Articles on Television

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We’re still not very good at acknowledging the importance of television sound. ABC

The Australians who created the sonic world of Doctor Who

It’s 50 years since the first episode aired on the BBC on November 23 1963 – and now Doctor Who is in promotion overdrive. We’ve been treated to online snippets of the 50th-anniversary special, pre-anniversary…
Sidse Babett Knudsden as Danish PM Birgitte Nyborg returns to Australian screens this week. SBS

Soft power: how TV shows like Borgen put Denmark on the map

Denmark’s award-winning cultural export, Borgen, is back on our screens for a second series following the fortunes of its fictional female Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg. Denmark need never resort to hard…
Can S.H.I.E.L.D juggle the expectations of fans and network execs? Disney | ABC Television Group

Superheroes, superviewers and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

We are now about half way through the first season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the much-hyped TV spin off from the enormously successful 2012 superhero blockbuster, The Avengers. The honeymoon is…
‘Rendition television’ is conservative and retrograde. AAP/Seven Network

Rewind, repeat: TV’s fame machine is oh-so retro

More than a decade ago, I wrote something on the 1996 film Twister and a host of other action films. I thought it was deep and profound: the new blockbuster films were trying to emulate the experience…
Wake Up’s Natasha Exelby, James Mathison, Natarsha Belling and Nuala Hafner. AAP Image/Supplied by Network Ten

Can Channel Ten Wake Up from its slumber?

At 6.30am this morning, Channel Ten launched the program that will either resurrect the network’s fortunes or push it further into a coma from which it may never recover. Wake Up, joined by newsreader…
Televised court proceedings will reveal what goes on inside these walls. John Allan

Cameras in court throw us in at the deep end before we’re ready

The Court of Appeal is to be televised for the first time now that a ban on cameras in courts in England and Wales has been lifted. High-profile media organisations have been lobbying for such a move for…
Gillian Anderson plays detective Stella Gibson in the BBC drama The Fall. Steffan Hill/BBC/Artists Studio

The Fall: does Gillian Anderson play a man in women’s clothing?

Female characters are currently dominating our crime dramas on television worldwide, with shows such as British detective series Scott and Bailey, Danish cop show The Killing, Danish/ Swedish co-production…
Ja'mie: Private School Girl is one of a slate of new Australian programs airing on the ABC. AAP/EckFactor

Aussie TV drama gets a boost from ABC, tax concessions

There were more hours of Australian-made television drama broadcast in 2012/13 than in any year since 2009, after a considerable…
Schama’s controlled emotion made for gripping viewing. Financial Times photos

Story of the Jews: Schama got it in the neck, but got it right

In nearly 40 years of teaching Jewish Studies at university the course I found hardest to deliver was my first-year “Introduction to Judaism”. It didn’t get any easier: the more I learned, the more I agonised…
Lack of British chemistry. sally_monster

Why meth hasn’t broken bad in the UK

The final episode of the award-winning American TV show Breaking Bad aired last night. Set against the backdrop of illicit crystal methamphetamine production, the series highlights the huge problem parts…
What is it that we admired? bj_hale

Why the time was right for Breaking Bad guy Walter White

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW Walter White came to us just when we needed him. Breaking Bad offered a world reeling from the effects of lengthy recession some glimmer of hope, but more importantly it now offers…
What has Showtime TV series Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall as the eponymous character, taught us about media violence? EPA/Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Vale Dexter, the serial killer who changed the face of TV violence

On September 23, Showtime audiences will bid adieu to television’s unlikeliest hero. Since 2007, they’ve really warmed to Dexter. The show’s eponymous anti-hero is a congenial blood-spatter analyst who…
Kevin Rudd follows a long line of male politicians exercising as part of their pitch to voters. What does this tell us about masculinity, the media and politics? AAP/Lyndon Mechielsen

We can work it out: television and the pumped-up politics of the election

Nothing summarised a bad week - indeed, a bad election campaign - for prime minister Kevin Rudd better than Tuesday’s Brisbane workout. A camera-friendly “power walk” was interrupted by insults from larrikin…
The highly edited segments position the advice and decisions of the judges – including Matt Preston, right – as beyond reproach. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Cooking with passion: why audiences still love MasterChef

As MasterChef fans count down to tomorrow night’s season five finale, advertisers will be crossing their fingers that ratings will match last year’s top-ranking-program status. With a season six on the…
We’re about to reach intermission in the ten-part Ashes series. What have we learnt about the way we consume the sport of cricket as a social and cultural construct? EPA/Peter Powell

The end of Act One of the Ashes melodrama

The end of the English summer beckons, and Act One of the current Ashes drama is reaching its appointed denouement across the Thames from London’s Theatreland at The Oval. The interval will last until…
TV gives even the most disconnected and apathetic of us a shared language, a shared experience. AAP Image/HBO

Big TV and our small screen vernacular

Slobodan Milosevic went to trial. Bali got bombed. Dudley Moore died and right up there with the memorable moments of 2002 was that 2.8 million Australians sat down and watched The National IQ Test. Because…
Cricket commentators like Richie Benaud attract cult followings and satirical impersonations. AAP/Dean Lewins

Cricket commentary: an art or a science?

The Ashes are now upon us, and both sets of players are in the midst of the first Test at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge ground. As we sit down to watch the Test on television, it is worth reflecting on the…
For years, communication through holograms has been confined to Star Wars and other science fiction. But new research means we may be using holograms in day-to-day life sooner than you think. Paula Dawson

Television got you feeling flat? Switch over to 3D Holo-TV

Communication though holographic TV - also known as Holo-TV - has, for decades, been a science fiction dream. But now, thanks to developments in display technology reported in Nature today, it is likely…

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