Documentary Highlights - April


Across the month of April, as always, SBS has some fascinating programs that will satisfy your curiosity about the world. It’s hard to narrow down just three picks across a full month but i've managed to pull out three programs that ask some BIG questions:

1. Eat, Fast & Live Longer – Monday 22nd April 8:30pm

Do you want to be healthier and live longer?

Well known to SBS audiences, scientist and host Dr Michael Mosley recently took viewers through The Story of Science and uncovered The Truth About Exercise.

A regular human guinea pig, Dr Mosley is prepared to carry out experiments on himself in the name of science (look out for the upcoming Guts where he swallows a tiny camera to demonstrate the digestive system!). In The Truth About Exercise he tried out high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and found it could work really well for some (but not so much for him). In this program he was asked to try out intermittent fasting and was surprised by the results. He has recently published a successful book about this kind of dieting.

2. Turn Back Time: The Family – Friday 5th April 8:30pm

Were you born in the right period of history?

We’ve seen quite a few of these living history programs where ordinary people are asked to relive historic conditions over the years, not least some home grown versions such as The Colony and Outback House. The twist of this series is that the participating families get to experience how life changed over many different eras – from the 1900s through to the 1970s – and what the effect of social change was in each period. From the creators of Who Do You Think You Are? this five-part series is a fun ride through history and a window into the past.

3. The Fabric of the Cosmos – Sunday 7th April 8:30pm

How does the universe work?

You may recall Brian Greene’s 2003 series The Elegant Universe which popularised the concept of string theory. Ten years on we bring you his new mind-blowing series that seeks to explain space, time, reality and probably the meaning of life. Greene is a terrific science communicator and just as The Elegant Universe found everyday examples to explain big science ideas, in this series he cuts through the complexity to get to the concepts beneath. From watching this series you will understand that our perceptions of time and space have led us astray! Or you’ll think that you do, then you'll think about it some more, until your head begins to hurt.

There’s much more coming up in April so refer to the SBS Doco site on a regular basis as a guide to your documentary viewing. I’ll see you in May!


Starting April 1, SBS welcomes viewers to the new look SBS 2. We’ve refocused the channel so that we can provide something distinctly different from SBS ONE and introduce more exciting, new content. The SBS audience has been asking us for more programs exploring different cultures and subcultures and SBS 2 will focus on this, alongside provocative and bold comedy, drama and cult international cinema.

To kick off the channel, here are three doco highlights from the first month:

1. Banksy season:

As we’re launching on April Fool’s Day we’re tapping into a well-known mischief maker and public nuisance – British street artist Banksy – for three of our docos in the first week.

We start with The Antics Roadshow, a celebration of pranks and culture jamming collected by Banksy. The second doco Graffiti Wars offers a different angle, the feud between Banksy and underground graffiti artist King Robbo. The piece de resistance in the season is the Oscar-nominated Exit Through the Gift Shop – the remarkable tale of street artist hanger-on Thierry Guetta and his gradual transformation into street artist Mr Brainwash. Questions abounded about whether the film was an elaborate hoax. Watch it and figure it out for yourself.

The Antics Roadshow – Mon April 1st 7:30pm
Graffiti Wars – Thu April 4th 9:30pm
Exit Through the Gift Shop – Sat April 6th 9:30pm

2. Warrior Road Trip

We’ve all seen travel shows with the knowledgeable white guy dropped into a developing backwater to describe the authenticity of the locals. It’s refreshing then to have this flipped around with two good-looking young African tribesmen heading into the heart of the USA to give their reflections on life in the developed world. Series starts Tues, April 2nd at 9:30pm.

3. Animal Underworld with Henry Rollins

He may be a white guy, but he is an angry white guy. And he has a long-held fascination with exotic animals. In this series, out-spoken musician Henry Rollins explores the intense connections between humans and animals around the world. Whether it’s snake charming, cockfighting or consuming road kill he either embraces or reacts against the ways that animals are treated but mostly tries to avoid applying his own judgement on these extreme cultural practices. Tue April 23rd 9:30pm.

What do you think of the new look SBS 2? We need your help to shape the channel. Please leave your comments/suggestions below.

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