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form y separately published work icon Basically Black single work   film/TV   satire  
Adaptation of Basically Black John O'Grady , Gary Foley , Bob Maza , Jim Crawford , 1972 single work drama
Issue Details: First known date: 1973... 1973 Basically Black
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The first Aboriginal television show produced and broadcast by the ABC, Basically Black comprised a series of comic/tragic sketches based on the 1972 Nimrod Street Theatre revue. The television adaptation was heavily censored and politically 'watered-down' by the ABC, to make it less confronting and controversial

One of the characters written into the revue is Lionel Mouse who fights racism as 'Superboong,' a strange visitor from a northern tribe who comes to the city possessing powers far greater than mortal Kooris, faster than a killer boomerang. An incident of racism in a nearby hotel sees Superboong leap into action, but he unfortunately can't do anything, because Aboriginals are barred from entering hotels; he is forced to go off in search of incidents that he can fight (ctd. Casey p. 56). This ironic treatment of the superhero shows that even superheroes will be discriminated against, when he is not allowed in a hotel to change into his costume.

Other sketches include a satiric take on the boxing troupes that plied their trade as part of carnival side shows during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s; the 'Bennelong' sketch, in which Bennelong is presented at a London garden party in beautifully tailored clothes but also in a gilded cage; and a sketch played out between an aggressive white labourer and an Indigenous industrial designer, which ends with the latter being viciously beaten and then arrested for assault.


Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1973 .
      Extent: [6] , 67 leaves (typescript photcopy)p.
      (Manuscript) assertion
      • Title page: ABC TV 30 min colour film comedy. - Gives dates for rehearsals and filming, film schedule.
      • Some handwritten additions to personnel and cast list on original.


      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Local Id: H1306

Works about this Work

Big Ideas Shape City Life Stories Karl Quinn , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 28 October 2012; (p. 22)
Big Ideas Shape City Life Stories Karl Quinn , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 28 October 2012; (p. 22)
Last amended 11 Dec 2014 12:51:03
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