Is total control possible with feisty Senator Alex Irving in the mix?

Polittical insights: Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths star in ABC TV's Total Control.
Photo: supplied/ABC TV, by Lisa Tomasetti.
Polittical insights: Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths star in ABC TV's Total Control. Photo: supplied/ABC TV, by Lisa Tomasetti.

TOTAL CONTROL- Season 2 premiere:ABC TV and ABC iview, Sunday, November 7, 8.40pm

When a show boasts a cast that includes Deborah Mailman, Rachel Griffiths, Colin Friels, William McInnes, Alex Dimitriades, Wayne Blair and Rob Collins, you know you are in for a quality piece of television.

If you missed the first season of ABC's Total Control, be sure to catch it on ABC iview because it is worth seeing fresh-faced senator Alex Irving (Mailman) quickly learn the double dealing ways of federal politics in this well crafted series.

The show's producer, Darren Dale, is a dear friend of Mailman and sent her an early draft of the script.

"Anything he invites me to do is a no brainer. I read the draft and thought 'what a fabulous character'," Mailman says.

"I didn't know who else he was casting but he is always wanting the best people.

"The great thing about Blackfella Films is when you walk on the set you know you are going be surrounded by professionals who nurture each other.

Playing her character's son Eddie is Wesley Irving.

"He is amazing. I worked with him on H is for Happiness, he is brilliant. He is so smart, so instinctual, and beautiful to work with. Yet he is still a kid and full of fun," Mailman says.

"Rachel [Griffiths], oh, I love that woman. She is a political junkie and takes a keen interest in it. She creates such authenticity in the role, I've just always been a massive fan. I was a bit nervous [to be working with her], I thought I've got to bring my a-game."

Mailman says hers and Griffiths' characters have two very opposite belief systems bound by party lines initially. But (spoiler alert) Alex isn't beholding to anyone and, by the end of season one, we "see her savviness come into it".

This season she realises her heart lies with her own community even though they don't trust her or like her very much.

She and former prime minister Rachel Anderson (Griffiths) orbit each other's world again and it is an uncomfortable alliance.

"They are still two bulls in a china shop and there is a lot of distrust after their mutual betrayal."

Mailman says she hopes shows like Total Control give viewers a better understanding of how our First Nations people become disenfranchised.

"It's an important part of the story we want to tell. I hope it sheds some insight.

"One of the other elements you get to see is how policy effects people in a day-to-day existence."

Mailman appreciated being among the local Indigenous people in Winton, where season one was filmed.

"Many Winton locals were seen in the town hall meeting.

"It was awesome. People had to give up their footy weekend, but they were happy to be a part of the filming.

"Like a lot of regional towns, the people are really welcoming of filming, and show such generosity around offering their services."

Unfortunately, due to COVID border restrictions, series two could not be shot in the Central West Queensland town, so filming was shifted to Broken Hill for this season.

So, will we ever see Deborah Mailman run for office?

"God no. I have no interest in politics, no way," she answers adamantly.