Originally published in New Zealand TV Weekly 10 June, 1968
An episode of Mogul will definitely be set in New Zealand. This was a promise made by John Lucarotti, chief script-writer for the series, after a visit here in the course of a two-month world survey arranged by BOAC. In fact, he gave me the outline of the plot. John specialises in the scripts which feature Ray Barrett (Peter Thornton), who is to be in Singapore about July for filming. He is working on the idea that Barrett and the director should come to New Zealand and use a local camera team for the location scenes required, completing the episode at the BBC on his return.... Thank goodness somebody finally had enough sense to put C'mon into a time slot aimed at its main audience, the teenagers. Odd how long it has taken the programme people to get the idea out of their heads that because a show is locally produced and rather expensive, it should automatically be put into peak viewing time irrespective of the audience to which it is angled Would it be too difficult or costly to keep the relay station at Mount Karioi, south of Raglan, so that direct telecast links would be on hand at all times? The aerials were left in place after the telecast of the farewell to Sir Bernard Fergusson, so there was not so much effort required to set up for the direct telecast of the State Luncheon for the Duke of Edinburgh. But how much more dramatic it would have been if the sinking of the Wahine, for example, could have been on direct relay.... The man who can probably claim credit for bringing us Television much sooner than the Government would have acted if it had not been for his pressure, has been in the news again. He is Al Bell, a bouncy go-getter, who battled the Government of the day to get TV, going and who even started up his own TV studio to provide early transmissions. His latest venture is a massive motel in New- market.... The Chicks have certainly changed their style and their resident job in C'mon should. give them a tremendous boost.
Two excellent NZBC programmes screened on a recent Sunday night had viewers wondering why there are not more of the same quality programmes issuing from local studios. The NZAAS programme on relations between Australia and New Zealand was very well done, with the honours going easily to the brilliant Professor Miller from the Australian National University. This programme perhaps had the edge for viewing interest on the later one of the Labour Party conference, but this, too, had a sharp polemical tone to it, which in itself was welcome. Robert Chapman and Keith Jackson did a splendid job of dissecting the honestly, and pointedly. The Labour Party conference fairly, politicians might have argued that their policies were not given the airing they deserved, and indeed, one could have wished for a longer programme. Conceivably, as the resources of the NZBC grow-or that second channel, operated by a second corporation, which Mr Kirk talks about, comes into being-then there will be more vigorous treatment of the party conferences, not only interview programmes, but also in actual newscasts.... Lindsay McCallum, well-known to viewers for his World View, and to radio listeners for his editing of programmes like the newstyle, In the News, is joining the Checkpoint team for three months. George Andrews, another member of the news staff, has gone over to current affairs to become a member of the Gallery team. As reported in this column last week, Fred Cockram will also be attached to Gallery, though remaining on the news staff, and working from the Parliamentary Press Gallery.... Graham Kerr has returned to New Zealand screens at a rather odd viewing time. Will this be the last we see of New Zealand's first TV culinary expert?.... Country Calender packed a punch with Gordon Dryden's brilliant little Vignette on the need for more processing of our wool.
Six Sunday afternoon concerts in the Leonard Bernstein style 4 and under the patronage of Bernstein himself, will be performed by the Christchurch Civic Orchestra under the baton of Dobbs Franks later this year. Concerts will be in the Bernstein TV style with conductor Franks talking and demonstrating. Made possible by a 15,000 donation from a new travel firm in the city, Mr Franks went the whole hog in seeking Bernstein's patronage. He rang him in New York; was referred to Vienna, and finally pinned TV's best-known conductor (at least as far as Kiwi viewers are concerned) in Tel Aviv (at 3 am. N.Z. time). Bernstein agreed to be patron. No word yet whether these concerts will be videoed for later viewing.... Sheepish apology followed recent edition of Town and Around when frontman, Bernard Smyth, had to admit that some one on the production side had got his signals mixed caption wise when local Licensed Victuallers' boss, Arthur MacGregor, was given the wrong label in the course of a piece on late closing. Mr MacGregor is not a stranger to Christchurch folk, not merely because of his calling but also because of civic involvement and viewers apparently were not slow to point out the error of Channel 3's ways with a spate of phone calls. First and erroneous news of a Canterbury takeover bid for Oamaru reached viewers in the news recently when some one in the newsroom, whose geography was obviously on the woolly side, let a newsreader refer to Oamaru as a South Canterbury town. If there were any North Otago viewers tuned in to Channel 3, they took it without flinching. Or, if they didn't, Channel, 3 let the matter slide After a feast of documentaries, Christchurch has been suffering a famine, the only real relief in recent weeks being provided by the Duke of Edinburgh's meeting with the press. General opinion seems to be that the general standard of programmes has lifted a few points since Easter, but there's still room for improvement.
Last week saw a temporary change in surroundings for DNTVZ's On Camera. The reason for the move was that the studio where the series is normally filmed was undergoing renovations in the form of a new tiled floor. Other programmes affected by the work were Town and Around, and World of Sport, which were screened from the smaller continuity suite while producer, Nigel Beard, and the On Camera team made their headquarters at Glenfalloch, one of the major attractions of the Otago Peninsula, and home of Mr and Mrs Gordon Mills.The two programmes presented from Glenfalloch featured a number of personalities living on the Peninsula, as well as a background history of the estate itself.... It is rather surprising that NZBC, both nationally and, locally, made so little of the visit to this country of Australian entertainer, Rolf Harris, who has become so well- known here and in Britain. He did, however, appear briefly before a. panel of questioners in On Camera, following an hilarious interview with hostess, Eileen Cook, at the studio A most welcome newcomer to our screens is David Frost whose satirical and often hard-hitting series, The Frost Report, has set a good many laughing and a number of tongues clicking. It would be interesting to watch the results if Frost put his team to work in NZ.