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Cast announced for Black Hands, TVNZ drama on 1994 Bain family murders

The cast has been announced for upcoming TVNZ drama Black Hands, a TV drama following the 1994 Bain family murders.

The cast of Black Hands. Source: TVNZ

Joel Tobeck (Westside, Sons of Anarchy), Luanne Gordon (Interrogation) and newcomers Richard Crouchley, Lucy Currey, Amelia Elliott and Angus Stevens have been cast as the Bain family in the TVNZ1 drama, which has just entered production.

Tobeck will portray father Robin Bain, while Gordon has been cast as Margaret Cullen. Richard Crouchley will play David Bain, while his younger siblings will be portrayed by Lucy Currey as Arawa Bain, Amelia Elliott as Laniet Bain, and Angus Stevens as Stephen Bain.

The series will be directed by David Stubbs (Daffodils, Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses), working with producer Robin Scholes (Once Were Warriors, Mr Pip).

On the morning of June 20, 1994, five members of the Bain family - including parents Robin Bain, Margaret Cullen, and siblings Arawa, Laniet and Stephen Bain - were found murdered in their suburban Dunedin home while David Bain was on his paper route.  

Black Hands, based on journalist Martin van Beynen’s podcast of the same name, will delve into the years leading up to the murders through the eyes of the victims and the accused, David Bain, who served 13 years in prison for the crime before being acquitted in 2009.

“We’re very excited to bring to life a story that captured the nation and is etched in our memories. Black Hands will show a side to the Bain family never seen before, and we know audiences will be captivated. We’re thrilled to see some talented newcomers cast alongside Kiwi acting stalwarts tackling these complex characters," TVNZ commissioner of drama and scripted comedy, Steve Barr, said in a statement today.

"When you begin to read about the Bain family the emphasis is on who murdered them, as opposed to who they were. We want to remember a loving talented family, who had a lot to look forward to when their lives were taken," Ms Scholes added.

Black Hands will air on TVNZ1 later this year and is funded by NZ On Air.