The Code is a smart, political thriller that debuted on September 21, 2014 on ABC1 in Australia. The six episode series follows two brothers, Jesse (Ashley Zukerman) and Ned Banks (Dan Spielman). Ned is the good brother that happens to work as a journalist with an Internet news website, Password. His brother, Jesse, is a hacker, who was recently released from prison for a previous hack. The brothers are like night and day different and Ned is constantly pulling Jesse out of problems.
When the first episode starts, we see two Aboriginal teens crash their vehicle in Lindara. The majority of the pilot focuses on the crash. As the show continues, we are introduced to the two occupants of the vehicle, Sheyna Smith (Madeleine Madden) and Clarence Boyd (Aaron L. McGrath). While the driver, Clarence, is able to escape the vehicle, Sheyna is left behind and seemingly in fear of her life. The only problem? The vehicle is moved from the crash site and driven off a cliff a distance away.
Meanwhile, back in Canberra, the two brothers begin working to uncover the mystery. Ned receives crucial information involving a government official, Graeme Poulson (Ed Wightman). Ned immediately discovers a slip of paper, with the word Lindara written on it. Has his former girlfriend, Sophie Walsh (Chelsie Preston Crayford), given him a crucial piece of information linking Poulson to the crash and potential murder in Lindara? Of course, it is Randall Keats (Aden Young), who has ordered the release of the information in an attempt to discover more information regarding the involved parties.
With the information, Ned is able to track down the kid’s teacher, Alex Wishman (Lucy Lawless). As it turns out, Clarence has returned and sought protection from Alex. After the car is discovered, he is arrested for the crime. By sheer luck, Alex is able to recover Clarence’s phone from the wrecked vehicle, without anyone knowing. Meanwhile, Ned continues attempting to contact Alex to get more information regarding the event. After Alex goes through the phone, she discovers a garbled video.
After a little convincing from Ned, Alex sends the video to him. Of course, Ned cannot do anything with it and decides to seek help from his computer savvy brother, Jesse. With Jesse’s help, they successfully descramble portions of the video, which turns out to show the night of the crash. It is discovered that Sheyna was alive, after the incident. Who has caused the death of Sheyna? Did someone drive the vehicle off the cliff?
The somewhat anti-social Jesse hooks up with Hani Parande (Adele Perovic). When his brother receives the opportunity to travel to Lindara, Jesse jumps on the chance to get to spend more time with his new hacktivist girlfriend. Despite being unwilling to go, Ned is eventually convinced that Jesse will be alright alone. As Ned pulls away in the taxi, Jesse is kidnapped and pulled into a van. Has Randall Keats setup the kidnapping to prevent any leaked information? You’ll have to continue watching the show to find out!
Australia’s The Code is an intelligent thriller and the pilot really showed off its powerful cast, including Rectify’s Aden Young and Chelsie Preston Crayford, who played Tilly Devine in Underbelly: Razor. While Dan Spielman is good as journalist, Ned, it is likely Ashley Zukerman, who steals the show as the awkward, but genius Jesse Banks.
The pacing of the show is direct and straight to the point. There is no beating around the bush or filler moments, in the pilot. The pilot as very well written and the dialogue was great. We didn’t get any cheesy catch phrases or slang that we receive with American shows. Instead, the dialogue was realistic and smart.
Overall, the pilot setup the series exceptionally well and definitely left me with a lot to look forward to. Is Randall Keats really trying to help Poulson or does he has ulterior motives? Who snagged Jesse off of the streets? What exactly will Ned uncover when he travels to Lindara? I cannot wait to find out, which is why the pilot deserves a 9 out of 10.
Be sure to read our other reviews for The Code.