Thomas Jane steams in his “Troppo” role as disgraced police detective Ted Conkaffey in this Sunday’s Australian-set Freevee series.
Ted is a mess, a man who from the first episode really has met the darkness. Accused of a horrible crime, it’s left him a broken man because the case was shut down. People assume he’s guilty but just got away with it.
As executive producer and star Jane, 53 and best known for his HBO series “Hung” and action flicks like “The Punisher” and “The Predator,” optioned the “Crimson Lake” source novel by Candice Fox and supervised the adaptation.
“Troppo” tracks Ted as he teams up with eccentric private investigator Amanda Pharrell (Nicole Chamoun) to find a missing Korean man, a case that leads them into the wilds of Far North Queensland.
In a Zoom interview, Jane vividly explained why he connected with troubled Ted.
“Amanda and Ted are two people broken by experiences,” he began, “that ultimately they didn’t have a lot of control over. For Ted, why are detectives detectives? Because they seek the truth. And that’s what Ted’s passionate about in life: What’s the truth?
“That’s what got Ted in trouble, ruined his life and made him leave his family and drive up to … Australia’s Queensland, which is as far north as you can get.
“Which in Australia means: as hot as you can get. Hence the term ‘troppo’ — it’s literally what people in Australia have named people who go crazy from the heat! It’s a great title, ‘Troppo.’
“So he takes off to the hottest place in Australia, and turns his whole life upside down and really creates this sort of re-evaluation of who he is and what he is and why.
“But there’s one fact he can’t escape from and that is what got Ted in trouble: his desire to seek the truth. And that’s what he’s best at. He’s a successful, talented detective who moved up the ranks really quickly because of that. That created a lot of jealousy internally in the police department. You want to kick the guy who succeeds too fast or is good in his job.
“So when the castle crumbled for Ted, he didn’t have a lot of people standing up to defend him or support him. In fact, they’re secretly glad this guy got taken down in such an awful, tremendous, cataclysmic fashion for being accused of crime that he did not commit.
“He knows he’s innocent. But the world thinks he’s guilty. So what happened after that is fascinating.”