Chelisie Preston Crayford is Tily Devine

1927 Sydney. The iconic harbour bridge is mid-construction; and the trade in sly grog and prostitution is as healthy as ever; and the new entry to the franchise for Channel 9 – Underbelly Razor – is set to play out, and it’s very, very good.

This 13-episode series maintains all the sexy mystique of the previous incarnations (including the narration from Caroline Craig), while opening up the Australian period story of the battle between Tilly Devine (Chelsie Preston Crayford) and Kate Leigh (Danielle Cormack). The performances from the two central ladies is strong and definite. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned (and these bitches are pissed).

The ensemble cast is, again, chock full of great performers: Jeremy Lindsay Talyor as Norman Bruhn cuts a strong figure and a definite bad boy fresh onto the Sydney scene; Felix Williamson is deliciously slimy as Phil “The Jew” Jeffs; & Anna McGahan is entrancing as young prostitute (and apple of Norman’s eye) Nellie Cameron. Those resposible for dressing the cast and the set also deserve special mention. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the show as it’s just transfixing.

Underbelly Razor is stylish, strong and emminently watchable. Add it to The Block, Top Design, Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year and success with shows like Inside the Human Body, and the second half of the year is looking very bright for the home of the dots.

Underbelly RAZOR – coming soon, Ch9.