Telemovies & Miniseries

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After Marcuse

Year: 1984
Produced by Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Producer: Alan Burke
Writer: Alma De Groen
Director: Ted Robinson

A woman artist's affair with a younger man jeopardises her marriage, her career and her child's future. He personifies the nihilistic philosophy of Albert Marcuse and tries to manipulate her. Her dependence on him forces her to reassess all the values of her art and life. We observe these events at three levels; a woman writer uses them as the basis of a play and in the process reveals parallels in her own experience.

Cast: Diane Craig, David Whitney, Grigor Taylor, Penne Hackforth-Jones


Year: 1984
Executive Producers: George Miller and Bryan Kennedy
Producer: Terry Hayes
Directors: Denny Lawrence, Lex Marinos, George Ogilvie, Carl Schultz
Writers: Robert Caswell, Terry Hayes, Denny Lawrence, Lex Marinos

Bodyline is the dramatic story of one of the momentous sporting events of this century.

Into a Depression-racked Australia in late 1932, a young English gentleman, Douglas Jardine, led a team of cricketers on a mission to win back the Ashes.

Newly appointed captain of the English team, Jardine had come to believe that the success of that mission depended on beating one man—a brilliant young Australian batsman called Donald Bradman. His strategy would be to employ tactics never before used in a game between gentlemen. His major weapon would be a speed bowler by the name of Harold Larwood.

As the architect of infamous "bodyline" bowling, Jardine became the most hated man ever to set foot in Australia. His tactics sparked off a public outcry in the country: outrage which reached a climax during the third test in Adelaide. (5 x ??min)

Cast: Gary Sweet (Donald Bradman), Hugo Weaving (Douglas Jardine), Vincent Ball, Paul Chubb, John Clayton, Max Cullen, John Gregg, Jim Holt, Rhys McConnochie, Heather Mitchell, Julie Nihill, Frank Thring, Peter Whitford, Michael Winchester

Eureka Stockade

Year: 1984 (Seven)
Producer: Henry Crawford
Director: Rod Hardy
Writer: Tom Hegarty

In the wake of the great California gold rush of 1849, miners the world over scrambled to Australia in search of the next big find. Ballarat, Victoria became the focal point for the miners' efforts, and in an effort to control migration and raise government revenues, Britain established strict guidelines, requiring miners to pay for special licences. Inspired by the general discontent felt by the many miners, Irishman Peter Lalor and his mining partner, Timothy Hayes establish a protest group to represent the miners' grievances and help combat the thugs employed by the gold commission under government orders. Supported by a strong team of diggers, including Catholic priest Father Smythe and Canadian Charles Ross, the miners take a stand against the establishment, united under the flag of the Southern Cross to fight for their rights and liberty.

Cast: Bryan Brown as Peter Lalor, Bill Hunter as Timothy Hayes, Tom Burlinson as Father Smythe, Brett Cullen as Charles Ross, Amy Madigan, Simon Chilvers, Penelope Stewart, David Bradshaw, Carol Burns, Rod Mullinar, Reg Evans

The Explorers

May 02 - July 04, 1984 (ABC)
Executive Producer: Andrew Lloyd James
Series Producer: Bill Steller
Producer: Richard Walker
Directors: Bill Steller, Richard Walker
Writer & Presenter: Bill Peach

Journalist Bill Peach retraces the journeys of the early Australian explorers who opened up the great unknown areas of Australia in the nineteenth century. Dramatised re-enactments and on camera comments by Bill Peach vividly demonstrate the difficult feats and the proudest moments of these famous early Australians. (10x30min)

Cast: Clive Marshall as Stuart, Martin Shaw as Burke, John Bell as Wills, Chris Haywood as King, Martin Harries as Gray, John Gregg, Grigor Taylor, Paul Mason, Phillip Hinton, Steven Grives

Glass Babies

Year: 1984
Produced by PBL Productions for Nine Network Australia
Writer: Graeme Farmer, Greg Millin
Director: Brendan Maher

Invitro-Fertilization. For the childless, it can make a dream come true. Or create a nightmare. Glass Babies is a dramatic story — a story of love — and anguish. Of deceit — and blackmail. Of cruelty — and professional misconduct. It is the story of a ruthless opportunist and his victims. It is a story of one man's desperate desire for an heir to his dynasty. Of a childless couple's natural yearning for a baby of their own. Of a young women's love for a heartless man — and eventually for another woman's child, whom she carries. (4 x 1hr)

Cast: Deborra-Lee Furness, Belinda Davey, Gary Day, Rowena Wallace

The Great Gold Swindle

Year: 1984
Produced by Indian-Pacific Films
Executive Producer: Michael Thornhill
Producer: Barbara Gibbs
Writer: David White
Director: John Power

Two Perth brothers penetrated one of Australia's most brilliant and ingenious con tricks by having the Perth mint deliver them gold bullion worth $650,000. The perfect crime... but for one fatal flaw.

Cast: John Hargreaves, Chris Haywood, Bryan Marshall, Tony Rickards, Robert Hughes

Hedgerow House

Aired: 1984 (ABC)
Producer: Ray Alchin
Writer: Alastair Sharp
Director: Craig Collie

A four-part miniseries about two girls who get involved in adventure after discovering a large deserted house. Based on the Gillian Barnett novel The Inside Hedge Story

Cast: Sally McLennan, Lisette Taylor, Sean Gell, Ben O'Reilly

Mystery at Castle House

Year: 1984
Produced by
Executive Producer: Gene Scott
Producer: Brendon Lunney
Writer: Stuart Glover, Michael Hohensee
Director: Peter Maxwell

Spider takes his friends Ben and Kate across the harbour to a deserted old mansion, 'Castle House'. Adventure turns into mystery when two other boys disappear in front of their eyes in the overgrown grounds of the old house.

Cast: Simone Buchanan, Jeremy Shadlow, Scott Nicholas, Aileen Britton, Carole Skinner, Ronald Moe Lee, Robin Bowering, Henri Szeps

Runaway Island: The Quest Of Jamie McLeod

December 15 & 22, 1984
Produced by Grundy Organisation
Executive Producer: Ian Holmes
Producer: Roger Mirams
Writer: Paul Wheelahan
Director: ?

Jamie and his sister, Jemma, fend for themselves in 19th-century Australia with their father away on business.

Cast: Miles Buchanan, Simone Buchanan

Runaway Island: The Exiles

Dec 29, 1984 / Jan 05, 1985
Produced by Grundy Organisation
Executive Producer: Ian Holmes
Producer: Roger Mirams
Writer: Paul Wheelahan
Director: Frank Arnold

Forces of tragedy and justice are dramatically intertwined in this irresistible tale of adventure. The setting is the gritty, dangerous British colony of Sydney, Australia. The time is the early 1800s.

Evil Captain Corkle and his military redcoats, the corrupt rulers of this farflung outpost, are succeeding in their goal to grab victoria farm illegally.

The true owner, Jamie McLeod, has just lost his father to a raging fever. The only way he can regain his appointed birthright is to find the missing half of a map pinpointing the hiding place of his father's will. Meanwhile, Jamie and his sister, Jemma, are hiding from Corkle. But how long will their freedom last?

Their new-found friend, Marceau, one of several exiled French Canadians, informs them of a possible escape plan aboard a Spanish ship about to set sail. The McLeod children's freedom however, remains in jeopardy, since Corkle is also on the trail of the French-Canadians. (103min)

During a mad dash to safety, Marceau steers Jamie and Jemma toward a mysterious, torn map. The quest is not yet lost!

Cast: Miles Buchanan, Simone Buchanan, Julian Gillespie, Julie Tyler, Rodney Bell

Runaway Island: The Bushrangers

January 12 & 19, 1985
Produced by Grundy Organisation
Executive Producer: Ian Holmes
Producer: Roger Mirams
Writer: Paul Wheelahan
Director: ?

Henrik the Dutchman tries to help the McLeod children find the fabled Lost Lode gold mine in 19th-century Australia.

Cast: Miles Buchanan, Simone Buchanan

Runaway Island: Treasure of the Conquistadores

January 26 & February 02, 1985
Produced by Grundy Organisation
Executive Producer: Ian Holmes
Producer: Roger Mirams
Writer: Paul Wheelahan
Director: ?

Feisty siblings Jamie and Jemma McLeod fend for themselves and outwit villains in 19th-century Australia.

Cast: Miles Buchanan, Simone Buchanan

Skin Deep

Year: 1984
Produced by PBL Productions for Nine Network Australia
Writer: Anne Lucas
Director: Mark Joffe, Chris Langman

In the glittering world of high fashion, beauty is only Skin deep! Barbara Kennedy is a successful business woman in the fashion and modelling industry. In the lead up to the Annual Fashion Designers Awards night, her boyfriend finally proposes to her. But everything else is not going well. On the evening of the awards, Barbara realises that one of her own models is her illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption year's earlier. Worse than this she is about to walk into the hands of a murderer.

Cast: Briony Behets, Antoinette Byron, Angelo D'Angelo, Carmen Duncan, Kate Fitzpatrick, Nicole Kidman, David Reyne


Year: 1984
Produced by ABC, Generation Films
Producer: Bob Weis
Writer: Mac Gudgeon
Director: Chris Thomson

In 1928, there is the spectre of the Great Depression, increasingly rancorous class divisions, industrial disputes and rising unemployment. As the politicians watch for the most opportune moments to call and win an election, waterside workers around the country strike. Eventually, all except those in Melbourne return to work, the strike broken by the bosses' employment of unwitting Italian labourers, who, like the Australian workers, are hungry for work. As the Melbourne wharfies continue to strike, too innocent and eager to consider that their struggle might be used as a pawn in a bigger, more sinister game, the issues of racism and survival are brought to the fore. Among this complex analysis of race and class are a wharfie, Maxey Woodbury (Jack Thompson) and an upper-class Italian migrant Anna Chieri (Greta Scacchi), whose roles encapsulate the situation at large.

Cast: Jack Thompson, Greta Scacchi, Frank Gallacher, Chris Haywood, Tony Rickards, Mark Little, Jay Mannering, Ray Barrett, Warren Mitchell Noni Hazlehurst, Simon Chilvers, Elin Jenkins, John Karlsen