26 September 2023

The Twelve

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Directors: Sian Davies, Daniel Nettheim, Greg McLean, Catherine Millar, Fox Showcase.

This 10-episode Australian television mini-series delivers murder, mystery, intrigue and a courtroom full of interesting characters. Not only is this crime drama both traumatising and controversial, it is also confronting as 12 everyday people are selected for jury duty in a murder trial where a woman is accused of killing a child.

The shocking revelations unfold from the high-profile murder trial, alongside the stories of the jurors, who are confronted not only with the grim details of the case, but also with their own realities and struggles that will irrevocably change their lives.

The one unanswered question: did Kate Lawson (Kate Mulvany, Elvis) murder her niece Claire (Coco Jack Gillies) in cold blood?

Innocent. Guilty. Art. Crime. These glaring binaries become abundantly unclear. It’s easy to become absorbed in the trial of artist Lawson, with a dozen diverse strangers forced to determine whether she’s guilty of seducing and murdering Claire.

The key players include: Sam Neill (Reilly, Ace of Spies) is Brett Colby on the defence team. He ‘wears the hell out of a barrister’s wig and flashes his trademark rakish smirk’ as Kate’s defence. Lawson – the accused – is a true force of independence, unafraid to defend the disturbing photos made by her and Claire.

For the prosecution, Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King) is Lucy Bloom, who doesn’t pull any punches in presenting the accused as a predator and an outsider. She attacks with a ‘severe, hawklike gaze’.

There’s a curious cast of jurors. Brendan Cowell (Avatar 2), Brooke Satchwell (Subdivision); Pallavi Sharda (Lion); Ngali Shaw (RFDS); Catherine Van-Davies (Amazing Grace); Bishanyia Vincent (RFDS); Damien Strouthos (Wonderland).

Then there’s Hazem Shammas (The Hunting); Nic Cassim (Mr Inbetween); Daniel Mitchell (The Moodys); Gennie Nevinson (Muriel’s Wedding); Toby Blome (Privileged); Warren Lee (Eight); and Susan Kennedy (All Saints).

The Twelve is based on the Belgian series De Twaalf, which was inspired by a true story.

  • The Twelve is streaming on Foxtel

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