Troppo review: excellent mystery from Australia

Nicole Chamoun and Thomas Jane in Troppo

Troppo is set in the steamy tropics of far north Queensland. It’s filled with water, trees, crocodiles, snakes, huge flocks of birds, and murder. The characters, especially the two main characters, are beautifully written and developed. The mystery and puzzle of the plot is always engaging and not obvious.

The word troppo is Aussie slang for going crazy from the tropical heat and doing something stupid to hurt yourself. The first episode opens with a scene some of the locals attributed to troppo.

Wayne (Cramer Cain) and his son Charlie (Thomas Weatherall) have a boatload of tourists out in the river to get a thrill from seeing the big crocs. Out of the trees runs a near naked Lars (Bryan Probets). He’s sweating, frantic. He beats on the dock to attract the attention of the croc the tourists are eyeing. While they watch, he jumps in the water and swims toward the croc.

And crunch. Lars is lunch. Suicide by croc.

Except was it? That’s one of the mysteries in this 8 part series. Another involves a Korean businessman who dumps a glass of whiskey on his laptop, walks out the door, and doesn’t come home. His wife, Yoon Sun (Sun Park), reports him missing to the police. What happens to him is mystery number two.

The P.I.s get involved

Nicole Chamoun in Troppo

Amanda (Nicole Chamoun) returned to the little town of Crimson Falls after being in prison for a murder that happened when she was just a teen. Everyone hates her, especially the chief of police, Damford (David Lyons). He gives her trouble every chance he gets, but so do other people in the town. Amanda tries to make a little money as a tattooist and P.I.

Yoon Sun hires Amanda to look into her husband’s disappearance. Damford won’t let her do it unless she has a real police officer working with her as a consultant.

Thomas Jane and Thomas Weatherall in Troppo
Charlie takes Ted out to see the place where the crocs hang out

Amanda goes to Ted (Thomas Jane). Ted is a cop from Sydney who has run away from his own issues (and his wife and daughter) and is staying drunk in Crimson Falls. Amanda convinces him to help her.

With that much setup to get the story started, we are off and running.

By the end of the 8 episodes, Amanda and Ted have solved all the mysteries and uncovered several other secrets and lies. There’s the important question of what exactly happened with Amanda and the murdered girl all those years ago. Was the worst trauma of her life really her fault?

There’s an offbeat guy named Twist (Simon Lyndon) who has a building full of snakes in cages that he milks for venom. How is he involved?

There’s Kelly (Radha Mitchell), who worked with the missing man in a big corporation that was ready to starting mining operations under the ocean. How was she or the corporation involved?

There’s a group of teens including Charlie, Ah Rah (Yerin Ha), the daughter of the missing man, and the police chief’s daughter. What were they up to?

All of them are hiding something. Unraveling the mysteries is carefully written in this series. I had a favorite villain in mind the entire time, but I was surprised by the ending. It’s great when an ending in a mystery series can surprise you.

The cinematography was outstanding. Everything from the wild creatures surrounding the town to frequent close ups of Nicole Chamoun’s beautiful eyes was well done.

Yolanda Ramke created and wrote the series based on a book by Candice Fox. Women directors included Catherine Miller, Jocelyn Moorhouse, and Yolanda Ramke.

You can see this series on FreeVee.

5 thoughts on “Troppo review: excellent mystery from Australia”

  1. christopher swaby

    wonderful series. our main characters were fully fleshed out. their decisions and actions made sense. the end surprised me as well.

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