Stark (miniseries)

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Stark title card.jpg
Written by Ben Elton
Directed by Nadia Tass
Starring Ben Elton
Jacqueline McKenzie
Colin Friels
Deborra-Lee Furness
Derrick O'Connor
Bill Wallis
Bill Hunter
Theme music composer Colin Towns
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 3
Producer(s) David Parker
Michael Wearing
Running time 158 mins
Original network BBC2 (UK)
ABC TV (Australia)
Original release 11–12 August 1993 (Australia)
8–22 December 1993 (UK)

Stark is a 1993 British-Australian television miniseries, based on the bestselling novel Stark by comedian Ben Elton. The three-episode series, directed by Nadia Tass, was an international coproduction between the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It starred Ben Elton and Jacqueline McKenzie.


The budget for the series was A$7 million, with most of the money coming from the BBC. Elton wrote the script adapted from his own novel, as well as taking the starring role as "whinging Pom" CD.[1]

Principal cast[edit]


Although Stark is primarily set in Western Australia, the series was filmed in two other Australian states: Victoria and South Australia. Desert scenes, which make up much of the later episodes, were filmed in and around Coober Pedy.


Stark was first aired by the ABC in Australia over two nights on 11 and 12 August (the first and second episodes were edited together into one movie-length episode; the third episode aired as the second and final episode in Australia). The series did not air in the United Kingdom until it appeared on BBC2 on Wednesday nights from 8–22 December.

Differences between the series and the novel[edit]

The main changes from the plot of the novel were the extent of the Stark Consipiracy's plan, and the ending. In the novel, Rachel escapes from Stark just prior to the launch, the Star Arks land at their moonbase and the conspirators are quickly consumed by their own greed, selfishness and hatred, with Sly eventually committing suicide. In the series, Lord de Quincy intends to scuttle a fleet of 'leper ships' carrying toxic waste, to actually hasten the extinction of the human species. Sly boards the rocket with Rachel, who has fallen in love with him, and the pair stage a mutiny, although they are killed when the Star Arks are shot down by the United States Air Force. In an interview included on the DVD edition, Elton states that this change was suggested by producer Michael Wearing, who was concerned that the novel lacked a "jeopardy point".[1]

Several of the main characters' names are also changed in the series: Sly Moorcock was renamed Sly Morgan, and Lord Playing is renamed Lord De Quincey.


  1. ^ a b An Interview with Ben Elton, Stark DVD, July 2007.

External links[edit]