an NFSA website

Touch The Sun (1988 - 1988)

Feature series
6 episodes x 95 minutes

Series synopsis:

Touch the Sun is a series of six telemovies set in each Australian state and territory. The films are child-centred adventures of mystery, comedy, pathos and fantasy, designed to encourage young viewers to explore issues such as growing up, being different, resolving conflict and fears, seeking identity and working out values.

The series title, Touch the Sun, captures the common thread in each of these films as all the main characters are striving to fulfil a goal. Each film also aims to capture features unique to locations in each state:
Devil’s Hill – the wilderness area of Tasmania
Peter & Pompey – the subtropical coast of southern Queensland
The Gift – multicultural Melbourne, the city of Perth and bush in the south of Western Australia
Top Enders – Darwin and the Northern Territory outback
Captain Johnno – the rugged coast of South Australia
Princess Kate – the urban environment of Sydney

Curator’s Notes:

The Touch the Sun series was the Australian Children’s Television Foundation’s (ACTF) second foray into the production of telemovies for children, following the successful Winners series in 1985. It was an ambitious project, developed to coincide with the Australian bicentennial celebrations in 1988. Highly acclaimed in Australia and internationally, and winning many awards, Touch the Sun’s greatest achievement was winning a prestigious International Emmy Award for the film Captain Johnno in 1988, the second ever for an Australian production.

The six Touch the Sun stories were designed as high quality television about Australian children for Australian children. Director of the ACTF and executive producer Patricia Edgar brought together teams of the top talent in the film and television industry to create these films, which she described as ‘uniquely Australian in character and universal in theme’.

Titles in this series

Touch the Sun – Captain Johnno 1988

Captain Johnno (Damien Walters) is a ten-year-old with a hearing impairment, and always in trouble. Living in a small fishing town in South Australia in the 1950s, his sister Julie (Rebecca Sykes) is his best friend and protector. Johnno’s life ...

Touch the Sun – Devil’s Hill c1988

It is 1950. Badge (Alexander 'Mathew’ Jacobs) lives on a remote farm in Tasmania’s rugged southwest, with his parents Dave (Peter Hehir) and Jessie (Mary Haire). It is hard life but the family is full of hope as they battle ...

Touch the Sun – Peter & Pompey 1988

In a cave, near a small coastal town in Queensland, Peter (Clayton Williamson) finds the manuscript of Pompey (Aaron Ferguson), a young Roman boy from the past. Peter asks Margaret (Kate McDonald) to translate Pompey’s story from Latin, and it ...

Touch the Sun – Princess Kate c1988

Fourteen-year-old Kate (Justine Clarke) is on top of the world. Popular, talented, much loved and spoilt by her wealthy Sydney family, she receives a seven-metre yacht, christened Princess Kate, from her father (Alan Cassel) for her birthday. Life is perfect ...

Touch the Sun – The Gift c1988

Sophia (Vicki Serbos) and Nikos (Nicholas Hatjiandreou), two Greek-Australian kids living with their family in inner Melbourne, win a plot of land in Western Australia as a prize in a television quiz show. Sophia and her father Con (Con Laras) ...

Touch the Sun – Top Enders 1988

Alice (Bennendine Woods) and her mother Sue (Madeleine Blackwell) live in Darwin in the Northern Territory. Alice, about eleven years old, is a tough and independent kid. She and her mother have been on their own for some time now, ...