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Clips (5)

  1. Part one of four from this full length television drama.

  2. Part two of four from this full length television drama.

  3. Part three of four from this full length television drama.

  4. Part four of four from this full length television drama.

  5. The credits for this drama.


This tale of body-snatching botanical aliens invading 70s Wellington shared the 1973 Feltex Award for Best Drama. Dominated by Davina Whitehouse’s performance as a retired teacher-turned ET foster parent, it included early TV roles for Paul Holmes, Grant Tilly and Susan Wilson. Vincent Ley’s script won a Ngaio Marsh teleplay contest, and its realisation stylishly traverses local summertime environs — Silence was one of the first NZBC dramas filmed in colour. Director David Stevens went on to success in Australia (writing Breaker Morant, and The Sum of Us).

Credits (18)

 Vincent Ley
 David Stevens

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Comments (2)

 Jane Wong

Jane Wong

Nice to see this. Davina Whitehouse did such a great job, she's so serious and earnest. Good stuff.

 Darren Schroeder

Darren Schroeder | website

Excellent to have the chance to see this, shall have to set an hour aside to watch when newborn daughter allows.

Produced by

 NZ Broadcasting Corporation


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Included in:

 The Sci-fi Collection

ScreenTalk  See all interviews › 

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 Michael Noonan

Veteran television script-writer Michael Noonan’s screenography reads a little like...


There's an old saying that has stood me in very good stead. Never try to explain. Your friends do not expect it and the others would not believe you anyway. 
... a good and effective thriller which just happens to be set in New Zealand. If the public like to think of it this way rather than looking to find the Great New Zealand Play, then I think they’ll like it. 
I have breathed life into a dead body. By the time he grows a beard even his mother will not recognise him. 
It had the sonority to deal with the quasi-religious tones of Dr Tree’s mission from his planet of Sirius, as well as the colourful colloquialism of the day-to-day dialogue that unravelled the mystery of these outer beings and their work. 
Of all the thrillers I read in the playwriting competition, it was the only one which seemed to me to work on its own terms. It has style, which is a rare thing to find in a thriller and is an incredibly hard thing to define. What I mean is that it is not ramshackle. It has a sense of humour and a bizarre plot. 


1973 Feltex Television Awards
Co-winner: Best Drama and the Arts (with Gone Up North for a While)
Best Actor: Davina Whitehouse

1972 Ngaio Marsh Television Play Contest
Winner - Thriller Section