TV Review – SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed, Part 1

TL;DR – Twenty years is a long time and while it is good to be back in Pearl Bay, some of the characters dragged us back to the 20th century.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed. Image Credit: Channel 9.


Let me take you back in time, a whole twenty years ago, which seems a lifetime now that I think about it. It was a quieter time in life, we had not yet dealt with either the millennium or even the Willennium yet. However, down here in Australia everyone and their mum’s was riveted by the story of the lost magistrate and her Diver Dan. A lot has changed in those preceding years, both in the real world, and the fictional one of the show, and it will be interesting to see if lighting can hit twice again.

So to set the scene, we open in with Laura Gibson (Sigrid Thornton) who is volunteering somewhere in Africa and not getting along with everyone, or anyone. She is throwing herself into her work to kind of distract herself for the fact that her marriage is tenuous at best, her daughter is in and out of trouble and that her career is not really going anywhere. After upsetting enough people the aid agency firers her and has her visa cancelled so she is forced to fly back to Australia to get it sorted out. With some time to kill, she decides to come back to Pearl Bay to visit her other daughter Miranda (Brooke Satchwell) who still lives there. Only to find out a lot has changed, such as her house got washed away.

SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed. Image Credit: Channel 9.
One of the things tonight’s episode shows is that Brooke Satchwell should be in more things. Image Credit: Channel 9.

Where a show like this will excel or fail is in its characters, you either want to hear their stories or not. Well in the first episode it was a bit of a mixed bag with some interesting performances and some baffling ones as well. To begin with, Brooke Satchwell is an instant presence in the show commanding every scene she is in. I really liked the banter she has with Anna (Katrina Milosevic) who is another of the highlights of the show. Add to this Darren McMullen doing his best Ursula Andress or Daniel Craig, which I am sure will get more than a few people’s attention. One area that really didn’t work for me was the main character, Laura Gibson. I know that they are setting her up as being in a rut and that coming back will be rejuvenating for her. But in this episode, she was almost Gilmore Girls movie frustrating. As well as this, I am sure comically evil Bob Jelly (John Howard) was amusing first time around, but here he felt like a character from a different era, and not in a good way.   

The story so far feels a lot like it is part Legacy filmmaking and part grabbing at all the current concerns for island communities. This blend created a really interesting set up for the show because it was able to get rolling a lot of the building drama that will likely be the focus of the season. It also never hurts to have a torrential thunderstorm to mix things up. I was good that the show is exploring the environment and climate change but contrasting it with the need for small communities to have jobs and a future. It helps that they are filming the show in a really gorgeous location which elevates everything that is going on. But on that note, we know it is nice, so maybe dial back a bit on the establishing shots.

SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed. Image Credit: Channel 9.
Not everything in the show worked, as was seen in the opening.

In the end, do we recommend the relaunch of SeaChange? Yes, we would, even with its issues. It is a bit rough around the edges, but when it works, it works really well. It also does everything a pilot needed to do, gives us our main characters, hint as to the main focus of the series, and give you the sense as what you can expect to come in the future.          

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen SeaChange yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of SeaChange
Directed by
– Wayne Blair
Written by – Deb Cox
Created by – Andrew Knight & Deborah Cox
Production/Distribution Companies – ITV Studios Australia, Every Cloud Productions & Nine Network
Starring – Sigrid Thornton, Brooke Satchwell, John Howard, Kerry Armstrong, Kevin Harrington, Katrina Milosevic, Darren McMullen, Dan Wyllie, Alex Tarrant, Kate Lister, Wayne Blair & Kamil Ellis       

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