Power Games: The Packer-Mur­doch Story

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Justin Burke

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.

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