Cleverman: episode guide

1.01 | 1.02 | 1.03 | 1.04 | 1.05 | 1.06 || 2.01 | 2.02 | 2.03 | 2.04 | 2.05 | 2.06 |

First Contact

Episode 1
USA: June 01, 2016 (SundanceTV)
Aus: June 02, 2016 (ABC)
Aus Ratings: 452,000 viewers
Written by Michael Miller & Jon Bell
Directed by Wayne Blair

The world is more or less as we know it, except that it has been discovered that a species called 'Hairypeople' have been living and passing amongst us, without our knowledge. They look human, except that they are covered in hair, possess exceptional strength, and can live to two hundred years or more. They have 'passed' as human by shaving their hair off.

Most Hairypeople live in The Zone, a ghetto where the disenfranchised and the poor live. Along with Hairypeople, The Zone community includes Indigenous people and various other ethnic groups. The government has walled off this area to keep the Hairypeople in. Humans may come and go as they please, as long as they show their IDs. Hairies are not issued with IDs.

Koen and his friend Blair smuggle a Hairy family out of The Zone, and into an apartment in the city. It's obviously something they've done before. Despite being unhappy with the standard of the place, Boondee, the father, pays Koen in cash. But once Koen's back in his cool inner city bar that he runs with his friends Blair and Ash, he rings the Containment Authority, reports the family and their whereabouts and claims the reward. A retrieval team is sent to capture them, and in the process Jirra, the family's young daughter, is shot and killed.

Footage of the Hairy girl's shooting is played on TVs across the city and in The Zone. Jarrod Slade, a wealthy businessman, owns the TV network that has exclusive rights to the footage. He even sent a crew there to cover the raid before it happened. Clearly he has connections. But Matthews, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, is angry that the footage is played and threatens to shut down Slade's network. Slade seems unperturbed.

Waruu, the self-appointed spokesman for the various peoples of The Zone, watches the footage with his family. He is horrified at the shooting and is determined to wipe out this heinous people smuggling. Waruu is under pressure from both the humans and the Hairies in The Zone, as each are vying to have their grievances seen to.

Waruu believes in unity. He is sure that when his Uncle Jimmy, the Cleverman, passes on, the Cleverman powers will come to him, giving him more status within the community. He's been preparing to take on the Cleverman mantle since he was a child.

But, the Cleverman powers do not go to Waruu but to Koen — who, we discover, is Waruu's estranged half-brother. After visiting Koen in his bar and giving him a special club called a nulla nulla, Uncle Jimmy sacrifices himself on a beach to some unseen beast. On seeing Jimmy's body, Waruu knows immediately what ripped out Uncle Jimmy's heart out — a beast called a Namorrodor.

Koen turns up at Uncle Jimmy's funeral to triumphantly show Waruu his new blue eye, and his minty new/old finger when he's called by an insistent voice — the voice of the Cleverman.


  • Hunter Page-Lochard as Koen West
  • Rob Collins as Waruu West
  • Ryan Corr as Blair Finch
  • Tasma Walton as Araluen
  • Tony Briggs as Boondee
  • Stef Dawson as Ash Kerry
  • Jada Alberts as Nerida
  • Tamala Shelton as Alinta
  • Rarriwuy Hick as Latani
  • Tysan Towney as Djukara
  • Andrew McFarlane as Geoff Matthews
  • Marcus Graham as McIntyre
  • Deborah Mailman as Aunty Linda
  • Frances O'Connor as Charlotte Cleary
  • Iain Glen as Jarrod Slade
  • Dylan Young as Nick
  • Rahel Romahn as Ludo
  • Sam Parsonson as Taki
  • Miranda Tapsell as Lena
  • Leeanna Walsman as Belinda
  • Val Weldon as Jirra
  • Mansoor Noor as McIntyre's 2IC
  • Eric Grothe as CA Checkpoint Guard #1
  • Jason Stevens as CA Checkpoint Guard #2
  • Jeremy Ambrum as Jake
  • Benson Jake Anthony as Gub
  • Nancy Denis as Eve
  • Mathew Wilkinson as Kennedy
  • Lynette Curran as Virgil
  • Isaac Drandic as Harry
  • Jack Charles as Uncle Jimmy
  • Adam Briggs as Maliyan
  • Trevor Jamieson as Uncle Max
  • Alexis Lane as Kora
  • Waverley Stanley Jr as Kulya
  • Kamil Ellis as Mungo
  • Josh McConville as Dickson
  • Elijah Valadian as Young Waruu