Wild Boys drama riding to Seven

EXCLUSIVE: The Seven Network’s next drama series will boldly step back in time, with an Australian colonial western.

Wild Boys will combine horses, gold, bushrangers, power and corruption -all set against the backdrop of an 1850s penal system.

At the heart of the series are four young men, Jack, Dan, Conrad and Captain Gunpowder, determined to keep ahead of the troopers or wind up at the end of a noose.

Expect guns, knives, fights, gambling, romance, revenge and weapons.  Gold, land and power are up for grabs. The towns and highways 
are ruled by bushrangers. The guys are sexy, the authority corrupt, and the lead female, Mary, is a single mother with a business to run.

The Southern Star series is produced by Sarah Smith and Julie McGauran, both of whom are producing Rescue Special Ops for Nine. Smith also worked on The Alice and McLeod’s Daughters, while McGauan also produced Out of the Blue.

The series is due to begin shooting in late March, with cast to undergo training in horses and weaponry beforehand.

A colonial drama series has not been attempted on Australian television for some time, but Seven has a history of successful genre pieces including Cash and Co., Tandarra, All the Rivers Run, Five Mile Creek and the classic miniseries Against the Wind, while Nine had a hit with The Man from Snowy River. There are rumours Nine will announce a period edition of Underbelly, centering around Squizzy Taylor.

Last week Seven CEO David Leckie told media the network had a new drama project in the works, declining to disclose any details but noting it was “fantastic.”

It would likely premiere in the second half of 2011.


  1. this is the best show ive seen 4 a long time on a sunday night and they shouldn’t take it off the air. i’ve wanted to be an actor 4 so long and these kind of shows r what would be best 4 me as i am always going to be in Oz, i ride, i grew up on a farm and i shoot guns any way so it makes me think that this show is amazing and i could possibly be on a show just like it or is there never going to be anither like thar again???

  2. If this show is dropped! I for 1 would really like to know why. Because I know myself a hell of a lot of people watch the show and really enjoy it and its based on australia.

  3. Very sorry to see Wild Boys go it was a great show. Daniel mcpherson was tremendous. I suppose we will have to suffer another re run and then watch the re run again on 72, 73 etc……
    I think all channel need new programes because I for one am sick of seeing reruns and pommy shows you all need help.

  4. I love the show Wild boys, its a true australian show and dan mcpherson and rest of the cast are incredible. Its a great story and its sad and a damn shame that channel 7 axed it.. it should be given a chance to have another season or 2..
    Its a great family show, and sure is a change from all the cop shows and american shows thats on..
    If Seven cant give it a fair go I sure hope another channel like Ten or Nine pick it up….

  5. If you ignore the historical inaccuracies this is a bloody good show. I love Dan, he is a real ratbag. I thought it was hillarious that he turns out to be the son of an Earl. It’s a pity this show is ending, Dan and Jack were Australia’s answer to Butch and Sundance. Perhaps another channel could take it on, or maybe someone could make Wild Boys movies. How about giving it one more season channel 7.

  6. Daniel MacPherson is a little talent riding the horse into a fight with only one foot in a stirup. The left stirup was swinging free when they raced thru the creek. I am no horseman, but he had balance when I think I would have fallen off. On the Farmer fighting off the horseman riding around the house, George had a Shotgun when he took a round to the chest, they were not willing to shoot to kill or injure which is as it should be, but I am sure after shooting rabbit for a feed and roo as a pest he would have done damage to those five (only) horsemen. Love the show but , they can,t shoot for nuts.

  7. wild boys is a great show, with great actors and actresses in it. lets hope that they dont over do it like they usually do in drama shows. i dont think anyone wants this one axed. :)

  8. Its a good show but they really need a better technical advisor. The current ad they have on tv shows a cap and ball pistol being fired with out any caps installed. youd think they would be more carful on putting somthing like this on air.

  9. Let us see. To me it seems like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rush (Jon English 70s version, that was a classic), Maverick and any other US cowboy show rolled into one. Australian history was never that exciting. Outlaws and bushrangers are not to be glorified (or are we attempting to repaint history to be pc?).

  10. How original another story about a hard done by criminal, being chased by the corrupt law. Underbelly in the 1800s, producers should watch Deadwood to get a fell for realistic TV rather than Home and Away during the gold rush.

  11. Thanks @huxta for mentioning the Clarke Brothers real bushrangers the book about them is awesome I am very proud of my family heritage. Kylie

  12. As a great great grandaughter of the one of the infamous Clarke Brothers I am so excited to see this show, bush ranging is my family history. Bring it on.

  13. Sharlene Hammond

    Sounds great! A bit old fashioned which would capture audiences that are over all the 21st century murder/ crimes scenes etc.

    Australia has produced some great films this could be a winner..

    Is there an age restriction for children to audition?

  14. The basics sound OK but really, Captain Gunpowder? Who came up with that ? Why do we need some fantasy tale? Bone up on the Clarke Brothers and their Connell relatives. There is all the blood and guts, corrupt police etc. you could ever wish for. Let’s hope it wont be another farce like “Bushranger” c.1970’s (starred Leonard Teale, Max Osbiston etc.)

  15. Like everything else, it will be low budget and average with the same people we have always seen. Not even based on fact or real bushrangers like Mad Dog Morgan or Frank Gardiner or even Captain Moonlite.

  16. Someone please stop these two from creating anything on the subject of bushrangers/aussie history etc. rescue special ops is the worst worst show ive ever seen- bad writing, stupid characters and ridiculous storylines. and judging from the name ‘captain gunpowder’ this show will be no better.

  17. Congratulations Channel 7 for making the bold move to steer away from cop shows! The market has been totally saturated with cop shows and finally a network has decided to try something new. Packed To Th Rafters is a ratings hit as so will Winners And Losers be. It’s definitely time for a drama series set in the 1850’s!! I for one can’t wait to see this new program! Hopefully other networks will follow suit. I hear Channel 10 has a new drama series in development stages called Inside Out which is being compared to the 80’s Prisoner. Sounds like things are looking up for Australian drama in 2011!!!

  18. Agree @ Alex- This would be much better on Channel 9, they do this stuff better than channel who are always pretty cheap with their budgets and never shoot on film hich a series like this defintiely needs to be shot on. It will just look cheap and tacky shot on video.

  19. Like most people I’m hoping for a “real” version, not a “chocolate box” version of our history. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if they actually had realistic characters of the time, not modern characters transported back. For example, in the early years, there were not a lot of European women outside of old Sydney town + Parramatta, and the result was the abuse of a lot of indigenous woman and younger males, and the development of the great tradition of “mateship”. Will they be brave enough to show this? I doubt it, but I live in hope that one day TV will try and teach us, through drama, about our history, and not be another Whiplash!!!

  20. This sounds very encouraging – an avoidance of contemporary police/medical style programs can only be a good thing.

    It will be important though for it to be scrupously accurate from an historical perspective (unlike Underbelly 2) and this would suggest the need for a massive budget if it is to be done well. I hope seven are willing to put some serious money into this.

    Now all we need is a good Aussie science fiction drama and television may be watchable once again.

  21. Secret Squïrrel

    @Ronnie & JB – I would love for this to be an Australian Deadwood but I seriously doubt that the people behind McLeod’s Daughters and Rubbish Special Ops are capable of producing something that gritty and real. Obviously we shouldn’t rush to judgement, but i wouldn’t be holding my breath either.

  22. I agree alfagirl but I’m hoping it’s more like Rush (the John Waters show from the 70s for those of you who are too young to know) than McLeods!! Now that’s what we need – Rush and lets face it can you actually make an Aussie dramedy without John Waters these days???

  23. Thanks for all the info, I can definitely pass on this knowing that McGauran and Smith, the people responsible for that abomination Rescue will also be responsible for this creation.

    I’m betting these ‘sexy’ guys will be Home and Away rejects, after all, all the ex Home and Away men need a vehicle if their Hollywood dreams are dashed.

    I’m also betting Mary will run a brothel.

    Sometimes I wish middle aged women would watch porn instead of relying on drama for their perving fix. All it does is just bring down the quality of drama with romantic crap and the hiring of actors based solely on their looks.

    Lizzie don’t be so sure. Rafters appeals to middle class families and a wide demo.

    BTW I had to smirk when Leckie described it as fantastic. I wonder if he has ever seen Rescue Special Ops

  24. Great idea but given the pedigree of the creators…and it needs to have bucket loads of money thrown at it – something Channel 7 is not known for. I predict ratings success for a creatively awful show. Much like Rafters.

  25. Yes this is very weird that it is not being produced by 7.

    @ ducko, yeah I’ve seen a few leaks popping up saying season 5 of CH will be the last. 7 is probably waiting for an opportunity where the media will be minimal to make an official announcement. Somethings gotta give this makes 5 big dramas for 7 next year.

  26. That time period sounds great and hasn’t been done in recent times. Aussie telly needs something a little different.
    Such great stories from back then too. Corruption, crime, scandals! If they cast well and put effort into the story lines it will definately do well.

  27. Sounds cool.

    Entourage mixed with The Man from Snowy River with a touch of Deadwood thrown in as well. I’ll definitely be tuning into the first episode. I just hope the series is good enough to justify tuning in for the second episode.

  28. It seems a little dangerous to put a show about cowboys on a cowboy network (Matthew Newton, Matty Johns, Kyle, Ben Cousins…) and then put it in the hands of the people responsible for RSO and Canal Road (and why crow about Out of the Blue?), shows about cowboys and one dimensional adoring women.

  29. This sounds great. Something original, not sure anyone associated with Rescue Crap Name is a good thing though. Hope this is more Deadwood than McLeod’s Daughters. Sounds interesting though

  30. If that team take the McLeods/RSO soapy approach to storytelling they are famous for it could be nothing short of ridiculous. That said, Deadwood was amazing and I’m amazed Seven has taken this risk so good luck to them all. I will, however, be fascinated to see if anyone under 60 watches. This decision by Seven makes Nine’s drama commissioning choices look totally anaemic.

  31. This sounds like it could be great but I’d prefer if it were on Nine – they do the big, Aussie landscape dramas better. Like Water Rats, McLeod’s and Sea Patrol which were/are all shot on film. None of Seven’s dramas are shot on film, they all use video. Nevertheless, Seven might be onto a drama that I actually like from them.

  32. I have to say that I’m kind of impressed. I have fond memories of The Man From Snowy River, and for the first time in a long time I’m actually looking forward to a new drama coming from Channel 7.

    Unlike Winners & Losers this sounds like the sort of ‘appeal to all ages’ concept that has propelled Rafters to such massive heights.

    It’s also about time the networks remembered that there were other genres that were popular in Australia outside of the ‘police officers do police officery things whilst falling in love with other police officers’ template.

  33. good on em for taking a risk should be more of it ten has proved with shows like MC big brother and the biggest looser that it can pay off to take risks channel 9 should follow in seven and tens footsteps

  34. Australian Dramas don’t put enough effort in to pull the period pieces off. Underbelly even struggled with it in Season 2 and that was only what 1970?

    The premise sounds interesting but unless it is given a Huge budget and its having the time and care taken into it then it could be quite bad.

    But I like the different ideas that are coming out for Australia drama. Beats more cops and robbers.

  35. This sounds like fantastic ambitious television! Hats off to Seven for taking a risk and being bold. Might skew a bit old, but Ten was able to make Hawke a hit in the demos – maybe Seven can do the same.

    Probably an 8-13 ep run.

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