DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
THERE’D be many reasons why someone wouldn’t do Who Do You Think You Are? Shaun Micallef’s chief concern, and fair enough, is fear of revealing a history of dull people. Clearly it wasn’t enough to stop him going ahead. And almost immediately a dull Micallef is unearthed: Shaun. Shaun, and his family. I’m not saying this, he is — he’s talking about his childhood in Adelaide. Later, he speaks of dull in a comforting, loving way, but that’s after he’s been through two awful wars on his mother’s and father’s side.
He knows hardly anything about his background so he’s a good topic for this show. Plus he’s barely had a conversation with his father, so finding out anything at all will be some- thing. ‘‘ It’s good to have these little chats every 49 years,’’ he remarks after they talk about Malta for a few minutes. Shaun tells us afterwards it’s the most he’s said to his father, one-on-one, in his life. ‘‘ Which begs a number of questions,’’ he says. Doesn’t it.
Fred, his father, grew up in Malta, and lived there during WWII when it had the daylights bombed out of it. Shaun
Family matters: Shaun Micallef goes back there, and also to Turkey and the UK— those as part of the search on his mother Judy’s side. The trips are war-heavy; some of you will enjoy this episode because of that alone. Two key battles in military history feature here — the Battle of Inkerman, from the Crimean War, and Jutland, from WWI.
Shaun’s tremendously relieved when he finds out about the Crimean War involvement. ‘‘ See now that’s not dull, that’s interesting. Very interesting.’’ Yes and no. There are some nice little bits that come out but it’s largely a story for Shaun and his family. Who Do You Think You Are? SBS One, 7.30pm