December: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights


In this post I’ll highlight December’s Australian ABC TV + SBS TV and commercial TV show highlights and schedule changes

Apologies for only only writing about the 2nd half of December, I haven’t been at home on weekends since late November so didn’t have time to read through all the TV guides that ABC and SBS publicity sent me.


SBS TV Highlights

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Sunday December 21 730pm – Germanic Tribes (4 Part Documentary)

This series deals with the mass migration of Germanic tribes at the very beginning of European history, while Ancient Rome raced towards inevitable collapse and a new political centre developed in Northwest Europe. This period, from the invasion of the Huns in 375 to the conquest of Italy by the Lombards in 568, is one of the most fascinating, significant and complex epochs in history.

Germanic Tribes exposes the clichés, myths and ideologies that have distorted perception. For example, The Nazis believed these tribes were pure Aryans, while in fact they were prime examples of mixed-race cultures.

Sunday, 28 December 830pm – Foolproof Equations For a Perfect Life (Documentary)

Every day we are required to make decisions about life, and according to some scientists, we generally make the wrong one. Luckily the same scientists that have identified the problem can also help with the solution.

In the documentary, scientists, psychiatrists and mathematicians examine everyday issues and give their opinions of how we should successfully approach the decision making process.

These members of academia claim that far too often our emotions cloud our ability to make the correct choice. By systematically working through the decision, identifying the factors and weighing out the options, you can come to a logical and often correct decision.

Many of the Movies and TV series mentioned in this article can be bought from Chaos DVDs

ABC1 TV Highlights

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Sunday 21 December 2008 730PM – A Very Specky Christmas

Ho, ho, ho…the tradition continues as Adam, Myf and Alan bring lots of off-the-wall Christmas cheer to a fun-filled, family-friendly, festive one-hour special.

There’ll be guests galore and sacks and sacks of merriment as the Spicks And Specks team present a yuletide treat featuring the Who’s Who of Australia’s favourite music quiz show alumni.

Guests include Hamish Blake, Brian Mannix, Cal Wilson, Dave O’Neil, Kate Miller-Heidke, Ali McGregor, David Hobson and Sammy J.

Sunday 21 December 2008 835pm – Merry Christmas: Joyeux Noel

movie of the month
A hit of the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTAs, this is a story of courage and dignity that touched three nations which went to war in 1914. On Christmas Eve in Northern France, officers and soldiers from Scotland, Germany and France, who fought each other from trenches barely 100 metres apart on a daily basis, put down their weapons and called a truce.

Although political leaders had promised the troops that the war would be resolved by Christmas 1914, by December of that year the chill of winter had set in and everyone could sense it would be a long conflict. This is where the story of Merry Christmas begins. On Christmas Eve, singing from the German trenches is overheard across the battlefield by the Scottish troops, and they strike up the bagpipes as an accompaniment. The French watch on as the Germans and Scots venture into No Man’s Land with a Christmas tree as a symbol of peace, and then join them in the celebration with bottles of champagne.

Soon a truce is arranged and for a brief time, forgetting the allegiances of war, the Germans, Scots and French mingle together on the battlefield. They spend Christmas together sharing wine and food, playing football, exchanging photos and memories and taking time to bury the dead. These men and their peers easily find a common ground that is dangerously subversive to their superiors. Where does the holiday spirit end and high treason begin?

Monday 22 December 2008 830PM – Expedition Bhutan

See vistas never before seen by Western eyes during this epic journey through the Kingdom of Bhutan, a land tucked away in the high Himalayas that separate India and China.

Large swathes of it are still unmapped. It is a place where television was permitted for the first time in 1999. Here, national happiness is prized more highly than national product. It is the last Buddhist kingdom on Earth.

Thursday 25 December 2008 815am – A Very Barry Christmas

A Very Barry Christmas is a hilarious tale of misadventure spanning the earth from the white expanse of the North Pole to the red-hot desert of the Australian outback.

Meet Barry Buckley, a man with the best of intentions and the world’s worst luck! Barry runs a charity of sorts in the Australian outback – caring for an oddball assortment of unwanted domesticated animals that conveniently call his place home. There’s Nigel, a cantankerous crocodile with a fear of rejection, Lilly a former boxing kangaroo, Walter the platypus, and a narcoleptic koala named Simon. They’re an odd bunch, and they really do love Barry. He has managed to fill their bellies with food and keep a roof over their heads- until now.

When Barry’s latest sure-fire business venture fails to ignite, a bizarre chain reaction of events ends in a catastrophic meeting with Santa. Before you can say “Winter Wonder Down Under” the two have unwittingly traded lives in a Christmas mix-up of epic proportions!


ABC2 TV Highlights

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Thursday 18 December 2008 810pm – Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers

TV show of the month
The film begins at 62 West Wallaby Street on Gromit’s birthday. After falling downstairs from his bed via a trapdoor in the ceiling (which also dresses him at the same time), Wallace is greeted with a large pile of bills. Meanwhile, Gromit subtly attempts to remind Wallace that it is his birthday.

After surveying their depleted funds, Wallace lets slip that he has not forgotten Gromit’s birthday after all and presents Gromit with a somewhat unwelcome gift of a dog collar, and a second present of a pair of ex-NASA robotic “Techno Trousers”, designed to alleviate the burden of taking him for walks.

Wallace and Gromit are embroiled in a tale of skulduggery when a villainous penguin, posing as an innocent lodger, traps Wallace as an unwitting accomplice in a diamond heist. It is left to the ever-faithful Gromit to save the day.

Saturday, 20 December 2008 830pm – The Magic Pudding (Movie)

One of Australia’s best-loved children’s books is brought to the screen in this animated comedy-adventure. Bunyip Bluegum (voice of Geoffrey Rush) is an accomplished young koala who has lost his parents.

While many of his friends and relatives fear that Bunyip’s folks are dead, Bunyip is certain they’re still alive, and sets out on the road to find them. In his travels, Bunyip makes several new friends, including retired sailor Bill Barnacle (voice of Hugo Weaving), a penguin named Sam Sawnoff (voice of Sam Neill), and Albert (voice of John Cleese), a magical pudding who can change flavours at will and never runs out, no matter how much people eat him.

Wednesday 24 December 2008 805PM – Christmas Lights

Ever wondered what drives people to spend up to 11 months of the year and thousands of dollars on ? Meet the Watsons, the Greenways and the Overtons, some of Australia’s most passionate Christmas enthusiasts, and discover the meaning and motivation behind their curious and creative passion.

Many of the Movies and TV series mentioned in this article can be bought from Chaos DVDs

2 Replies to “December: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights”

  1. The Top Gear Special is not to be missed – I saw it over here on UK tv and its so awesome – those guys are so lucky with the different things they get to do! The new series is ace too!

  2. Sure have some interesting networks in Australia…in America our airwaves are filled with Reality crap T.V.

    EDITOR: Our commercial TV networks are also largely full of rubbish, I’m amazed that for once there’s actually something worth watching on TV this Summer because usually during this non-ratings period we only get 3rd grade American shows.

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