By Will Barber Taylor
Hoping to escape the storm they unleashed at the end of Season One, Jesse Banks (Ashley Zukerman, Terra Nova) and Ned Banks (Dan Speilman, One Perfect Day) are confronted with the terrifying possibility of extradition to the US to face serious charges in an American court.
Fortunately for the Banks brother, Australian National Security is sitting on an explosive case they cannot crack and Jesse might just be the man for the job. Mercurial Jan Roth (Anthony LaPalgia, Happy Feet 2) hosts a hidden online bazaar of illicit weapons, illegal drugs and dangerous ideas. Exchanging Jesse’s hacking skills for their freedom, Jesse and Ned are drawn into Roth’s dark world that is not just threatening their own lives but all they hold dear.
Britain and America are well known for producing great television. Hits from both America and Britain include the likes of Breaking Bad, Sherlock, The Wire, Downton Abbey and Orange is the New Black. Yet this view of television broadcasting forgets to mention Australian television and one of the most exciting exports from Australian TV in recent years is The Code.
Perhaps The Code’s brilliance lies in this fact. Rather than re-treading the usual route of drama series that we see in the UK and America, The Code take a different approach and as such seems far fresher than some of the recent exports seen from Britain or America. Like other releases from Nordic Noir and Beyond, The Code utilises its landscape in a way that is not often seen on TV in the UK. Combining this with a use of cybercrime that is rarely seen on traditional TV (the only comparable example is Mr Robot, an online series starring Rami Malek) The Code is unique.
The Code’s writing is superb; following up from the high-octane season one finale, the story picks up with Jan Roth (Anthony LaPaglia) the fugitive founder of the dark web site UndaCounta which deals in a variety of unseemly things such as the trafficking of young boys. The tension created in the early scenes, as Roth escapes a militia sent to kill him is palpable and carried throughout the first episode when the Banks brothers are confronted by the Australian authorities. The dialogue is equally well written and moulds itself perfectly into the scenario presented.
Equally excellent in The Code are the performances. Ashley Zukerman and Dan Speilman shape themselves perfectly into their roles as Jesse and Ned Banks. Zukerman helps carry the series; his reaction when Roth learns the truth about what has happened to his website is well played, the shock and horror on his face palpable as Roth enacts his revenge.
The Code is a phenomenally well-made and exciting thriller that is certainly different than most of Nordic Noir and Beyond’s output. Whilst it keeps up the quality of TV series released it also presents a new and interesting element not previously seen in their releases; the cyber detective. Hopefully The Code’s success will lead to a new era where even cyber-crimes become accepted parts of the TV detective scene.
You can purchase The Code (season 2) from Nordic Noir and Beyond here.