Cal McTeer (Australian actress Charlotte Best) returns home in the fictional Orphelin Bay after 10 years in a juvenile detention centre. The small coastal town, she discovers, is a busy drug-trafficking spot, in which she soon finds herself involved.
The plot of Tidelands is that one of the groups linked to the activity is an isolated community of fantastic beings, half sirens (mermaid) and half human. They are led by Adrielle Cuthbert (Spanish actress Elsa Pataky from Fast and Furious). She is the leader that is willing to do everything to protect the tribe. In the imminent territory dispute, Cal has to choose one side. Australians Peter O’Brien of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Aaron Jakubenko are a few other names in the cast.
Soon after, a murder puts the fishermen community in friction with the Tidelanders, and Cal discovers that her true state of being is a mermaid – this ambiguity is one of the most important parts of the series.
Marco Pigossi plays Dylan, one of the main characters, who begins as the right arm of the leader of the Tidelanders but also engages with Cal. “It’s a very feminine series, it’s a matriarchal society, and Dylan is between the two protagonists,” says Pigossi. “He has a legal driving role in the plot.” The hedonism of the Tidelanders emerges in the highly sensual characters that the actors put on the screen. They do not have marital bonds, for example, they are freer in that sense, and it’s also legal to exploit that.
After acting in more than a dozen TV Globo productions, Marco Pigossi, from São Paulo, now dives into foreign waters: Tidelands, the first Australian production on Netflix. It has the actor as one of the highlights of the international cast for the series. The whole series one, 8 episodes, 50 minutes each, have been available since December 2018, with season two nearly set for release.
The Multicultural Cast is Part of the Dramaturgy
The idea of the producers was that the mermaid community had different accents and even different ways to be on the scene. Apart from Brazil and Spain, there are actors from New Zealand and the Philippines. The new experience of acting in English, according to Pigossi, adds a layer to the character himself. The actors discover their characters from each other’s accents.
After leaving TV Globo, Pigossi intended to spend time in London at an English theatre school, but Tidelands diverted the route. Filming was done in Queensland. Coming from playing characters in gritty TV (such as the hired gunman in Henrique Goldman’s The Name of Death), entry into the fantasy world is a novelty in the 29-year-old’s career.
There isn’t too much fantasy inspired TV in Brazil
Brazilians work much more with reality and drama. But it seems as though Pigossi is enjoying this contrast; it makes a lot of difference for the actor to change genres. On set, the differences are huge, with a lot done in post-production, but at the same time, it’s fun for the actor too.
Even with the fantastic element and special effects, the core element of Tidelands is summarily human. To understand where you come from is very human in nature. What the characters are looking for is a mother, an explanation of where they come from and what they are part of. It’s an identification process.
The series is made by the Australian production company Hoodlum, responsible for the Secrets & Lies series, that gained an American adaptation for ABC. Like that series, Tidelands was written by Stephen M. Irwin.