‘The Gloaming’ is an Australian crime thriller told in the style of a police-procedural drama. At the center of the story is Molly McGee, a detective called to investigate the gruesome murder of a woman. The situation of the crime-scene hints at a sinister happening, which creates an air of terrific mystery. In her dogged pursuit of justice, Molly has to navigate through strange clues that push her to the edge. Moreover, she has to partner with another detective, Alex O’Connell — they both have a history together, which makes the investigation more complicated. Molly’s personal life is fractured as her career has created a difference between herself and her teenage daughter, Lily.
The investigation hints at occult practices that shift the narrative to the dimensions of superstition and paranormal happenings. The eerie atmosphere of the series ensconced within the Tasmanian wilderness elevates the story to a visual pinnacle. The strange machinations of the human mind are something that we are familiar with, which pushes the crime series to a subtle corner of reality. We got curious about the origin of the story and decided to look further. If you are on the same page, we have got you covered!
Is The Gloaming Based on a True Story?
No, ‘The Gloaming’ is not based on a true story. The story was envisaged and created by Victoria Madden, the showrunner of the series. Interestingly, her mother would often use the word “Gloaming,” which by itself refers to a twilight. However, Victoria further explained the context, stating, “My mum was Welsh and she used to talk about the gloaming a lot. It’s the space in between, and I knew I wanted to do a ghost story, and ghosts sit in a liminal space.”
To say that the show is inspired is an understatement. After all, this idiosyncratic thriller doesn’t use the conventional tropes of the genre to fuel the narrative. However, it was actually the unfortunate loss of her mother that made her want to explore the themes of grief and loss through this lens in the first place. When Madden started writing the script, her mother was not well, and she passed away just as filming was about to begin.
Consequently, the story that Madden penned down came from an emotionally raw place. She further explained, “It was tough, but I think that’s the beauty of writing: you get to examine real emotions through characters, and hold them up to the light and see how people react. Thematically I was thinking about grief and how you get stuck in-between, and that’s something I wanted to explore using that as a metaphor.”
Apart from this, Madden’s approach was based on the history of Tasmania, whose landscapes become a major driving force of the narrative. The island has been Madden’s muse before as she had filmed ‘The Kettering Incident,’ a thrilling mystery drama in its own right, over there. Having said that, it can be concluded that Madden is no stranger to dark stories. The island’s past had been a subject of study for the showrunner. She said that people generally avoided discussing it, but the historical truths do come up sometimes.
It is hard to ignore that Tasmania was known as Van Dieman’s Land during the colonial period — the island is fraught with past events of massacres, gruesome murders, and brutal deeds. Madden worked around these events that have sedimented into the human psyche over a period of time. The places around the Tasmanian wilderness reflect the past as if some misdeed had happened in the yesteryears. ‘The Gloaming’ is a testament to this feeling as the “misdeeds” are translated for the screen.
We can draw parallels to ‘The Gloaming’ with other police-procedural series like ‘True Detective’ and ‘The Sinner.’ Both the shows have ushered in a sub-genre of crime thriller that delves into the mysteries of the occult and the supernatural. Madden’s series can be viewed as an extension of this sub-genre, but the difference lies in the treatment of the landscape. Madden’s personal camaraderie with Tasmania can be seen in the show, as the misty atmosphere becomes a harbinger of dread. The show encourages the viewers to delve into the island’s savage history, which has become a part of its existence.
Lead actor Emma Booth said that ‘The Gloaming’ is an eerie show but is laden with exquisite beauty. She emphasized that the environment and its history also serve as the inspiration for this gripping series. The blood and gore are a part of it because it shows that the crimes are purely human irrespective of the themes. The ultimate horror of the series is situated between the past and present and is ushered by the gruesome schemes of the human mind. Despite being a fictional tale, ‘The Gloaming’ explores the corruption induced by secrets and the orchestrations of faith.
Read More: Where Is The Gloaming Filmed?