Mystery Road: Origin explores how a tragic death, an epic love, and the brutal reality of life as a police officer straddling two worlds, form the mould out which Detective Jay Swan emerges.
It’s 1999 and the world is on the cusp of a new century. It’s a time of hope for many and a chance to tell a new story. But some old stories can’t be easily wished away.
Jay Swan, a freshly minted police detective, will discover this harsh truth when he takes up his first posting in a mining town, Jardine, population 1000. Jay doesn’t know he is on the verge of a story that will change his life forever.
While in town Jay will be confronted by a series of robberies, perpetrated by a masked gang, that are as random as they are violent. Fingers are pointed at a local hire company with petty crime connections, but the culprits are closer to home. In fact, they are right under Jay’s nose.
“We know that there’s a lot under the surface of Jay Swan. This gives us an opportunity to look into his past and what made him the detective that he is today. It’s about what formed him, what made him be this person? It’s been a fascinating journey for the writers. Mark is such a great actor and he looks a bit like Aaron, and he’s one of those guys that the ladies swoon over,” explains Sally Riley, ABC Head of Drama, Entertainment and Indigenous. 
Young police constable Jay Swan starts a new job in an outback mining town, where he spent his youth. Whilst investigating a series of robberies and pursuing the truth behind a personal tragedy, he meets the love of his life.
After a bizarre robbery, Jay leads a visit to a local gang that quickly escalates. Anousha seeks clues about Josh Allen's death, and after the town's celebrations at the annual debutante ball Jay's night takes a tragic turn.
Jay struggles with findings about Jack's death. He looks for clues pointing to foul play and he fights with Geraldine about how best to commemorate his father. Anousha searches for people involved with Josh's case.
Jay discovers Jack was deeply in debt and when Sputty also seems to be involved he becomes suspicious. Jay and Mary grow closer, Anousha acts for Ziggy and the Kelly Gang unexpectedly strikes again.
After another heist by the Kelly Gang, Jay pieces together their identities and uncovers their hideout. Anousha finds an unexpected detail of the police investigation into Josh's death and suddenly finds herself in danger.
The Kelly Gang's plans violently come to a head in a shootout at the Roadhouse. Mary gets too close to Josh's killers and Jay finds out who was really behind his father's death.
- Mark Coles Smith - young Jay Swan
Tuuli Narkle - Mary
Toby Leonard Moore
- Release dates
- 18 June 2022 - Premiere at the Sydney Film Festival
3 July 2022 - ABC iView
- M - Mature
Filmed on location in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
Watch now or find a DVD/BlueRay copy
Browse a list of Aboriginal film suppliers and distributors
Other films by Dylan River
Use the Aboriginal film timeline to discover films you never heard of.
Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?