Bodyline (1984)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama, History, Sport
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.6/10 from 527 users  
Reviews: 14 user

Dramatization of the 1932/33 Test cricket series between England and Australia. Played in Australia, the series gained notoriety in Australian and worldwide cricketing history for the fact ... See full summary »

0Check in




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Blue Murder (TV Movie 1995)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Detective Sergeant Roger "The Dodger" Rogerson got fame because he knew how to take care of most dangerous and violent criminals. His success was, however, also due to the sinister alliance... See full summary »

Director: Michael Jenkins
Stars: Richard Roxburgh, Tony Martin, Steve Bastoni
Bangkok Hilton (TV Mini-Series 1989)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Kat Stanton (Kidman), an Australian woman searching for her father who, whilst travelling back from London to Australia via Thailand, makes friends with Arkie Ragan (Ehlers), a... See full summary »

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Denholm Elliott, Hugo Weaving
Dead Calm (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mass-murderer kidnaps and seduces a young woman after leaving her husband to die on the vessel whose crew he's just slaughtered.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane
The Two Ronnies (1971–1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Long running BBC comedy show consisting of sketches and humourous musical routines involving the large Ronnie Barker and the small Ronnie Corbett. Most sketches involved both men, but ... See full summary »

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, The Fred Tomlinson Singers
40,000 Years of Dreaming (TV Movie 1997)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Australian born film maker George (Mad Max) Miller offers a personal view of Australian films. He suggests that they can be regarded as visual music, public dreaming, mythology, and ... See full summary »

Director: George Miller
Stars: George Miller
Vietnam (TV Mini-Series 1987)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Stars: Barry Otto, Nicole Kidman, Nicholas Eadie
Becker (1998–2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Dr. John Becker goes through his daily routine of being a doctor, stopping at his favorite diner, and other various situations, all the while hating life and everything around him.

Stars: Ted Danson, Hattie Winston, Terry Farrell
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Griswold family's cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca
The Dirtwater Dynasty (TV Mini-Series 1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

"Dirtwater Dynasty" is the story of embittered rivalry, triumph and despair. The life of Richard Eastwick is told in a story spanning three generations and eight decades. Born in the London... See full summary »

Stars: Hugo Weaving, Victoria Longley, Steve Jacobs
The Dismissal (TV Mini-Series 1983)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The drama surrounding the dismissal of Mr. Gough Whitlam as the Labor Prime Minister of Australia - on 11 November, 1975 - by the then Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr - and the... See full summary »

Stars: Max Phipps, John Stanton, Bill Hunter
The Cowra Breakout (TV Mini-Series 1984)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In August 1944, 1104 Japanese prisoners of war at the Australian POW camp at Cowra stage a mass breakout. Four guards are killed in the escape, and 231 prisoners die by wounds sustained or ... See full summary »

Stars: Alan David Lee, Dennis Miller, Andrew Lloyde
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Chris McGill
Stars: Judy Morris, Bill Hunter, Michael Preston


Series cast summary:
 Douglas Jardine (7 episodes, 1984)
 Donald Bradman (7 episodes, 1984)
Jim Holt ...
 Harold Larwood (7 episodes, 1984)
 Pelham Warner (7 episodes, 1984)
John Gregg ...
 Percy George Fender (7 episodes, 1984)
Heather Mitchell ...
 Edith (7 episodes, 1984)
John Walton ...
 Bill Woodfull (7 episodes, 1984)
Alan David Lee ...
 Eddie Paynter / ... (2 episodes, 1984)


Dramatization of the 1932/33 Test cricket series between England and Australia. Played in Australia, the series gained notoriety in Australian and worldwide cricketing history for the fact that the English team (headed by captain Douglas Jardine) applied a bowling technique called "leg theory", or more commonly, Bodyline. This technique involved bowlers bowling the ball directly at the batsman's body, and resulted in many of the Australian team receiving numerous bruises and injuries, with batsman Bert Oldfield sustaining a cracked skull. The series generated much anger and resentment towards the English team within Australia and seriously damaged Anglo-Australian cricketing relations at the time. Written by Dave Bowyer <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The day England declared war on Australia.


Drama | History | Sport


See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 July 1984 (Australia)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(7 episodes)


See  »

Did You Know?


In Episode 5, TW Wall is shown being bowled by WR Hammond, when in fact he was given out LBW. See more »


Sir Clive Wigram: [at a meeting with Pelham Warner] I can't help feeling, with Jardine as captain, we may win the Ashes, but we may lose a dominion!
See more »


Referenced in Top Gear Australia: Episode #2.7 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Good Series - but check the real history as well
2 December 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Bodyline is a 1984 Australian TV miniseries dramatisation of the Ashes Cricket series of 1932-33, starring Hugo Weaving as Douglas Jardine and Gary Sweet as Donald Bradman.

The Australian touring side won the previous Ashes series in England, with débutant Bradman the deciding factor. In order to counter Bradman, who was predicted to be the major stumbling block, the English team set about determining the tactics for the upcoming series. The miniseries, shows the early development of Bradman and Jardine, the analysis of Bradman's weaknesses by the English team and the development of countering tactics and then shows the result over the 5 Test series. The series uses reconstructions of Test matches played and focuses on the key players involved.

The Ashes contest was controversial at the time for the 'Bodyline' tactic which consisted of short pitched leg side bowling combined with a close-in leg side field and leg side boundary protection. The intimidation of the batsmen, who at the time were virtually unprotected, resulted in several batsmen being hit. This caused claims of unsportsman like behaviour, crowd uproar, press headlines and an international incident. The key thing was the win at all costs attitude of Jardine, which led to the development and use of Bodyline and caused controversy within the English team and in Australia.

The TV series was a success at the time, however it was criticised by those that participated and were still alive. While most of the facts are correctly depicted, some are not. There is also dramatic license taken with the underlying story behind the facts.

While I never saw the series on TV, as an Australian and a cricket fan, I was aware of Bodyline. While the series was well acted, I would recommend anyone watching the series, to research Bodyline and contrast the series with the reality.

Of note was the inability of the British public to fully appreciate the tactics used, and there was no live coverage of the games in Australia. Instead, the English team were able to argue they were using 'fast leg theory' and the British public were unable to distinguish this from leg theory - (an existing tactic involving leg side bowling). Eventually Bodyline bowling was agreed to be dangerous and while legal, not in the spirit of the game. The rules of Cricket were changed to reduce the number of close-in leg side fielders behind the stumps and umpires were also given discretion to prevent intimidatory bowling.

Also, the players were amateurs and had little protection against fast bowling. Intimidatory bowling is still a tactic in the modern game, however the players are better prepared and protected. And better paid!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Historically Accurate???? makybe_diva
I've got the whole thing ianhill-1
I Have the original 7 hour version claire-183
I HAVE BODYLINE ON DVD radiotimes880
I need to get hold of a copy of Bodyline rah34
Just watched it and loved it claire-183
Discuss Bodyline (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: