Tomorrow, When The War Began (TV Series) (2016)

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Released 1-Jun-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Multiple
Featurette-Making Of-Multiple
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 301
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Molly Daniels
Madelaine Madden
Andrew Creer
Narek Arman
Madelaine Clunies-Ross
Jon Prasida
Fantine Banulski
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Many will remember an Australian feature film based on this John Marsden novel from 2010. I reviewed it when it got a local DVD release here. It was a well-made action adventure film which seemingly had legs to continue making movies of the other novels in the series. Unfortunately, no more films were made and now the story has been resurrected as a television series for ABC3, Aunty's youth channel. Tomorrow, When the War Began screened on ABC3 earlier this year and now hits local home entertainment. It consists of 6 x 45 minute episodes which pretty much covers the same ground as the movie (i.e., the first novel although there is more deviation from the novel here than the movie).

     The main characters are

     The plot here involves seven teenagers who go away for a camping trip to a place known as Hell near the town they live in Wirrawee, which includes an air force base. While they are camping in this isolated area, Australia is invaded by unknown foreigners who take over the local area, capturing their parents and putting them in a camp. The area where this series deviates from the book is that the parents are a bigger part of the story, whereas the book is pretty much told from the kids’ perspective. The kids must decide how to handle their situation and decide to fight back.

     Unfortunately, the series is not up to the quality of the feature film and overall is reasonably disappointing. The writing is weak at times, not the story itself obviously, but the way it is written for the screen, with diversions and a slower pace than you would expect for action adventure. One thing which really drags the pace is overuse of montages to poppy singer/songwriter tunes. When the first one started I thought it was a positive and suitable to the moment of tranquillity as they head for their camping trip. However, then there was another one, and another one and another one where the poppy songs don't feel right. Why use a soft tranquil song over an action montage?? These slow down the pace and just feel wrong at times. This goes over the 6 episodes and becomes very tedious. It also significantly impacts tension and excitement for the audience. Also, the young cast is good looking, however the acting is a bit patchy at times.

     On the plus side, the show looks good, with some beautiful locations.

     Hard to really recommend for a purchase. Fans of the book will be interested to see it.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is good.

     The series is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was quite sharp but lacked the sharpness of better DVD transfers at times. The shadow detail was very good.

     The colour was good with no issue to report.

     There was some motion blur at times.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

     The layer changes are not obvious.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is very good for a TV DVD.

     This set contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1.

     Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to hear and understand, although the subtitles were useful at times.

     The music sounds great but as I mentioned above is sometimes incongruous. The score is better at promoting tension than the songs.

     The surround speakers were well used for atmosphere and surround effects and the subwoofer supported the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     A good selection of extras.


     The menu included music.

Boot Camp (1:41)

     Featurette about training the cast before shooting.

From Novel to Screen (3:30)

     Featurette on the novel and adaptation including interview with John Marsden, discussion of the changes made, character portrayals and the use of strong female characters.

Wirrawee's Main Street (3:12)

     The town of Clunes which stands in for Wirrawee, plus some discussion of production design.

Prisoners of War (4:45)

     Focused on the larger role played by the parents in this adaptation and why they added them.

The Enemy (4:14)

     Creating an army, uniforms, extending the characters from the novel and how they came up with the weird accent for the Colonel.

Running from the Enemy (2:45)

     Focused on the shooting of a particular action sequence and its stunts.

Cliff Jumping (3:41)

     Shooting the sequence where they jump off a cliff to escape from soldiers. Stunt people and cast.

Blowing up a Bridge (3:20)

     Shooting the bridge explosion sequence.

Character Profiles (approx. 1:40 each)

     Interviews with the main cast members about their characters for all 7 kids.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This set does not seem to be available outside of Region 4.


    A television series remake of the recent feature film which is a little disappointing.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    A good selection of featurettes

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, June 06, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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