Looking for a few hours of glamour and mystery? Then it is my very great pleasure to introduce Miss Fisher.
Based on the novels of Kerry Greenwood, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries are set in 1920s Melbourne and feature private detective Phryne Fisher. Phryne (pronounced fry-nee) is a wealthy aristocrat and thoroughly modern women, happily flying planes, riding motorbikes, shooting bad guys and bedding anyone she jolly well likes. She is played with cheeky flair by Essie Davis, sporting a razor-sharp bob and an exquisite wardrobe (for some viewers, this alone is reason enough to tune in).
Although Phryne's sexual conquests are many and varied, her relationship with Detective Inspector Jack Robinson provides the ongoing romantic tension throughout the series. Nathan Page is enormously appealing, conveying a wealth of suppressed emotion with a look or gesture. His rugged looks and reserved demeanour make him believable as a no-nonsense detective, and increasingly likable as the series goes on.
The supporting characters are delightful. Phryne's maid, Dot (Ashleigh Cummings) begins as a straight-laced, naive young woman who is shocked by Phryne's antics, but the series' progress sees her blossom and become more adventurous. Jack Robinson's sidekick and Dot's beau, Constable Hugh Collins, is played with boyish sincerity by Hugo Johnstone-Burt. Taxi drivers and dedicated communists Bert and Cec (Travis McMahon and Anthony Sharpe) assist with the dirty work and provide an escort into the seedier parts of town. The ever-marvelous Miriam Margolyes plays Phryne's Aunt Prudence. Together, these characters provide an opportunity to subtly explore a range of issues related to gender roles, class and politics.
Three seasons have been filmed to date, and fans are keeping their fingers crossed for a fourth, while rumours abound that a feature film may be in the wings. In the meantime, pour a martini and enjoy the story so far!