Cleverman: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

Cleverman is a substantive sci-fi drama that ultimately unveils a unique tale of racial identity and paranormal terror.



Critic Ratings: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 163

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Air date: Jun 1, 2016

Series premiere of a futuristic sci-fi series about a special, chosen member of a superhuman aboriginal minority group who leads a revolt against the human persecutors. In the opener, a rash of brutal attacks points to the newly discovered "Hairypeople," who have previously blended in with the regular population.

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Air date: Jun 8, 2016

A befuddled Koen questions his mystifying new powers and heads into the Zone for answers, while Aunty Linda suspects there is a new Cleverman in the picture.

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Air date: Jun 15, 2016

The Containment Center is the site of problems that lead to more panic, while Waruu and Koen reject Slade's offer to participate in a mysterious laboratory.

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Air date: Jun 22, 2016

As the deaths continue and tensions mount, it's the Hairies who take the blame, so Waruu commands Koen use his Cleverman powers to put a stop to the killings.

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Air date: Jun 29, 2016

Charlotte tries one last IVF procedure at a clinic that offers new technology; Slade offers Waaru a tempting deal that may prove too good to refuse.

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Air date: Jul 6, 2016

The Containment Authority prepares to rid the city of Hairypeople.

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Cleverman: Season 1 Videos

Cleverman: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

This drama series reimagines several stories of the Aboriginal people in a near-future context. A group of non-humans battle for survival in a world where humans feel increasingly inferior to them, and want to silence, exploit and kill them. Two Indigenous brothers are forced together to fight for their own survival when one of them is passed the mantle of "Cleverman."

Cast & Crew

Iain Glen
Jarrod Slade
Deborah Mailman
Aunty Linda
Frances O'Connor
Charlotte Cleary
Stef Dawson
Ash Kerry
Rob Collins
Waruu West

News & Interviews for Cleverman: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Cleverman Season 1

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

Faults and all, I'm sticking it with it to the end. But I'm counting on season two to show just how clever it can be.

Feb 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Cleverman is clever in many senses: it's thought-provoking near-future science fiction delivered through pacy storytelling with an indigenous twist, but it's also witty as well as bittersweet.

Oct 21, 2016 | Full Review…

Unfortunately, the first season of Cleverman is too busy building a world to tell a story. It's a familiar trap for genre shows.

Jun 1, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Cleverman has a rough immediacy in its pacing and cinematography that helps to make up for its deficiencies elsewhere, and if you have an appetite for sci-fi conspiracy thrillers, it's worth sampling.

Jun 1, 2016 | Full Review…

The multiple, long arcs become legible, and sort themselves out satisfactorily in the end, if not in any way surprisingly.

Jun 1, 2016 | Full Review…

Cleverman is a step forward for Aboriginal storytelling but it's built on the shoulders of mediocre writing and male machismo.

Aug 4, 2019 | Rating: D | Full Review…

Cleverman presents a unique take on Blackness, indigeneity, border protection, and the 'other' all packed into a dope ass sci-fi burrito.

Jun 12, 2018 | Full Review…

It doesn't quite manage to be the show it wants to be, but you have to admire the intention that clearly exists to be something different.

Nov 3, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

In an age of television (and film) where those qualities are sorely lacking, especially in the superhero genre, Cleverman isn't just refreshingly original, it's groundbreaking.

Aug 16, 2016 | Full Review…

It's at the very least, a fairly interesting premise and just compelling enough to keep one watching, especially with the limited pickings during the summer months.

Jun 3, 2016 | Full Review…

Like WGN America's Underground, about a group of runaway slaves on a Georgia plantation, Cleverman pours an underdog minority tale into the superhero mold.

May 31, 2016 | Full Review…

Cleverman is unlike any other TV miniseries you've seen before. The gritty Australian production uses a sci-fi backdrop to test notions of racial identity and integration with a twist of supernatural terror.

May 31, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cleverman: Season 1

  • Nov 27, 2019
    I was looking forward to something that at least resembled the aboriginal Australian, but of course, yet again, lack of historical knowledge or intentionally, filmmakers misrepresent the appearances of these people. In my opinion, that's as boring as a white Bill Cosby or a black Viking. Let's keep things authentic or at least close to it - even in fiction. I couldn't get into these hairies. They look too white underneath with blue eyes and such - not believable at all. I'm moving on.
  • Jun 14, 2018
    Koen is a people trafficker, slave trader and a child murderer. All in the first 10 minutes. And not for the first time. Absolutely nothing he does from there could ever redeem the evils he loved to commit. The only reason he pretends to be good is because of the pain the voices and visions cause. How could I like a show where the "HERO" is the biggest villain?
  • Jun 07, 2018
    Love the show and the concept. Makes you mad in the right places, keeps you interested in the storyline. Looking forward to season 3
  • Mar 11, 2018
    I love this show! Totally binge watched the first two seasons this weekend. Been searching for info about a third seaSon.
  • Jan 08, 2018
    Great concept, character development is pretty quick too, which is great to see, and amazing actors! Love the show!
  • Dec 13, 2017
    Best new show I've seen. Teaches you about aboriginal Australians-- I hope anyway-- through taking old stories and realizing them in reality, making an exciting character that has been described as a superhero. We have a lot to learn from the Dreaming, and I've always had really weird vivid dreams so I was hooked at once. I read another review that says it is more honest about racial tension than other shows, more honest about showing a corrupt government and police. And they said it was a surprise it was made therefore. All I can say is, what is art for, if not for showing people the things they need to work on, and telling people the truth about society, not lying so vigorously that bad people are portrayed as good. Art is for the people, and while fantasy and science fiction and mirth and debauchery are certainly asked for, what is art without a search for real justice, to try to bring the dreams of the real people to reality. And for that we need a Cleverman. Great series. Enjoyed it a lot. Wish they'd do something like it here in America with our natives, I bet their stories are exciting too.
  • Aug 02, 2017
    Cleverman is really interesting especially it's lore and the way the antagonist is placed. And good enough almost every character is interesting and going through choices and changes that really shape them to who they become as the season further progresses. It's a very refreshing taste 9/10
  • Jul 06, 2017
    If you are a sci-fi buff= Cleverman is a MUST see?? Not only does C have all the qualities we love, but it is also akin to our era of political discourse. Diversity issues big time. With a special twist only sci fi can pull off. "Hairy People" vs. the "Norms." Watch this. You won't be sorry you did.
  • Mar 31, 2017
    Raw, challenging and relevant in today's polarized world. Sci-fi meets zenophobia, meets racism, meets genocide, meets corporate greed, family rivalry, jealousy, love/lust, medical ethics etc. This show has everything!
  • Sep 18, 2016
    Cleverman is Australia's "Avatar", a Sci-fi twist on the attempted genocide of a people

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