First published in New Zealand TV Weekly 26th Sept, 1966
The Sportsroom type of programme does a good job, but it is limited in its scope. It is high time the NZBC paid more attention to the sporting enthusiasms of the majority of viewers and produced more material on the lines of Through Scrummage Three-quarters and All-which was made by the National Film Unit-and the film on the N.Z. champ Cardigan Bay. There is a wealth of sporting matters begging to be examined in depth. . . . . Wonder if Merv Smith really prefers his crack of dawn breakfast session announcing to normal TV chores. . . . . Hope time and money are not wasted in shuffling together a variety show around someone like P. J. Proby. . . . . Judy-Anne Garland sank her fangs into the NZBC in a farewell flurry. “Only the mediocre succeed in NZBC," she said. . . . . Nobody seems to know where her erstwhile Fang Family partner John Nash is. Possibly back in the States. . . . . Broad ring on the right finger prompted queries on Sandy Edmondes’ marital status prior to her return for store parades and TV appearances. . . . . Strong possibility of more producers moving to more lucrative outside jobs. ... . Local feeling on The Family Game is that it has been an over-publicised fizzer. . . . . There seems to be a ridiculously long time these days between somebody having an idea and its appearance on the screen. A bit more spontaneity and a bit less caution and red tape could give a much needed lift to our screens.
Some new faces have been appearing among the “regulars ” on WNTV1, reading the news, doing the weather, and carrying the continuity. Among them has been Graeme Thomson, who after starting in Wellington with the NZBC went to Wanganui for a time, and returned to WNTV1. New appointments to the announcing staff have been Bill Saunders and Roger Hudson who did a period of basic training at the NZBC training school. . . . . Rolland O’Regan the retired Wellington surgeon who “fronts " for the programme Eye on Medicine caused the NZBC hierarchy some heartburning when he insisted that the programmes should be screened as planned. Seems as if the hierarchy had got cold feet when they realised that, in an indirect sort of way, the exposure on television could help Rolland’s candidacy in Wellington Central where he is standing for Labour against sitting member Dan Riddiford. It was then intended to postpone screening them until after the election . . . until Rolland hinted that he might make the whole thing an election issue. So the programmes have been screened as planned. Remains to be seen whether the father image Rolland projects so well on TV will help him to unseat Mr Riddiford. (who gets his own promotion in the Wellington newspaper The Dominion, of which he and several of his clan are directors).
CHTV3’S coverage of the All Black-Lions test at Lancaster Park won plaudits on all Sides-local sports writers, TV, newspaper critics and public. “If the story of the third Rugby test was one of missed opportunities by the Lions, the same cannot be said of the CHTV3 team which recorded the match . . . and the result was by far the best television coverage of Rugby, or, come to think of it, of any major sporting fixture in New Zealand, that we have seen this year," wrote one local critic . . . . . Who says the NZBC does not do its best to keep viewers viewing? The recent storm that swept most of the country also took with it the power supply for Channel 4 and deprived South Canterbury of Saturday viewing. Power board engineers and NZBC staff climbed Mount Studholme working in snow up to 4ft 6in deep and in a heavy snow storm to have the translator working again in time for the Sunday evening programme. All the same some viewers, toasting their toes in front of their cheery tires, were quick to squeal about lack of service . . . . . Epileptic seizures can be triggered off by TV, according to the theories of some doctors, Mr J. V. Wilson, a psychologist, told a meeting of the Christchurch branch of the New Zealand Epilepsy Association recently. If a person’s brain wave pattern slowed down to about 25 cycles a second while the TV transmission was operating at 25 pictures a second, it had been thought to trigger off epileptic attacks, he said . . . . . NZBC engineers are currently working out a route for a series of relay stations, either from Wellington or Christchurch, for South Island’s West Coast viewers. In the meantime, the NZBC is anxious to improve reception in the Otira and Blackball areas, now reliant upon a translator in the Kelly Range, built about six months ago for the Otira Televiewers’ Society.
The technical staff at DNTV2 have devised one of the most fascinating and intriguing “ fillers seen in long years of tedious interludes. The music of Dave Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance” is seen on the screen in an ingenious rhythmic kaleidoscope of waves. The actual operation is a jealously guarded secret-and rightly so. If everyone got in on the act, the novelty value would soon deteriorate . . . . . Spring has hit Dunedin with a vengeance, and not just evidenced by crocuses in the Octagon. DNTV2 has been smitten with Spring (when a young man’s fancy, etc.) to such an extent that Bill Henderson of the Film Department has become engaged, so has Errol Stevenson of the same ofiice. Producer Chris Thomson is newly married to Janet McDougall, sister of producer Linda McDougall now of CHTV3. Technician Keith Taylor also said “I do" in a recent ceremony . . . . . Harold Anderson, studio director for Town and Around, and also a cameraman, distinguished himself and brought honour to DNTV2 by winning the Roxburgh Golf Tournament with the right to hold the trophy cup for a year. His handicap, they say, is three.