Darby and Joan stars Bryan Brown and Greta Scacchi in a charming road trip adventure through the most gorgeous places in Queensland, Australia. She’s on a quest and he’s along for the ride.
Darby and Joan requires an extra large dose of “willing suspension of disbelief.” The basic premise that two strangers would hop into a camper van and drive all over Queensland trying to solve a mystery is really far fetched. But if you can overlook that improbable part of the story, it’s a nice mystery with some fun Australian sights and actors along the way. Bryan Brown as Jack Darby and Greta Scacchi as Joan Kirkhope bury you under so much charm and chemistry that you don’t really mind.
Joan heads to Australia from England. Her husband Ian (John Waters – the Australian John Waters) dies mysteriously in Australia while he claimed to be at a conference in Spain. She has his notebooks and phone and uses them to piece together his route. She revisits every spot he went to unravel his secret life.
At the first place she finds, she has a near head on collision with Jack Darby in his truck, which rolls over and has to be hauled away for repairs. She gives him a ride and shares a bit of her story. He’s an ex-cop. She’s an ex nurse. They team up in a platonic way and work together through the remainder of the episodes to find out what happened to Ian.
As they travel around they meet people who knew Ian and who interacted with him. Sometimes they find out very surprising things. Sometimes they are in danger. Their own past lives are explored.
Darby and Joan went somewhere new in each episode. At first it seemed like every episode was a random experience with a different group of people. As the episodes move along it became clear that everyone they met and the places they went all fit together to solve the mysterious demise of Ian and reveal his secret life.
Joan had a daughter (Anna McGahan) back in England. She was a doctor with a wife (Sophia Emberson-Bain) and two children. Joan didn’t want to tell her what she was learning about Ian. It was too upsetting.
The fact that Jack was a former cop and his daughter Liz (Jolene Anderson) was currently a Detective Inspector helped a lot. Joan was a pretty good detective herself.
The tour of Queensland was stunning and beautiful. All in all it was a fun series. It was another goodhearted and pleasant series, the kind of thing you see so often on Acorn TV.
You can see this Australian series on Acorn TV in the US. Every episode is available now. Mairi Cameron and Jo O’Shaughnessy were the women who had directing jobs.