Aside from the fact that everyone associated with Doctor Doctor deserves a medal for getting the wry rural drama renewed for a fifth go-around, the high mortality rate for scripted debuts explains why series with a successful history keep reappearing. In recent years The Doctor Blake Mysteries, SeaChange, Underbelly, Packed to the Rafters, and Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries have all been revisited or rebooted, sometimes with tenuous justification. A track record, whatever the era, is an insurance policy for those pitching to programmers.
The latest revival is Halifax f.p., which has returned as Halifax: Retribution close to two decades after it last aired; there are viewers now eligible to vote who werent yet born when Rebecca Gibneys forensic psychiatrist, Jane Halifax, last assessed an accused. Its unproven if such a lengthy gap makes nostalgia potent for an ageing audience or tweaks the curiosity of newcomers but it has led to a watchable if sometimes ungainly show.
Retribution starts as if its making up for lost time. A frequently silhouetted sniper is shooting people on the streets and spaces adjacent to Melbournes Yarra River, and the demands of a growing emergency are making characters deliver boilerplate dialogue. I need results and I need them now, Victorias fictional premier tells police task force boss Ted Saracen (Anthony LaPaglia), who in turn tries to bring Halifax back to the beat after years in academia with the exhortation that, Jane, youre the best there is.