First published in New Zealand TV Weekly, September 11 1967.
There will be many faces familiar to TV viewers when the Dame Ngaio Marsh contribution to the NZBC’s Television Workshop drama series gets to our screens. The cast list includes Donald Hope Evans, a veteran of BBC and local radio productions who has also been seen, in Junior Magazine. He has the lead as Detective Superintendent Roderick Alleyn. Pamela Seabold has been in several TV productions but will be spotted as the partner of Merv Smith in a current commercial series referred to most felicitously by local TV critic Barry Shaw as
a continuing breakfast cereal. John Larking was in some of the Revue '66 sketches; Irene Woods had a part in Yo Heave Ho; David Prosser was briefly the front man for Speak Up; Bruce Allpress was occasionally a panellist a year or two back; Michael Noonan has been in junior shows: and Rhys Jones will be remembered in the We Three Show. The rather surprising member of the cast at first glance is Town and Around’s Tom Finlayson-but there is no surprise when you know that the play is set in "Auckland’s art world" and includes a Town and Around sequence.....Endeavours to get the afternoon On Camera session settled into a happier groove and Sonia King’s personality built up to something akin to her former afternoon radio included a change in directors, with David Hardy switching to Sportsroom and Michael Scott moving in as"directorial uncle to the ladies..... Pity that sportsman Cosmo Davies does not get more chance to show off his sprightly sense of humour. He does a very sound Peter Sellers “Bombay Welsh” accent ..... Once again the boom has been formally lowered on NZBC bods speaking to outsiders and especially to the ogres of the press. Everything has to be cleared with operations supervisor Jack Metcalfe. Even so, people will still talk.... Interesting to see what effect the outside supply of programmes to 1YD will have on the fortunes of Radio Hauraki. Odds are, it won’t make much difierence. Hauraki is now something of an institution. Still, the belated decision to allocate some programme time to outsiders has at least let imported disc jockey, Ross Goodwin, get at the job he has been waiting for ever since he came from Australia.
Politicians got under the skins of many NZBC people with their wild allegations in Parliament. Sir Walter Nash, who should really know better, claimed that television crime films were responsible for a large proportion of New Zealand’s crime, while another Labour backbencher asserted that the NZBC showed favouritism to Government members. Not a shred of evidence was offered to substantiate these claims. The NZBC as well as voluntarily submitting programmes to the film censor also has its own discipline, not only in rejecting programmes offered to it like Hawk because of its emphasis on violence, but in screening others deemed unsuitable for young people late at night. The fact that young people watch these programmes is not an indictment of the NZBC but of the parents. But of course the corporation is a convenient whipping boy: to criticise parents might be to lose votes.... The NZBC is planning a nationwide hookup for telecasting results of the referenda on licensing hours, and the term of Parliament, on September 23 ... Recent purchases by the cor- poration include The Saint series, Patrick McGoohan’s new series The Prisoner, a science fiction series The Invaders, more Enigma plays, the comedy series, George and the Dragon, an adventure programme, Man in a Suitcase, a drama from Rediffusion, Blackmail, the highly popular Ironside, and Hans Hass’ series on Man. Under consideration is The Flying Nun which stars Sally (Gidget) Fields. Another interesting programme that might come our way is Second Hundred Years, the story of a man who has lain frozen for one hundred years .... Irvine Lindsay goes from strength to strength with her On Camera series, One of her programmes started with the Crown Lynn prize-winning pottery designs, carried an interview by Owen Jensen of a visiting Czech pianist, and ended with fashion expert Jill Ewart reporting on latest news from her recent trip abroad, plus sketches. Overall, the programme had tremendous in terest for women viewers (and males, too, for that matter).... Interesting to see the programme planners bring back Steptoe and Son and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. This sensibly meets the public demand for repeats of these very popular programmes. But it is brave to schedule them again at peak viewing times.... New Sunday night programme that should have plenty of appeal is the Rolf Harris Show . . . . Some prominent public figures are becoming disenchanted with demands to appear on TV news programmes, where they get chopped off in mid-sentence. Seems that they are expected to wait round while camera teams arrange their gear (which usually breaks down halfway through). It is unlikely that the top corporation executives would tolerate such performances them- selves; so why should they expect the Prime Minister and other leading ministers to put up with it? Or, safe in their ivory towers, are they not aware of what is going on?
Although Murray Hewson took up his appointment as assistant announcer in charge late in May, it was not until early August that he made his CHTV3 debut on continuity work. Spontaneous comment from a mixed gathering of viewers:
Nice to see a mature face on TV. Seems Hewson has definitely arrived, TV-wise.... General satisfaction among race- goers on CHTV3’s Grand National Week coverage and some plaudits (well-deserved) for Ron Finlay’s Friday night “National” preview.... Hillmorton High School Board, which originated a widely-supported request for experimental school TV, is not going to be fobbed off. At a recent meeting the board decided to ask the Christchurch Secondary Schools’ Council to press the Education Department for a more definite reply than the advice given months ago that
the possibilities are being investigated. . . . Max Merritt’s mother home from Melbourne reports that her son, in spite of his partial- blindness, is making a spirited recovery and working on new ideas for the band, following his car crash some weeks ago. He’s been inundated with kindness from show folk and fans, gifts including a TV set Seems live theatre is not suffering too much from the effects of TV in this neck of the woods. The Canterbury Theatre Company’s inaugural double-bill production, Black Comedy, and White Lies, attracted 4,400 theatre-goers, or 70.4 per cent of the Repertory Theatre’s capacity, reported Canterbury Theatre Trust chairman, Mr T. A. Kincaid.... Cathy Come Home moved the National Council of Churches to make a $500 grant to the British Churches Housing Trust, the general secretary of the council in Christchurch, the Rev D. M. Taylor, announced recently. The plight of Britain’s homeless and ill-housed was brought to the council’s notice by the Napier branch as a result of this fine documentary.... Maybe the Ministers of Broadcasting and Tourism should get together on the question of pronunciation of Maori place names. A recent Christchurch visitor, Mrs Alison Quinn, from Liverpool, whose husband Professor D. B. Quinn is lecturing at New Zealand universities under the auspices of the British Council, pointed out that it can be very confusing for an overseas visitor if the name of a town such as Paraparaumu is spelled out fully on a road map and referred to by NZBC announcers as “Paraparam.” That’s a point no one took into account when the controversy raged earlier and, when you look at it, the NZBC like the rest of the country has a stake in tourism too. After all without overseas funds, there would not be much in the way of TV here, would there?
Next week certainly will be a busy V one for 19 members of the DNTV2 staff. On Sunday, September 17, they- will start off a week-long tour with an outside telecast of a church ser- vice from Invercargill. This will be followed on Tuesday with an outside telecast of On Camera from Invercargill’s Kelvin Hotel. The team will also make a video-tape of a second programme to be shown on Thursday. From Invercargill, the team will move on to Alexandra where they will produce an outside telecast of the annual Blossom Festival. A feature of the festival this year is a musical, Hell Bent for Dunstan, written by Ewen Cameron and Syd Stevens. This show has its premiere on Friday, and DNTV2 will be on hand to film excerpts from it. These will be shown during the outside telecast on Saturday. The production side of the venture will be handled by Brian Ault and Ian Richard, with technical producers Bas Howell and Keith Catchpole, and, of course, Eileen Cook will be on hand to introduce the Invercargill participants in On Camera.