Doom Patrol recap: The only way is through the donkey

After watching the second episode of Doom Patrol, I’m thoroughly convinced that DC Universe should’ve launched the series with a two-hour premiere, because “Donkey Patrol” is essentially the second part of the pilot. Airing these two hours back-to-back would’ve helped the premiere feel like it told a complete story. But what we got instead works. “Donkey Patrol” is strong enough follow-up that I’m excited to see where the rest of the series goes, despite a few problems.

Doom PatrolSeason 1, Episode 2″Donkey Patrol”Victor Stone / CyborgApril Bowlby as Elasti-WomanMatt Bomer as Larry Trainor / Negative ManPhoto Credit: Bob Mahoney / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Bob Mahoney/Warner Bros.

Picking up exactly where last week’s episode left off, this installment finds the Doom Patrol trying to avoid getting sucked into the giant hole that opened up in the middle of Calverton, Ohio, as Nobody gleefully narrates the mayhem he caused. Of course, Nobody’s primary target is the Chief, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he abducts him and drags him into the vortex. Jane, channeling one of her more daring personalities, dives in after him right before the hole closes, which causes her new surrogate dad Cliff tons of anguish.

With the apparent loss of the Chief and Jane, the rest of the Doom Patrol aren’t feeling too heroic. “This is what the world looks like when we try to live in it,” says a defeated Larry, who decides to run away instead of trying to fix what happened. Rita opts to return to Doom Manor because it’s trash day. So, Cliff is left on his own in the middle of what used to be Calverton. Thankfully, he won’t be alone for too long.

Detroit’s hoodie-wearing hero Cyborg, a.k.a. Victor Stone, hears about the chaos in Calverton and decides to check it out because (A) he knows the Chief and is concerned, and (B) he’s striving for independence from his father, Silas Stone, played by Phil Morris (Smallville’s Martian Manhunter). Silas has big dreams for his son. While Vic enjoys being a superhero and even has some fun when he takes down a mugger, his dad has a very specific goal in mind: He wants Vic to join the Justice League. It’s clear that Victor isn’t entirely sure if he’s on the same page, but he’s going along with it anyway.

I’ll be honest: When Doom Patrol was announced, I was confused as to why Cyborg was among the list of characters and not on Titans. Like, Doom Patrol already has one robot hero in Cliff, a.k.a. Robotman. Does it really another one? Funnily enough, that question is baked into how the show introduces Cyborg, because he clashes with Robotman the moment they meet. “Oh, Cyborg, the guy who nobody asked to be here,” Cliff says when Cyborg shows up in what used to be Calverton and successfully catches the donkey Cliff was chasing. In a surprising move, the donkey vomits Jane back up.

While Cliff and Victor deal with Jane, Larry and Rita try to avoid getting involved in any of this. In fact, Larry heads to the bus station intent on getting as far away from people as possible because he’s worried about the energy being inside his body. Unfortunately for him, the aforementioned energy doesn’t want to leave and knocks Larry out each time he tries to board a bus; it’s one of several funny sequences in the episode. Eventually, Larry gives up and returns to Doom Manor, and he and Rita agree to just avoid the chaos.

Cliff and Victor takes turns questioning Jane about what she saw when she went through the hole, but it’s all for naught because none of Jane’s personalities are being quite forthcoming. In fact, this week they meet a new one, Baby Doll, who is a big fan of Cyborg but afraid of Cliff. So, Cliff leaves Victor alone with her and goes to check out the Chief’s laboratory, where he watches recordings of the Chief’s meetings with Jane. In them, Jane explains the concept of the Underground, which is where all her personalities reside, and some of them are deeper than others. Oh, and some, like Katie, don’t like being questioned — which is something Cyborg learns upstairs when Jane becomes the Human Torch-like Katie and attacks him. Luckily, Cyborg is able to lock Jane in a room with Cliff’s help.

Eventually, Larry and Rita are forced to get involved with the current crisis when Cyborg discovers that the donkey’s mouth is actually a door to somewhere. Needing someone to go inside and take a look, the two dudes ask Rita to do it. At first she protests (“I’m a Golden Globe nominee!”), but then she gives in, goes into her blob form, and allows the men to feed her eye through a funnel and into the donkey. Of course, this leads to all three of them getting sucked into another dimension, where they find the rest of the town of Calverton and Nobody’s omniscient narration.

Nobody proceeds to trap Rita, Larry, and Victor in various memories as a way of torturing them. Most of this feels somewhat pointless, but there is one interesting development: Nobody forces Victor to revisit the night his mother died in a lab accident he caused. However, Victor says this doesn’t bother him because every person he saves is his way of fulfilling a pledge to his mother. “What an origin story! Too bad it’s a load of donkey sh—,” proclaims Nobody, adding that Victor has programming, not memories. At first, it’s easy to ignore this statement, but when the trio return to the real world (Larry’s energy being helps them escape and restores Calverton and its citizens to their place), Victor has a confrontation with his father, who insists that his son return to Detroit because “every person we save is fulfilling a pledge to your mom.” The implication is that Victor’s memories of his mother may have been planted by Silas, which would be quite dark and could change my mind about whether or not there’s a reason to keep Cyborg around.

As the episode ends, Cyborg ignores his father’s wishes and decides to stay at Doom Manor to help the team find Dr. Caulder. At the same time, Larry decides that he needs to work on his relationship with the energy being inside him, and lets him out so they can establish some rules.

All in all, this episode did a good job of building on the premiere. My hope, though, is that this is the last time we have to see the team go through the whole “Should we become a superhero team?” thing. At this point, we’ve all seen shows like this and know that’s where the story is heading. It would be in Doom Patrol’s best interest to accept them as a team now so we can get to the weird and good stuff.

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England in West Indies: Hosts claim dramatic 26-run victory

Jason Holder sparked England’s collapse and finished with figures of 3-53
Second ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
West Indies 289-6 (50 overs): Hetmyer 104*, Gayle 50
England 263 (47.4 overs): Stokes 79, Morgan 70, Cottrell 5-46
West Indies win by 26 runs

West Indies produced an inspired fightback to claim a thrilling 26-run victory over England and level the one-day series at 1-1 in Barbados.

Chasing 290 for victory, England lost their last six wickets for 35 runs as they subsided to 263 all out.

Jason Holder dismissed Jos Buttler and Tom Curran in consecutive balls during England’s collapse, while Sheldon Cottrell took a career-best 5-46.

Shimron Hetmyer made an unbeaten 104 in West Indies’ 289-6.

The third ODI takes place in Grenada on Monday.

Holder inspires Windies

A 99-run stand for the fourth wicket between Eoin Morgan, who made 70, and Ben Stokes left England in a comfortable position, needing just over a run a ball.

But captain Holder’s decision to bring himself back into the attack in the 35th over, with England needing 100 to win, changed the game.

Stokes chased a wide, full delivery from Holder and edged to wicketkeeper Shai Hope to fall for 79.

Buttler skied a Holder off-cutter to Hetmyer in Holder’s next over, before Curran was lbw to a delivery that replays suggested was comfortably missing leg stump.

Curran was unable to challenge – Stokes had used England’s only review on his dismissal – and the tourists, with the run-rate climbing, never recovered.

With the tension growing, Holder dropped a simple chance to reprieve Adil Rashid at cover, but his decision to bring Cottrell back on reaped instant rewards.

He had Rashid caught behind and two balls later Moeen Ali was bowled around his legs, before Liam Plunkett drove Carlos Brathwaite to long-off.

It was fitting that Holder, West Indies’ inspirational skipper, took the catch that sealed their first one-day win over England since 2014.

Hetmyer shines

Shimron Hetmyer’s century against England was his fourth in ODIs in the past year

England earlier bowled and fielded well to restrict West Indies to what appeared to be a below-par total.

Chris Gayle, who scored 135 in the first match of the series, made a 50 which included four sixes before he was bowled aiming to hit leg-spinner Rashid across the line.

Rashid also ran out Darren Bravo for 25 with a direct hit from short third man.

Jason Roy also produced a brilliant throw, running from backward point and aiming at one stump, to dismiss Holder.

It was left to Hetmyer to guide the hosts in the closing overs. He and Brathwaite took 18 off one Stokes over, including two flat sixes, before Mark Wood bowled Brathwaite with a slower ball.

Nurse and Hetmyer shared an unbroken 52-run stand in 5.3 overs, with Hetmyer drilling down the ground to reach three figures.

‘I wanted to get the guys believing’ – what they said

England captain Eoin Morgan: “We did have partnerships but not significant enough ones. When you get on top, you really need to nail it home – and we didn’t do that today.

“We felt that 290 was well within our capabilities. We need to chase a total like that down in partnerships.”

West Indies captain Jason Holder: “When I came back I knew I needed to get a wicket. I just wanted one to get the guys believing. I believed.

“On a sticky wicket we got a really good total – and credit for the guys for the way we defended it.”

Man of the match Shimron Hetmyer: “I’m trying to learn some new things and bring them into my game, not be one-dimensional and open up all sides of the field.

“My celebration was for my girlfriend – I try to do good things whenever she is around. The guys will be hoping she’s always around!”

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Cyclone Oma weakens to a sub-tropical low as it turns from Queensland coast

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February 23, 2019 10:47:37

Tropical Cyclone Oma has weakened to a sub-tropical low but is still whipping up damaging winds and dangerous surf, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

Senior forecaster Gabriel Brunescu said the system was currently 700 kilometres east of Brisbane and was forecast to turn and head north.

“Tonight ex-tropical cyclone Oma will head back to the north, [continuing] over the next coming days and into next week, but staying well away from our shores,” he said.

“The impact from the system is just the winds which will continue over the next two days.

“Rainfall itself is not a big deal any more. We will struggle to see any rainfall on the south-east coast as the system moves away.”

Mr Brunescu said there was still uncertainty about where Oma would go next week.

“Later on the system is forecast to slowly recurve and potentially approaching the tropical north coast, and with all those systems up in the north there is a slight chance to reform or regain a tropical strength … but we need to monitor it closely,” he said.

A severe weather warning remains in place for damaging winds, abnormally high tides, and dangerous surf.

All beaches on the Gold Coast have been closed today due to the wild conditions, while some of the more protected beaches on the Sunshine Coast are open.

Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Jason Argent said the Gold Coast beaches were more affected and were “definitely a no-go”.

“Conditions are really dangerous and the winds are picking up again,” he said.

“On the Gold Coast the beaches are very exposed to the easterly swell and southerly winds whereas on the Sunshine Coast they have some protected pockets at places like Noosa and Mooloolaba.”

“On Thursday we did 45 rescues, and yesterday 10, with four reports of missing people in the surf last night who were later located.

“We’re pleading with the public to just take a little extra care and to not go out after hours as it’s very dangerous.”













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February 23, 2019 10:13:18

stories from Queensland

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Desus & Mero keeps it real on Showtime: EW review

I’ll be honest, Bodega Hive: I was pretty worried about Desus & Mero moving from Viceland to Showtime. During its two years on Viceland, the show — hosted by Bronx-born comedians (and Bodega Boys podcast hosts) Desus Nice and the Kid Mero — established itself as one of the funniest and most original entries in late night, thanks to the duo’s loose and effortless riffs on the news of the day. It seemed hard to believe that execs at Showtime, not exactly the edgiest of networks, could really understand and nurture Desus and Mero’s raw and intentionally unfiltered humor. (See: The time Desus wondered if Kim Kardashian’s vagina was “the actual Sunken Place.”) Not only did the network seem like an odd fit, Showtime also announced that Desus & Mero — which ran Monday through Thursday on Viceland — would only air once a week. Could the still relatively untested late-night duo handle such a massive format change and adjust their freestyle banter for a much larger audience in a much more corporate setting?

After watching the Feb. 21 series premiere of Desus & Mero on Showtime, I’m pleased to report that my apprehension has turned to cautious optimism. Though they’re on a larger stage — literally and figuratively — the Bodega Boys have more than enough personality to fill it. Though the initial outing revealed a few weaknesses in the new format, it retained the humor, point of view, and boisterous energy that makes Desus and Mero an essential late-night addition.

Rather than trying to replicate the basement-rec-room vibe of Desus & Mero’s Viceland set, Showtime set their hosts up in a loft-like space overlooking an appropriately unglamorous New York City backdrop. When it comes time for interviews, the guys move over to an almost comically large wooden table; it practically dwarfed their first guest, Bronx-born Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Other new touches include pretaped bits, like the opening sketch involving Desus and Mero getting grilled by a group of skeptical school children (“If you’re famous, how come I don’t know who you are?”) and a visit to Ocasio-Cortez’s Washington, D.C., office. (In an effort to make the Bronx-born politician feel more at home, they brought her a Puerto Rican flag, some plantain chips, and a bottle of Fabuloso all-purpose cleaner.)

The rundown of the episode remained fairly intact: As they did on Viceland, Desus and Mero spend the first half of their show talking about news and pop culture headlines. The difference — and the new show’s primary problem — is that now the duo must hustle to cram in a week’s worth of observations into 15 minutes, a structure that’s decidedly at odds with the hosts’ relaxed, observational style. On Viceland, they could spend six minutes dissecting Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in front of Congress — pausing to obsess over little details like how the Facebook exec sipped his water — but most of the news-based segments on Thursday’s Showtime premiere were under two minutes. Perhaps not coincidentally, the best bit was an extended look at the controversy and debate around Best Picture nominee Green Book; the five-minute segment featured brutal punchlines (“Green Book costar Viggo Mortensen had to apologize for using the N-word during a panel… when he said, ‘N—, get me a Coke’”) and a parody trailer for The Greenest Book (rated WG, for “White Guilt”), which skewered Hollywood’s reliance on the “white savior” trope.

Aside from that one quibble — give us fewer topics and longer riffs! — Desus & Mero made a remarkably smooth transition to its new home. Thanks to the Bodega Boys, Showtime’s brand just got a little stronger.

Desus & Mero airs Thursdays at 11 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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West Ham United 3-1 Fulham: Controversial Hernandez goal helps hosts to victory

Hernandez took his tally to 50 Premier League goals

Javier Hernandez’s controversial goal with his arm contributed to Fulham’s 18th Premier League defeat of the season as West Ham fought back from behind to win at London Stadium.

On initial viewing, it looked like Hernandez had headed in from a yard to punish goalkeeper Sergio Rico’s mistake, but a replay from behind the goal clearly showed the Mexican striker converting via his arm.

Hernandez’s equaliser was followed by Issa Diop’s towering header five minutes before half-time and Michail Antonio nodded in a third late on.

The visitors had started brightly and got off to the perfect start after just three minutes through Ryan Babel’s close-range finish – the Dutchman making amends for a glaring miss within the opening 30 seconds.

Looking to get back into the game in the second period, Fulham skipper Tom Cairney had a low shot smothered by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, their only real chance of note.

West Ham move up to ninth but Claudio Ranieri’s side stay in 19th place – eight points adrift of safety – missing a crucial opportunity to claw back the deficit on 17th-placed Cardiff who were thrashed 5-1 by Watford.

Time running out for Fulham

Babel scored his first goal for Fulham since signing from Besiktas in January

Fulham need a remarkable turnaround if they are to avoid dropping straight back into the Championship.

The club had high hopes on their return to the top flight after a four-year absence and may well have expected a top-10 finish after becoming the first promoted side to spend £100m or more in a single transfer window.

But the Cottagers have struggled badly and title-winning Ranieri, who replaced Slavisa Jokanovic as manager in November, has failed to shore up a porous defence.

The numbers look miserable for Fulham, they have now:

  • Conceded a league-high 61 goals this season.
  • Won just four of their 27 games.
  • Lost six of their last seven games.
  • Failed to win a single game away from home all campaign.

Former Liverpool winger Babel finished off a swift team move to open the scoring early on, but that was their only high point, and another fellow ex-Reds winger signed in the January transfer window, Lazar Markovic, was unable to make an impression on his debut from the bench.

Ranieri said: “We were solid but we didn’t have a chance to score again. Time is running out but we never give up, we must be confident and we must dream and continue to fight.

“I tell my players if we fight, maybe we can win. If we don’t fight, we have lost before we play. It’s important to stay together and continue to try our best.”

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West Ham 3-1 Fulham: Referee missed Hernandez handball – Claudio Ranieri

Hernandez’s helping arm

West Ham also invested heavily in the summer, close to £100m, and move into the top 10 despite an inconsistent season.

The Hammers collected just their second win from their last eight games, though their 10 victories this season is equal to their total number of triumphs last term.

But the points came courtesy of a huge helping hand from Hernandez, who stooped to put the ball into the net after goalkeeper Rico was unable to clear a corner and both Michael Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna had flicked on.

Referee Lee Mason was stood at the edge of the box, but his view of the incident was obscured by bodies and an incensed Ranieri gesticulated to his arm on the touchline.

“It’s an intentional handball, Hernandez knew what he was doing,” said former West Ham defender Matthew Upson on BBC Radio 5 live.

“But Sergio Rico should have done better for the goal. The punch was so poor. You just can’t make those mistakes at this level.”

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West Ham 3-1 Fulham: Manuel Pellegrini pleased with reaction to going a goal down

Fulham never looked like getting back into the game from that point and Diop rose to head in from Robert Snodgrass’ corner.

Substitute Marko Arnautovic, who had a thumping shot brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Rico, chipped the ball back for Antonio to score the third.

Declan Rice has earned rave reviews for his performances this season and playing in his first match since declaring his international availability for England, the midfielder was superb once more.

Not only did the 20-year-old keep the play ticking for his side but he gave a solid defensive display with six tackles and three interceptions, regaining the ball 13 times – better than any of his team-mates.

Rice told Sky Sports: “The manager has been on at me all season to protect the back four.

“I’ve been playing so much in midfield now that that’s where I want to see my future. I’d love to play in that holding role but there’s still much to improve on.”

Another positive for West Ham was the return to action of midfielder Manuel Lanzini, who played the final 14 minutes after being out injured since May because of a knee injury.

Man of the match – Declan Rice (West Ham)

One internet user has brilliantly dubbed Rice as the ‘Basmati Busquets’. The West Ham midfielder is a star in the making for both club and country

It was handball – Pellegrini

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini: “We started the game asleep, the first 10 minutes was unbelievable. After that we played a very good game. We scored three goals and had three or four clear chances.

“It was a complete game – apart from the first 10 minutes. You never know the reason, maybe we were distracted. The important thing is we changed our attitude.

“From my position I couldn’t see the handball, I have seen it since and it is handball. Nobody saw it very clearly at the time, there was not too many complaints. I don’t think that the goal decided the game.

“I never complained when we didn’t have results because I don’t like excuses but it is very difficult when you have eight or nine injuries but now you can see that we have players coming back.”

Babel’s long wait for PL goal – the stats

  • Fulham’s nine London derby defeats in a row is the longest such losing run in Football League history by any London side.
  • West Ham have completed the league double over Fulham for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign, when they were managed by Gianfranco Zola.
  • West Ham’s victory means the Hammers have picked up 14 points from London derbies in the top flight this season (W4 D2 L2). Only Spurs (15) and Arsenal (16) have managed more.
  • Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri is now winless in his last 22 Premier League games away from home – the longest run for a manager in the competition since Roy Hodgson back in October 2010 (also 22).
  • Manuel Pellegrini has now won each of his four Premier League encounters against Fulham, only versus West Brom (6/6) does the Chilean have a better 100% winning ratio in the competition.
  • Ryan Babel’s strike for Fulham was his first Premier League goal since December 2010 (Liverpool v Aston Villa), 3000 days ago.
  • West Ham striker Javier Hernandez has become the first Mexican player to score 50 Premier League goals. All 50 have been scored from inside the box.
  • Michail Antonio made his 100th Premier League appearance for West Ham in their match against Fulham. Only Tottenham Hotspur (24) have seen more Englishman play at least 100 games in the competition than the Hammers (21).
  • Fulham have become just the fourth side in the Premier League era to concede at least 60 goals after 27 matches of a single campaign. Only Barnsley (63 in 1997-98) conceded more than Fulham’s 61 so far this season.

What next?

West Ham travel to champions Manchester City on Wednesday (20:00 GMT), while Fulham face Southampton at St Mary’s on the same day (19:45).

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Truck driver’s bird’s-eye view of Nullarbor

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February 23, 2019 09:12:09

A truck driver with a passion for drone photography is becoming a social media star, showcasing some of Australia’s most remote and unique landscapes from the sky above the Nullarbor Plain

Ben Stamatovich and his co-driver, wife Jacinta Brennan, make the 64-hour, 5,700-kilometre round trip from Adelaide to Perth every week.

The couple have driven the same route for the past five years, clocking more than a million kilometres together behind the wheel of a prime mover and road train.

They transport produce for supermarkets and swap out of the driver’s seat every five hours while taking in views of the vast Nullarbor, an area about the same size as Great Britain.

During their rest stops they typically break for 15 minutes.

Ms Brennan makes a coffee and fills out the log books while Mr Stamatovich sends up his drone for a quick flight.

“I’m really passionate about it — it’s something I’ve fallen in love with,” he said.

“I don’t do ground photography. It hasn’t got the same kick in my heart, just because it’s same old, same old.

“I like the bird’s-eye view and showing something that can’t be seen by average people.”

Shutterbug goes viral on social media

Since creating his Facebook page, The Drone Way, in October 2017, Mr Stamatovich has attracted more than 25,000 followers.

It was quite the U-turn for the 45-year-old who lived on the streets as a teenager and admits he had virtually no interest in photography.

The only exception was the odd sunset shot he took on his phone or pictures of his three grandchildren.

He bought the drone three years ago, but it had mostly sat in the cupboard until he decided to bring it along on an interstate run.

“I took a photo of this truck out on the Nullarbor and put it up on a [Facebook] truck page and it went nuts,” Mr Stamatovich said.

“That was without any editing and I look back at it now and think, ‘Wow that’s really bad’, but it went crazy and so did the next one, so I started a Facebook page.

“I’ve spent hours and hours on YouTube and Google finding out how to improve myself and how to improve my photography.

“I was told I had a good eye for it, so I just had to brush up my skills on the technical side of it.”

Great Australian Bight a favourite for drone pilot

The Nullarbor Plain is dotted with outback roadhouses but is a largely untouched, unpopulated and almost treeless part of southern Australia.

Tourists passing through can see the world’s longest line of sea cliffs, where whale watching thrives for five months of the year from the Great Australian Bight.

Australia’s longest, straightest road — the famous 90-mile straight — is another novelty on the Eyre Highway.

“Personally, my favourite spot is on the Great Australian Bight,” Mr Stamatovich said.

“I love turning off the trucks when we’ve got empty trailers and there’s complete silence, and you just hear the boom noise of the waves hitting the cliffs.

“It’s just mind-blowing walking over to the edge to see it.

“I never get sick of it — never.”

Traffic monitoring by Main Roads WA shows about 590 vehicles cross the South Australia-Western Australia border every day.

Mr Stamatovich likes to think of himself as an ambassador for tourism and hopes more people will visit because of his photography.

“There are so many comments on my page that say, ‘This makes me want to go have a look at it’,” he said.

“A lot of people are pencilling it in and saying this is on my bucket list now, just from seeing one of my videos.

“It’s beautiful, it’s untouched. It’s definitely unique.”

Drone photographer constantly plotting next shot

Golden hour, the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, is Mr Stamatovich’s favourite time of day.

He plans trips meticulously and will wait until light conditions are perfect.

At Penong, a small wheatbelt town and popular rest stop on the Eyre Highway in South Australia, there is a collection of about 20 donated and restored windmills.

Mr Stamatovich drove through Penong for months during the night until he finally got his chance.

“I waited six months to get a photo at the right time,” he said.

“I’m always observing where I’m going to take my next photo. I spend 30 hours of the trip thinking where my next photo is going to be.”

Mr Stamatovich said truck drivers on the same route became like a small community, communicating via the radio and meeting up at rest stops.

He said many drivers had been supportive of his photography.

“People who drove it [the Nullarbor] 20 years ago love it because they have never seen it like this,” he said.

“They haven’t seen it from the air. It’s just so much different — it’s magic.

“Because we drive during the day and through the night, we get four seasons in one day.

“It’s like a working holiday — there’s nothing I’d like to do more.”

Married life on the road

Sharing a confined space for such long drives with his wife might not be the idea of a dream job for some, but Mr Stamatovich said he would not have it any other way.

The couple live in the small community of Hamley Bridge, about an hour north of Adelaide, and love their simple routine.

Mr Stamatovich said life on the road was comfortable, with their prime mover equipped with two bunk beds, a fridge and microwave.

“It’s not like the old days with no air conditioning, windows down and only the flies for company — we travel in style,” he said.

“Some people say, ‘How can you spend so much time with your wife?’ I say, ‘You obviously haven’t got a good relationship with your wife if that’s how you look at it’.

“We love it.”

Wife thinks her husband’s photos are ‘amazing’

While the ABC was interviewing Mr Stamatovich on the side of the highway, Mrs Brennan was making spaghetti bolognaise in the truck.

The couple say they prefer to make their own meals because it is healthier and cheaper than stopping at roadhouses.

They have broken trailer axles, had near-misses with wildlife including kangaroos, camels and wedge-tailed eagles, survived bushfires and luckily have had only three flat tyres in five years.

Mrs Brennan said she loved life on the road and knew plenty of husband-and-wife truck driving teams.

“We get to spend time together and sometimes we have arguments, but most of the time it’s good fun and we’ve seen stuff we would never get to see,” she said.

“It’s taken us around Australia, I love coming west. It’s the best job in the world it really is.

“I couldn’t say it’s for everyone … not everyone wants to be married forever, but we love it.

“It takes a bit of getting used to and it’s definitely a lifestyle.”

And what does she think of her husband’s photography?

“I think he’s amazing — it’s amazing from where he started,” Mrs Brennan said.

“It’s like everything he does, he’s got better and better.

“It’s great that we get to do this and see the places we do.”






















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Country legend Charley Pride on his new American Masters documentary, I’m Just Me

At 84, Charley Pride is still recording new music and entertaining fans around the world at concerts chock full of some of his 36 No. 1 hits, including “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” “Just Between You and Me,” “(Is Anybody Going to) San Antone?,” and “Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger?”

The three-time Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee is the latest to get the American Masters treatment from PBS. Charley Pride: I’m Just Me premieres Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. ET. Pride met with reporters at the winter edition of the Television Critics Association press tour recently and then sat down with EW to discuss his pre-music baseball career, his hopes for a biopic, and a planned duets album.

Charley Pride admits that he was resistant at first to being a subject for the American Masters documentary series. But now, he says with typical modesty, “I’ve seen it twice. I think [the producers] did a good job. Most people think it was okay, so I guess it’s okay, too.”

For fans of classic country music, it is more than okay. Narrated by Tanya Tucker and featuring commentary from peers and those for whom he blazed a trail — including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, and Darius Rucker — the film contains eye-opening information from the time Pride got a smooch onstage from Nelson to his diagnosis early on of bipolar disorder. It traces Pride’s journey from picking cotton as a sharecropper’s son in Mississippi to his days as a Negro Baseball League all star, to a stint in Montana as a smelter by day and singer by night, and eventually, his trek to Nashville to become the genre’s first African-American star.

On how it feels to have this spotlight put on his career

“I really don’t think about it that much. My thing was that I was going to go to the Major Leagues and break all of the records that had been set by the time I was 35 or 36 years old. That was what I was going to do and make my mark in this world. I had no idea about my dad buying this Philco radio, and we listened to Grand Ole Opry 275 miles away…. I listened to all kinds of music, but I settled on emulating all of the Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff [records] and all of the biggies back then…. I went into the studio, and I did a demo. And after that, my producer Jack Clement says, ‘What do you want to do?’ I said, ‘I want to go into the studio and make the best records I can make, go out on stage and do them the best I can.’”

On missing out on the big leagues

“I never took the position of being regretful that I didn’t make it. I was good. I did the best I could do. And this is what my life was supposed to be. I’ve accepted that I’m where I’m supposed to be in my life at this very moment.”

On his Oscar aspirations

“My ultimate want is a movie about my life. Because every movie that they’ve done about a country artist, an Oscar came of it. Sissy Spacek for Loretta [Lynn]. Of course, they had Jamie Foxx for Ray Charles and Reese Witherspoon [for June Carter Cash in Walk the Line]. Mine was all ready to go in 2008. And they had the producers, directors, everything. Terrence Howard [of Empire] was going to play me. [It didn’t happen because] they had some internal things going on at Paramount. Now, we’re working with a [producer] that was involved with A Time To Kill with Samuel Jackson, and a guy that’s now involved with A Star Is Born. So, we’re trying to make sure we get it off the ground.”

On his planned duets album

“We’re going to have to go do some more touching up to it. But Tanya, she’s already got her [song done]. I’ve got Vince Gill, and the Oak Ridge Boys. That’s three. But whoever wants to do it with me. That’s what we’re after. We’re trying to find who is receptive to being on the album. So we’re going to try to get that done in the next month or so.”

On his upcoming tour of Australia

“It’s gratifying as heck. I’ve been what I’ve been all my life. I’m a traditional country singer. I sell lyrics, feelings, and emotions, and I do a good job of it. It’s a refreshing and good feeling to look back and see what’s been accepted of what I’ve done. You just marvel at it. It just makes me feel good.”

On whether he feels that younger country artists see him as an influence

“Well, I hope so. If they don’t, that’s not going to put me in the soup lines. I’ll take whatever the way they take it.”

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