As a life-long fan of motor sport, there’s something daunting about sitting down to watch a TV mini-series about the life of one of your heroes. Brock, the mini-series is just that, and it hits screens this Sunday night, perfectly timed after the Great Race of 2016.
Filled with a mix of authentic race vision from the 70’s and 80’s as well as some corny commentary voice-overs from Mike Raymond, Will Hagon and even our good mate Greg Rust to fast-track the experience and race story – the on-track action is a small percentage of the story, but is crafted very well to make Matt Le Nevez performance as Peter Brock as believable as you might hope.
The mini-series is a Drama, not a documentary, so it may mix with your mind’s knowledge of history or create a Wikipedia like entry in your mind about Brock’s life off the track, however fitting the journey from backyard racer to national icon into just a few hours of TV is always going to require some artistic licence.
Several story arcs take place throughout, covering his personal life with Bev Brock (played by Ella Scott Lynch) and later in life girlfriend Julie Bamford (Natalie Bassingthwaighte) along with his off-track dramas getting into the sport and moving through his career, there’s something in it for everyone – even the non rev-head viewer.
Peter Brock is a household name, still today, and the story in Brock focuses on his rivalry on and off track with Allan Moffat (Brendan Cowell) more so than perhaps what I expected to be that of Dick Johnson (Who is no-where to be seen).
It was a refreshing story, one I hadn’t heard making it all the more engaging as a viewer.
Moving into the controversial Polariser days then into his later career and life, it’s not exactly a spoiler to say this mini-series has a bloody sad ending. Blokes, get the tissues stashed away in the lounge and put on the fake-sniffles throughout the day on Monday as a cover for what’s to come at the end of the second instalment. Regardless of the obvious outcome, it’s a raw memory to see the tragic end to the story.
Steve Bisley as Harry Firth is exceptional, Martin Sacks makes a few appearances as Peter’s father Geoff, and while Matt Le Nevez is fantastic as Brock, I think you’ll agree after you see it that Brendan Cowell’s performance as Allan Moffat is flawless and really adds to the whole program as he is a continual figure in the story.
It might be hard to fully engage someone with no interest in Brock’s life or career, but I think those with a fleeting interest should be kept engaged by the various stories there are to follow.
As a rev head, I was glued to the screen. A touch corny at times, and while the production values are fantastic it’s perhaps at times a little over-done, but hey – the 70’s and 80’s were a bit out there.
After what we hope will be 161 gruelling and challenging laps on Sunday at Bathurst, Brock seems the perfect way to round our your weekend – you’ll be glued to the screen as if Brock was racing the mountain.
Premieres on Ten at 8.30pm Sunday, and 9pm on Monday – available on catch up at tenplay.com.au after that.