Set in Western Sydney and starring Akshay Khanna and Zoë Boe, with Simone Kessell and Erik Thomson, the six-part crime drama has completed production and will premiere in 2024, only on Stan. 

Akshay Khanna as Zil Ahmed
Akshay Khanna as Zil Ahmed

March 12, 2024 - Stan, Australia’s unrivalled home of original productions, today announced the brand new Stan Original Series Critical Incident, a gripping psychological crime thriller from creator Sarah Bassiuoni (The Secrets She Keeps) that recently completed production in Western Sydney, with major production investment from Screen Australia.

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Critical Incident is produced by Matchbox Pictures, which is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. The six-part series stars Akshay Khanna (Polite Society), Zoë Boe (The Tree), Roxie Mohebbi (Shortland Street), Hunter Page-Lochard (The Newsreader), Jai Waetford (Neighbours), Jackson Heywood (Stan Original Series Bloom) and Zindzi Okenyo (Stan Original Series Wolf Like Me), with Simone Kessell (Yellowjackets) and Erik Thomson (Stan Original Series Black Snow).

Filmed in Blacktown, Granville, Parramatta and Greenacre, the Stan Original Series Critical Incident is a raw series depicting life in the Western suburbs of Sydney. This contemporary crime drama delves into the complex world of policing and the consequences on those most vulnerable.

Zoë Boe as Dalia
Zoë Boe as Dalia

While on patrol for a teenage suspect, Senior Constable Zilifcar ‘Zil’ Ahmed (Khanna) pursues Dalia (Boe), and in the chaos and confusion of the pursuit, a bystander is critically injured. Zil’s world comes crashing down when he discovers Dalia was in fact not the perpetrator. 

The immense guilt over the bystander’s injuries, coupled with the pressure of the critical incident investigation and the public scrutiny, creates an unbearable burden for Zil. Encouraged by his brothers in blue, Zil becomes obsessed with pinning something on Dalia.

Stan Chief Content Officer Cailah Scobie said: “Stan is very committed to investing in premium local drama that champions Australian voices, and the Stan Original Series Critical Incident is a prime example of this. A compulsive, cinematic crime thriller portraying life in Sydney’s west, Critical Incident has incredible performances from a stellar cast of emerging and established names. One of Australia’s most talented creatives, Sarah Bassiuoni, has crafted a powerful and nuanced story about assumptions and policing. Guaranteed to be a powerful series, we look forward to sharing it with audiences later this year.” 

Series Creator and Writer Sarah Bassiuoni said: “It has been a total rush to work with so many talented folk in bringing the Sydney I lived and worked in for so long to life. I cannot wait for audiences to jump on board the thrilling ride that Stan, Matchbox, our wonderful crew and incredible cast have created.

Critical Incident is a drama that offers multiple meanings and arguments around policing and criminality. This is not a cop show. This is not an organised crime show. This is drama. A drama about when things go wrong on the job and it just so happens your job is being a police officer. Equally, this is a drama about being policed and how very often, that very fact, pushed you towards crime. Our world is a proud, authentic presentation of Western Sydney, with all its beauty and brutality. It is real. It hurts. And it hopes. I am very grateful that Stan has been brave enough to let this dedicated and gifted cast and crew tell such a story.” 

Matchbox Pictures Managing Director Alastair McKinnon said: “Matchbox is thrilled to be working with one of Australia’s most exciting screen creatives, Sarah Bassiuoni, whose lived experiences as a lawyer and as the daughter of an Arab Egyptian Muslim resonate throughout this gripping and provocative series. Sarah, executive producers Debbie Lee and Sheila Jayadev and producer Bree-Anne Sykes, have brought together an exceptional cast and team of creatives, including directors Neil Sharma and Daniel Nettheim, who have created a series that will keep audiences enthralled.” ​ 

Screen Australia Director of Content Grainne Brunsdon said: “Screen Australia is proud to be partnering with Stan to support this highly skilled team at Matchbox Pictures, as they create yet another captivating series realised by a great cast. Propulsive and exhilarating, Critical Incident promises to provide honest insights and an authentic representation of Western Sydney, and I can’t wait to watch it when it lands on Stan.”

Head of Screen NSW Kyas Hepworth said:Critical Incident showcases the breadth of talent we have in NSW, and I applaud the entire creative team, led by Sarah Bassiuoni, on recently wrapping production on the show. It's fantastic to see that not only parts of Western Sydney will be spotlighted on screen, but that there were 200 jobs created for people from Western Sydney as part of this series. We know audiences around Australia will be as gripped by this series as we are.”

Akshay Khanna and Zoë Boe
Akshay Khanna and Zoë Boe

The Stan Original Series Critical Incident is directed by Neil Sharma (Heartbreak High) and Daniel Nettheim (Stan Original Series The Tourist, Line of Duty), created and written by Sarah Bassiuoni alongside writers Ruth Underwood, Hannah Fitzpatrick and Natasha Henry, and produced by Bree-Anne Sykes with Executive Producers Sheila Jayadev and Debbie Lee from Matchbox Pictures, and Cailah Scobie and Amanda Duthie for Stan. Major production investment from Screen Australia and Stan. Financed with support from Screen NSW. International sales by All3Media International. Post, digital and visual effects supported by Screen NSW. Developed with assistance of Screen Australia.

The Stan Original Series Critical Incident will premiere in 2024, only on Stan.

For more information, contact Stan Publicity: [email protected]

For all Stan publicity assets, please go to: www.stan.news ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ 


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