Touch the Sun (Australian TV series)
Touch the Sun is a series of television films commissioned by the Australian Children's Television Foundation in 1988 as part of the Australian Bicentenary celebrations. It may have been intended that seven feature-length episodes were produced, one for each State, plus the Northern Territory, but only six were completed. Executive producer was Patricia Edgar in association with the ABC and production company Revcom.
The six telemovies (each 95 minutes' duration) deal with issues important to children: adoption, multiculturalism, country life, fame, running away and deafness. They are set in a different States and depict children overcoming problems in different family and social situations.
|Directed by||Mario Andreacchio|
|Written by||Rob George|
(South Australia) A deaf boy makes friends with an Italian fisherman.
- cast included Damien Walters, Joe Petruzzi, John Waters, Rebecca Sykes, Michele Fawdon, Elspeth Ballantyne, Vivienne Graves, Sam Sowton, Phoebe Salter, Peter Green, Henry Salter and Grant Piro.
|Directed by||Esben Storm|
|Written by||David Phillips|
|Based on||novel by Nan Chauncy|
(Tasmania) City boy and country cousin get lost in the mountains
- cast included Cameron Atkins, Peter Hehir, Mary Haire, John Flaus, Alexander 'Matthew' Jacobs, Emma Pugh and Jane McArthur
|Directed by||Paul Cox|
|Produced by||Tony Llewellyn-Jones|
|Cinematography||Nino G. Martinetti|
- A Melbourne couple wins some land in Western Australia.
- cast included Nicholas Hatjiandreau, Vicki Serbos, Alexis Anthopolous, Con Laras, Rena Frangioudakis, Peter Felmingham, Margaret Ford, Bill McClusky, Ken James and Susanne Chapman
Peter and Pompey
|Peter and Pompey|
|Directed by||Michael Carson|
|Produced by||Margot McDonald|
|Written by||John Misto|
(Queensland) Three Queensland children find Latin inscriptions in a cave. This leads them to discover an authentic Roman boat.
It was shot on location in North Queensland.
- Clayton Williamson
- Kate McDonald (who is daughter of Garry McDonald)
- Emile Minty
- Aaron Ferguson, Paul Chubb
- Lynnette Curran
- Dennis Miller
- Amanda Muggleton
- Basil Clarke
- Bruce Venables
|Directed by||George Ogilvie|
|Produced by||Antonia Barnard|
Kate, 14, the adopted daughter of wealthy couple searches for her birth mother.
- Justine Clarke as Kate
- Lyndel Rowe
- Alan Cassell
- Myra Noblet
- Shane Tickner
- Rebekah Elmaloglou
- Lorna Lesley
- Martin Sacks
- Mouche Phillips
- Claudia Karvan
- Beth Buchanan
- Annie Byron
- Nick Enright
|Directed by||Jackie McKimmie|
|Produced by||Jill Robb|
- John Jarratt
- Madeleine Blackwell
- Bennendine Woods
- Donald Dale
- Tom Lewis
- Justine Saunders
- Bernadette Hudson
- Mai Nguyen
- Willy Johnson
- Marcus Rosas.
Captain Johnno won the International Emmy Award in 1988.
VHS copies were made available for general release and at least one, Captain Johnno appeared in a subtitled classroom edition.
Originally only one of the six movies, Princess Kate, was released on DVD in Australia.
Echo Bridge Entertainment once offered Devils Hill, Captain Johnno and The Journey on 1 disk, and The Gift, Top Enders and Peter and Pompey as part of a 2-disk compilation with Rabbit Proof Fence and Secret of the Andes. In 2014 this title was no longer in their catalogue.
Australian Children's Television Foundation subsequently released Touch the Sun - Top Enders and Peter & Pompey, and Touch the Sun - Devil's Hill and Captain Johnno as two separate DVDs. These products are marred by occasional skips in content as though they have been dubbed from films which have been subjected to breakages and subsequent splicing.
- Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970–1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p23
- Murray p 119
- http://www.memorabletv.com/episodeguides/touchthesun.htm (now unavailable; archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20120329135753/http://www.memorabletv.com/episodeguides/touchthesun.htm)
- Harrison, Tony The Australian Film and Television Companion Simon & Schuster Australia ISBN 0-7318-0455-4
- leaflet supplied with Captain Johnno VHS
- Touch the Sun Series at Australian Screen Online
- Captain Johnno at Australian Screen Online
- Devil's Hill at Australian Screen Online
- Peter and Pompey at Australian Screen Online
- Princess Kate at Australian Screen Online
- The Gift at Australian Screen Online
- Top Enders at Australian Screen Online
- John Waters talks about Captain Johnno