The Hollowmen

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The Hollowmen
The Hollowmen (DVD cover)
GenreSituation comedy-Drama
Created bySanto Cilauro
Tom Gleisner
Rob Sitch
Directed byRob Sitch
Opening theme"North by North" by The Bats
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes12
Executive producer(s)Working Dog Productions
Producer(s)Santo Cilauro
Tom Gleisner
Rob Sitch
Production company(s)Working Dog Productions
Original networkABC1
Audio formatStereo
First shown inAustralia
Original releaseJuly 2008 – October 2008
External links

The Hollowmen is an Australian television comedy series set in the offices of the Central Policy Unit, a fictional political advisory unit personally set up by the Prime Minister to help him get re-elected. Their brief is long-term vision; to stop worrying about tomorrow's headlines, and focus on next week's.

The Hollowmen was first broadcast on Wednesday, 9 July 2008, on ABC1. Each series comprises six half-hour episodes.[1] On the eve of the first episode's national premiere, the series was approved by the ABC for a second series. The second series was screened right after the first, beginning on 13 September 2008.[2]

The comedy-drama satire is produced by Working Dog Productions, which was also responsible for Frontline, The Panel, Thank God You're Here and Utopia. The music used during the opening credits is an edited instrumental version of the 1987 song "North by North" by New Zealand band The Bats. A special one-off presentation of The Hollowmen was created by Working Dog and played at Parliament House in Canberra on 11 March 2009, in support of the ABC's funding bid for 2009-12.


Main Cast[edit]

Supporting Cast[edit]

  • Rob Carlton – Kenny Pratt, advisor to the previous PM
  • Graeme Blundell – Geoff, Party Director
  • Leonie Hemsworth - Dianne, Prime Minister's Secretary
  • Sacha Joseph - Vanmathy, Unit Office
  • Ben Chisholm - Josh, Unit Office
  • Sarah Arthur Young - Sarah, Unit Office Receptionist
  • Phil Pollard - Phil, Prime Minister's Security Guard

The Prime Minister is an unseen character.


Series 1[edit]

Episode 1: Fat Chance

The Central Policy Unit must come up with a meaningful plan to combat obesity in schools in order to keep the Prime Minister's momentum rolling.

Episode 2: The Ambassador

A troublesome Senator agrees to leave politics behind if he gets a nice diplomatic posting. But, unfortunately for the Central Policy Unit, Phillip is about to give a speech outlining a plan commissioned by the PM announcing restrictions that mean only the most qualified people are eligible for appointment as ambassadors for the nation.

Episode 3: A Time for Talk

When conflict breaks out overseas, the Central Policy Unit must find a way to intervene without hurting the international relationships. Murph quickly finds that there is a lot of talk, but not much action.

Episode 4: Rear Vision

The budget lacks an eye-catching "centrepiece" and Tony asks Murph to come up with a last minute policy which will give the PM the visionary public image he wants.

Episode 5: Military Matters

After an embarrassing incident at an air force base brings military recruitment into the headlines, the Central Policy Unit must make life in the uniform appealing to Generation Y.

Episode 6: A Housing Crisis

A report into the cost of maintaining Kirribilli House comes back to bite Ian. With Phillip in charge, the report looks set to embarrass the PM right before another interest rate rise, unless Murph can figure out a way to lower Kirribilli's price tag and make it less elitist.

Series 2[edit]

Episode 1: Shared Interests

A scandal with a Junior Minister and poor fashion sense leads to a "blippy dip" in the PM's public image. Murph handles a government crackdown whilst Tony tackles pin-stripes and French cuffs.

Episode 2: Edifice Complex

The PM has recently opened several buildings commissioned by his predecessors, which starts him thinking about his own legacy. Unfortunately for Murph, legacy translates to a massive building somewhere in the parliamentary triangle.

Episode 3: Wonder Drug

Pressure mounts on the Government to fund an expensive new pill, despite evidence that it may not be worth funding at all.

Episode 4: Vulnerable to Attack

The PM's plans to increase spending on national security run into trouble when the Department starts talking about cost-cutting. Meanwhile the Unit ends up exploiting some eager High School students who have won a trip to Canberra.

Episode 5: A Waste of Energy

Global warming is hot on the agenda with the Unit taking up the government's new 'carbon challenge'. But a blindsighted promise to raise emission standards with China may cause some serious problems for international relations.

Episode 6: A Quiet January

The second half of January has no news stories. But a surprise trip for the PM to Antarctica is soon devised to fill this space.

Episode ratings[edit]

The first season premiered at 9:30 pm on Wednesday 9 July 2008. After episode 5, it was removed from schedule due to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The season finale aired at 9:00 pm on Wednesday 27 August.[3]

# Episode No. Airdate Time Ratings
(5 capital cities)
Timeslot rank Overall nightly rank
1.01 Fat Chance 9 July 2008 21:30 1,185,000 1st 13th
1.02 The Ambassador 16 July 2008 1,040,000 2nd 16th
1.03 A Time for Talk 23 July 2008 950,000 3rd 18th
1.04 Rear Vision 30 July 2008 996,000 2nd 16th
1.05 Military Matters 6 August 2008 816,000 3rd 24th
1.06 A Housing Crisis 27 August 2008 21:00 926,000 2nd 15th
2.01 Shared Interests 3 September 2008 931,000 2nd 17th
2.02 Edifice Complex 10 September 2008 1,044,000 2nd 16th
2.03 Wonder Drug 17 September 2008 941,000 3rd 19th
2.04 Vulnerable to Attack 24 September 2008 906,000 3rd 15th
2.05 A Waste of Energy 1 October 2008 877,000 3rd 16th
2.06 A Quiet January 8 October 2008 931,000 3rd 16th

On DVD[edit]

Series 1 and 2 of The Hollowmen is available on DVD as a three disc box set.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Working Dog starts rounding up the Hollowmen". 8 June 2008.
  2. ^ "New Tom Gleisner TV show The Hollowmen a hit unseen". The Daily Telegraph. 9 July 2008.
  3. ^ Knox, David (3 August 2008). "Bumped: The Hollowmen". Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  4. ^ Roadshow Entertainment catalogue listing

External links[edit]