Paddy Macrae, Debbie Lee, and Alastair McKinnon talk developing Irreverent

IRREVERENT -- “TBD” Episode 104 -- Pictured: Colin Donnell as Mack/Paulo-- (Photo by: Mark Rogers/Matchbox Productions)
IRREVERENT -- “TBD” Episode 104 -- Pictured: Colin Donnell as Mack/Paulo-- (Photo by: Mark Rogers/Matchbox Productions) /

Paddy Macrae is the man behind Irreverent. Where did this idea come from, and why did the team behind it decide the time was now? We find out in this exclusive interview.

Sometimes, you look at a series and you wonder where the ideas came from. It turns out that Irreverent has a personal connection for creator Paddy Macrae—not the mob side of it but the reverend/faith side of it.

We talked about the creation of the series in this exclusive interview. I also wanted to know why this series was something everyone immediately got behind.

There is a moment in the interview where I mention it is billed as a limited series. In some initial reports in Australia it was mentioned as a miniseries, but that’s not actually the case. There is a chance we’ll see more to the story, and we do discuss that in the interview.

Where the idea for Irreverent came from

The first question had to be for Paddy to find out where the idea for the series came from. It turns out it’s rather personal.

“I was born and raised as a preacher’s kid…I’ve got two sisters and a brother and we grew up with my mum and my dad in the manse…So we kind of grew up surrounded by these stories of beauty and laughter and pain.”

How would that fit in with a drama that involves a mob negotiator?

"“I thought what an incredible setting for a drama…but what I wanted to do was elevate the premise and the idea in a way. Rather than making a show about a small-town reverend…was to take this idea that success in connection isn’t about the study and theological knowledge of a reverend. It’s about their ability to show love.”"

We all know Paulo is not the right person for that at the start, so this series really takes a turn. I would love to be a fliy on the wall as the series was developed further.

"“So we thought wouldn’t it just be funny and suspenseful and interesting to take a criminal who had the skillset of a crook at the top of their game and forced them into a role of community leadership whereas opposed to being neutral they had to take sides for the first time in their life.”"

On top of Paulo’s storyline, there’s this one of the real Mack who is going through a crisis of faith. Where did that part of the story come into the development stage?

“We wanted to make a show about juxtaposition…at the same time of having a bad guy very very very slowly becoming good, we had a good guy very very quickly becoming bad.”

Debbie and Alastair came into the project early on. Why did they want to bring this story to life? Debbie shared first.

"“Paddy was working at Matchbox Pictures for quite a number of years in our development team, and he’s always had this idea. He’d made a short film many many years ago…It was a great idea from the start…Paddy was quite young when he first came into the company so it was when he was ready to do it.”"

This is Paddy’s first show as creator and showrunner, so he needed to develop skills elsewhere first. Alastair went on to share why he was involved.

"“The first time I heard the pitch from Paddy, it was so compelling. You could see it, you could feel it. It was where you wanted to be…It was easy to get behind him because he makes you a believer. Whatever he’s selling, you want to buy it.”"

Take a look at the full interview about Irreverent‘s development below:

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Irreverent is on Peacock in full on Wednesday, Nov. 30.