With Hunter's Gold, Gather Your Dreams and Children of Fire Mountain, Roger Simpson blazed a successful trail for Kiwi drama shows aimed at a younger audience. Though he has written further New Zealand projects, Simpson relocated to Australia in the early 70s. Since then he has written and produced on a long run of television dramas, most often alongside producing partner Roger Le Mesurier.

If I could play golf, I would probably be retired. But I can't. Roger Simpson

Nancy Wake: The White Mouse

2014, Subject - Television

Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms

2012, Writer, Producer - Television

Satisfaction

2007 - 2010, Creator, Writer, Producer - Television

Answered by Fire

2006, Executive Producer - Television

Life

2005, Writer, Producer - Television

Big Reef

2004, Writer - Television

Silversun

2004, Creator, Producer, Writer - Television

Halifax f.p. - Takes Two

2002, Producer - Television

Dogwoman: The Legend of Dogwoman

2001, Producer - Television

Dogwoman: Dead Dog Walking

2000, Producer - Television

Halifax f.p. - A Hate Worse than Death

2000, Writer, Producer - Television

Something in the Air

2000 - 2002, Creator, Writer, Executive Producer - Television

Halifax f.p. - The Spider and the Fly

2000, Producer - Television

Stingers

1998 - 2002, Writer, Producer - Television

Good Guys Bad Guys

1997 - 1998, Creator, Writer, Producer - Television

Halifax f.p. - Afraid of the Dark

1997, Producer, Writer - Television

Halifax f.p. - Hard Corps

1995, Writer, Producer - Television

Halifax f.p. - Words without Music

1995, Producer - Television

Halifax f.p.

1994 - 2002, Writer, Producer, Creator - Television

Halifax f.p. - Acts of Betrayal

1994, Writer - Television

Halifax f.p. - The Feeding

1994, Producer - Television

The Nostradamus Kid

1993, Executive Producer - Film

Snowy

1993, Writer, Producer - Television

More Winners: His Master’s Ghost

1990, Writer - Television

Skirts

1990, Producer, Writer - Television

Raider of the South Seas

1990, Creator, Writer - Television

Darlings of the Gods

1989, Writer, Producer - Television

Nancy Wake (Australian/UK miniseries)

1987, Writer - Television

Sword of Honour

1987, Creator , Writer - Television

Learned Friends

1983, Co-Creator, Writer - Television

Squizzy Taylor

1982, Writer, Executive Producer - Film

I Can Jump Puddles

1981, Writer - Television

Players in the Gallery

1980, Writer - Television

Children of Fire Mountain

1979, Creator , Writer - Television

While convalescing down under Sir Charles Pemberton (Terence Cooper) schemes to build a thermal spa in the town of Wainamu c.1900. Conflict ensues as the spa’s planned location is on Māori land. The action is seen through the eyes of youngsters: hotelier’s son Tom, and Pemberton’s granddaughter Sarah Jane; who — along with an erupting volcano — eventually impart on Sir Charles a lesson about colonial hubris. The 13-part series was a marquee title from a golden age of Kiwi kidult telly-making: it won multiple Feltex awards, and screened on the BBC in 1980.

Children of Fire Mountain - Tom (First Episode)

1979, Writer, Creator - Television

This Feltex award-winning kidult series is set in the colonial town of Wainamu in 1900, amidst the North Island’s ‘thermal wonderland’. It follows the challenges that Sir Charles Pemberton (Terence Cooper) faces in building a spa on Māori land. In this first episode, local lad Tom, son of the hotelier, is irritated by the arrival of Sir Charles and his aristocratic entourage (particularly granddaughter Sarah Jane, also known as “Little Miss Prim”). Their train is late after being spooked by natives. Tom's gang of shanghai-toting scallywags also take on the mean local butcher.

Gather Your Dreams - Episode Three

1978, Writer, Creator - Television

Kidult drama Gather your Dreams follows Kitty (Kerry McGregor), an aspiring performer travelling with her family's vaudeville troupe in 1930s NZ. In this episode, the troupe competes for viewers with boxing promoter Ted Crawley (George Henare) at a Depression relief camp. Troupe patriarch Wallace (Terence Cooper) plots to best Crawley by managing "Haggis the brawling Scot" (actor's agent and On the Mat legend Robert Bruce’s acting debut). But the 'worker's hope' turns out to be a stooge with a glass jaw. Will coaching from Kitty save the day? The show must go on!

Gather Your Dreams

1978, Creator , Writer - Television

Children's adventure series Gather Your Dreams follows Kitty, a teenager who dreams of stardom while travelling with her family's vaudeville troupe in Depression-era 1930s New Zealand. The troupe's impresario (and Kitty’s father) was played by Mortimer’s Patch star Terence Cooper. Mostly shot in the Coromandel, the half hour 13-part series was one of a run of kidult dramas made in the late 70s by South Pacific Television. Like its predecessor — colonial scamp saga Hunter's Gold — it had international sales success. Dreams was helmed by Hunter's Gold director Tom Parkinson.

The Trial of Ned Kelly

1977, Writer - Television

Young Ramsay

1980, Writer - Television

Hunter's Gold

1976, Creator , Writer - Television

This classic kids’ adventure tale follows a 13-year-old boy on a quest to find his father, missing amidst the 1860s Otago gold rush. When it launched in September 1976, the 13 part series was the most expensive local TV drama yet made. Under the reins of director Tom Parkinson, the series brandished unprecedented production values, and panned the Central Otago vistas for all their worth. Its huge local popularity was matched abroad (BBC screened it multiple times); it showed that NZ-made kids’ drama could be exported, and helped establish the new second television channel.

Power Without Glory

1976, Writer

Hunter's Gold - First Episode

1976, Writer, Creator - Television

This classic kids’ adventure series follows a boy trying to find his missing father, amidst the 1860s Otago gold rush. The show displayed unprecedented production values, and demonstrated that Kiwi-made kids’ drama could be successfully exported. This first episode sees Scott Hunter (Andrew Hawthorn) steal away to Tucker’s Valley, spurred on by his unsympathetic uncle. In the background pieces, writer Roger Simpson recalls creating 13 scripts at high speed, and director Tom Parkinson writes about the Kiwi landscape as character, and finding the production team. 

Winners & Losers: Big Brother, Little Sister

1976, Writer - Television

Almost two decades before Once Were Warriors, another drama about urban Māori under pressure stirred controversy. Hema (Dale Williams) and Janey (Julie Wehipeihana) are two kids adrift in the city, trying to escape a broken home. Screen historian Trisha Dunleavy found this "the most powerful and controversial" edition of the Winners & Losers series; it was TV's first drama about "the alienation of Māori in a contemporary urban setting". Based on a Witi Ihimaera story, it also marked the first solo directing credit for Ian Mune. He later directed the sequel to Once Were Warriors

Winners & Losers: Shining with the Shiner

1976, Writer - Television

Conman and victim face off in the first, and arguably funniest Winners & Losers episode. Legendary vagabond The Shiner (Coronation Street's Ivan Beavis) sets out to prove to his fellow swaggers that he can con alcohol from a dour publican (Ian Watkin). Co-director Ian Mune dons a fake eye; singer Tommy Adderley plays harmonica. The real life Shiner — Irishman Ned Slattery — was immortalised in a series of stories by John A Lee.  Although Lee claimed to have "once walked thirty miles side by side" with Slattery, he admitted that his Shiner stories were far from gospel truth. 

Richard Pearse

1975, Writer - Television

Around 31 March 1903, eccentric farmer Richard Pearse climbed into a self-built monoplane and flew for about 140 metres, before crashing into a Waitohi gorse bush. The amount of control he maintained and exact date (before the Wright brothers?) has been oft-debated. This award-winning TV film (an early script for Hunter's Gold's Roger Simpson) dramatises the life of the reclusive young inventor and his flying machine, from his youth up until the flight itself. Actor Martyn Sanderson captures 'Mad Dick's' obsession in a Feltex-winning performance.

Division 4

1972 - 1975, Writer - Television

Homicide

1972 - 1974, Writer - Television