DVD Review: The Code

Originally published on So So Gay on 5 November 2014.

After a tragic road accident befalls a pair of teenagers in the Australian Outback, events soon turn out to be far more complex than a simple collision of vehicles. Meanwhile, in the Australian capital, internet journalist Ned Banks (Dan Spielman) is tipped off about the incident being worth closer scrutiny. With some help from his computer hacker brother, Jesse (Ashley Zuckerman), the pair soon find themselves embroiled in a cover-up that is being pursued with lethal force.

Heralding another successful foreign-drama acquisition by BBC4, The Code is a prime example of how to successfully combine the potentially dry subject of politics with a thrilling drama. Like Borgen but with Aussie accents (…ish), the show moves at a brisk pace (it only runs for six one-hour episodes) and deftly blends the parochial dramas of the fallout from the accident in the fictional town of Lindara, New South Wales, with more meta subject matters that are the purview of the government in Canberra, along with the journalistic investigation by Ned Banks. The contrast is further emphasised by the cold hues of the Canberra scenes sitting alongside the bright and sun-soaked events in Lindara.

The whole cast is universally excellent, though particular mention must go to Zuckerman, who plays the socially awkward Jesse with impressive nuance and believability without veering into caricature territory. His chemistry with both Spielman and Adele Perovic – who plays his love-interest and fellow hacker, Hani Parande – help further cement the engaging appeal of this drama.

And if all this doesn’t convince you to check out The Code, it also stars Xena: Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless as the school teacher who becomes unsuspectingly involved in trying to find out exactly what happened to the kids in her school, and who should ultimately be held responsible.

Is that you Gabrielle?: Lucy Lawless stars as school teacher Alex Wisham in The Code
Is that you Gabrielle?: Lucy Lawless stars as school teacher Alex Wisham in The Code

This DVD release sadly doesn’t include any extras, which seems a bit of an oversight (perhaps it’s a rush-release to capitalise on its well-received and very recent airing), and thus affects the rating of this package as whole. However, the calibre of the show means it’s still a worthwhile purchase if you’ve yet to see it.

The Code is available to buy on DVD from Amazon or download from iTunes nowAll images courtesy of Arrow Films.


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