Nowhere Boys

Nowhere Boys is an Australian teen-oriented television drama series created by Tony Ayres. It was first broadcast on ABC3 (which is now officially named ABCME) on 7 November 2013. The first two series follow the adventures of four mismatched teenage boys – goth Felix Ferne (Dougie Baldwin), nerd Andrew "Andy" Lau (Joel Lok), golden child Sam Conte (Rahart Adams), and alpha jock Jake Riles (Matt Testro). Nowhere Boys was renewed for a second series which began airing from 23 November 2014. An 80-minute feature-length movie based on the show, titled Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows, premiered in selected Australian movie theatres on 1 January 2016. A third series of Nowhere Boys, titled Two Moons Rising, started airing in 2016 with a new cast and characters, replacing the original cast members. The fourth and final series, titled Battle For Negative Space, started airing on 3 December 2018.

Nowhere Boys
Nowhere Boys Title Card.jpg
Opening title
Genre
Created byTony Ayres
Directed by
Starring
Theme music composerCornel Wilczek
Opening themeNowhere Boys Theme
Composer(s)Cornel Wilczek
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of series4
No. of episodes52 (+ 1 film) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Michael McMahon
  • Helen Panckhurst
  • Tony Ayres (season 2)
Producer(s)
  • Tony Ayres (season 1)
  • Beth Frey
Cinematography
  • Simon Chapman (season 1)
  • Dave Cameron (season 2)
Running time26 minutes
Production company(s)Matchbox Pictures
Distributor
Release
Original networkABC Me
Picture formatPAL (576i)
Original release7 November 2013 (2013-11-07) –
15 December 2018 (2018-12-15)
External links
Website

PremiseEdit

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1137 November 2013 (2013-11-07)30 January 2014 (2014-01-30)
21323 November 2014 (2014-11-23)8 February 2015 (2015-02-08)
Film1 January 2016 (2016-01-01)
31311 November 2016 (2016-11-11)27 January 2017 (2017-01-27)
4133 December 2018 (2018-12-03)15 December 2018 (2018-12-15)

After returning home from a school excursion, four boys, Felix Ferne, Andy Lau, Sam Conte, and Jake Riles find themselves in an alternate reality where they battle mystical threats and demons to find their way back home.

One week after the boys return home, they discover they have special elemental powers after returning from the alternate reality but when they thought they were at peace, they discover they weren't the only ones who crossed over from the alternate reality.

When a new student, Luke, attends Bremin High, he encounters Ben, Heath, Nicco and Jesse who become suspicious of Ben who realises they have special powers and they use them to fight a creature known as the "Mega-Demon".

Cast and charactersEdit

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4
Main
Dougie Baldwin Felix Ferne Main
Joel Lok Andrew "Andy" Lau Main
Rahart Adams Sam Conte Main
Matt Testro Jake Riles Main Recurring
Kamil Ellis Luke Hamill Main
Joe Klocek Heath Buckland Main
Jordie Race-Coldrey Jesse Banda Main
Luca Sardelis Niccolina "Nicco" Pandelis Main
William McKenna Ben Ripley Main
Notable supporting cast
Sean Rees-Wemyss Oscar Ferne Recurring
Darci McDonald Ellen O'Donnell Recurring
Michala Banas Phoebe Hartley Recurring
Tamala Shelton Mia Recurring
Cecilia Tan Lily "Nai-Nai" Lau Recurring
Michelle Gerster Viv Lau Recurring
Anthony Brandon Wong Michael Lau Recurring
Libby Tanner Sarah Riles Recurring
Damien Richardson Gary Riles Recurring
Heidi Arena Kathy Ferne Recurring
Nicholas Coghlan Brian Bates Recurring
Jim Russell Roland Murphy Recurring Recurring
Simon Mallory Roberts Recurring
Victoria Thaine Alice Hartley Recurring
Phoebe Roberts Saskia Boom Recurring
Laura Grady Brooklyn Wansbrough Recurring
Charmaine Chu Peta Chen Recurring
Shareena Clanton Sonia Jarra Recurring
Tegan Higginbotham Quinn Banda Recurring
Stella Carroll Kayla Pandelis Recurring
Fin van de Wall Claude Topper Recurring
Piath Mathiang Zara Bello Recurring
Joel Ma Zeb Recurring
Texas Watterston Darius Regem Recurring

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

On 26 October 2011, it was announced that Matchbox Pictures and producers of The Slap were developing a thirteen-part youth-oriented drama series for the ABC called The Lost Boys.[1] However, due to copyright reasons, the show's name was later changed to Nowhere Boys.[2] The series creator Tony Ayres conceived the idea for Nowhere Boys after learning that the ABC, which had already enjoyed success with Dance Academy, was looking for a new series that would appeal to boys.[1][3] Ayres developed Nowhere Boys with a range of writers, including Roger Monk and Craig Irvin.[3] He became the show's producer and showrunner alongside Beth Frey, while Michael McMahon and Helen Panckhurst served as the executive producers.[3][4] Panckhurst left her position as executive producer at the end of the first series.

The first series of Nowhere Boys was financed with the assistance of the Australian Children's Television Foundation, Film Victoria, ABC3 and Screen Australia.[5] Filming took place in Melbourne, Victoria from 18 February 2013 to 23 May 2013.[6][7] Episode one was filmed at the primary school and Were Street in Montmorency, Victoria, as well as the skate park and high school in Greensborough, Victoria.[8] The first four episodes premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2013.[9]

On 4 April 2014, it was announced that Nowhere Boys had received funding from Film Victoria for a second series to consist of thirteen episodes.[10][11] It was financed with the assistance of ABC Television, Film Victoria and the BBC.[12] Frey returned as producer and McMahon returned as executive producer.[13] Ayres took over Panckhurst's position as executive producer. Filming for the second series commenced in Melbourne from 7 July 2014 to 17 September 2014.[14] Actress Rachel Griffiths made her debut as a television director during series two.[15] In November 2015, ABC announced that a third series of Nowhere Boys would premiere in 2016 with a new cast and characters, replacing the original cast members.[16] Filming for the third series began in May 2016.[17] The storyline for the third series picks up several years after the events of the second series.[17][18] On 19 June 2017, Film Victoria announced funding for a fourth series.[19] It consisted of 13 episodes.[20] Filming for the fourth season began 25 January 2018.[21]

CastingEdit

In April 2013, it was announced that Joel Lok, Dougie Baldwin, Rahart Adams and Matt Testro were cast as the four teenage boys.[2] Lok portrays Andy, a geek of Singaporean descent who loves science and Bear Grylls.[3][8] Ayres, who previously worked with Lok on The Home Song Stories (2007), revealed that he had him in mind for the role of Andy.[3] Testro plays alpha jock Jake and Adams plays the skater boy Sam.[8][22] Testro said that he and Adams both auditioned six times for the roles of Jake and Sam, with both originally auditioning for each other's characters.[3] Baldwin stars as Felix, a Goth who has an interest in magic.[3] Sean Rees-Wemyss was cast as Felix's younger brother Oscar, a disabled social outcast who is bullied at school.[23] Rees-Wemyss revealed that he initially auditioned for the role of Felix but the directors felt he was too young for the part.[23] Darci McDonald plays Felix's best friend Ellen. Tamala Shelton plays Sam's popular girlfriend Mia and Michala Banas plays the mysterious magic shop owner Phoebe.[3][24] Libby Tanner and Damien Richardson were cast as Jake's parents Sarah and Gary, and Heidi Arena was cast as Felix's mother Kathy.[24][25]

In November 2015, it was announced that the third series would feature a new cast and characters that would replace the original cast members.[16] Kamil Ellis, William McKenna, Jordie Race-Coldrey, Joe Klocek and Luca Sardelis were revealed as the new cast members in May 2016.[18] Ellis portrays "tech-nerd and sci-fi enthusiast" Luke, McKenna plays the role of Ben, Race-Coldrey plays "musical theatre geek" Jesse, and Klocek portrays "the school's bad boy" Heath.[16][18] Sardelis was cast as the show's first "Nowhere Girl", Nicco.[18]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

Nowhere Boys received generally positive reviews. David Knox of TV Tonight awarded Nowhere Boys 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated that the series "is so well produced and performed."[26] Knox went on to say that "it's great to see a fully-fledged ABC3 production with male leads" following "a number of female-skewed projects" such as Dance Academy and Dead Gorgeous.[26] He concluded, "Nowhere Boys hits its mark from the outset with a clever mix of drama and mystery."[26] Rebecca Marshall of the Sunshine Coast Daily noted that the series features "a fascinating mix of fantasy, mystery, dark magic and drama" and commended "ABC for opening up opportunities for new-generation actors to hone their skills."[27] The Sydney Morning Herald's Melinda Houston awarded Nowhere Boys 3 out of 4 stars and praised the "great talent behind the camera" which "gives the young actors plenty to work with."[28] She concluded, "The result is bound to please its target audience and many more."[28]

Myke Bartlett of The Weekly Review praised the script as "fast enough and funny enough to keep the kids hooked, with degrees of cleverness and subtlety likely to please a more mature palate."[29] Bartlett concluded his review by stating that viewers finally have "a reason to watch ABC3."[29] Luke Buckmaster of Crikey stated that after viewing the first four episodes, "both grown-ups and adolescents will find it addictive viewing."[30] He also added, "it's good stuff: pacey and addictive yoof-tainment with snazzy packaging and a compelling 'what if' existential premise."[30] News.com.au's Dianne Butler wrote that she enjoyed watching the first episode and described it as "funny and kind of disturbing."[31]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2014 AACTA Awards Best Children's Television Series[32] Nowhere Boys Won
Best Original Music Score in Television[33] Series 1, Episode 1 Nominated
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program[34] Nowhere Boys Won
Australian Director's Guild Awards Best Direction in a Children's TV Program[35] Peter Carstairs for Series 1, Episode 7 Nominated
Craig Irvin for Series 1, Episode 8 Nominated
Prix Jeunesse 12–15 Fiction/Non-Fiction[36] Nowhere Boys Nominated
International Youth Jury Prize[37] Won
Banff World Media Festival Rockie Awards Youth Fiction[38] Nowhere Boys Nominated
AWGIE Awards Children's Television[39] Craig Irvin for Series 1, Episode 3 Won
Screen Producers Australia Awards Children's Television Production of the Year[40] Nowhere Boys Won
Interactive Production of the Year[41] Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy Nominated
TV Tonight Awards Best Kid's Show[42] Nowhere Boys Won
International Emmy Kids Awards Best Series[43] Nowhere Boys Nominated
2015 Kidscreen Awards Best New Series – Tweens/Teens category[44] Nowhere Boys Won
iKids Awards Best Website[45] Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy Won
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program[46] Nowhere Boys Won
Australian Director's Guild Awards Best Direction in a Children's TV Program[47][48] Peter Salmon for Series 2, Episode 1 Nominated
Craig Irvin for Series 2, Episode 7 Won
Banff World Media Festival Rockie Awards Youth Fiction[49] Nowhere Boys Won
AWGIE Awards Children's Television – C Classification[50] Pete McTighe for Series 2, Episode 7 Nominated
Screen Producers Australia Awards Children's Television Production[51] Nowhere Boys Won
British Academy Children's Awards International[52] Nowhere Boys Nominated
AACTA Awards Best Children's TV[53] Nowhere Boys Nominated
2016 International Emmy Kids Awards Kids: Series[54] Nowhere Boys Won
British Academy Children's Awards International[55] Nowhere Boys Nominated

ReleaseEdit

BroadcastingEdit

Nowhere Boys is sold in Australia and New Zealand by the Australian Children's Television Foundation.[12] In Australia, the first series premiered on ABC3 on 7 November 2013 and ended on 30 January 2014.[9][56] It aired on Thursday nights at 6:30 pm.[57] The second series moved to Sunday nights at the same timeslot.[58] It premiered simultaneously on ABC, ABC3 and ABC iview on 23 November 2014 with a double episode.[58][59] On 31 December 2014, a special one-off mini episode that bridges episodes six to seven of series two was broadcast during ABC's New Year's Eve special.[60]

International broadcastsEdit

Nowhere Boys is sold internationally by NBCUniversal.[12] On 28 April 2014, it was announced that the show had been acquired by the BBC for broadcast in the United Kingdom on their kids channel CBBC.[12][13] The BBC also pre-bought series two.[12] CBBC's Head of Acquisitions and Drama Development, Sarah Muller, stated "Nowhere Boys offers CBBC an amazing opportunity to acquire a really top-notch international drama from a world-class production company to complement our existing slate of UK-produced shows."[13] The show premiered on CBBC on 1 September 2014.[61] In Canada, episodes of Nowhere Boys began screening on the Family Channel in October 2015.[62] In the US, the show has been revealed as part of the starting lineup of shows for the new network Universal Kids, which launched on 9 September 2017. Also, Netflix LATAM has this series on its catalogue since 2016, in original version with Spanish subtitles and dubbed to latinamerican Spanish.[citation needed]

Other mediaEdit

Home releaseEdit

The first series of Nowhere Boys was released on DVD in Australia on 5 February 2014, six days after the series one finale aired on television.[63] The second series DVD was released on 4 March 2015.[64] The third series DVD was released 1 March 2017.[65]

Online gameEdit

Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy is an interactive online game that coincided with the first series.[66] It was created by Matchbox Pictures and built by Melbourne-based online developers Millipede and released on the ABC3 website on 7 November 2013.[9][22] The game allowed the player to take on the persona of a fifth "nowhere boy", who is lost in a strange world and has to try to find his way home.[66] The platforms in Nowhere Boys: The 5th Boy were intertwined to give the player the feeling that they are directly in control of the direction of the television series.[66] For example, when the player passed objects through the dimensions in the game, the object would appear in the show.[66] These objects helped the Nowhere Boys on their mission and were often key to their survival.[66]

MovieEdit

On 23 December 2014, it was announced that Screen Australia would be funding a movie based on the television series titled, Nowhere Boys: The Rise of the Bear.[67][68][69] However, in July 2015, it was revealed that the movie's name was changed to Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows.[70] The 80-minute feature-length movie was directed by David Caesar and written by Tony Ayres, Rhys Graham and Craig Irvin.[71][72] It was produced by Beth Frey and executive produced by Ayres and Michael McMahon.[71] Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows picks up a year after the boys crossed dimensions, discovered magic and battled the restoring demon. Having grown apart, they are drawn together again when Felix discovers a magically sealed Book of Shadows, which unwittingly releases a powerful force of chaos. The boys are reluctantly drawn into a showdown that threatens their world and loved ones.[73][74]

Dougie Baldwin, Joel Lok, Rahart Adams, Matt Testro, and Sean Rees-Wemyss reprised their roles as Felix, Andy, Sam, Jake, and Oscar. Others who also returned for the movie included series regulars Darci McDonald (Ellen), Michala Banas (Phoebe), Victoria Thaine (Alice), Ben Keller (Bear), Tamala Shelton (Mia) and Michelle Gerster (Viv). Angourie Rice also joined the cast.[75] Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows began filming in Melbourne in July 2015.[70][73] It screened in selected Australian movie theatres on 1 January 2016 and had its television premiere on ABC3 on 6 March 2016.[76][77]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit