Tag Archives: Australia

THE FLYING DOCTORS (1986-1992): FORGOTTEN TELEVISION

Flying DoctorsTHE FLYING DOCTORS – Not to be confused with The Teleporting Accountants or The Swimming Chiropractors this was a terrific Australian television series about the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The show was based on the real-life Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, a brilliantly-conceived non-profit outfit that provided medical care – both emergency AND maintenance – for people who had no other access to doctors due to their locations in remote, lightly-populated portions of the Outback.  

With its winning blend of doctors, nurses, life-or-death drama and beautiful Australian scenery this series should have been a NATURAL for crossover success here in the United States. Unfortunately that old t.v. executive excuse always applied to this and other Aussie programming: the belief that the accents would be too heavy for stateside audiences to make out the dialogue. Continue reading

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THE FALLEN RACE (1892): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION

Fallen RaceTHE FALLEN RACE (1892) – Written by Austyn Granville. If you’ve ever thought to yourself “How come nobody ever combined science fiction, H. Rider Haggard-style Lost Race tales AND kangaroo rapists” then THIS is the story for you. (And please stay away from children.) 

This novel is presented as if it is the real-life journal of the adventures of Dr Paul Gifford in the Great Australian Desert from 1874-1888. An ill-fated expedition into Australia’s desert is nearly wiped out by dysentery, thirst and spoiled food. The only two survivors are the aforementioned Dr Gifford and Jacky-Jacky, which may sound like the name of a Hip-Hop Artist but is really the name of an Australian Aborigine member of the expedition.  

Just in time this unlikely pair comes across a huge lake, which event saves their lives. Adjacent to the lake is the lush, green land of the Anonos, a species which is a cross between humans and kangaroos and resulted from a long-ago mass rape of Australian Aborigine women by kangaroos. No, I’m serious.

Finally, the lyrics of that Men at Work song make sense:

“I come from a land Down Un-derrr/ Where kangaroos rape and men plun- derrr”

The Anonos have the fur and the short, stubby arms of kangaroos along with their long tongues but are otherwise human. Their intelligence is below average, so I’m guessing it never occurred to them to refer to themselves as “Man-supials.” But I kid … Anyway this hybrid species lives in a crudely constructed city of sorts. Continue reading

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AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON


With superhero movies dominating the box office and superhero cosplay starting to dominate Halloween there’s no better time for Balladeer’s Blog to examine Australia’s greatest superheroes.    

Dark NebulaDARK NEBULA

Debut Year: 1982

Secret Identity: Mark Medula, an astronaut in Australia’s fictional space program.

Origin: Returning from a flight to Mars, Colonel Mark Medula docked at the Threshold Space Station, which had just been seized by the alien warlord Cerellus.

Medula tried to stop Cerellus and the resulting chaos killed Medula’s body, but, amid all the cosmic energies being unleashed, that body became inhabited by both Cerellus’ soul and Medula’s soul.

Mark Medula’s body gained incredible superpowers and went on to battle Earthly and interplanetary menaces as the superhero called Dark Nebula. Cerellus often challenged Mark for control of their shared body, further complicating Dark Nebula’s adventures. 

Powers: Dark Nebula has super strength and can fly, both in space and in a planet’s atmosphere. He is invulnerable and wields a combination of potent cosmic energy and dark mystical energy. Those combined scientific/ supernatural forces can be used to fire Darkfire energy beams from his hands and employ force fields. He also has psionic abilities like telepathy and ESP.  

Comment: Dark Nebula’s adventures combine the cosmic head-trips of Jim Starlin’s Adam Warlock/ Magus storyline with some of the surreal mysticism of Dr Strange at his best.

Dark Nebula Southern SquadronArguably the greatest Dark Nebula story arc was the one where he was off in deep space having a “deep” adventure while back on Earth his archenemy the Grandstander (Think of the Joker but with powers on Sinestro’s level at least) was impersonating him to ruin his reputation.

It endangered his marriage, too, since his wife had no idea why the man she thought was her husband never came home anymore after his public escapades. When Dark Nebula at last returned to Earth he had to tangle with the Aussie superteam the Southern Squadron who were out to bring him down for the crimes the Grandstander had framed him for.

When the misunderstanding was finally straightened out the Southern Squadron joined forces with Dark Nebula to tackle the Grandstander. This crossover was as much a milestone in Australia as the Avengers/ Defenders War in the 1970s was in the U.S.   Continue reading

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