Streaming service Sundance Now has released a trailer for its upcoming cold case mystery-drama Black Snow, a six-part series that is described as one part whodunit and one part coming-of-age drama.
Travis Fimmel (Vikings) as cold-case detective James Cormack, charged with investigating the 25-year-old murder of a high school student in North Queensland, Australia. In 1994, seventeen-year-old Isabel Baker was killed in a small sugarcane town and the mystery of her death was never solved. But thanks to the opening of a school time capsule in 2019, a secret is revealed that at last puts Cormack on the trail of her killer and offers hope that he may be able to finally give Isabel's family some closure.
Told across two timelines, the series follows Cormack's present-day investigation into Isabel's murder even as it allows us to hear Isabel speak for herself through flashbacks that detail her life in 1994 and draws intriguing parallels between her story and that of the detective attempting to solve her death.
“What intrigued me about him is that he’s a very flawed character. He’s got a lot of issues, childhood issues that he’s still dealing with, parental figures, and I think that’s the reason he became a cold-case detective,” Fimmel told the Sydney Morning Herald when the show was released in Australia.. “There’s some stuff that unravels in the story that he went through that is very similar to the stuff that’s going on in the main storyline. I think it’s maybe cathartic for him to be doing what he’s doing, but at the same time it brings up a lot of painful memories.”
Though the horrific murder that rocks the show's fictional South Sea Islander community is not based on any specific real-life event, it includes elements from multiple cold cases from that era that went unsolved because the victims were Black. It also explores the ongoing mistreatment of and prejudices toward Australia’s South Sea Islander population, the direct descendants of people who were (often forcefully) brought to Queensland from the Pacific islands to work as indentured laborers on sugar cane and cotton farms
The series synopsis reads as follows.
In 1994, seventeen-year-old Isabel Baker was murdered The crime shocked the small Australian town, devastating Isabel's South Sea Islander community. The case was never solved, and the killer never found. But 25 years later, the opening of a time capsule unearth a secret that puts cold-case Detective James Cormack on the trail of the killer.
Fimmel is joined by newcomers Talijah Blackman-Corowa as Isabel and Jemmason Power as Hazel. The series also co-stars Brooke Satchwell (Mr. Inbetween), Alexander England (Alien: Covenant), Anthony Sharpe (Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears), Erik Thomson (Aftertaste), Kym Gyngell (Picnic at Hanging Rock), and Australian singer Ziggy Ramo. The series was created by Lucas Taylor (Harrow), who penned episodes with Boyd Quakawoot (Black Comedy) and Beatrix Christian (Jindabyne).
Black Snow will debut with a two-episode premiere on Thursday, February 23 on both Sundance Now and AMC+. New episodes of the series will roll out weekly on Thursdays.