The Nine Network announced today that Beaconsfield, the telemovie based on the dramatic rescue of Tasmanian miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb, goes into production next month.
Shane Jacobson (Kenny, Top Gear Australia) and Lachy Hulme (Matrix Trilogy, Let’s Get Skase, Offspring) head an outstanding cast in the three-hour telemovie which tells the story of the amazing rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb from the collapsed Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania five years ago.
On Anzac Day 2006 the Beaconsfield mine collapsed, trapping Russell, Webb and fellow miner Larry Knight one kilometre underground. When it was revealed that two of the men were alive, Australia prayed and the world waited in hope that the miners would make it out alive. But the rescue was far more complex than anyone ever imagined.
Beaconsfield recounts this riveting story of mental and physical fortitude and two very different men who were trapped together for 14 days under rubble in a cramped, pitch-black metal basket no bigger than a dog kennel.
It tells the story from the perspective of rescuers Matthew Gill and Pat Ball, who with their expert teams, were required to devise a failsafe plan for a rescue unlike anything attempted before.
Gill and Ball set about developing a meticulous strategy that would bring Russell and Webb to the surface. The telemovie also involves the miners’ wives and children who waited anxiously to find out if they would see their husbands and fathers again.
On May 9, 2006, at 5.58am, Australia celebrated as Todd Russell and Brant Webb emerged from the mine shaft. Tragically their colleague, Larry Knight, was laid to rest the same day.
Other cast include Michala Banas (Winners and Losers and McLeod’s Daughters) and Sacha Horler (Offspring, Hawke and Love My Way).
Beaconsfield is being produced for the Nine Network by Southern Star John Edwards (Paper Giants, Love My Way) and Jane Liscombe (Last Ride, Cracker Bag). It has been written by Judi McCrossin (The Secret Life of Us, The Surgeon) and will be directed by Glendyn Ivin (Last Ride, Offspring).
Jo Horsburgh, the Nine Network’s Head of Drama, said: “Beaconsfield is a drama that touched the hearts of all Australians.
“We were all glued to our TVs throughout the 14 days for news on the miners and prayed they would make it out alive. Beaconsfield is an inspirational story of the amazing rescue effort and the incredible will of the miners’ survival.”
Southern Star producer John Edwards said: “The mechanics of the rescue were complex and intriguing – the tension of The Great Escape combines with the compelling detail of Apollo 13.”
Production on the telemovie begins on July 11.