Doctor Who leads ABC summer programming

Plus Torchwood, Red Dwarf, Jonathon Welch and Ray Martin throttling John Safran.

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars is one of the tempting shows to be screened by the ABC over the summer break.

While commercial networks will be taking a break from their best shows, ABC1 and ABC2 are promising to keep us entertained.

The Waters of Mars will air in early December, around three weeks after its UK broadcast. The special, which sees Lindsay Duncan as his temporary companion, Adelaide, also features Aussie Peter O'Brien as her second-in-command. It is one of the last performances by David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

Sci-Fi fans get much more from the broadcaster too when ABC2 screens Torchwood: Children of Earth in January. The five part mini-series has already screened in Australia on Pay TV, but now free-to-air viewers will get to see it too. It's a must-see for "Captain Jack" fans with plenty of thrilling moments and adventure for the team from the Torchwood Institute.

And a decade since we last saw the crew from Red Dwarf, they return in a four-part reunion when they discover Earth in 2009 is not what they expected.

In local productions, ABC will screen the movie Samson & Delilah, which won the Camera d'Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It is the story of two teenagers living in a remote Aboriginal community in the Central Australian desert. HG Nelson will host Bush Slam With HG Nelson, in which poets are given three days to tap into the heart of a regional town in verse and perform their work before the locals in a live head‐to-head poetry slam.

In Jailbirds, Jonathon Welch of The Choir of Hard Knocks fame tries to build a choir out of a group of female prisoners at a low security Victorian prison. Andrew Denton returns with a new series of Elders, chatting with Alan Alda, Clive James and more. And "serial pest" John Safran will appear in The Lost Pilot in which he notoriously rifled through Ray Martin's garbage bin outside his home. Martin grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and was given a guarantee by the ABC that it would never broadcast it. How times, and ABC Management, have changed...

There is some great drama from overseas with Lilies, a new eight-part drama on the working class world of 1920's Liverpool, Scarlett Johansson and Helen Hunt star in the two-part period drama A Good Woman, and there is a new two-part version of Oliver Twist.

Other series will include Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights, new episodes of Gavin & Stacey, Wild at Heart, Shrink Rap, concerts from U2 and Seal, and a Christmas special from Father Ted.

Which ABC show are you most anticipating? Comment below or discuss the upcoming shows in the forum now!

Comments (1)
Nov 04, 2009
Great news for Doctor Who fans in Australia but personally there's no chance I'm going to wait 3 weeks to watch it. Oh well at least ABC made an effort to get it unlike UKTV who I'd expected to at least try and get it after their impressive grab for TORCHWOOD:COE

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