Telemovies & Miniseries

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The Challenge

Year: 1986
Produced by Golden Dolphin Productions Pty Ltd, Roadshow Coote & Carroll Pty Ltd
Producers: Robert Loader, Tristram Miall
Directed by Chris Thomson
Written by David Phillips

A gripping drama depicting the battle fought on dry land as well as at sea by Alan Bond and the crew of Australia II in their successful attempt at winning the America's cup in 1983 from the New York Yacht Club for the first time in 132 years. (6 x 60min)

Cast: John Wood, Tim Piggott-Smith, , Nicholas Hammond, Richard Moir, Lorraine Bayly, John Deidrich

Cyclone Tracy

Cyclone Tracy

Year: 1986
Producers: John Edwards, Timothy Read
Directors: Donald Crombie
Writers: Michael Fisher, Ted Roberts, Leon Saunders

On Christmas Day, 1974, the people of Darwin, endured the most destructive natural disaster ever to occur in Australia's history — Cyclone Tracy. This six-hour mini series depicts the events of the terrifying Christmas and celebrates the spirit and courage of the people of Darwin. Cyclone Tracy reveals the strength of these people through touching fictional characterisations set against the actual events of the disastrous Darwin summer. Cyclone Tracy is the story of courage and strength and how these people begin rebuilding their lives. (3 x 120 min)

Cast: Tracy Mann, Nicholas Hammond, Chris Haywood


Aired: June 26, 1986
Produced by: Crawford Productions
Executive Producers: Hector Crawford, Ian Crawford, Terry Stapleton
Producer: Raymond Menmuir
Writers: Everett De Roche, Gabrielle Lord (novel) Director: Arch Nicholson

It is morning in a one-room schoolhouse in the Australian outback. The young teacher calls her class to order. It is a day like any other — until the unexpected occurs. Four masked gunmen break into the schoolhouse, kidnap the teacher and her class and transport them to the barren countryside. Terrorised and abandoned, the victims come to a shocking realisation — only they can save themselves from an almost certain death. (88 mins)

Cast: Rachel Ward, Sean Garlick, Rebecca Rigg, Robin Mason, Marc Gray, Beth Buchanan, Asher Keddie, Bradley Meehan, Anna Crawford, Richard Terrill; Peter Hehir, David Bradshaw, Vernon Wells, Roger Stephen, Elaine Cusick, Laurie Moran, Wendy Playfair, Ed Turley, Nick Waters, Terence Donovan

Trailer: youtube

The Great Bookie Robbery

Year: 1986
Produced by PBL Productions for Nine Network Australia

The story of one of the most daring and dazzling robberies in modern history! It began in Parkhurst Prison, England. Here Mike Power, conceived a plan for a robbery that would take place on the other side of the world in Australia - a robbery that would bring in millions of dollars in untraceable cash - a robbery that would excite the world, and bring unsolicited acclaim from the notorious Ronald Biggs - a robbery so daring, so clean, that it would capture the imagination of law-abiding Australian's. It was the perfect crime. Or was it? (3 x 2hr)


The Hour Before My Brother Dies

Year: 1986
Produced by Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Executive Producer: Noel Price
Producer: Noel Price
Writer: Daniel Keene
Director: James Clayden

Adapted from the stage play by Daniel Keene. Sally visits her brother Martin, the hour before he is due to be hanged for murder. What is the hold these two have on each other physically and emotionally?

Cast: Rhonda Wilson, Peter Hehir, Reg Evans, Margot Duell


Year: 1986
Produced by Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Executive Producer: Jan Chapman
Writer: Louis Nowra
Director: Stephen Wallace

A young Rumanian escapes from his homeland to find his way to Australia. Trying to get his wife out of a communist country, with little help from his new found home, leads him, after numerous frustrations, to a final resort - a public fasting campaign.

Cast: Brendan Higgins, Paul Chubb, John Bell, Cathy Downes, Melita Jurisic

The Last Frontier


Year: 1986
Director: Simon Wincer
Writer: Michael Laurence

An American woman's courageous struggle to carve out a new life for herself and her family amid the harsh Australian outback. Made by the producer of Picnic at Hanging Rock, this classic mini-series stars Linda Evans as an American divorcee who marries an Australian cattleman before he dies in a plane crash, leaving a widow and her two teenage children stranded on a drought and debt-ridden ranch. Caught in a feud between a covetous land baron and his idealistic son, Evans refuses to take sides... until she falls in love with the son. (180 minutes)

Cast: Linda Evans as Kate Hannon, Tony Bonner as Tom Hannon, Beth Buchanan as Zoe Hannon, Asher Keddie as Emma Hannon, Jason Robards as Ed Stenning, Judy Morris as Meg Stenning, Jack Thompson as Nick Stenning, Peter Billingsley as Marty Adamson

Outback Vampires

Year: 1986
Produced by Somerset Film Productions
Executive Producer: Grahame Jennings, Peter Ramster, Bob Sanders
Producers: Jan Tyrrell, James M. Vernon
Writers: Colin Eggleston, David Young
Director: Colin Eggleston

The Terminus family love a bit of new blood. When three strangers arrive in the outback town of Yarralumla, the Mayor has no hesitation in delivering the strangers to the Terminus estate for dinner. Little do the strangers realise that they are the main course.

Cast: Brett Climo, Richard Morgan, Angela Kennedy, Maggie Blinco, John Doyle

Sharks Paradise

Year: 1986
Produced by McElroy & McElroy
Producer: Carla Kettner
Executive Producer: Jim McElroy
Writer: David Phillips
Director: Michael Jenkins

Surfers Paradise, Australia's resort jewel of the Gold Coast, suddenly teeters on the edge of disaster when a man is killed by a shark and an extortionist claims he sent the shark. This madman demands $2 million or he will send hundreds of sharks to the surf classic, opening day of the resort's tourist season. Surfers Paradise now needs a special team to crack the crime. It's high action, high adventure and in the end it's the birth of a team who differences and disagreements aside, find in each other a place to belong. (120min)

Cast: David Reyne, Ron Becks, Sally Tayler, Dennis Miller

Sword of Honour


Year: 1986 (Seven)
Executive Producer: Roger Simpson
Producer: Roger Le Mesurier
Writers: Roger Simpson, Kathy Mueller, Peter Kinloch, Tom Hegarty
Directors: Pino Amenta, Catherine Millar

Capturing the spirit of the age and the turmoil of the times, Sword Of Honour tells the heartbreaking story of a nation at war, the soldiers who left their families to fight, the social upheaval and the emotionally perilous journey back home.

At 21, Tony Lawrence (Andrew Clarke) won the Military Academy's Sword of Honour. At 22 he was fighting in the Vietnam War with his best friend and brother-in-law Frank Vittorio (Alan Fletcher), just as the conflict began to escalate. The horrors and carnage of the war leave an indelible impression on the two young men - ripping them apart from their families, girlfriends and country.Back home after the devastation of the battlefields, both men try to cope with life in their own way. For Tony wandering into the wilderness is one way of coming to terms with the horror he has experienced. A journey that takes him back to the killing fields where it all started...

From the awarding winning producers of Snowy and Nancy Wake, Sword Of Honour is a gripping 6 hour miniseries that will take you back to a time and conflict that created heroes and divided a nation. (4 x 100 min)

Cast: Andrew Clarke, Tracey Mann, Alan Fletcher, Nikki Coghill, Andrew Sharp, Linda Newton, Wyn Roberts, Margaret Ford, Paul Hampton, Julia Blake

DVD: Sword Of Honour was released on DVD in early 2012


Year: 1986
Writers: John Duigan, Terry Hayes, ...
Directors: John Duigan, Chris Noonan

An often brutal war story, which revolves around young conscript Phil Goddard and his four terrible years in the Vietnam War. He, like all the others, was thrown into an escalation in combat while back home the kids were indulging in free love, Beatlemania and LSD. (10 x 50 min)

Cast: Nicholas Eadie, Nicole Kidman, Alan Cassell, Pauline Chan, Brett Climo, Mick Conway, Alyssa-Jane Cook, Celia De Burgh, Noel Ferrier, Lucky Grills, Jim Holt, Veronica Lang, Mark Lee, Barry Otto, Grace Parr, Jay Patterson, John Polson, Don Reid, Tim Robertson, Henri Szeps