In the 1980s and 90s, there were thousands of assaults and 80 murders along Sydney’s coast. The victims were young gay men, and 30 of those killings remain unsolved. Deep Water is a drama series inspired by that dark period, but set today. Drawing influence from the actual events, it’s an exploration of prejudice and evil that begins with a mutilated body in a Bondi apartment.
Here are the main players:
Tori Lustigman – the newcomer
After a break-up, Detective Constable Tori (Yael Stone) has moved back from Goulburn to Bondi, bringing her son Will. Quick to find connections and happy to rely on her intuition, she’s an intelligent and efficient detective who isn’t interested in social niceties. With a strong connection to surfie culture through her father – and brother who drowned many years ago – she is intent on solving the murder of Amir Rexhaj, no matter what the consequences.
Nick Manning – the veteran
A long-serving detective on the Bondi force, Detective Nick (Noah Taylor) knows his way around the local area – whether that means knowing how to talk to witnesses or deal with superiors in his department. Competent, confident and wary of newcomers, he sees guns as a last resort for situations that can’t be resolved through discussion. He wants to solve this case as much as Tori does, but ideally without destroying his career.
Inspector Peel – the stonewaller
Exactly the kind of boss that rubs a plucky newcomer the wrong way, Inspector Peel (William McInnes) dismisses Tori’s intuition and tries his best to keep her on the narrow path he sees as solving the crime: bring Amir’s ex-boyfriend to justice. Impressive and intimidating, he is concerned with his image and does not remotely like the idea of Tori digging into cases involving the bashings and deaths of gay men from 1990 and earlier.
Rohan Asad – the suspect
The late Amir Rexhaj’s ex-partner has a pile of evidence stacked against him, as well as the prejudice of senior members of the Bondi Homicide Squad. An Iranian student who suffered horrifically in his native country, Rohan (George H. Xanthis) had a falling out with Amir just prior to the latter’s brutal murder – specifically about Amir’s refusal to come out to anyone in his family apart from his twin brother, Haris.
Oscar Taylor – the confidante
A long-time friend of Tori and her late brother Shane, Oscar (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) is a confidante that she can rely upon. As a gay man who grew up in the Bondi area and took part in the first Gay Mardi Gras, he has a great deal of historical perspective and information that Tori can use as her investigation deepens. He’s also a father-figure to her son, Will.
Kyle “Hammers” Hampton – the local
Owner of a gay-friendly nightspot and 100 per cent local, “Hammers” (Craig McLachlan) is also 100 per cent sleazy when it comes to dealing with female detectives. Does he have something to hide, beyond the gang-related activities of his youth? Or is he the upstanding community member and prominent businessman he appears to be?
Deep Water airs Wednesday and Thursday night at 8:30pm on SBS. After they air, episodes will be available on SBS On Demand.
Watch the series On Demand: