For Perth-based actor Samuel Ireland, scoring the lead role on ABC Me action-adventure series ITCH was an amazing career kickstarter.
Based on the books by Simon Mayo, ITCH follows teenager Itchingham “Itch” Lofte (played by Ireland) on his adventures throughout high school. But the adventures of Itch are far from your ordinary teen tales of woe and drama.
In season one, Itch discovers a rock which is a new element that isn’t yet on the periodic table. Although this should be the discovery of a lifetime, the power of this new element brings unwanted attention towards Itch and his friends, sending him on a mission to save his town.
Filmed across W.A., ITCH season two premieres today via ABC ME, and when Supanova caught up with Ireland in the lead up to release, he recalls the feeling of getting renewed for a second season as “a really amazing feeling”, especially with all the uncertainty within the local film and TV industry due to COVID.
“We got to the point where we were like, ‘Maybe it won’t go ahead; maybe we don’t get to do another one.’ And when we got the news to say it was all going ahead and we were able to bring over the interstate cast members, who are still in lockdown, it was a really amazing feeling,” Ireland tells.
ITCH truly is an intriguing series for all ages, and it sounds like season two is going to kick things up a notch.
“Expect a big evolution and elevation in the show,” Ireland teases. “Visually it’s more colourful and the characters are more mature and more committed and assured in their beliefs.
“They’ve gone through this big ordeal in season one and it’s given them this sense of maturity and confidence. This season really builds to an intense climax, which I am super excited for people to see. It started with a rock, and it’ll end with a bang.”
This series is a wonderful way of bringing science to young minds, showing them that science can in fact be cool.
“While trying to bring down an environmentalist company that is doing more harm than good, Itch finds himself in numerous situations where he needs to ‘MacGyver’ his way out but uses his knowledge of science!” Ireland explains.
“Itch is a science genius, definitely not one of the popular kids, but his smarts and knowledge get him out of many tricky situations and also helps him save his town. This doesn’t end in season two – when dead fish turn up on the beach, Itch and his friends know who’s to blame and set about trying to uncover the truth.”
He adds: “I was always really into science as a kid. I always thought it was cool. So, to be able to play a character who loves science so much and kind of advocates for loving it as being something you shouldn’t be ashamed of is amazing.”
The series has something for the entire family; the storylines may be tailored towards a younger audience, but the messages of standing up for what is right, fighting for the truth and honouring who you are makes the series something everyone can enjoy.
“It’s a science, action-adventure about standing up for what’s right for the environment against all odds. It’s about not backing down against anyone who seems more powerful than you,” he says.
While on the topic of science and high school, Ireland shares tips for studying during lockdown.
“Try and stay level headed,” he enthuses. “Put your head down and do the work that you can. Don’t push yourself to the point where you’re making yourself feel sick – you need to balance looking after your mental health and your physical health. At the end of the day just be forgiving, be kind to yourself.”
So, why not be kind to yourself, take a break from the study or work and check out ITCH season two on ABC ME. You also catch up on season one via ABC iview.