The clients he loves the most – the cases that thrill him – are those that appear to be utterly hopeless. He will do whatever it takes to defend and save life’s truly lost souls. The big sinners. Its drug lords. Its cannibals. Its bestialites. And at the same time, he will struggle to save himself, to stop himself falling back into the abyss that has characterised most of his self-destructive adult life thus far.
Despite his own hopelessness, his wit and charm have won him hordes of companions over the years. Most nights of the week, there is no shortage of invitations: dinner with a judge, drug dealers, or his copper mates.
He tends to wake up bruised. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Usually it’s a combination thereof.
Occasionally he wonders how his life came to this – living in a studio above a café in the Cross, without his wife and son, in love with a prostitute, defending hopeless cases.
In episode one – Cleaver’s lover/friend/confident Missy (Adrienne Pickering) – a high class call girl – has left without a trace, and tax lawyer David Potter (Matt Day), is in hot pursuit. Scarlet (Danielle Cormack), his best friend Barney’s (Russell Dykstra) wife, confides in him that she wants to leave home, and his 15-year-old son Fuzz (Keegan Joyce) draws him into a conspiracy to cover up his activities with his new girlfriend. But on the work front, Cleaver is presented with a case he can’t resist – to defend a cannibal.
It airs 8:30pm Thursday on ABC1.