Still Powerful in the Political: Lucy Lawless on The Code
31 October 2014
Lucy Lawless is no stranger to television. She has traversed time itself from swords and sandals (Xena: Warrior Princess, 1995-2001, filmed in her home country, New Zealand) and science-fiction (Battlestar Galactica, 2005-2009) to dramas down under in Jane Campion’s miniseries Top of the Lake (2013) and now Shelley Birse’s The Code (2014). The Code concerns a political cover-up involving aboriginal teens injured in a car crash. Offering an exploration into the cultural complexities of Australia, The Code connects to a piece Lawless penned for The New Zealand Herald on the “aboriginal handshake.”
Touching on the archetypal cornerstones of corruption and journalistic attempts to uncover the truth, The Code is the latest foreign import to fill BBC Four’s Saturday evening 9pm slot, diversifying British broadcast scheduling to showcase international television drama. Open to all UK viewers and therein void of an attempt to hold them to ransom (unlike its rival, the SKY Broadcasting Company), the BBC has branched out from European-based drama to take in a wider and valuable world perspective.
In conversation with Film International’s Paul Risker, Lawless revealed the importance of an early Disney animation in her journey to the screen; her initial impressions of The Code, and the opportunity it afforded her to play a character unique in contrast to all of her onscreen identities; as well as reflecting on The Code‘s place within modern storytelling and its pursuit to tell an honest story.