Slim Film + Television & Libertine pictures secures major new drama Mystic

Slim film+television & Libertine pictures secures major new drama commission for CBBC, Seven and TVNZ.

Environmental thriller to start filming in New Zealand from January 2020.

A white horse smelling a person lying on a beach

Slim film+television, the high end, international drama specialist, and Libertine Pictures in New Zealand, have secured a major commission for Mystic from CBBC, Seven and TVNZ.

Based on the Pony Club Secrets books by best-selling author, Stacy GreggMystic is a character-driven thriller for a family audience. Whilst enjoying the fundamental themes of friendship, growing up and self-discovery, the drama also tackles head-on the key issue for young people today: what are we doing to our planet and is it too late to save it?  New Zealand’s beautiful landscape will play a major part in bringing all these themes into sharp relief.

The drama follows a group of horse-mad teenagers who are regulars at their local stables on the fictional peninsula of Kauri Point, New Zealand. New girl, Issie, is struggling to make friends having recently moved out to the quiet, backwater town from London but an unexpected interest in horses, a surprising bond with unbroken pony, Blaze, and an enigmatic stallion, Mystic, keep her interest long enough to stop her from running away yet again.

Meanwhile, worrying incidents surrounding a new industrial development prove the catalyst to a series of events that means Issie and her fellow riders – Dan, Caleb, Caroline, Stella and Natasha – have to risk everything, and challenge all they know in Kauri Point, in order to save their horses, their community and all they love about where they live.  With its great cast of characters across all ages, the show will be thrilling, warm, funny, and not afraid to explore the complex relationship between teenage ideals and the adult world of how to make a living.

Mystic has a top team of writers from the UK and New Zealand lead by showrunners Amy Shindler and Beth Chalmers whose credits include creating comedies Pat & Cabbage for ITV and Pauline Pepys’ Dowry for Radio 4, writing on hit shows My Family (BBC One), Threesome (Comedy Central) and Horrible Histories (CBBC) as well as a number of projects for several networks in the US. Writing alongside Shindler and Chalmers will be Scott Payne (The Worst Witch), Yero Timi-Biu (The Dumping Ground), Samuel E. Shore (Filthy Rich), author Steph Matuku (Whetū Toa and the Magician), Stacy Gregg (Pony Club Secrets book series) & Kate McDermott (Go Girls).

Mystic, a 13 x 30’ drama, is a co-commission by the UK’s children’s channel, CBBC, Seven Network in Australia and TVNZ (New Zealand) with investment from NZ On Air, and starts shooting in New Zealand in January 2020.  This commission, a co-production between Slim Film + Television and Libertine Pictures, follows Slim’s announcement in March of their spectacular, new eight-part adaptation of the Jules Verne classic, Around the World in 80 Days, for the European Alliance of France Télévisions, ZDF and RAI with the Seven Network.

We are really proud to be making this ground-breaking children’s drama for such a top flight of international broadcasters whose combined involvement enables us to deliver this series on an epic scale. Over the last 12 months, children have shown the world that they are willing to stand up and tackle the really big issues that adults have continuously shied away from.

“Stacy Gregg’s brilliant and much loved book series, in the hands of Amy and Beth’s bold adaptation, is set to the backdrop of this passion and delivers it with gorgeous characters, complex morals, loads of excitement and yet still manages to be very funny!”

MD of Slim and executive producer, Simon Crawford Collins

Mystic taps into themes that are so relevant to young people. It’s not just a simple story about teens who love horses; it looks at the intricate and complex relationships with their families, with each other and with the place in which they live. The intriguing, action-packed scripts are full of humour, adventure, jeopardy and joy whilst interweaving the human impact on the environmental world with the supernatural forces that are unleashed by it. It is very exciting to bring these iconic books to the screen.”

Richard Fletcher, MD Libertine Pictures

Mystic is a Slim Film + Television and Libertine Pictures production for CBBC, Seven Network, TVNZ and NZ On Air and is distributed by Kew Media.  Executive producers are Simon Crawford Collins for Slim Film + Television, Richard Fletcher for Libertine Pictures and Amy Buscombe for CBBC. Further details of casting to be announced in due course.