The TwiniesThe show focused on a pair of twins, Rachel and Theo Matheson. While staying on a summer vacation in Auckland, New Zealand, they were contacted by a man named Mr. Jones, who had met them briefly eight years earlier. This time, Mr. Jones revealed his true identity and mission. He was an alien, sent from another world to recruit the twins in a battle against another race of aliens. These latter creatures were a family of slimy, slug-like beasts who could take on human form. Led by the evil Mr. Wilberforce, the green monsters were now bent on destroying Earth, and only the twins' emerging psychic abilities could turn them back.

The show was released on DVD (All Zones. Released: 2008. TV Standard: PAL. Rated: PG)

Theo and Rachael are redheaded twins from New Zealand. They learn at an early age that they are different as they can each find objects the other has hidden by reading the thoughts of their companion. Their powers are discovered by Jones, a member of a wise alien race who is searching for just such a pair of twins to use as a powerful weapon that will kill off the wilberforces, another alien race imprisoned on earth whose single goal is to destroy and conquor planets. Unfortunately the wilberforces have also discovered the true nature of the twins and are out to find them. Rachael and Theo must learn to use the weapon and overcome the pain it causes them before the Wilberforces wake up properly and destroy the planet. - Neil Morey

Under the Mountain was also adapted for the big screen. 

A film based on the classic 1979 Maurice Gee novel Under the Mountain is set to be shot in Auckland next year after being granted funding assistance.

The film, which will have the same name as the book, will be directed by Jonathan King, who directed Black Sheep, with the script having been written by King and Matthew Grainger.

Wellington's Weta Workshop will contribute creature design and special effects.

Gee's novel has sold more than 70,000 copies and was adapted into a television series in the early 1980s.

The film has been accepted for funding by the New Zealand Film Commission and the Film Fund and will include investment from New Zealand on Air and Capitol Films.


Filming began

Under the Mountain, the motion picture adaptation of the popular, award-winning Maurice Gee novel of the same name, will begin principal photography on Monday August 11, 2008. The film’s locations around Auckland, include the iconic Rangitoto Island, a volcano in the Hauraki Gulf. The production will conclude in early October 2008.

The film will be released in New Zealand in 2009 by Walt Disney Studio Pictures.

Under the Mountain is produced by Jonathan King and Matthew Grainger of Index Films Limited and Richard Fletcher of Liberty Films Limited. Chris Hampson, Chris Bailey and Trevor Haysom (In My Father’s Den) are the Executive Producers.

Jonathan King is directing Under the Mountain, from a screenplay adaptation written by himself and Matthew Grainger. Jonathan King most recently directed and wrote the hit kiwi film Black Sheep which won four international awards, grossed more than $NZ800,000 in New Zealand, $NZ2million in the United Kingdom and sold to 49 international territories.

Under the Mountain is a dark fantasy adventure story about teenage twins who battle dark forces hidden beneath Auckland’s volcanoes.

“I want to deliver a scary and exciting adventure for teenage audiences,” says Jonathan King. “The story will contrast a contemporary Auckland city setting with a fantastic subterranean world beneath.”

The creature effects will be produced by Academy Award® winner Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand. Weta Workshop was responsible for effects in the Academy Award® winning Lord of the Rings films and King Kong, as well as Jonathan King’s earlier Black Sheep.

Jonathan reunites with Black Sheep Director of Photography, Richard Bluck and the film features the work of Production Designers Kim Sinclair and Ralph Davies, Editor Chris Plummer (Dean Spanley) and Composer Victoria Kelly (Out of the Blue). Kelly’s original score for Under the Mountain will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the second of their sponsorships of local films.

Sam Neill (Dean Spanley) stars as the benevolent Mr. Jones and Oliver Driver (Black Sheep) will take the role of the evil Mr Wilberforce. Under the Mountain’s cast introduces two exciting young newcomers, Sophie McBride as Rachel and Tom Cameron as Theo. The 28-member Kiwi cast also includes well-known New Zealand actors Nathaniel Lees, Madelaine Sami and Matt Sunderland.

Maurice Gee is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished novelists. In 1979, Under the Mountain (Penguin) was his first novel written and published for teenage readers. The book has sold more than 70,000 copies and has often featured in the New Zealand school curriculum.

Post production will take place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.

Investors include New Zealand Film Commission through Film Fund 2, New Zealand on Air, Footprint Films, 120 dB Films, Ally Media Finance, TVNZ in addition to significant international pre-sales.

International sales are being handled by Kathleen Drumm of NZ Film.

On set interview with Director



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