Two Aboriginal teenagers steal a car and have a collision with a transport truck in the middle of the Australian outback. One of the teenagers escapes with his life but his girlfriend isn’t so fortunate. Teacher Alex Wisham (Lucy Lawless) is pulled into the midst of the ordeal when the surviving teenager arrives on her doorstep confused and terrified. Journalist Ned Banks (Dan Spielman) receives some leaked information about the crash and realises a cover-up is going on. As his investigation continues his life, and that of his young autistic brother Jesse (Ashley Zukerman) is put in danger but Ned is desperate to find out the truth.
The Code is a tightly-woven conspiracy thriller that interweaves several different storylines that all have ties to one another. The series gets off to a slow but steady start drawing you in and peaking your interest before picking up the pace at the end of the first episode ensuring you tune in for more.
The two central characters are Ned and Jesse. Ned is trying to make a name for himself as a journalist whilst caring for his younger brother Jesse who is autistic and a talented computer hacker. The initial contact Ned has with teacher Alex draws both him and his brother into the crash cover-up branching them out into different storylines. Ned travels to Lindara to meet Alex and continue his investigation whilst Jesse is targeted by the Cyber Crime Unit for hacking his way into top secret files.
We can’t really say too much more about the plot as one of the things that’s so great about The Code is the way it twists and turns over its six episodes. What we’ve said should be enough to give you a flavour of what to expect.
As well as The Code’s tightly constructed story the show boasts a stellar cast led by Dan Spielman, Ashley Zukerman and Lucy Lawless. Of the three Lawless is the best-known for her work on cult shows such as Xena and The X-Files. This role is something we haven’t seen from her before and she’s a much softer, more human character. She understands how to play understated and make an impact and dare we day she’s a bit of a revelation here. Spielman is convincing as the eager journalist Ned but it’s Zukerman as his brother Jesse that really steals the show. His performance is fearless and believable and it’s him that you root for throughout the show.
Supporting players include Adam Garcia as chief editor of Password, the online news outlet that Ned works for, and Lord of the Rings star David Wenham as Deputy Prime Minister Ian Bradley. Both actors bring their talent into the mix and turn in solid performances that impact despite being fairly small roles.
The Code raises some very pertinent questions around internet security, privacy and just how much the government is aware of what we do on a day-to-day basis. If you apply it to reality it’s a pretty scary concept that depending on who you believe isn’t all that far from what actually goes on across the world. The Code is a superior conspiracy thriller that will keep you hooked until the very end and is one of the best shows to come out of Australia in a very long time.
Watch the trailer for The Code below: