With series one of Go Back To Where You Came From offering some of the most important television we saw in 2011, there are high expectations on series two. The good news is it doesn’t disappoint.

With some concern in using “prominent” Australians the journey of Go Back S02 doesn’t pull any punches or treat them with the kid gloves some of them may have expected – which isn’t unreasonable given who they are. Inflammatory commentary & controversy are but the beginning of the checklist:

  • Peter Reith – Former Howard Govt Minister
  • Gary “Angry” Anderson – Former rock star, now aspiring political candidate
  • Michael Smith – Former Army and Police Officer, now sometime shock jock
  • Allan Asher – Former Federal Ombudsman
  • Imogen Bailey – Former pinup girl, now activist/aspiring actor
  • Catherine Deveny – Former columnist for The Age; now writer & commentator

Dr David Corlett returns as facilitator for the journey the six participants will undertake and his insight and experience as a refugee expert are paramount in the preparation and progressive questioning they face.

The participants face some pretty hairy situations too, which raises tensions beyond those that are drawn naturally by the clash of egos and ideologies of those involved. Keep an eye out for the many rounds of Deveny v Reith, and the ongoing niggling that is Bailey v Smith – both pairings are a joy at times for both sides to watch. Kabul & Mogadishu are scary, frightening places even with the 20-strong armed security detail.

Narrated again by Colin Friels Go Back is a deft and balanced view of the refugee/asylum seeker debate designed to get people talking by reflecting on the issues raised by those involved. The conflict, emotion and even redemption that comes with the story is important to the narrative and Cordell Jigsaw and SBS must again be applauded for delivering a second series that doesn’t devolve into ‘Celebrity Go Back’ (which it well could have done).

In an age where we are presented with all sorts of nonsense passed off as reality TV, it’s important to remember the people/families met in Go Back are real – they’ve faced or are facing real trauma and their desire to find a better, safer life by seeking asylum in Australia is their core motivation. The stories and images delivered in this amazing series cannot be discounted and must be watched and chewed over. It’s appointment television at it’s best.

The new series of Go Back To Where You Came From doesn’t profess to have all the answers. It does, however, offer a closer look at the facts and offer a human reality to what is often a sound byte from Parliament or worse. Absolutely compelling TV.

Go Back To Where You Came From – Tue/Wed/Thu 8:30pm, SBS one.
Insight “Go Back” Special with the participants – Fri 8:30pm, SBS one.