The Alien Years

The Alien Years is a three-part miniseries that first aired on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on 19 April 1988. It was directed by Donald Crombie and written by Peter Yeldham. It stars Victoria Longley, John Hargreaves, Christoph Waltz.[2] Yeldham later adapted his screenplay into a novel of the same name.[3]

The Alien Years
GenreHistorical drama
Screenplay byPeter Yeldham
Directed byDonald Crombie
StarringVictoria Longley
Christoph Waltz
John Hargreaves
Theme music composerBruce Smeaton
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes6
Producer(s)Ray Alchin
Alan Burke
Geoffrey Daniels
Sandra Levy
CinematographyPeter Hendry
Editor(s)Tom Kavanagh
Running time60 mins
Budget$5.8 million.[1]
Original networkAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
Original release
  • 19 April 1988 (1988-04-19) (Australia)


Elizabeth Paterson (Victoria Longley) is the daughter of an important figure in the Australian government. She falls for and ultimately marries Stefan (Christoph Waltz), a German national. They move to South Australia to run a vineyard but their peace is disturbed by the outbreak of the First World War. The government orders that all German nationals living in Australia must be imprisoned.



The series took three months to produce and was partly shot in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills and Bethany in the Barossa Valley.[4]


  1. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p171
  2. Biography: Christoph Waltz Archived 12 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Sky Movies. Retrieved on 5 June 2011
  3. An Interview with Peter Yeldham Archived 8 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Memorable TV. Retrieved on 5 June 2011
  4. Albert Moran, Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, AFTRS 1993 p 50
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