16 October, 2013 by IF


Matchbox Pictures new TV series Nowhere Boys will screen each Thursday night at 6.30pm from November 7 on ABC3. Pitched towards young teens, the fantasy action-adventure series premiered the first four episodes at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August and received a strong response from a broad audience.


"Both grown-ups and adolescents will find it addictive viewing", said Crikey's Luke Buckmaster.

Released alongside the series is also an immersive online experience that links to the television episodes in a way that has never been seen before in Australia.

The 13-part television series follows four boys who get lost in the forest and discover, when they return home, that they are in an alternate world identical to theirs except for one startling difference – they were never born.

Created and produced by Tony Ayres (The Slap and Underground: The Julian Assange Story), produced by Beth Frey (Next Stop Hollywood, Dr Sarmast’s Music School) and executive produced by Michael McMahon (Next Stop Hollywood and The Slap) and Helen Panckhurst (The Straits and My Place), the series is brought to life by a terrific team including directors Daina Reid (Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War), Peter Carstairs (September), Alister Grierson (Sanctum, Kokoda) and Craig Irvin (Tethered), who has also been a writer on the series.

Tony Ayres said of the project, “Nowhere Boys is my first foray in to children’s television and I have enjoyed it immensely. Working with such a talented cast and crew has helped me realise my vision of an action packed adventure series.”

The four lead boys are stars in the making: Joel Lok (IF Award Best Actor and Nominee for AFI Award Best New Talent for The Homesong Stories), Dougie Baldwin (Upper Middle Bogan), Rahart Sadiqzai (Neighbours) and newcomer Matt Testro, who has subsequently finished a role in US survival thriller Eden which shot in Asia straight after Nowhere Boys wrapped.

Other cast members include; Michala Banas (Winners & Losers, McLeod’s Daughters), Damian Richardson (City Homicide), Libby Tanner (All Saints), Anthony Branden Wong (Hawaii Five-O), Ben Anderson (Wentworth), Nicholas Coghlan (Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War) and Nicole Nabout (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries).

The interactive game which unfolds alongside the television series will ‘unlock’ following the first episode. The unique immersive experience allows players to enter through the broadcaster’s online site and discover a fifth boy who, like the Nowhere Boys, are lost in a strange world and must find their way home. While the TV series can stand alone without the game, its inclusion is designed to greatly enhance engagement.

The crossover between the game and the episodes is unlike any Australian television series has created before. The platforms in the game have been carefully intertwined to give the player the feeling that they are directly influencing the television show. The player will pass objects through dimensions and then see them actually appear in the series during the next transmission. These objects help the Nowhere Boys on their mission and are often key to their survival.

The transmedia project is being built by Melbourne based online developers Millipede.

The series is produced with the assistance of Screen Australia, Matchbox Productions, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Film Victoria. The series will be sold internationally by NBCUniversal and in Australia and New Zealand by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.