Topics: Anna HutchinsonDee SmartGrant BowlerJessica ToveyPanic at Rock IslandSimone KessellVince Colosimo

Panic at Rock Island: New Australian telemovie

Grant Bowler, of True Blood and Ugly Betty, has returned to Australia to co-star with Vince Colosimo in the Nine Network’s new telemovie Panic at Rock Island.

The telemovie also stars Damian Walshe-Holwing (Underbelly), Jessica Tovey (Home and Away, Underbelly: The Golden Mile), Dee Smart (Water Rats), Simone Kessell (Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, Frost/Nixon) and Anna Hutchinson (Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities).

Panic at Rock Island, from the producers and director of last year’s top-rating disaster telemovie, Scorched, will also include performances by Australian rock bands You Am I and Spiderbait.

Panic at Rock Island is set on an island in spectacular Sydney Harbour. Under the hot summer sun, a lineup of top acts play for music fans from around the world. It’s all idyllic until unimaginable disaster strikes when a deadly virus is discovered on the island. Its symptoms are shocking and it brings swift and painful death.

Director Tony Tilse, whose work includes Underbelly, Scorched, Lockie Leonard and A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne, is also the producer, along with Rosemary Blight from leading Australia production company Goalpost Pictures Australia.

Blight has produced several films and television dramas including Clubland, Small Claims, Stepfather of the Bride and Love is a Four Letter Word. She was also executive producer of the Cannes Film Festival sensation, The Tree.

In a first for an Australian television telemovie, the co-financing partner is NBC Universal who have acquired the world pay-TV rights.

Jo Horsburgh, Head of Nine Drama, said: “It’s a pleasure to be working with Rosemary Blight and Tony Tilse again, as producers, and in Tony’s case, also director. They bring great passion and excitement to the process. Panic is an ambitious, star-studded, rollicking telemovie set to entertain and thrill the audience.”

Rosemary Blight said: “Panic at Rock Island is high-concept, thrilling television drama and we are delighted to have drawn together such an all-star cast, music talent and production team, with the tremendous support of Channel Nine and our other international partners.”

User comments
I thoroughly enjoyed this telemovie and was just checking the site to see (fingers crossed)if it was going to have a part II but unfortunately it does not look like it.
Hands down worst tv show i have ever encountered - overly dramatic - storyline was painful and cheap. Do us all a favor and put the Australian film industry out of its misery if this is what it's come to.
I thought this was an excellent Australian film. It was an engaging story line, good acting from the majority of the cast and professional editing. I watched the entire movie from the beginning to end and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done to everyone involved in the production of this Australian film.
Really enjoyed Panic last night but my god, what was with Channel 9 running a commercial every 7 mins?! Yes, I timed it, it was that annoying. Every 7 minutes! Ridiculous!! Almost turned the show off because I was finding it that hard to get into, with so many breaks so frequently. Shame on Channel 9!
This is one of the worst, most ham-fisted productions I think I've seen in a very long while. The story cliches were cartoonish, and the painfully obvious tongue-in-cheek delivery from otherwise good actors like Colosimo was merely evidence to me of just how spectacularly bad even the actors thought the writing was (money must have been too good to refuse, I guess). Truly dreadful productions like this do the Australian film industry no favours. No one was in their right mind when they ticked this disaster off.
This was one of the worst Aussie movies I have ever watched. Over acting, over dramatised and just spectacularly unbelievable. Sorry but it this one was a fizzer for me.
That was PHENOMENAL!! Why aren't we showing films like this to International audiences - show them what Aussies can REALLY do?? Great storyline, tight direction, great sets, some of our best acting talent at their finest, the foley was off the charts... well done Channel 9 and everyone involved, I only wish I had been able to see it on the big screen! I had better be seeing this released on DVD, by the way!!
Great flick - lots of detail really enjoyed it, great acting and a good mix of NZ and Ozzy actors. could possibly set up the sequel to dwell more into the conspiracy.
movie was good but the acting from Elmo's mother was something terrible, other than that it was a solid film

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