Six Empty Seats
Well, this is an interesting premise. Six co-workers miss a flight, which crashes on take-off, killing everyone on board. They can’t quite reconcile having survived. Why did they? Are their humdrum lives worth more? Suddenly their wildest dreams call them to action. But their increasingly reckless actions catch up with them. This six-part series is from Russia, adding to SBS’s top-quality slate of dramas from that country.
Six Empty Seats premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
For season 7 of this addictive show, we stay along the eastern shore of Canada’s Great Slave Lake. Participants were dropped off on 18 September 2019 to take part in a ‘million dollar challenge’. Will anyone last a full hundred days alone to take out the boosted cash prize? Host Colby Donaldson invites the contestants to comment on each episode, which includes ‘never before seen footage’. How will they fare in this harsh environment, alone?
Season 7 of Alone airs Tuesday nights at 8.30pm on SBS VICELAND from 7 September. All episodes from season 1–7 are now streaming at SBS On Demand. Jump straight into season 7:
Iggy & Ace
In this SBS Digital Original drama series, Iggy (Sara West) and Ace (Josh Virgona) are best mates. They live, work and play together, but alcohol plays too big a role in their lives. When Ace decides to get sober, Iggy feels rejected, and defensive at the idea that she too may have a problem. Fall in love with Iggy and Ace in this excellent Australian offering, from writer Ab Morrison. Roz Hammond (The Heights, Mad As Hell) also stars. Each of the six episodes is 10 minutes long.
Iggy & Ace premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand. Episodes are also available with subtitles in Arabic, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese.
Beneath The Surface
Not to be confused with Below the Surface, this Danish–German co-production is a densely plotted family thriller. Set on one of Denmark’s Oxen Islands, two couples, Sabine and Bernd, and Jakob and Charlie, live a carefree life with their teenage children, Karl and Kjell, and Emile and Cecile respectively. But when Jakob’s brother Jonas returns after he disappeared 15 years ago, the kids fall under his spell. With the parents increasingly worried over Jonas’ influence, the unthinkable happens – Kjell falls overboard while on a sailing trip with Jakob and Charlie and disappears without a trace. You’ll be consumed by this mystery, and the ensemble cast will have you hooked in no time.
Beneath The Surface premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
SBS is proud to present Australia Uncovered, a series of original landmark stand-alone documentaries. Airing weekly on Sunday nights on SBS from 12 September (with an exception on 29 August on NITV), the films will also be available at SBS On Demand the same time they go to air. The wide range of topics covered include true crime, politics, social justice, mental health and history. The series starts with Incarceration Nation on Sunday 29 August at 8.30pm on NITV, then continues weekly from 12 September on SBS with Strong Female Lead about Julia Gillard’s reign as Australia’s first female Prime Minister.
Australia Uncovered world premieres on SBS from Sunday 12 September at 8.30pm, airing weekly. Documentaries are available at SBS On Demand after they go to air. Watch Incarceration Nation.
Watch Strong Female Lead.
One Halloween, father and husband Craig Myers (James Harkness) is brutally attacked in what looks to be a case of mistaken identity. An online post has accused him of being the notorious child killer previously known as Eddie J Turner. The prime suspect is Anna Dean, whose son was murdered 15 years prior. The emotionally charged court case that follows calls into question the traditional labels of victim and accused. Set in Scotland, this gripping drama stars Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald and John Hannah and is from writer/creator Rob Williams (Killing Eve).
Four-part series The Victim airs weekly on SBS from Thursday 16 September. Episodes are available at SBS On Demand after going to air.
Made in collaboration with the Czech Republic’s National Anti-Drug Centre (DEA) and based on true stories, Rats are those that operate in the drug world and inform the DEA. No one wants to be a rat, but young David’s cavalier attitude lands him in it. Alongside his best mate Rene, also young and over-confident, they bungle their way through the Czech–Vietnamese meth syndicate while David is coerced into betraying Rene to rogue cop, Major Jan Blažek. With the mafia and the police both chasing David, he is forced to team up with Blažek’s unwitting partner Petra, who’s got a lot to prove on her return from maternity leave. As Petra and David fall deeper into the meth world, the lines between order and anarchy collapse.
Interested in ‘people in extreme situations who keep failing because they are overestimating themselves,’ Slovakian writer Miro Šifra describes his show as ‘a family drama, a character portrait, that just pretends to be a detective story.’
Rats premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Lost For Words
A staggering 43% of Australian adults are missing the literacy skills needed for everyday life. Hosted by Jay Laga’aia, this uplifting three-part series brings together eight Australians hoping to overcome their struggle to read, write and spell, and thereby transform their lives. Shining a light on our nation’s shamefully low literacy rates, the program shows how easy it is for people to fall through the cracks. Our courageous adults do everything they can to lift themselves out.
Lost For Words world premieres exclusively in Australia on SBS from Wednesday 22 September at 8:30pm, airing weekly. Episodes stream at SBS On Demand after going to air.
The first South African drama of its kind, this English-language eight-part series follows expert criminal profiler, Reyka Gama (Kim Engelbrecht). Being abducted as a child has given Reyka profound insight into deviant minds in her work for Scotland Yard. Now a mother herself, she returns to her hometown in the province of KwaZulu-Natal to investigate serial murders. Here, her backstory may also be her undoing. From the bustle of Johannesburg to towering sugarcane fields, we hunt for a ruthless killer alongside Reyka.
Reyka premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
From Finland comes another excellent period drama (here’s looking at you, Shadow Lines). It’s 1973 and Onerva is a vocal idealistic student activist. Her opinions are too strong for some, however, and she is committed to a sanatorium against her will. She’s made out to be an aggressive troublemaker by the authorities, even her own husband, but she is adamant she is fighting for justice. While trying to maintain her sanity, Onerva is subject to experimental treatments administered to women in the sanatorium. Will she discover the truth before they break her? Satu Tuuli Karhu stars in this compelling psychological thriller.
Bad Apples premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Heading south to the Netherlands, Dear Mama is perfect for revenge thriller fans, and its 30-minute episodes are nice and bingeable. In a scheme to rob an upscale villa, teenage Ralf agrees to be the getaway driver. The house belongs to happy and successful couple, Helen Möhring, her husband Werner and their three teenagers. While Ralf is waiting outside, the assailant confronts Helen, who surprises herself at how far she’ll go to protect her family. As Helen’s nightmare is just beginning, Ralf is dragged into the criminal underworld, trying to figure out what exactly happened inside the house. Murkiness dwells beneath its clean exterior; the fate of Ralf and Helen are forever intertwined. You’ll want back-up snacks.
Dear Mama premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
We wind up in Israel with this Arabic and Hebrew-language series from creator Sayed Kashua of award-winning comedy series, Arab Labor. At the centre is Kashua’s fictional self, Kateb, who, like Amjad in Arab Labor, is an Arab Palestinian living in Israel and undergoing an identity crisis. Following the success of his hit TV series, Kateb has become a poster boy for the new-age Arab Israeli – he integrates seamlessly with Israeli culture and his razor-sharp writing is well received by the public and critics alike. But as he approaches 40, Kateb’s sense of shame and loathing grows along with his awareness of the gap between his reality and the way he portrays it on TV.
This is a finely drawn drama series starring Yousef ‘Joe’ Sweid (Baghdad Central) as Kateb. As Time Out described it, it ‘looks reality in the eyes. Not the political-social-economic reality that we’re fed up with, but the one within us’.