Broadcasted simultaneously by SundanceTV in the USA and by ABC in Australia, Cleverman aired its pilot last Thursday and already won over both critics and audiences.
For a sci-fi show set in a near future, Cleverman feels awfully familiar. Brought to life by Ryan Griffen, the show uses the Aboriginal culture at the core of its story but at the same time manages to explore issues of our current world in a way that makes its pilot even more compelling.
A few years in the future, creatures from ancient mythology called "Hairy" are trying to find their place in the world while being persecuted, assaulted and killed by a government that wants to silence them. The show draws parallels with our current society but also winks at Australia's own infamous cruel colonial past.
Talking about the story without avoiding spoilers is kind of hard so I won't go too much into it. In a nutshell, the story revolves around the duality between two brothers diametrically opposed, who will eventually have to overcome those differences in the face of a bigger threat.
Cleverman benefits from a stellar cast, with amongst others, Iain Glen who comes to play the boss of a media outlet. But more than that, the cast is at 80% composed of Indigenous actors and shows a pan of Australian's culture way to often forgotten. Being an Australian and New-Zealand co-production, a lot of money has been invested in order to make of Cleverman an international success.
Cleverman was being renewed for a second season long before its pilot aired, and is already establishing itself as a TV phenomenon.
Cleverman airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on SundanceTV and at 9:30pm on ABC Australia.