Channel Ten’s two-part series of Brock, the story of Aussie racing legend Peter Brock, has fallen flat on its face and copped waves of criticism from the Twittersphere when it aired over two nights this week.
Airing on Sunday, it nabbed 828,000 viewers, per OzTAM metro figures, making it the seventh highest entertainment program including the podium, wrap up and race broadcasts of the Bathurst 1000, which collectively cleaned up with close to 3.5 million views.
However, looking to last night’s audience stats, the program clearly didn’t resonate with audiences the way Ten might have hoped, winning just 526,000 viewers and barely scraping into the top 20 shows of the night at number 19.
Per news.com.au, following Sunday’s debut, Ian Tate, chief mechanic for the Holden Dealer Team from 1969 to 1976, said he’d spoken with Peter Brock’s son James Brock, and that both concluded the show was “really poorly done”.
“He’s not impressed and I don’t think his mother (Bev) is,” he told news. “I wasted two hours watching it. It’s the most pathetic crap I’ve ever seen.
“It’s not even a B-grade movie, I thought it was put together by a pack of uni students. I can’t see anyone watching it again tonight.”
Brock’s long-term partner Bev had initially railed against the production of the mini-series, describing the story as “absolute bullshit” even before a script had been written. But closer to screening, the telemovie’s executive producer, Kerrie Mainwaring was reported saying that she had eventually come on board.
Per news.com.au, Brock’s PR chief, Tim ‘Plastic’ Pemberton said the makers had actually done a “terrific job” recreating the time period, but that they hadn’t accurately captured the personality of Brock himself.
“If you grabbed any bloke and looked at their 10 most outrageous moments in an hour on TV, no one would look very good,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve captured the real Brock.”
Twitter users had a few similar opinions.
— mark (@voodoorock) October 10, 2016
Is Brendan Cowell in #Brock doing the worst accent work ever seen on television?
— JamCalić (@PBJamCal) October 9, 2016
Hard as a motorsport fan to ignore the poetic licence used but even apart from that, the #Brock miniseries felt a bit sub-par unfortunately
— Ed Greenhalgh (@ed24f1) October 9, 2016
Push button phones and Peter Brock meeting Bev in 1969. Basic errors. Plus ludicrous dialogue. He deserves better than #Brock.
— Craig Middleton (@ACommsGuy) October 9, 2016
Actor Brendan Cowell, who starred in Brock as race car driver Allan Moffat, also had a dig at the overall genre of Aussie biopics on TV, saying he wants networks to stop playing it safe by reflecting Australian icons and start taking risks with fresh programs.
The actor and writer, who won acclaim for his adaptation of Christian Tsiolkas novel, The Slap (which sold internationally), told News Corp Australia, “These days, every time you see something happen, someone wins a race or someone gets shot, you start to say ‘oh I wonder who will get that role?’”
“I won the screenplay award for The Slap but have struggled to work as a writer here because I find unless you pitch the Kay Cottee story, it’s hard to get challenging, new ideas up in this country.”