June: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights


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


SBS TV Highlights

Sunday 8 June, 8.30pm – The Race for Absolute Zero (Documentary)

Air-conditioning, refrigeration, and superconductivity are just some of the ways technology has put cold to use. But what is cold, how do you achieve it and how cold can it get?

In the 19th century researchers plunged cold science to new lows as they succeeded in reaching the forbidding realm at which oxygen and then nitrogen liquefy. The master of this technology was Scottish chemist James Dewar, who pursued the holy grail of the field – liquefying hydrogen at minus 253C, just 20 degrees above absolute zero.

Tuesday 10 June, 10pm – The Story Of The Weeping Camel (Documentary)

A rare and unexpected gem. The heart-warming story of a nomadic family of shepherds who call on a musical healer to reunite one of the herd with her new-born colt. From the 2004 Sydney Film Festival. (From Germany, in Mongolian, English subtitles) (2003) PG WS


Saturday June 14, 3:05pm – The Wonderful World Of Albert Kahn (Documentary)

The Archive of the Planet was the brainchild of the millionaire French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn. Between 1908 and 1930, he used his vast personal fortune to generate what is now generally acknowledged to be the most important collection of early colour photographs in the world. For almost a quarter of a century, Kahn dispatched teams of photographers armed with the latest technology to record the lives and cultures of people around the world. Kahn was a fervent internationalist and pacifist who believed that by understanding others we would better understand ourselves and be more tolerant of our differences.

Sunday 15 June, 8:30pm – How Much is Your Dead Body Worth? (Documentary)

Dead bodies have always been used in medicine. But now demand for human tissue is outstripping supply. A gruesome new trade, body broking, aims to meet these demands. But is it legal, ethical or even safe?

The US tissue bank industry is worth over US $1 billion and its growing, yet there is virtually no regulation. So how to stop this gruesome trade? Strict regulation would be a start. Alternatively it could be made illegal to trade in human tissue. But no-one wants that – the cause is a good one, cadavers are used for training doctors and developing new medical techniques, for fixing the living.

movie of the monthSaturday June 21, 10:25 pm – Goodbye Lenin! (Movie)

Goodbye Lenin! – October, 1989 was a bad time to fall into a coma if you lived in East Germany and this is precisely what happened to Alex’s proudly socialist mother. Alex has a big problem on his hands when she suddenly awakens eight months later. Her heart is so weak that any shock might kill her. And what could be more shocking than the fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumph of capitalism in her beloved East Germany?

Won the Blue Angel Award for Best European Film at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for a 2003 Golden Globe. Directed by Wolfgang Becker, and stars Katrin Sass, and Maria Simon. (From Germany, in German, English subtitles) (2003)

Sunday 22 & 29 June, 8.30pm – Calling All Aliens (Documentary)

It is one of the biggest mysteries of our time; Are we alone in the universe? How dangerous would contact with aliens be? What would the consequences of such a discovery be for our lives?

Calling All Aliens is a two part documentary series that explores the scientific hunt for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life. “What we are looking for is something like a radio broadcast which is beamed out in space and is pretty much aimed at us” says Dr James Forster, an astronomer who is part of a small group of elite scientists who participate in the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (S.E.T.I). They are masters in their fields, brilliant scientists with an unusual mission – tracking down intelligent life forms in space.


Monday June 23, 10:55pm – Porco Rosso (Movie)

The first of the Hayao Miyazaki films – in the genre of Japanese Anime – Porco Rosso is set in Italy in the early 1930s where air pirates, bounty hunters and high flyers of all sorts rule the skies.

The most cunning and skilled of these pilots is Porco Rosso, a man cursed with the head of a pig after watching the spirits of the pilots rise to the heavens after they were killed in the last air battle he fought in. He now makes a living taking jobs, such as rescuing those kidnapped by air pirates. Donald Curtis, Porco’s rival in the air and in catching the affections of women, provides a constant challenge to the hero, culminating in a hilarious, action packed finale. (From Japan, in English) (Animated Classic) (1992)

Thursday June 26, 1pm – Australian Biography – Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell (Documentary)

Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell is one of Australia’s best loved actors. His career began in radio but after flying Spitfires in World War Two, he moved to the movies, scoring a role in Hollywood by age 30.

A short stint in London television extended to 16 years and made him one of Britain’s most famous faces. As an actor then director, he has also worked on some of Australia’s favourite TV series including Homicide, The Sullivans and Flying Doctors, and starred in films such as Breaker Morant, The Castle and Innocence.

At the age of 80, with ambition behind him, he’s busier than ever. And that, according to Bud, is beaut.

Saturday 28 June, 7.30pm – The Nest (Documentary)

Do you know a young adult who still lives at home with their parents? With so many of them in Australia, chances are you answered ‘yes’. The Nest is a new 6 part SBS series examining this phenomenon.

Experts such as demographer Bernard Salt are concerned a longer lasting co-dependence between parents and their children will leave both parties emotionally and financially unprepared for their future. In his book ‘The Big Picture’ Bernard says “The social contract being applied here is that adult children are allowed to continue their kiddish ways so that boomer mums and dads may continue as practising parents.” But will this social contract prevent families from being equipped to cope with real independence?

You can watch the show online at http://www.sbs.com.au/thenest/

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

ABC TV Highlights

Every Wednesday, 6pm – ABC1 – Travel Oz with Greg Grainger

Australia’s newest TV travel program has been on air for a while but I didn’t hear about until now as the ABC hadn’t run promos for it. In June episodes 9,10,11 & 12 out of the 12 episode series 1 of Travel Oz will be shown on ABC1 TV.

Produced by veteran travel documentary producer/presenter Greg Grainger, Travel Oz features 3 to 4 remote and exotic destinations around Australia each episode. Episode 9 airs on June 4th ABC1 and features: Lake Eyre, Ningaloo Reef, white water rafting and hot air ballooning.

You can watch the hovercrafting on Lake Eyre segment in the youtube video below.

In an interesting move you can watch all of Travel Oz Series 1 online by streaming video.

Every Thursday 5:35PM & continued Friday 8am – ABC2 – ABC FORA

Presented by Lateline and Q&A host, Tony Jones, ABC Fora will feature some of Australia’s and the world’s leading writers, leaders, and thinkers at a variety of events discussing a diverse range of topical subjects.

ABC Fora will screen twice weekly. Thursday’s program at 5:35pm will screen a carefully selected sample of excerpts from the most interesting, eclectic and provocative events of the week. Then, on Friday mornings at 8:00am, viewers can see the best segment from the night before in its full form.

The ABC Fora website will enable Australians everywhere to keep up to date with the most relevant issues of our time.

Every Sunday 12:30pm – ABC2 – Red Dwarf

If you’re a fan of the cult science-fiction comedy show Red Dwarf you’ll be glad to know double episodes are being shown weekly on ABC2.

In today’s double episode 1. Kryten – The crew acquires an all-too-efficient android butler named Kryten and 2. Better Than Life – Rimmer and Lister discover a computer game which plugs into the brain, allowing them to experience their fantasies. But not everyone can control their imaginations

Wednesday June 11, 7:30pm – ABC1 – The Cook and The Chef 100th Episode

This week The Cook and The Chef celebrates 100 episodes with a very special guest – Peter Cundall of Gardening Australia fame.

Early in 2008, Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant met Peter at the Gardening Australia Expo and they all got on like a ‘house on fire’.

Simon decided to give Maggie a special surprise and has organised Peter to come and give them both some strategic help in their gardens.

Monday 16 June, 9:35PM – ABC1 – Enough Rope With Andrew Denton Interviews Sir David Attenborough

Tonight Andrew talks to broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. Sir David has been getting up close and personal with the environment for 50 years. A pioneer of nature documentaries, he has spent most of his life travelling the globe, witnessing rarely filmed encounters and bringing the wide world of nature into the comfort of our homes.

He has seen the best and the worst that the world has to offer, and at 82 has become deeply concerned for the future of the planet.

Tuesday 17 June, 8:35PM – ABC1 – Medical Mavericks: The History of Self-Experimentation

Theory and hypothesis can only take you so far – in the end you have to experiment on people. But who would be mad enough to go first?

Medical Mavericks: The History of Self-Experimentation is a 4 part series that exposes the curious, dangerous and sometimes fatal ways in which doctors have increased medical knowledge through self-experimentation.

Wednesday 18 June, 8:35PM – ABC2 – Taxidermy: Stuff the World

Few boast an intimate knowledge of the bizarre and sometimes shocking world of taxidermy. This original and eye-opening documentary follows the fate of a handful of contributors as they prepare for, and compete at, the 2005 World Taxidermy Championships in Illinois, USA.

Sunday 22 June, 10:05PM – ABC1 – Compass: Torture In Our Name

Can torture ever be justified? What if it could prevent a serious terrorist attack? What if it was your own child at risk? Would you agree to the use of torture if you thought it might be the only way to save their life? In Our Name, a dramatised documentary, examines the morality of torture.

Sunday June 29th ABC1 – Doctor Who Series 4

TV show of the month
Doctor Who Series 4 starts on ABC1 – Sunday June 29th in the Christmas special episode Voyage of the Damned (on the ill fated ship the Titanic)

Fans of Doctor Who should rejoice as Russell T. Davies has announced is stepping down as the show’s lead writer and executive producer.

There is good news in his replacement – writer and producer Steven Moffat (Jekyll) will take over for the next series to air in 2010. Moffat has written several Who episodes including ‘Blink’, for which he won the Writer Award at this year’s BAFTAs, series two’s ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ and, from the series currently running in the UK, ‘Silence in the Library’.

Moffat said, “My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job,” he said. “I applied before but I got knocked back ‘cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven.
– source: TV Tonight

Working Dog Team back at ABC TV

Working Dog Productions, the team behind Frontline, The Panel and Thank God You’re Here, have been commissioned by ABC to produce a new six-part comedy/drama series.

The new series, The Hollowmen, is based around an internal think tank, set up by the Prime Minister, whose responsibility is long-term policy vision. The unit’s task is to stop worrying about tomorrow’s headlines and worry about next week’s.

The series is expected to be part of ABC1’s Wednesday night comedy line up late in 2008.
– source: Media Spy

Commercial TV Highlights

The Seven Media Group will launch its TiVo digital video recorder in July after a strategic overhaul that includes a surprise move to scrap a planned monthly subscription fee for the broadband-enabled service – source: SMH

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

3 Replies to “June: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights”

  1. How I miss watching the ABC and SBS… they always had interesting shows… and great movies from around the world…

  2. What I can recommend, the German movie called Goodbye Lenin. It is a very good movie with the erie of the real life. At the end I was crying a bit, but there are also stunning moments too (Lenin’s statue is floating above Berlin.)

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