After Wildside, Kris Wyld and Steve Knapman teamed up to create and produce White Collar Blue for Channel Ten. The Peter O’Brien series proved to be very popular. TV Flashback caught up with Kris Wyld to find out how it all came together.
1) Where did the idea for White Collar Blue come from?
Sue Masters, who I had worked with for many years, admired Steve Knapman’s Producing skills and we had worked together with her when she was at the ABC as Head of Drama. When she became Head of Drama at Ten, she came to us and gave us the opportunity to do something that was fresher, exploring a totally different culture, the beach side of Cronulla.
2) You’d had a lot of success with Wildside, why was White Collar Blue toned down so much in comparison?
The storytelling needed to fit in with the ethos of Ten, which was a brighter, breezier one. The times had changed, and we explored the underbelly of the surf and beach culture. Some of the stories were pretty dark actually. But we wanted to incorporate humour and light as well.
3) It must have been a coup to cast Peter O’Brien in the lead role? What do you think he brought to the show?
People loved him. He got the highest audience approval rating ever in the test audience.
4) The show used a lot of beachside locations, was this always the plan or did it happen as locations were sought?
We planned it.
5) What was the shooting schedule for White Collar Blue like? Did the heavy use of locations cause issues?
The crew loved it, working out at Cronulla was like being in a different world. It was a lot easier than Wildside, as commercial hours of drama are 44 minutes as opposed to 55 at the ABC.
6) Did you have a favourite storyline or episode?
There were a few. One that never quite worked was Ep 31, I had to plot it the day my brother died, my head wasn’t in a good plotting space.
7) Do you think the show ended too soon? It sounds like the cast and crew were prepared for a third series?
Yes, we would have loved a third season.
8) If a third series was planned, were any big storylines or character arcs planned?
9) What will you treasure most from your time working on White Collar Blue, from both a professional and personal perspective?
Learning to handle responsibility was a big thing, Steve Knapman and Sue Masters gave me that opportunity.
10) What have you been up to recently?
Steve and I continued on with three seasons of EAST WEST 101. I am now working with Tony Ginnane on a feature, and a few new series. We did PULSE for the ABC in 2018.
Thanks to Kris for some great insight into White Collar Blue. Don’t forget to read our interview with Kris about her time script producing Wildside.
Below is a promo for the series: