That’s all many long-time viewers of popular Australian comedy/drama The ALP are saying after today’s nail-bitingly tense and frankly bewildering mid-season finale. And with the writers keeping silent, we went straight to the actors to try and get some answers…
“It’s a really great character,” says Quentin Polycarp, who plays the conniving former PM Kevin Rudd. “He maintains this smooth exterior, but underneath there’s a real flurry of activity just to keep afloat; the animal I’d probably compare him to is some sort of betrayal-fuelled duck. He’s a sociopath, but there’s something magnetic about his appeal.”
But, Polycarp insists, the writers keep him as much in the dark as the viewers.
“I haven’t seen any scripts from the second half of the season!” he laughs. “I don’t know if there’s going to be another coup storyline – like they were throwing around with Rich [Philp, who plays the role of doddery old Arts Minister Simon Crean] and the spill plot – but to be honest I think that was just a strategy to bump up viewership before the six week mid-season break.”
One actor who will be looking forward to the end-of-season finale (currently scheduled for September) is actor Charles Zoppi, better known to viewers as the bile-spewing Leader of the Opposition.
“When they first approached me to play Tony Abbott, I turned them down,” says Zoppi in between takes, still wearing the ubiquitous false ears and illogical policy announcements that have endeared him to viewers. “I thought there was no way that anybody would be able to take the character seriously – the Speedos, the blatant lies, all of it seemed utterly ridiculous. But they kept asking, and eventually I accepted on the condition that I could just play him as this sort of over-the-top pantomime villain, and I’ve been turning the dial up to 11 every season since then.”
With executive producer Rod Tooper having stated that The ALP was only ever plotted out to run until the end of this current season, is a Tony Abbott sequel in the works?
“Maybe,” says Zoppi, flashing one of his character’s trademark shit-eating grins. “But if there is, you’d better believe this dial goes up to 12.”