TV

Everything you need to know about Safe Harbour on SBS

A moral dilemma has deadly consequences in the new psychological drama.

By Tamara Cullen

Five Australians board a luxury yacht and set sail for Indonesia. The friends are heading off to enjoy a sun-soaked holiday and haven't a care in the world. But a chance encounter is about to change everything.

On the open water, the group spot a fishing vessel. As they sail closer, the holidaymakers begin to grow nervous.

The boat has broken down, and it's 
full to the brim with passengers who are desperate for help. They cry out to come aboard – they want to come to Australia.

The show will make you question what's right and wrong.
The show will make you question what's right and wrong.

Now, the close group of friends – 
Ryan (Ewen Leslie) and his wife Bree (Leeanna Walsman), his sister Olivia (Phoebe Tonkin), her boyfriend Damien (Joel Jackson) and their friend Helen (Jacqueline McKenzie) – will have to make a difficult decision. Do they assist the asylum seekers or sail away?

That's the predicament in the new SBS psychological drama Safe Harbour.

"It's not necessarily a political piece about asylum seekers," Leeanna, 38, explains to TV WEEK. "It's more about what happens on the boat and the choices that are made in that moment."

The actress says the sharp storytelling of Safe Harbour is certainly set to raise an interesting conversation.

Faced with a stark situation, the group's choice will spark a shocking 
chain of events none of them can undo."Viewers will come away with their own thoughts about the characters and the question of right or wrong," she says.

Will the group make reparations?
Will the group make reparations?

In the first episode of the four-part series, it has been five years since the encounter at sea. Everyone has moved on, but everything is different.

Ryan and Bree are struggling in their marriage. Damien hasn't been in contact with the group for years. Olivia is finding it hard to deal with the past, and Helen is focused on her career as a lawyer.

"The incident has been swept under the rug and hasn't been spoken about again," Leeanna reveals. "But suddenly, the past comes back."

Ahead of the show's premiere, we've got the lowdown on the who's who of the Safe Harbour cast.

Joel Jackson as Damien Pascoe

Best known for his dazzling roles in Deadline Gallipoli and Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, the TV WEEK Logie Award-winning actor plays a real estate agent who disappears after the boat incident.

Damien (Joel Jackson) and Ryan (Ewen Leslie) face troubles on the sailing adventure.
Damien (Joel Jackson) and Ryan (Ewen Leslie) face troubles on the sailing adventure.

Ewen Leslie as Ryan Gallagher

The award-winning actor plays family man and boat captain Ryan. Five years after the incident, his accidental encounter with one of the refugees uncovers some of his long-buried secrets.

Leeanna Walsman as Bree Gallagher

Screen veteran Leeanna, who's best known for Looking For Alibrandi and Wentworth, stars as Bree, who's married to Ryan. As a mother, family is priority – and she will do anything to protect them.

Phoebe Tonkin (left) and Leeanna Walsman play Olivia and Bree.
Phoebe Tonkin (left) and Leeanna Walsman play Olivia and Bree.

Phoebe Tonkin as Olivia

The Originals star returns home to play Olivia, Ryan's sister. She is forced to face some harsh truths about her past when her ex, Damien, arrives in town.

Jacqueline McKenzie as Helen

The iconic Aussie actress, who recently appeared in Romper Stomper, stars as a career-driven lawyer with attitude. But what secrets could possibly threaten to bring her perfect life undone?

Helen (Jacqueline McKenzie) is faced with a tough dilemma.
Helen (Jacqueline McKenzie) is faced with a tough dilemma.

Hazem Shammas as Ismail Al-bayati

The theatre veteran and Underbelly star takes on the role of former refugee Ismail. When his character meets Ryan five years later, tensions arise and accusations begin to fly.

Zahra (Nicole Chamoun) and Ismail (Hazem Shammas) are filled with emotions as the truth comes out.
Zahra (Nicole Chamoun) and Ismail (Hazem Shammas) are filled with emotions as the truth comes out.

Nicole Chamoun as Zahra Al-Bayati

With two big TV roles in 2018, including Romper Stomper and Safe Harbour, Nicole is making waves. The actress plays Ismail's wife, Zahra, who struggles with the desire for justice.

Safe Harbour airs on Wednesdays, 8.35pm on SBS

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