Stargazing Live on the ABC

The ABC is hosting Australian first live event broadcast on April 4, 5 and 6.

Over three consecutive nights, across ABC, ABC2 and ABC iview renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox and presenter Julia Zemiro to inspire the nation to ‘look up’ and appreciate the unique wonders of space and our cosmos. Professor Cox and Julia will be joined by experts including astrophysicist Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith from the CSIRO; astronomer Greg Quicke; Indigenous Australian Michael Anderson; and ‘Citizen Science’ advocate Dr Chris Lintott.  

Broadcasting live from the Siding Spring Observatory, Australia’s premier optical and infrared astronomical observatory, Professor Cox will lead a breathtaking journey through space using state-of-the-art technology and interacting live with viewers.  

Viewers have the opportunity to have their night sky pictures and video featured on the show – by adding the hashtag #StargazingABC to Instagram, or uploading at abc.net.au/stargazing. 

In their own unique style, the pair will tackle some of the most intriguing questions in astronomy, such as what happens if you were sucked into a Black Hole, and do aliens exist? Closer to home, there will also be hints and tips for getting started in stargazing and advice on navigating your way around the skies.

Following each night’s Stargazing Live broadcast on ABC will be Stargazing Live: Back To Earth, a 30-minute special on ABC2 in which viewers can use social media to put questions directly to Professor Cox and Julia and take part in astronomy related discussions and debates live on air.  Audiences will be encouraged to send questions to #CoxQuestions.

In the lead up to Stargazing Live, a comprehensive suite of astronomy-themed content will be showcased across ABC Radio, TV, iview and online.

Stargazing Live 4, 5, 6 April 2017 8.30pm AEST & ABC iview, 8pm SA + NT, 8.30pm AWST
Stargazing Live: Back To Earth 9.30pm AEST on ABC2 & ABC iview, 9pm SA + NT, 9.30pm AWST

Both programs will also be streamed live on both ABC TV Facebook and Youtube channels. 

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Outlander on SBS

The science fantasy tv series ‘Outlander’ is to be broadcast on SBS starting this Thursday night (20 October) at 9.30pm.

Based on the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series follows the adventures of a woman who finds herself transported from the late 1940s to 1743 in Scotland.

The series was filmed on location in Scotland with a lot of attention to detailed costuming and good acting.

Definitely worth a watch

Babylon 5 – is it really that long?

This year it will be 20 years since Babylon 5 appeared  on Australian tv screens.

Although the pilot movie, was shown in the USA in 1993, it didn’t appear here until November 1994. When the pilot was shown it appeared on our tv screens just before season one started – that was a bit confusing as some of the cast changed for the series.

Babylon 5 comes with a whole bunch of viewing memories that can’t be separated from the memories of the show, at least not for me. It had a continuous backstory that needed to be seen in order, except the local station didn’t always show it in order. Luckily the fledgling internet was able to tell us the viewing order.

From season two onwards it was supposed to be on at a particular time but the sports show before it often ran 30 minutes or more over time. That overrun led to my favourite Canberra tv anecdote. The local power company reported that there was a power drain every Thursday around 10.30pm and they were investigating it. They identified it as a mysterious domestic power usage. A local radio station asked for people to phone in and say what they were doing at 10.30pm on Thursdays and they soon got the answer… recording Babylon 5 on their VCRs.

For some reason a tv show full politics, ambassadors and twisty plots popular in Canberra.

So what did you like, or dislike, about B5? The characters? The stories? The spaceships? The SF references? Or something else?

One of my favourite quotes – Susan Ivanova: Confirmed Survey 1. Upon arrival you will report for debriefing. And just one more thing, on your trip back I want you to take the time to learn the Babylon 5 mantra. Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova’s recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out! Babylon control out.

Game of Thrones skipping a week

For those of us following the drama of life in Westeros, Easteros and Beyond The Wall, Game of Thrones will not be on this week in the USA and Australia (and everywhere else). HBO is skipping screening the show on Memorial Day in the USA, which apparently wasn’t a good evening for ratings last year.

As we’ve been deprived of some new episodes, why not tell us which episode or scene was your favourite.

Doctor Who on iView just after UK screening

The ABC has announced that Doctor Who episodes will be available on ABC iView within an hour of the UK seeing the episode.

So, Australians will be able to see episode 1 of season 7 from 5.10 am east coast time on Sunday 2 September. With the same episode being shown on ABC1 at 7.30pm Saturday 8 September.

This is very proactive way to encourage fans to use iView and discourage illegal downloading.  It’s also quite unusual for Australian TV stations, which usually put shows online after they’ve shown here.

More info can be found at iView http://www.abc.net.au/iview/