Ewen Leslie and Emma Booth star in Tasmanian TV production The Gloaming, premiering on streaming service Stan today.
Ewen Leslie and Emma Booth star in Tasmanian TV production The Gloaming, premiering on streaming service Stan today.

How ‘haunting’ Tassie inspired The Gloaming

TASMANIA has a haunting quality for Vicki Madden, whose childhood was shadowed by the eerie landscape.

The co-creator of the The Kettering Incident, who has a new murder mystery drama The Gloaming said frightening stories were part of the tapestry of her upbringing.

She spent a childhood moving around the state, feeling "at the mercy" of its gothic scenes and stories.

"I grew up mainly in the North - but my mother and I used to drive around Tasmania while she looked for work. We'd end up sleeping wherever we could as it was hard back then and mum was a '10-bob Pom' who didn't know anyone or had much help," Madden said.

"I think the uncertainty and moving around a lot, sleeping in a car, occasionally made me afraid of the landscape around me.

"I felt we were at the mercy of it sometimes."

TV producer and The Gloaming creator, Vicki Madden. Picture: BRADLEY PATRICK
TV producer and The Gloaming creator, Vicki Madden. Picture: BRADLEY PATRICK

Madden remembers places such as Ross and Fingal "frightening me with the old convict graves and the bloody history everywhere".

She said her mother seemed to have an intuitive sense about places that had witnessed horror.

"Tasmania has such a haunting history and my mother was deeply superstitious, so she could always sense ghosts and spirits around her," Madden said.

"She would often say to me - 'something terrible happened here'. As an adult I've done a lot of research and have been surprised by how accurate she was.

"Unfortunately my mum got ill when I first started writing this show and died midway through me writing this, which was very tough."

The Gloaming, premieres on streaming service Stan today. The eight-part series is a mystery drama about the murder of an unidentified woman, and is set in Hobart and southern Tasmania.

Filming for The Gloaming on Mt Wellington.
Filming for The Gloaming on Mt Wellington.

Madden said the growth of the local film industry had made it easy to source actors and crew, with many who worked on The Kettering Incident involved in the latest production.

"We also used a lot of local actors from all over the state. It is my dream to see an industry down here where we could have an ongoing series where people could get full employment. "There are so many talented people down here and a lot who would love to come home. I'm very proud to be a Tasmanian and to help fly the Tassie flag."

Madden said she was grateful to the Tasmanian Government for supporting the industry.

"We cannot only generate a lot of money for the state, but to be able to tell our stories in all forms means we deepen our cultural awareness and allow people to recognise their heritage, which is important for any community," she said.


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