From the New Zealand TV Weekly. October 30, 1967


Couldn't agree more with the attitude of former producer, John Terris, in caning the church folk for their television offerings. Religion is diffcult to get across in a vital and acceptable manner, but a lot more could be done. John, now a student at the Theological College, would be a valuable addition to the National Council of Churches production group when he graduates from St. John's College, Auckland. Wrote he in the College magazine, People are quite capable of recognising bad television when they see it. Yet it is continually being assumed by the Churches that production quality is somehow secondary, that special religious content somehow cancels out basic shortcomings. He suggests the establishment of a special NZBC section responsible for programmes on religious topics. . . . . Wonder whether the NZBC will be buying the next James Bond special? Admittedly, these always have a strong flavour of advance publicity for the films, but what's wrong with that? After all, Bond is just about the hottest box-office property at the moment - and I can't remember the NZBC being difiident about showing programmes featuring artists they were about to bring out on a concert tour. . . . . Sir Edmund Hillary's films have been the basic material for a lot of television time and Bute Hewes has just got through editing a new documentary based on material brought back by Dr Michael Gill and Sir Edmund after visiting Volunteer Service Abroad teams in Thailand. Bute wrote the commentary for Sir Edmund to record. . . . . . . Interesting to see that NZBC radio is to produce plays in the provinces. Local actors have shown keen interest and they could provide a further source of talent for local TV plays. One thing actors will have to watch - and it will be a difficult decision: No good picking up a quick dollar in TV commercials if they' expect to be cast for drama parts later. People just won't accept them in two ways. . . . . . Eliza Keil featured as resident singer for the new Kevan Moore adult Late Show programmes. Incidentally, Kevan has discovered a new outlet for his private production capabilities - department store parades. . . . . Former Wellington producer, Phil Wilbraham, taking the lead in the Auckland Operatic Society's Pyjama Game. . . . . . C'mon! stars featured strongly in package deals being wrapped up for the resorts over Christmas. These must be a bonanza for the booking agents.


A clutch (or is it a covey?) of WNTV1's popular male announcers and newsreaders is about to take off for overseas. Graham Thomson is seeking a year's leave of absence so that he can travel to England and Europe. He should find little difficculty in advancing his experience in television there. Chris Bennett who not so long ago returned after a spell in South Africa is planning another trip and may leave in November. Des Fahey also has the travel bug, and is thinking of going overseas in December. . . . . . Fans of The Monkees will be pleased to hear that the NZBC has another series on the way. Some more good news from Barry Parkin, TV Programme Purchasing Officer, is that the last series of Route 66, a highly-popular programme here about three years ago, has been purchased, and will be seen in the not too distant future. Viewers will remember that George Maharis made his name in this series. For Western buffs, upcoming is Ironhorse, with Dale Robertson. Other interesting new programmes include Mission Impossible, which won five Emmy awards (Barry Parkin thinks viewers will find it superior to Man From U.N.C.L.E. - it is rather similar in type), and Star Trek, a new science fiction thriller. . . . . A change from American and British comedies is My Name's McGooley, What's Yours? which comes from across the Tasman. It is said to be particularly appealing because of its freshness, and, according to Mr Parkin, is true to convention. Another Australian comedy, You Can't See Round Corners, was also looked at by the Viewing Committee but they found it lacked taste and was fairly unreal. . . . . . A highly praised production of As You Like It by the Royal Shakespeare Company stars Vanessa Redgrave. It is in two parts lasting in total two and a quarter hours. Patrick Wymark plays Touchstone. . . . . . . A new insight into that extraordinary character, Malcolm Muggeridge, is offered in another autobiographical epic, A Socialist Childhood. It will be interesting to see if it matches A Twilight of Empire. . . . . . Though Austin Mitchell has departed these shores, he lives on not only in people's memories, but on film - one of which was to be shown tonight. In this one he takes a hard look at the male Kiwi. There's no truth in the rumour that NZBC delayed showing the film until after Mr Mitchell had left the country. . . . . Afternoon viewers are making a point of tuning in on Wednesdays to watch For The People, some episodes, of which have been excellent. It would probably have been kept for evening viewing except that there have been several others of its genre.


Christchurch is going to have a second channel . . . of sorts. A closed circuit TV system costing $13,000 is being installed at Christchurch Air- port. Its main purpose will be to provide information and to encourage travellers to listen to paging calls, but tourist information along with limited advertising of high quality will be shown. Seven sets will be used in the internal and overseas section of the terminal building. . . . . Some would-be as well as current TV interviewers could-pick up some useful tips from Julie Cunningham, whose On Camera show is going from strength to strength and getting to be a must for many Christchurch housewives and others housebound on an afternoon. She handles her subjects pleasantly and intelligently and seldom fails to get the best out of them. . . . . The Sydney Symphonic Orchestra will visit Christchurch next year to play in the Pan-Pacific Arts Festival. All its performances will be recorded and later broadcast by the ABC in Australia, and it is hoped to video tape some of them for later telecasting across the Tasman. Good advertising for the city, but it is to be hoped that some of the homegrown festival entertainments receive similar treatment. . . . . . There's more than a little sense in a local businessman's idea that if such things as the National Orchestra and ballet and opera companies are to survive - and by that he means pay their way, or almost - more TV performances would be the basis of a good promotion campaign. Point is too few New Zealanders realise just how good the orchestra and companies are, and if they were brought into their homes more frequently many more people would be tempted to leave their homes when they were on tour. It's a thought. After all TV has done a lot for Association Football, why shouldn't it for the arts?


Anyone looking for announcer, George Speed, recently could have found him somewhere along the banks of a river enjoying the sun and indulging in a favourite pastime - fishing. Having carefully set aside a week of his annual leave until the opening of the fishing season, he was able to enjoy a week of good weather and good fishing while the desk-work was left in the capable hands of second-in-command, Peter Dallas. . . . . Peter himself is in a holiday mood at the moment. He'll be following the recent trend set by Bernard Buck and Tui Uru to pay a visit to Australia for a couple of weeks. He intends to spend most of his time taking in the sights around Brisbane and Sydney. . . . . There are few reports of DNTV2 production teams having any difficulties when out on assignments and there's no doubt about it, they do a good job. On a recent trip to Arthurs Pass, however, a problem arose which had them stumped for a while. The job called for script assistant, Marie Choie, to climb on to one of the steam engines the team was filming, but nowhere could they find a pair of overalls small enough to fit her. However, a solution was found and the remainder of the documentary was made without incident.... Afternoon viewers can be on the lookout for a new face on their screens soon. Dudley Scantlebury, who is at present working on radio, will be making a brief appearance before returning to the 4ZB Breakfast. Session. Dudley will be joining the on-screen staff on a more permanent basis in the New Year. . . . .

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