Australian pubcaster SBS has commissioned Australia in Colour, a new series exploring the nation’s history, fully in color.
Like Smithsonian Channel’s America in Color, the series offers colorized restorations of black and white archival footage. The four-part series is narrated by Aussie actor Hugo Weaving and presents curated historical footage, including home movies and never-before-seen archival material, from the oldest surviving footage captured in Australia in 1896 to the beginning of color TV in the ’70s.
The docuseries covers cinematic history, WWI and WWII, Queen Elizabeth II’s first visit in 1954, Beatlemania down under and the struggle for workers’ rights, as well as uncomfortable moments in the nation’s history, including the treatment and representation of Indigenous peoples and other people of non-Anglo backgrounds.
Australia in Colour is produced by Stranger Than Fiction Films, with funding from Screen Australia and Create NSW, and in association with the National Film and Sound Archive.
“With Australia in Colour, SBS presents a special TV moment for all Australians — we don’t experience life in black and white, and this series allows the viewer to relate to old footage in a whole new way,” said Marshall Heald, SBS director of TV and online content, in a statement. “By turning the monochrome past into glorious color, this series creates an intimate and deeper connection with our history and urges us all to re-evaluate what we think we know about ourselves.”