Sunday, April 01, 2007

Article: The Adelaide Advertiser - February 7th, 2007

Order of the day is sticking to the code

WILLIAM McInnes laughs about his failed journey as a lawyer, back in his university days, when he missed his first-year law exam. "I was late to my first-year Constitutional Law exam. When I got there, the doors were locked,'' he scoffs. "I wasn't allowed in . . . I was so worried about playing footballand chasing women that it got in the way of law.''

But fast-forward a few decades and now McInnes, who is one of Australian television's most talented actors, with starring roles in Blue Heelers and SeaChange, is venturing back to the legal world, narrating Channel 9's observational-reality series The Code: Crimeand Justice.

The new series has gained unprecedented access for television cameras to go inside Victoria's Magistrates Courts - and also insidethe police system. "The Chief Magistrate of Victoria allowed the team into the courts with an amazing amount of access,'' McInnes says. "It looks at people who are caught up in incidents, including the victims and perpetrators, and follows their journey through the court system.''

McInnes ensures viewers that the 30-minute episodes are never short of amusing. "It's entertaining. You can't believe what some people get up toand how they behave,'' he says. "We go into the Magistrates Court where there's the whole kit and kaboodle. "But it's not sensational or razzle and dazzle.''

From chasing police to Magistrates Court hearings, The Code investigates how the law enforcers go about apprehending and prosecuting criminals. And, to spice up the show, coverage includes action-packed scenes of suburban sieges, drug raids and homicide investigations, presented as they unfold. Nine Network head of programming Michael Healysays the series is an Australian first that "won't disappoint''.

"When the crime happens, we're there,'' he says. "When it goes to court, we're also there. "We get to see the whole picture of crime and justice as it unfolds in real time. ''The series is produced by Craig Graham, who is the brains behind Nine medical series RPA, which was based on the goings-on at Sydney'sRoyal Prince Alfred Hospital. "The show uses the same template that Craig Graham used with RPA,'' McInnes says, referring to the "access all areas'' style ofreportage. "The Code is similar to RPA in that it demystified doctors and officials in several hospitals, but this time it's with police and the courts.''


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