Total Control review – Mailman is superb, but real #Auspol has more drama | Luke Buckmaster

With such a commanding screen presence, it’s hard to believe this Canberra-set series is Deborah Mailman’s first leading role

As a set-up for films and TV shows, average people entering the soul-destroying world of politics is an oldie but a goodie, a vehicle to explore the preservation of personal values in complex and compromising environments.

The most famous example is Frank Capra’s 1939 classic Mr Smith Goes to Washington, about a wholesome Boy Rangers leader parachuted into the role of a senator. Just one year later Australia got its homegrown equivalent, the director Ken G. Hall’s neglected feelgood 1940 comedy Dad Rudd, MP, which follows an ordinary farmer who runs for parliament and prevails against wealthy vested interests.

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