Telemovies & Miniseries

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Curse of the Talisman

Year: 2000
Produced by Coote/Hayes Holdings Pty Ltd
Executive Producers: Greg Coote, Jeffrey Hayes
Producer: Darryl Sheen
Director: Colin Budds

Jeremy is given a stone gargoyle figure and talisman for safekeeping by his boss, an occult bookstore manager. When Jeremy accidentally brings the gargoyle to life he enlists the help of his friends and an English priest to stop the gargoyle destroying his home town.

Cast: Jesse Spencer, Max Garner Gore, Sara Gleeson

Dog Woman: Dead Dog Walking


Year: 2000
Produced by Magnetic Productions, Beyond Simpson Le Mesurier Productions
Executive Producers: Mikael Borglund Kris Noble
Producers: Roger Simpson Magda Szubanski Terry Jennings Roger Le Mesurier
Director: Rowan Woods
Writer: Magda Szubanski

An old woman lies dead, seemingly killed by her own dog. An open and shut case? The killer dog is condemned to death row, but Margaret O'Halloran, the legendary Dogwoman, suspects foul play. Did the dog do it, or were there more sinister circumstances? In a race against time to save the dog's life, Margaret is drawn into a world of secrets and lies, intrigue and conspiracy.

Cast: Magda Szubanski, Tara Morice, Raj Ryan, Torquil Nielson, Aletha McGrath, Bob Hornery, Ron Haddrick, Anne Phelan, Elaine Lee, Anthony Simcoe

The Farm

Friels and Scacchi

Australia: Sunday, March 18 and 25, 2001 (ABC)
Canada: April 11, 2005 (W Network)
Executive Producer: Ewan Burnett
Producer: Bill Hughes
Writer: Judith Colquhoun and David Phillips
Director: Kate Woods

Tom Cooper (Colin Friels) is born to the land and assumes the role of head of the family after the sudden death of his father. Tom wants to modernise and expand the family property and borrows money in the form of a foreign currency loan. When the Australian dollar crashes, thrusting interest rates into an upward spiral, and the countryside experiences a devastating drought, Tom and his wife Liz (Greta Scacchi) are faced with debt repayments they have no possibility of meeting.

The bank threatens foreclosure and against the advice of lawyers, family and friends, Tom and Liz attempt the impossible—they decide to sue the bank. This is a David and Goliath story of individuals refusing to be crushed by powerful forces, and of the compelling emotional journey of farming couple Tom and Liz Cooper. (3x52 min or 1x90 min)

Starring: Colin Friels, Greta Scacchi, Marton Csokas, Melissa Jaffer, Jamie Croft

Halifax fp: A Person of Interest

Year: 2000
Produced by MBP, Beyond Simpson Le Mesurier Productions Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Kris Noble, Mikael Borglund, Rainer Mockert
Producers: John Hugginson, Roger Le Mesurier, Roger Simpson
Director: Ken Cameron
Writer: Anne Brooksbank

When Jane Halifax is asked to provide a psychiatric assessment of laconic ex-cop Laurie Downes for a bail hearing in connection with a manslaughter change against him, Jane finds her professionalism tested to the utmost with the lives of the innocent people depending on her judgement and skills.

Cast: Rebecca Gibney, Andy Anderson, Sara Gleeson, Damian Walshe-Howling, David Roberts

Halifax fp: The Spider & The Fly

Year: 2000
Produced by MBP, Beyond Simpson Le Mesurier Productions Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Kris Noble, Mikael Borglund, Rainer Mockert
Producers: John Hugginson, Roger Le Mesurier, Roger Simpson
Director: Mark Piper
Writer: Peter Gawler

Following the sudden death of her best friend and fellow psychiatrist Lisa McNamara, Jane finds herself taking time off from a sabbatical in New Zealand to stay and look after her friend's young family and close down Lisa's practice. It is when meeting with each of Lisa's patients that Jane first encounters Alison Blunt, a gifted violinist with a dangerously disturbed personality.

Cast: Rebecca Gibney, Essie Davis, Andrew McKaige, Daniel Lewis-Toakley, Oliver Wood, Tony Barry

Halifax fp: A Hate Worse Than Death

Year: 2000
Produced by MBP, Beyond Simpson Le Mesurier Productions Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Kris Noble, Mikael Borglund, Rainer Mockert
Producers: John Hugginson, Roger Le Mesurier, Roger Simpson
Director: Paul Moloney
Writer: Roger Simpson

Jane Halifax is called in to analyse death threats made against Simon Laser, a well known gossip columnist for a weekly magazine after his gay lover is found murdered.

Cast: Rebecca Gibney, Nicholas Eadie, Terry Serio, Dina Marnika, Maria Theodorakis, Louise Siversen, Nicki Wendt

Ihaka: Blunt Instrument

Haft, Gibney, Morrison Debut: November 05, 2000 (Ten)
Executive Producer: Des Monaghan
Producer: Ian Bradley
Writer: Paul Thomas
Director: Peter Fisk

Maori detective Tito Ihaka (Temuera Morrison), is sent to a police training conference in Sydney following complaints about his rough tactics when arresting a cop-killer in his native Auckland. To keep him out of trouble, he is teamed with police media officer Kirsty Finn (Rebecca Gibney), and together they are assigned to review the three-year-old unsolved murder of supermodel, Julia Renton. The investigation at the time of the murder concluded that it was a random sex-killing, but with the unique combination of Finn's PR skills and Ihaka's direct approach of frightening people, the two not only find themselves in political hot water, but they uncover the sinister truth behind the killing.

Starring: Temuera Morrison, Rebecca Gibney, Linal Haft, Olivia Pigeot, Steve Jacobs, Carmen Duncan, Rachel Carpani, Noel Hodda, Bryan Marshall, John Seru, Janine Burchett, Barry Quin, Jaime Passier-Armstrong, Geoff Barker, Ron Wilson

The Love of Lionel's Life (aka Open Cut)

dimitriades, day, garner Debut: July 9, 2000 (Ten)
Executive Producers: Mikael Borglund and John Sexton
Producers: Simone North, Tony Cavanaugh, Des Power
Writers: Tony Cavanaugh and Des Power
Director: John Ruane

Gundeena, in the middle of the Queensland outback, lives Lionel Burke (Matt Day) — along with two hundred blokes and seven women. Lionel and his best mate, Steve (Alex Dimitriades), have shared everything together since childhood, that is, until Lionel meets Lena (Nadine Garner). Suspicious of her motives, Steve's world is suddenly turned upside down as Lionel and Lena become more entrenched as a couple. Steve's jealousy and anger at his abandonment leads to a series of tragic events that will never leave Gundeena the same again. (95 min)

Cast: Matt Day, Alex Dimitriades, Nadine Garner, Steven Vidler, Graeme Blundell, Carol Burns, Heather Mitchell, Chris Betts, Paul Denny, Catherine Miller, Chris Anderson, Jean-Marc Russ

Marriage Acts

Colin Friels Sunday, October 22, 2000 (ABC)
Executive Producer: Sue Masters
Producer: Gary Reilly
Director: Robert Marchand
Writer: Anne Brooksbank

A bomb placed in Judge David McKinnon's (Colin Friels) letterbox kills a neighbour's dog and injures the neighbour. In some guilt, David, a man of working class origins goes back through his case files in search of a potential bomber. His jurisdiction is Family Law and among those whose divorces he has arbitrated, giving and denying custody of children, are a number of possibilities.

David ignores his family's pleas that he go away for a while, and returns to work at the court, where he sees his long term lover and colleague, Judge Miriam Hawkins (Linden Wilkinson). A second bomb explodes at the court killing another judge, and David begins to revisit his cases and re-evoke the angry, sad, frustrated people whose lives, for better or worse, he may have distorted.

At the same time his own family relationships have begun to disintegrate. His wife Jean (Sonia Todd) leaves to stay with her sister away from the city. When David goes there to try to talk to her, she tells him she wants a divorce, and also reveals that their married daughter Anna (Annalise Phillips) is contemplating an abortion. Very troubled, David attempts to talk to Anna. She resists his arguments, but admits that she may yet change her mind.

Miriam's son Dan (Mark Priestly), a heroin addict, is found dead, floating in the harbour. It is possible his death is unrelated, but Miriam firmly believes Dan too is a victim of the bomber. She warns David to look to the safety of his own son Michael (Laurence Breuls). As a result David brings Michael home from university and further disquieting revelations about David's own family follow.

While David is absent from the house, the bomber gains entry through the dense trees and bushes at the back of the house, and overpowers the constable on duty there. Anna arrives alone at the house and surprises the bomber. He holds her captive and proceeds to wire up the house with explosives. He tells her to dial 000 and have her father brought there. Police surround the house. David arrives at the scene and begs for his daughter's life, offering his own in exchange. He enters the house and at last confronts his nemesis face to face.

Starring: Colin Friels, Sonia Todd, David Whitney, Linden Wilkinson, Annalise Phillips, Laurence Breuls, Dean Atkinson, Philip Holder, Odile Le Clezio, Adam Hedditch, Mark Priestly, John Batchelor, Monette Lee, Gary Baxter

Max Knight: Ultra Spy

Year: 2000
Produced by Coote/Hayes Holdings Pty Ltd
Executive Producers: Greg Coote Chip Hayes Jeffrey Hayes
Producer: Darryl Sheen
Director: Colin Budds
Writer: Paul Bales

Max Knight must rescue the girl and save the world - but can he do it when the electronic device that regulates his heart is about to hit critical overload?

Cast: Michael Landes, Rachel Blakely, Brooke Harman, Christopher Morris, Anja Colby


My Husband… My Killer?

Martin Sacks, Abi Tucker

Sun, Feb 18, 2001 (Ten)
Executive Producer: Des Monaghan
Producers: David Gould, Anthony Buckley
Director: Peter Andrikidis
Writer: Greg Haddrick

"In the early hours of the morning, Megan (Linda Cropper) was shot dead whilst asleep next to her husband, Andrew Kalajzich (Martin Sacks). Miraculously her husband was unharmed throughout the whole ordeal, but suspicion grew regarding Andrew's involvement in the crime. While Kalajzich and his family proclaimed his innocence from the beginning, Detective Sergeant Bob Inkster (Colin Friels) and his team had already identified him as a highly possibile suspect. In fact, it seemed the only explanation given the details of the crime scene. But "why" and "how"? There seemed no apparent motive for the murder.

Framed in the wordless but desperate war of wills between Inkster and Kalajzich, a picture emerges of two men. One a decent, warm family man fired with a passion for justice and the other, a man whose unqualified successes had given him a determination unhindered by any respect for anyone else and an unfailing belief in his ability to win any battle. (100 min)

Starring: Colin Friels, Martin Sacks, Geoff Morrell, David Field, Craig McLachlan, Chris Haywood, Lucy Bell, Tara Morice, Linda Cropper, Abi Tucker

On The Beach


January 28 and 29, 2001 (Seven)
Executive Producers: Errol Sullivan and Jeff Hayes
Producer: Errol Sullivan
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Screenplay by David Williamson and William Kerby

The crew and vessel of a U.S. Navy submarine, including Commander Dwight Towers, survive a nuclear missile war between the United States and Taiwan. However, destruction is catastrophic and months later, only small pockets of civilisation remain alive on the planet, mostly in Australia. Placed under the command of the Australian government, their first assignment is to return an insubordinate scientist, Julian Osborne, to Melbourne. Osborne has retreated to a secluded island to await what he considers the inevitable—radioactive fallout drifting into the Southern Hemisphere. The end of the world… The Australian Admiral isn't so sure. Encouraged by new data, he sends Towers and his crew on a mission to measure radiation levels in the Pacific Northwest. It's a long shot but it's the only one they have. Before embarking, Towers takes an interest in a spirited local woman, Moira Davidson, Osborne's former fiance. Still grieving and in denial over the deaths of his wife and children, Towers is guarded to her advances. Osborne, believing the end to be near, feels rekindled affection for Moira. Towers' ensuing rivalry with Osborne adds tension to their already dangerous mission. Meanwhile, Peter Holmes, an Australian liaison officer also due to go on the mission, devotes as much time possible to his wife, Mary and their two-year-old daughter. Convinced all will be well, Mary plans their future and frets over remodelling ideas for next spring.

In the compelling conclusion, the submarine mission returns with fatal news—radioactive levels are still deadly. The false hope of the transmission from Alaska ends in a shocking discovery and the devastation witnessed by the crew sinks them into despair. During the expedition, Towers' second-in-command suffers a tear in his radiation suit that leads to his death. In Melbourne, the realization of impending doom begins to unravel the social fabric. Anarchy and chaos erupt. The world is in ruins. Still, some dream and hope for a miracle. As a distraction from the unthinkable, Osborne, amuses himself with a gleaming red Ferrari. Holmes and his wife seek solace in their eternal love for each other while facing a heartbreaking decision about their baby. Towers and Moira try to make sense of their newfound love as he is forced to choose between her and his sense of duty and commitment to his men. In the final days and hours, humankind's greatest failures, as well as its greatest virtues—love, courage, loyalty and compassion—reveal themselves heroically and tragically.

Based on the novel by Nevil Shute.

Starring: Armand Assante, Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown, Jacqueline McKenzie, Grant Bowler, Allison Webber, Tieghan Webber, Steve Bastoni, David Paterson, Kevin Copeland, Todd MacDonald, Joe Petruzzi, Craig Beamer, Jonathan Oldham, Trent Huen

Virtual Nightmare

Year: 2000
A Coote/Hayes Production
Executive Producers: Greg Coote, Jeffrey Hayes, Chip Hayes
Producer: Darryl Sheen
Director: Michael Pattinson
Writers: Dan Mazur & David Tausik

Dale Hunter, a junior advertising executive on the fast track, begins to experience visions that the bucolic reality he lives in is a monumental scam. Seeking help from the local librarian, Wendy, a self-professed misfit, the two discover that the world they think they inhabit is actually a projection of a machine, the Direct Broadcast Virtual Reality. When Dale and Wendy attempt to destroy the DBVR and restore the world to its natural state, they make an astounding and terrifying discovery.

Cast: Michael Muhney, Tasma Walton, Todd MacDonald, Jennifer Congram, John Noble, Mitchell Butel, Paul Gleeson, Bob Hornery, Peter Curtin, Amanda Wenban, Zoe Naylor, Bill Ten Eyck, Jerome Ehlers, Iain Gardiner, Jennifer Congram

Waiting at the Royal

Waiting at the Royal

Australia: Sunday, August 13, 2000 (Nine)
Canada: Monday, March 18, 2002 (wtn)
Executive Producers: Peter Beilby, Kris Noble
Producers: Andrew Wiseman, Richard Keddie
Director: Glenda Hambly
Writer: Glenda Hambly

Forced to spend their days and nights together in one room, four total strangers initially believe the only thing they share are problem pregnancies. As the time passes there are explosive arguments, terrible frustrations and unexpected tragedy. For the four women "waiting at the Royal" changes their lives forever. None of these women could ever have known that sharing a public ward would turn into such a journey of self-discovery.

Starring: Catherine McClements, Noni Hazelhurst, Josephine Byrnes, Jo Kennedy, Ramon Tikaram, Glynis Angell, Luke Elliott and Robert Grubb.