In the latest season of The Librarians, premiering on ABC1 tonight, the motley bunch of characters working in Middleton Library — sorry, ‘Interactive Learning Centre’ — will experience some big changes.
Head librarian Frances O’Brien is faced with the threat of funding cutbacks unless she turns the library into a ‘profitable exercise’. Her husband Terry continues denying the existence of middle age by reforming his tragic Midnight Oils cover band, Oils Ain’t Oils.
And librarian Ky Lee, played by Keith Brockett, marries his partner Darren in a wedding ceremony that veers from the hilarious to the disastrous — mirrorballs and Cyndi Lauper tunes make an appearance before it all goes tits up.
“Ky’s made big changes in his life and decided to tie the knot with Darren, but of course it doesn’t go to plan,” Brockett told Sydney Star Observer.
“He holds quite a lot of resentment towards Dawn [without giving too much away, the hapless, wheelchair-bound Dawn plays a big part in Ky’s Very Special Day becoming a Very Special Medical Emergency], which is tough for both of them because they were very close in previous series.
“Can they mend this relationship? Ky will do a lot of soul-searching, which is nice, because we haven’t seen anything that deep from him before.”
That’s not to say this third series of the show, created by husband and wife team Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope (who play Frances and Terry respectively), will lose the farcical tone that’s made it one of the ABC’s most popular local comedies.
Frances is still as blithely bigoted as ever — she insists at every available opportunity that Ky’s wedding is “really just more of a get-together”.
“Frances allows people to laugh at themselves, to think ‘I’ve had that thought in my life’,” Brockett laughed.
She definitely seems to have struck a chord — very few Australian TV shows these days last to a third season.
“I’m rapt that audiences are embracing the Australian television shows in general. A few years ago, that wasn’t the case, and it seemed like TV shows were coming and going so quickly,” Brockett said.
“Hopefully this can keep going beyond the third season, but because Robyn and Wayne are the brains behind the whole project, they’re very aware that it shouldn’t overextend itself.”
The pair are the driving creative force for the show, both behind and in front of the cameras. Brockett said it was a thrill to work alongside Butler and Hope, as well as respected comedic actors like Roz Hammond, Bob Franklin, and Tony Martin, who’s directed two episodes of this new season.
“The two of them work very well together. Robyn’s the big ideas person, with big broad brushstrokes, then Wayne comes along and fills in the details. It’s a wonderful working environment, definitely one of the best I’ve been involved in.”
info: The Librarians screens Wednesday nights at 8.30pm on ABC1, starting on October 13.
Keith Brockett plays Ky, The Librarians’ resident loved-up gay boy.