Graeme Turner


The screening of the television m1m-series, Anzacs, took place in Australia in November, 1985. Admired by the popular press and successful in the ratings, it was ridiculed by most of the 'quality' press as a melodramatic exercise in 'Pommy-bashing' which played fast and loose with the true history of World War I. 1 Anything but a low-key docu-drama, Anzacs is full of action, peopled with a rich cast of fictional characters, and, despite an episodic structure, a narrative in the tradition of the 'ripping yarn'. Its use and deployment of history, however, is not to be easily dismissed: firstly, because it is both deliberate and polemical, and, secondly, because it plays a crucial role in the program's objective of contributing not just to television ratings but to Australia's sense of itself.



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