cast, plot and everything you need to know about the Australian thriller series

Scrublands is a tense Australian drama set in an isolated country town. It stars Jay Ryan as a charismatic and dedicated young priest, who calmly opened fire on his congregation and killed five parishioners. A year on, investigative journalist Martin Scarsden (Luke Arnold) is sent to file a feature on the anniversary of the shocking event but soon realises the accepted narrative is full of holes. As Martin digs further into the story to uncover the truth, he finds himself in extreme danger.

Scrublands is based on the award-winning novel written by Chris Hammer and here’s everything you need to know about the drama adaptation coming to BBC4 and BBCiPlayer…

Scrublands release date

Scrublands is a four-part drama launching on BBC4 and BBCiPlayer in the UK, probably later in 2023. Each episode ins 50 minutes. There’s no release date yet but when one is confirmed we’ll update you on this page. In Australia. Scrublands is set to air on Stan in 2024. We haven’t a conformed US release date.

What is the plot of Scrublands?

In Scrublands, ivestigative journalist Martin Scarsden (Luke Arnold) is sent to a remote town where a young priest called Byron Swift (Jay Ryan) gunned down five members of his congregation. He’s been tasked with writing a piece to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy, but his instincts tell him that the truth behind the story has yet to be told. Martin decides to investigate further but his search for the truth leads to a life-or-death battle.

Scrublands cast — Luke Arnold as Martin Scarsden

Former Home and Away star Luke Arnold, who was Lewis Hayes in the Aussie soap, is playing journalist Martin Scarsden in Scrublands. Luke has also starred in True Colours, Preppers, Black Sails and The End. He also played frontman Michael Hutchence in the series INXS: Never Tear us Apart.

Jay Ryan as Bryon Swift

Jay Ryan is playing the villain in Scrubl;ands — a young priest Bryon Swift who committed a terrible atrocity.

Jay also made his name in soaps, having played Jack Scully in Neighbours. This year he starred in the Paramount Plus series No Escape and he has also appeared in Creamerie, Beauty and the Beast, Go Girls and Mary Kills People.

Jay Ryan as The Blue crew member.

Jay Ryan as The Blue crew member.

Who else is starring in Scrublands?

The cast of Scrublands also includes Bella Heathcote (Relic), Robert Taylor (The Newsreader), Adam Zwar (Squinters), Zane Ciarma (Neighbours), Victoria Thaine (Nowhere Boys), Stacy Clausen (True Spirit), Genevieve Morris (No Activity) and newcomer Ella Ferris.

Is there a trailer for Scrublands?

Sadly not, but if and when the BBC releases a Scrublands trailer we’ll post it on here.

Behind the scenes and more on Scrublands

Scrublands is a four-part series from Australian production company Easy Tiger (Colin from Accounts, The Twelve). The thriller was acquired by the BBC from Abacus Media Rights who have international distribution rights for the series. It was produced by Easy Tiger for Stan Australia and the Nine Network. Produced by Ian Collie, Rob Gibson, David Redman and Felicity Packard, the series is directed by Greg McLean and written by Felicity Packard, Kelsey Munro and Jock Serong.


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