Mystery Road - Disappeared in the Outback

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Television series
German title Mystery Road - Disappeared in the Outback
Original title Mystery Road
Country of production Australia
original language English
Year (s) since 2018
Bunya Productions
length 50 minutes
Episodes 6 in 1+ seasons ( list )
genre Drama, crime thriller
Director Rachel Perkins
production David Jowsey ,
Greer Simpkin
music Antony Partos ,
Matteo Zingales
camera Mark Wareham
cut Deborah Peart
First broadcast June 3, 2018 on ABC

First publication in German
May 23, 2019 on Arte Mediathek

Mystery Road - Disappeared in the Outback (Original title: Mystery Road ) is an Australian television series that began in 2018. It is an offshoot of the films Mystery Road (2013) and Goldstone (2016) by Ivan Sen. The main actor in the series is, as in the films, Aaron Pedersen in the role of the indigenous detective Jay Swan. The first season is about the investigation of the Aboriginal Swan and a white policewoman into the disappearance of two young men against the background of drug trafficking, pedophilia and lack of water in the outback .


In northwest Australia, two men disappear without a trace. Your car is found in the outback with the doors open and the tank empty. The missing are Marley Thompson, an Aboriginal and seasonal worker on Tony Ballantyne's cattle ranch there, and the white Reese Dale, who was dismissed as a seasonal worker on the farm shortly before his disappearance. The detective and Aboriginal Jay Swan, who comes from a big city, takes on the investigation in the remote small town of Patterson together with the local white police chief Emma James. Jay becomes suspicious when he only learns from Emma a few days later that she is Tony's sister. Not only because of this, Jay likes to investigate on his own and without informing Emma of his steps, so that she is angry with him.

Larry Dime is Marley's uncle, reportedly a pedophile and recently released from prison after ten years in prison. He visits Marley's family in Patterson and wants to help find him. It becomes clear that he is undesirable in Patterson and that he used to be the chairman of the Aboriginal community. Jay discovers that Reese's friend Shevorne was abused and almost killed by Larry as a young girl, and that Larry was visited by Marley a week ago in jail.

Also due to stronger survey pressure compared to Shevorne, the investigators find out that Reese had a plan to sell a large amount of drugs at the annual rodeo festival and use the proceeds to enable herself and Shevorne to have a better life elsewhere. However, the drugs were stolen from him, for which the couple Eric - also a seasonal worker on the farm - and Geneviève are likely to be responsible. After questioning Geneviève, the investigators can arrest both the drug courier - a truck driver - and the bulk buyer Tyson, who works for Tony as security chief.

When questioned again, Shevorne reveals the possible whereabouts of Marley, a remote, dilapidated hut in the outback, where they actually find him. Marley denies the investigators to know about Reese's whereabouts. His statement that he was hitched to the place turns out to be true and he will be released from police custody. Jay is sure that Shevorne is hiding something, and Larry claims that he never abused Shevorne.

Jay prevents Marley from leaving town and asks him arbitrarily about the origin of the traces of blood that the investigators had found days ago at the junction of a dirt road with a highway. Marley has no explanation for this. Jay then examines the watering hole "Black Springs" on the piece of land that the dirt road opens up and finds the deliberately sunk body of Reese with a gunshot wound in the back. Circumstances incriminate Marley, who therefore receives a police ankle cuff without being arrested.

Jay doesn't think Marley was Reese's killer and finds out that Tyson was around Marley and Reese when they last left the farm. While viewing gas station surveillance videos, Jay realizes that Tyson was heading towards the scene of the accident at the intersection with other people, one of whom was no longer present on the way back.

After Marley was attacked by strangers in Jay's presence, he reveals, when Jay confronts him, various, previously kept secret facts: Larry is not Shevorne's rapist. Reese knew the person's name but did not give it to Marley himself when asked. On the night of the disappearance of the two men, Tyson and a few helpers carried out the actual rapist's order to kill Reese because of this knowledge. When Marley and Reese were escaping from them, one of the helpers at the intersection had a fatal traffic accident. Reese was murdered, while Marley escaped and, with Shevorne's help, was able to hide.

Jay and Emma learn on multiple inquiries from Shevorne that their rapist - and the father of their daughter who was conceived in the rape - is Keith Groves, the current chairman of the Aboriginal community council. Ten years ago, in order to keep the abuse secret, he forced Shevorne to falsely identify Larry as the perpetrator on the witness stand, which resulted in him being arrested. Keith finds out shortly after her testimony that Shevorne named him as the real perpetrator, and therefore now wants to murder her too. However, Emma and Jay can prevent this at the last second, Keith is shot by Emma.


The Australian public television broadcaster ABC broadcast the first season from June 3, 2018 on a weekly basis. The television broadcaster Arte began broadcasting the German dubbed version on May 30, 2019 with the first three episodes in one evening, followed by the last three episodes on June 6, 2019. The episodes were already available one week in advance in the Arte media library .

The production of the series has already been extended beyond the first season.

Episode list

The first season consists of six episodes, all of which were directed by Rachel Perkins and have no German titles.

No. Original title First broadcast
( ABC )
German language
first publication
( Arte Mediathek)
1 Gone 03rd June 2018 23 May 2019 Michaeley O'Brien
2 Blood ties 03rd June 2018 23 May 2019 Kodie Bedford
3 Chasing ghosts June 10, 2018 23 May 2019 Michaeley O'Brien
4th Silence 17th June 2018 May 30, 2019 Steven McGregor
5 The waterhole June 24, 2018 May 30, 2019 Timothy Lee
6th The Truth 01st July 2018 May 30, 2019 Steven McGregor


The German version was created at the new sound film Munich after the dialogue book and the dialogue director of Andreas Pollak .

role actor Voice actor
Jay Swan Aaron Pedersen Oliver Mink
Emma James Judy Davis Harriet Kracht
Marley Thompson Aaron L. McGrath Maximilian Belle
Larry Dime Wayne Blair Stefan Lehnen
Tony Ballantyne Colin Friels Matthias Klages
Shevorne Shields Tasia Zalar Lea Kalbhenn
Crystal Swan Madeleine Madden Lena Schmidtke
Mary Swan Tasma Walton Claudia Lössl
Keith Groves Ernie Dingo Wolfgang Müller


The journalist Thilo Wydra expressed himself enthusiastically in the Tagesspiegel about the first season: It was staged "concisely" and "elliptically and told in an extremely clever, intelligent way" as well as a "complex, worth seeing" season in which the tension slowly builds up.

In the television magazine prisma , the author rated the season as a “calm, but oppressive crime thriller in an often gloomy atmosphere.” At rtv it was said that “the story of the taciturn policeman who investigates the province and has to deal with the local conditions there, “Is not particularly original, but the staging and atmosphere are all the more successful.

In the British Guardian , the season was rated four out of five stars and rated as an "ambitious story" and a "skillfully made drama".


The series won - with eleven nominations - the Australian film and television award AACTA Award 2018 in five categories: as best drama series as well as in the categories best editing (for episode 5), best original music (for episode 4), best supporting actor ( Wayne Blair ) and Best Supporting Actress ( Deborah Mailman ).

Furthermore, it was Michaeley O'Brien in 2019 for his script for the first episode for the Edgar Award nominated.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Andreas Schoettl: A thriller in a brutally beautiful setting , in: prisma , accessed on June 1, 2019
  2. DJ Frederiksson: The native detective , in: Frankfurter Rundschau of May 30, 2019, accessed on June 1, 2019
  3. cf. Mystery Road - Disappeared in the Outback at, accessed on June 1, 2019
  4. Thilo Wydra : Guilt and Atonement in the Outback , in: Der Tagesspiegel from May 28, 2019, accessed on June 1, 2019
  5. Review: Mystery Road , in: rtv from May 31, 2019, accessed on June 1, 2019
  6. Larissa Behrendt: Mystery Road review - TV spin-off unearths ambitious tale of small-town secrets , in: The Guardian from June 3, 2018, accessed on June 1, 2019, original quotations: "ambitious story", "deftly made drama"
  7. ^ AACTA Awards - Winners & Nominees - Television , in: AACTA website , accessed on June 1, 2019
  8. Awards , in: IMDb , accessed June 1, 2019