Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story
Sunday, 8.30pm, Nine Watching this miniseries on a computer in The Australian’s newsroom, especially the scene where Rupert Murdoch (Patrick Brammall) launches the selfsame newspaper, is a slightly surreal experience. Happily, the Nine Network, maker of last year’s miniseries Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, has ensured you don’t need to be an expert in media lore to enjoy this clash of the titans. With James Bond-esque opening credits, we are transported back to the Robert Menzies-era Australia of the 1960s, and the battle for control of Sydney’s prime media assets — newspapers and television licences — between the Packer clan and a young Rupert Murdoch. Frank Packer (Lachy Hulme, above) recognises the threat posed by Murdoch, but his bullying and idiosyncratic methods fail to rally his sons. Murdoch is portrayed as a quietly determined risk taker, with an appetite for debt and a knack for turning around underperforming newspapers. All wars have their victims, and in this story spouses and children suffer collateral damage. Tonight, part one sees minor skirmishes and some major battles. Tune in to part two next Sunday to witness the endgame.