From the New Zealand TV Weekly. July 17th 1967
After plently of toil and tears, the first locally made TV play Double Exposure, by Warren Dibble is in the can. The barn of the Design Centre was home fior the cast and production team for weeks before the final move to the main studio for recording. Toughest job was that of young producer Chris Thomson for these early attempts at teledrama just can't fail. If this, and an earlier Wellington effort, are fizzers it will be hard to convince the NZBC top brass that the time and expense of such exercises is wortih while. . . . . Full marks to lwo of the lesser publicised members of the C'mon! team -Bryce Torrens, technical producer, who has all the worry of the complex lighting, sound balance and so forth, and Tony Stones, who handles the design problems, and it isn't easy dreaming up new ways to use lighting and quite modest sets to look fresh anld imaginative each week. . . . . . Wonder whether TV release of the old
Glenn Miller Story film will prompt a new generation to find the delights of Mille-r's mellow music of yesteryear. That was a time when tunes were tunes. . . . . Local screening of Te Ao Hou, the NZBC offering for a Japanese festival of TV material for children, prompted the thought that cameraman John McGlashan's return to the BBC was very much the NZBC's loss. . . . . Larry's Rebels, top pop group, now well established on both sides of the Tasman. They report that Melbourne is the city for the beat scene and Sydney
is dead. Could be that Sydney is the trendsetter, so be in while you can, kids. . . . . Wonder whether the highly controversial BBC play Cathy Come Home will have as much impact when screened locally as it had when it jolted the conscience of Britain. . . . . News service, which had pepped up the late night bulletin considerably, seems to have drifted back to a rather irritating habit of using replays of films seen earlier in the main bulletin. Could be argued that many people missed the earlier screening, but I don't feel that it is justified except in cases of really outstanding items. . . . . Can't say that the mop-topped little monster on Keith Bracey's Town and Around desk is earning its keep. Time for pensioning-off ceremony.
Interesting changes have been made in programme schedules to take viewers through the rest of the Winter. Reaction to such changes as the introduction of twice-weekly screening of Coronation Street should be good, but it is not so easy to understand why it should be put in to the 7 p.m. slot. Peyton Place, which has grown progressively more inane, is put on at a later time on Wednesdays - shouldn't it have been relegated to afternoon time? Another significant reflection of popular support is the switch of The Big Valley into Thursday evening (from an afternoon time) - while The Road West is relegated to the afternoon. The other important change is the start of a new series of The Likely Lads, which is put in after Dean Martin and Dr Finlay on Saturday-to make that night a
must for most viewers. The possibility of putting on the popular On Camera with Irvine Lindsay at-a better time than at present is also being mooted. . . . . . NZBC deserves praise for its pioneering television network programme on the Budget (but where, oh, where did they find such ponderous questioners as Messrs Gow and Zanetti?). NZBC were lucky to have such an intelligent politician as the present Minister of Finance, the Hon Muldoon, to accept the challenge of appearing on the programme (many other politicians would have ducked it). He certainly has set a precedent. It was disappointing however that the questions should be so witless. The impression was given that the people concerned wanted to talk more about their own hobbyhorses rather than about the Budget. . . . . The programme pointed up the weakness of the NZBC in developing a panel of intelligent interviewers for this style of
talk programmes. The two real successes who have become nationally known are Austin Mitchell and Ian Cross Surely in a population of 2.6 million we can find more than a couple of witty talkers. . . . . Peter Read celebrated his birthday the other week with a cocktail party at his home. He had the Town and Around team as his guests, reflecting the close team spirit which has made the WNTV1 programme quite easily the best on any of the channels. (If that sounds like beating the parochial drum, there is evidence from at least one prominent Auckland TV critic who is willing to concede that, for once, Wellington is doing something better than Auckland). It is being suggested that the brilliant comedy series Till Death Us Do Part wlill be screened around 10 p.m. at night. That is far too late. Let's hope the NZBC planners will have second thoughts.
If there were any Christchurch folk who did not realise that there is some unemployment in their city and there are some people in sore straits, the Town and Around team woke them up with a round jolt recently with a series of interviews of the jobless outside the Labour Department office. Those interviewed pulled no punches and one local firm was mentioned with embarrassing frequency. It surely should have been given the right to reply. After all, there are two sides to every story. Trouble is Town and Around items can only be treated briefly and never in depth, so too many topics tend to get one-sided treatment. . . . On the same subject: there is a regrettable tendency these days. on the part of politicians and others to try to sweeten a bitter pill. Bnian Edwards was the culprit on this occasion when he asked several people how they had come to be
made redundant. Maybe he hadn't the courage to use one of those old fashioned but expressive words such as
fired or maybe it's NZBC policy to put a layer of sugar on anything it feels viewers could find a bit unpalatable. . . . Incidentally, Town and Around notched another
first the same week when it linked up with WNTV2 for a live transmission of the Wellington channels corresponding series. This was made possible by tests being carried out for the national hook-up on Budget night. Surely it's about time the NZBC realised such links should be part of normal viewing fare rather than
occasions. . . . . With the departure of The Outlaws (unwept unhonoured and unsung, probably as far as most Channel 3 viewers were concerned) Saturday night fare has taken a decided turn for the better with the introduction of the series of hour-long Bnitish dramas. Incredibly, the Saturday night recipe, until the introduction of these plays, had been virtually unvaried since Channel 3 went into business . . Local boy Ray Colombus, not unknown to New Zealand viewers, is making good tn the United States where he has been living for the past year. In that time he's formed his own record company and musical publishing business and is also performing in Hollywood and San Francisco night clubs. He apparently plans to return home early next year. Question (is, for how long). . . . Well known in local cinema and entertainment circles, Christchurch's Trevor King show manages the New Zealand tour of AKTV1's C'mon! for Kerridge Odeon-a bit of a change from doing the same job for the Vienna Boys' Choir.
Highlight of the sporting and social calendar for members of the NZBC in Otago and Southland recently was the annual Broadcasting
Olympics. Producer, Harold Anderson gave the following report of the weekend's activities:
Broadcasting personnel invaded Invercargill in trains, buses and private cars for the weekend, which proved a little much for Dunedin sportsmen who lost all but the Rugby. On the Saturday morning, Invercargill girls overwhelmed the Dunedin team in the basketball, 15-5. In the afternoon, Invercargill scored another victory in table tennis. On the golf course Dunedin again fared badly, halving only one of the four games. Sports Officer, Wayne Andrews, suffered at the hands of 4ZA's Station Manager, Jim Robertson, and lost, 1 down. The Dunedin Rugby team, including a not-quite-so-fit Mike Crichton and several gasping technicians, over-ran Invercargill, 26-11. Several hundred spectators turned out to watch the match, after considerable advertising over Invercargill's Station 4ZA. The weekend was rounded off with various social activities which gave those taking part a chance to relax before returning to work and making plans for the next
Olympics. Future plans include a contest with teams from Timaru and Christchurch . . . Continuity announcer Maureen Little, who spent a few days in hospital, is now back on-screen looking as bright as ever . . . Nobody can say David Beatson is not devoted to his work. Town and Around interview recently had David beating his chest and swinging through the trees in true
Tarzan style. Subject of this offbeat interview, which proved to be a delightful piece of entertainment, was the sole-occupant of the monkey-house of the Dunedin Botanic Gardens. The animal is currently looking for a new home and a companion in another city . . . Top marks again to Hal Weston for another interview on a controversial topic. On this occasion the film, Ulysses was discussed with a local psychiatrist, Dr Harold Bourne. An unusual twist was given to the interview when the main part of it was conducted in a city coffee bar.