killer Cop is the Australian drama of the year, hands down. Beautifully written by Peter Schreck, it weaves together many stories of flawed-yet-interesting men into a seamless narrative and features some of Australia’s best actors. They are ably supported by some strong female characters. Toni Collette leads the way as Rogerson’s wife, Anna Melocco, closely followed by Emma Booth as Standen’s lover, Julie Weinthall, who struggles with her loyalty to justice and to her lover.

Decider TV, August 04, 2017
Roxburgh is a stand out as the charismatic Rogerson. It’s his show and he knows it. Toni Collette pairs wonderfully with Roxburgh as his new love, almost understating the complexity of the relationship with her performance. t’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.

Awards & Nominations

☆   Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts – Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama