Telemovies & Miniseries

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The Alice

Erik Thomson, Caitlin McDougall

August 01, 2004 (Nine)
Produced by Southern Star Entertainment
Executive Producer: Hugh Marks
Producer: Robert Sinclair
Director: Kate Dennis
Writer: Justin Monjo

The Alice observes a group of strangers coming together in an iconic place for a particular event, only to find themselves caught up in something else altogether. There's to be a total eclipse of the sun and the perfect spot to view it is in the desert outside Alice Springs. Planetary forces are indeed at work and they will test the will of four people, who have a date with destiny in The Alice. Drawn to The Alice all for very different reasons, each of the travellers has a part to play in the unravelling of a murder mystery and each will have cause to linger longer than they ever anticipated in The Alice.

Starring: Erik Thomson, Jessica Napier, Caitlin McDougall, Brett Stiller, Luke Colloll, Kyas Sheriff, Patrick Brammall, Simon Burke, Andrew McFarlane, Roxanne Wilson, Christopher Stollery


Big Reef (aka Troppo)


Sunday, October 24, 2004 (Nine)
Produced by Beyond Simpson Le Mesurier Pty Ltd
Executive Producers: Mikael Borglund, Posie Graeme Evans
Director: Steve Jodrell
Writer: Roger Simpson

A story of romance and humour set in Australia's far north east. Former journalist Tom Stopple gets more than he bargained for when he heads to Paradise near the Great Barrier Reef to escape his troubles. But a category four cyclone and a man-eating crocodile are the least of his worries—it's what Paradise has done to the people.

Starring: Angus Grant, Madeliene West, Jack Finsterer, Steve Bisley, Lisa Hensley, Damien Garvey, Catherine Moore

Blackjack (2): Sweet Science

Year: 2004
Produced by Jigsaw Entertainment
Executive Producer: Nick Murray
Producers: Nick Murray
Director: Peter Andrikidis
Writer: Kristen Dunphy

The sons of a murdered gangland criminal have themselves turned bad. Jack's close to the family, but he may be too late to stop them attempting revenge.

Cast: Colin Friels, David Field, Marta Dusseldorp, Doris Younane, Vince Colosimo, Alex O'Lachlan, Anthony Hayes, Lara Cox, Chris Haywood

Blackjack (3): In The Money

Year: 2004
Produced by Jigsaw Entertainment
Executive Producer: Nick Murray
Producers: Nick Murray
Director: Peter Andrikidis
Writer: Katherone Thompson

Jack discovers that a man jailed for matricide could be innocent and the killer could still be close to home. Did Jack's own father-in-law have some part to play in the mystery?

Cast: Colin Friels, David Field, Masta Dusseldorp, Doris Younane, Bille Brown, Gigi Edgley

Blackjack (4): Ace Point Game

Year: 2004
Produced by Jigsaw Entertainment
Executive Producer: Nick Murray
Producers: Nick Murray
Director: Peter Andrikidis
Writer: Tim Pye

Two sisters, raped years ago, have kidnapped the man they believe to be responsible. Taking the law into their own hands, they present Jack with a dilemma: will he choose truth - or justice?

Cast: Colin Friels, David Field, Marta Dusseldorp, Doris Younane, Craig McLachlan, Sacha Horler


Oliver Ackland

Year: 2004
Produced by LM Films Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Katherine Scholes
Producer: Lucy Maclaren
Director: Roger Scholes
Writer: Roger Scholes

When a young man returns to the isolated fishing village where he grew up, the locals fear trouble. But Pauli wants only to win his father's love and respect. When he seizes the chance to prove himself, the outcome is extraordinary. (51min)

Cast: Oliver Ackland, Simon Westaway, Pepe Trevor, John Unicomb, Sue Jones, Carley Whatley, Stuart Loone, Stuart McDonald, Rod Horsfield, Judith Shaw, Noela Foxcroft, Derek Haigh, David Walch, Ian Dix


Hell Has Harbour Views

Lisa McCune and Matt Day

January 30, 2005 (ABC)
Producer: Ian Collie
Written by Peter Duncan
Directed by Peter Duncan
Based on a novel by Richard Beasley

Hugh Walker (Matt Day) seems to have it all. He's 31, charming, handsome, and a senior associate in the largest law firm in the land. He numbers amongst his clients some of the country's most powerful banks and insurance companies, and his employers see him as a litigator who will eventually join their own esteemed ranks as a living God.

Oh, how Hugh longs for an office with a harbour view (and the things he will do to get one!)

There's just one small problem. A vow he made when he worked for Carneys, an ideologically sound law firm that acted for the little guys against the corporate monoliths. He promised himself that he would never cross to the dark side. Now when he looks in the mirror, he doesn't like what he sees. And his dreams, his alcohol fuelled nightmares, are filled with images of those he has skewered with justice's sword … farmers, paraplegics, brain-damaged children … they all come to visit him at night.

And his waking hours aren't helped any by the fact that he has fallen out of love with his fabulous girlfriend, Helen (Marta Dusseldorp) and in love with the divine Caroline (Lisa McCune). Deception mounts deception.

The closer you get to the top of the greasy pole, the more slippery it becomes. Hugh just manages to hold on … until he finds himself the only witness to a frantic, sexual indiscretion on the boardroom table, and the centre of a bitter power struggle between two warring factions within the firm's senior partners.

He seems damned whichever way he turns, and that harbour view is becoming more and more elusive…

Starring: Matt Day, Lisa McCune, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Peter O'Brien, Steve Bisley; Freya Stafford, Marta Dusseldorp, Gillian Jones, Tiriel Mora, David Field, Heather Mitchell


Loot (aka Peregrine—The Dead Float)

Anita Hegh and Jason Donovan

Australia: June 25, 2004 (ABC)
NZ: October 09, 2005 (TV One)
Produced by: Seaside Stories Pty Ltd
Producer: Sue Seeary
Associate Producers: Allen Blewitt, Catherine Lavelle
Director: Shawn Seet
Writer: John O'Brien

A man is dead, millions of dollars have been lost and a mafia boss is missing. Someone’s laughing all the way to the bank, but one man is on the hunt to find those who believe they are above accountability. Jon Peregrine (Jason Donovan) is an investigator with a difference—the trail he follows is a paper one, chasing money as it is hidden, laundered and fast-tracked around the world. When his brother-in-law commits suicide after losing thousands of dollars when a share float goes belly up, Peregrine must face his sister’s (Tara Morice) grief at losing her husband and vows to hunt down those responsible. Although mum and dad investors have lost millions, none of the corporate heavyweights have got burnt and no one from the top end of town is talking. His ex-wife Cynthia (Anita Hegh) might hold a piece of the puzzle, but she’s not giving anything away… at least, not officially… and certainly not until Jon looks at the divorce papers she’s been trying to get him to sign for the past few months. Together with his eccentric silent partner Charles (Barry Otto), and genius offsider Bruno (Russell Dykstra), Peregrine works to track down those involved in the deal and bring them to account. Jon smells blood money and he’s not about to give up the chase. Perhaps white-collar crime doesn’t pay like it used to?

Starring: Jason Donovan, Anita Hegh, Barry Otto, Tara Morice, Russel Dykstra, Mark Mitchell

The Murray Whelan Series

Murray in elevator

June 20, 2004 (Seven)
Produced by: Ruby Entertainment
Executive Producers: Mark Ruse, Steve Luby
Producer: Mark Ruse
Directors: John Clarke, Sam Neill
Writer: John Clarke

Stars David Wenham as a 30-something, divorced father of one who works as an adviser to a Labor government minister. Whelan becomes embroiled in behind-the-scenes scandals and often battles criminals. (2 x 90 min)

Telemovie 1: STIFF
A body found in the freezer of the Meatworks in Murray's boss Agnelli's electorate causes panic in the ranks. Agnelli sees it as a Machiavellian plot by his political rivals to stir up trouble with the unions and precipitate his demise.

Telemovie 2: THE BRUSH OFF
When Agnelli is demoted to Minister for Arts and Water, he decides to earn brownie points by raising funds for the next election campaign. Murray is on the case, meeting with philanthropists and arts connoisseurs. This is where the trouble begins.

Starring: David Wenham

Russell Coight's Celebrity Challenge


November 14, 2004 (Ten)
Director: Tom Gleisner
Writer: Tom Gleisner

Television outback adventurer Russell Coight decides to lead a fund raising trek across the Top end of Australia to raise money for the Royal Bush Nursing Service. Accompanying Russell on this ambitious undertaking will be six celebrities along with a documentary crew. For the first few days things go well but then a series of accidents involving vehicles and innocent wildlife begin to take their toll. The group get lost, bogged, food and fuel run low and tempers start to boil. It takes all Russell’s skill as ‘group leader’ to keep the expedition together. Things reach an all time low when the charity involved in the project withdraw their association after learning that Russell has wiped out a rainforest and destroyed an outback community health centre. With the trip about to collapse and several thousand miles still to go it is up the group to pull things together.

Starring: Glenn Robbins as Russell Coight, Charlie Garber as Phil, Lucy Gould as Suzie, Chad Kendrick as Ben, Tamara Searle as Laura, Andrew Startin as Craig, Nicky Whelan as Chrissie
And: Jennifer Hansen, Jessica Rowe, Marie-Louise Thiele, Celia Hirsh, David Pawsey, Yushi Nishi, Yasuko Nishi, Karen Forster, Wendy Loader

Second Chance (aka Last Chance Paradise)

2004 (Ten)
December 03, 2005 (ABC)
Produced by: BBHTV in association with Network Ten, the Australian Film Finance Corporation, Screenwest and Daro Film
Director: Peter Andrikidis
Writer: John Misto

Alec Costello has run out of options. His career as a high flying Melbourne corporate lawyer has come to a crashing halt after being caught with his fingers in the till. Word is out and no-one along the eastern seaboard will employ him. Where in the world will he find anyone crazy enough to hire someone like him?

Welcome to Broome, nestled in Australia's remote North-West. Broome is home to the world's finest pearls, the most spectacular beaches and quite possibly, the strangest mix of people—many of whom are running away from something. It is here we also find Riggleton and Marsh, the only law firm in Australia who bothered to reply to Alec's job application.

It seems Broome has given Alec a second chance after all. One Alec needed.

Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Vince Poletto, Jodie Dry, Genevieve O'Reilly, Rhys Muldoon, Tara Morice, Allyssa McClelland, Paul Pantano and Johnny Pasvolski


Small Claims

Karvan and Gibney

Monday, May 17, 2004 (Ten)
Produced by: RB Films Pty Ltd
Producers: Kylie Du Fresne, Ben Grant
Executive Producer: Rosemary Blight
Director: Cherie Nolan
Writers: Keith Thompson, Kaye Bendle

Chrissy is a 36-year-old ex-solicitor with three kids, a second hand Volvo and a husband who spends most of his time at high-powered meetings in Europe. Jo, 29, is an ex-Major Crime Squad detective on the rise. Since the birth of her two-year-old son and subsequent unravelling of her marriage to another detective, she now works part-time in Police Intelligence and is bored to tears. But when a young local mother with a shady past vanishes in mysterious circumstances, Chrissy and Jo form an unlikely partnership and ramp up their dormant job-skills to become a formidable pair of sleuths, exposing a simmering hotbed of drug-deals and violent murder in the suburbs. An additional 3 telemovies have been written.

Starring: Rebecca Gibney as Chrissy Hindmarsh, Claudia Karvan as Jo Collins, Robert Mammone as Todd Fehlers, Freya Stafford as Melinda Fehlers, Paul Barry as Greg Collins, Natasha Beaumont as Ginny, Wayne Blair as Detective Senior Constable Lacey, Brandon Burke as Detective Superintendent Brian Stone, Carol Burns as Pamela, Tina Bursill as Rhonda, Gyton Grantley as Detective Senior Constable Brett, Rebecca Massey as Clare Santarini, Jillian O'Dowd as Sally, David Roberts as Peter Hindmarsh, Simon Westaway as Vaughan, Tanya Yuki as Yayoi

Through My Eyes

Craig McLachlan, Miranda Otto

November 23 & 24, 2004 (Seven)
Produced by: Liberty and Beyond Pty Ltd
Executive Producer: Mikael Borglund
Producers: Simone North, Tony Cavanaugh
Director: Di Drew
Writer: Tony Cavanaugh

In the desert heart of Australia's outback, a baby vanishes into the night. The mother claims that a dingo took her baby, but as the world becomes fascinated by the mystery, suspicions are aroused. The mother, Lindy, was accused of cutting her baby's throat and at trial was found guilty of murder and put in jail for life, with hard labour, for a crime she did not commit.

The untold true story of Lindy Chamberlain is finally revealed—the culmination of years of research and interviews with hundreds of actual participants. The second inquest into the disappearance of Azaria begins and Lindy is put on trial for her baby’s murder. The Chamberlain’s demeanour and religious background did not endear them to the Australian public—or the jury. Combined with the healthy dose of Northern Territory police suspicion, the determination to prove guilt was unprecedented. A humiliated police force, bad science, revenge and a bloody-minded determination to ignore evidence proved a deadly combination for Lindy. What happened shocked, not only the Chamberlain family, but the Australian public and the elite legal community. A single, frightening moment of tragedy led to an intersection of many lives that would be changed forever.

Starring: Miranda Otto, Craig McLachlan, Peter O'Brien, Erik Thomson, Simon Westaway, Andrew McFarlane, Steve Vidler, Lorraine Bayly, Aaron Blabey, Shaun Micallef, Barry Otto, Paul Mercurio, Angie Milliken, Brian Vriends, Lucy Bell, Nadine Garner, Steve Anderton, Graeme Blundell, Wayne Pygram

The Widower

Chris Haywood

Produced: 2004
Produced by MusicArtsDance Films
Producer: Aanya Whitehead
Director: Kevin Lucas
Writer: Lyndon Terracini

A poetic tale based on the poems of Les Murray about a father and son who struggle to reconcile the loss of a loved one. Following the premature death of his extremely beautiful wife Mary (Frances Rings), a woodcutter Neville (Chris Haywood) is paralysed by the pain of his loss and unable to properly care for his son.
The boy is placed in a distant boarding school under the guardianship of an aunt and the widower is abandoned to his despair. Neville is an emotionally isolated woodcutter with a romantic disposition. His wife was everything to him, and her death plunges him into despair. (57 mins)
He escapes into a world of the imagination and never really recovers; living in a suspended reality where dreams are real and life goes on in realms immortal. When the boy returns home from boarding school several years later as a young man he is disturbed to see how his father has fallen apart.

Starring: Chris Haywood, Frances Rings, Matt Dyall, Blake Pittman, Ben Harkin, Tony Barry, Djakapurra Munyarryun

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