Batavia miniseries to film mid-2014

By David Knox on December 13, 2013 / Filed Under News 8

2013-03-28_0036EXCLUSIVE: Period miniseries Batavia will begin production in mid 2014 after Screentime has completed its financing.

The eight-part series tells the true tale of the shipwrecking of the Batavia on her maiden voyage to Australia in 1629 and the the subsequent mutiny and massacre that took place among the survivors.

The saga written by Peter FitzSimons was originally due to air this year, but didn’t warrant a mention at TEN’s recent 2014 Upfronts.

However yesterday a TEN spokesperson told TV Tonight the good news.

Batavia is due to set sail into production in mid-2014. Screentime and TEN are in advanced discussions re key crew and casting,” they said.

Network TEN Head of Drama, Rick Maier added, “Getting both the creative and financial elements right has always been our priority on this incredibly ambitious project. Screentime’s commitment – in finding the right commercial partners – has been exceptional and the scripts are just brilliant. We can’t wait to get under sail.”

Screentime’s Des Monaghan recently told the Screen Forever Conference, “We have a project where we’re trying to get $8m offshore to complete it and we’ve got $6m. I hope this week to get the final $2m, at the end of something like an 18 month process. Thankfully for us the network that we’re with in Australia has been fantastically supportive and have stayed with us and accepted this is a difficult process.”

Whether the project will air in 2014 or 2015 is yet to be confirmed.

TEN’s drama slate continues to lead the network with Offspring, Puberty Blues, Secrets and Lies, Party Tricks, Wonderland and Neighbours all coming in 2014.

Screentime also optioned another FitzSimons novel, Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution, for mini series adaptation in 2012.

8 Comments »

  1. poikilotherm February 28, 2014 at 10:29 am -

    I just hope that the Batavia miniseries is made with respect and that there is no attempt to try and make it sexy like the Underbelly series.

    With the full size replica in Holland and such a chilling story to tell, this material has the potenial to be a world wide classic.

    It is also a story that has a beginning and an end just as the classic miniseries of the seventies had. not something written week to week to keep an audience.

  2. Dayman December 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm -

    Such an interesting story. However it goes need a big budget. I hope they can pull it off.

    It also seems like something that could have massive world wide appeal. There’s really nothing particularly Australian about it. So I’m sure they could get a lot of interest from else where.

  3. PJs Ronin December 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm -

    This episode in Australia’s history has tremendous potential for the small screen. Here’s hoping for a great mini-series.

  4. David Knox December 13, 2013 at 11:35 am -

    Unclear how can you dismiss two of them as low rating given they haven’t even premiered yet? Maybe we can get the ratings numbers from you while we’re at it? Thx.

  5. trev December 13, 2013 at 9:49 am -

    This sounds like something more like it. I truly hope production does go ahead as 10 appears to have picked a possible winner with this one.

    As for the remaining ‘drama slate’, Offspring should keep its head above water, possibly supported by Puberty Blues. As for the rest, nothing but pure unadulterated non rating rubbish I’m afraid.

  6. Jenjen72 December 13, 2013 at 8:44 am -

    I absolutely loved the book. I expect it will be a very graphic show.

  7. MuchoTB December 13, 2013 at 8:17 am -

    This could potentially be really good, however I hope it doesn’t go the way of that other similar miniseries Mary Bryant that aired ages ago. I was not a fan

  8. carolemorrissey December 13, 2013 at 7:18 am -

    Sounds interesting, I’ve read a lot of comments on Twitter praising the book. Now if they could one based on his Ned Kelly book too, that would be great.

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