TV UK TV

Thousand Skies, A (Channel 7 1985, John Walton, Andrew Clarke)

A Thousand Skies

In A Thousand Skies Just after the close of world war one, pilots Charles Kingsford Smith and Keith Anderson face hard times as they try to gain funds to mount an attempt to be the first men to fly the pacific.

First screened in 1985 this mini series follows the exploits of Australian aviation pioneer Charles Kingsford-Smith, very popular back in the day “Smithy” and his fellow aviator Anderson (whom Smith would eventually break away from) was a Hollywood stunt pilot, flew bi-planes for one of Australia’s first airlines and of course tried to set new aviation records, from trying to break the record for a flight from England to Australia to conquering the Pacific.

Superbly glossy (the production cost some $4.5 million some one third of which was spent on the planes used in the series) A Thousand Skies is a great portrait of a single-minded visionary, Kingsford-Smith was determined to fly a thousand skies and let nothing stand in his way and you get the sense that after the Pacific attempt Smith didn’t know when to stop and his final fatal crash is an inevitability that you know is coming right from the opening scenes.

production details
Australia / Channel 7 – Ross Dimsey – Robert Ginn / 3×120 minute episodes / Broadcast 1985

Writer and Director:David Stevens / Novel: The Empty Sky by Tasman Beattie / Camera: David Eggby / Design: Otello Stolfo / Costume: Robin Hall / Music: Bruce Smeaton / Producers: Ross Dimsey, Robert Ginn

cast
JOHN WALTON as Charles Kingford Smith
ANDREW CLARKE
JOSS McWILLIAM
JANE MENELAUS
GEOFF PARRY
CELINE GRIFFIN
HELEN JONES