Ron Childs’ father had fought at Passchendaele in World War l. With another conflict looming, Ron signed up for the Territorials at age 18. A few months later war broke out, and he was in the army, guarding the entrance to Wellington Harbour with heavy artillery and searchlights. Poor health meant he never made it overseas; he spent the rest of the war on the home front. Serving in both the army and the air force, Childs was variously a gunner and dispatch rider.
This consolidating episode of the archive-based New Zealand history series finds World War II at an end, the return of Kiwi servicemen and the country in an optimistic mood. That's sealed by the 1950 British Empire Games where New Zealand is third on the medal table. But rising prices and low incomes lead to more militant unionism, culminating in the fractious waterfront workers dispute of 1951. At the same time there's a new flowering of the arts. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is established and a new generation of writers and artists take centre stage.
Debra Kelleher is an award-winning drama and entertainment producer who has worked on both sides of the Tasman. Beginning her career with Grundy Productions, she worked on a number of Australian TV shows including Neighbours, Sale of the Century and Perfect Match. Back in New Zealand, Kelleher has produced everything from Dancing with the Stars and Good Morning, to sci fi hit The Tribe.
Robyn Malcolm is one of New Zealand's most loved performers, and was voted the country's sexiest woman two years in a row. Since joining the cast of Shortland Street in 1994, Malcolm her credits have included tele-feature Clare, Serial Killers and her award-winning role as matriarch Cheryl West in classic show Outrageous Fortune.
Tangata Whenua, A State of Siege, Utu, Smash Palace, The Quiet Earth, Illustrious Energy...The resume of soundman turned producer Don Reynolds covers the modern renaissance of New Zealand film. After starting his own sound companies, Reynolds has gone on to production roles in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Raymond Thompson, MNZM, has created and supervised a run of television shows since setting up base in New Zealand in the mid 90s. Longtime head of production company Cloud 9, he first began selling scripts in his native England. Thompson's series The Tribe, set in a world without adults, became a cult international hit, running for five seasons plus a sequel. His shows have sold to more than 130 countries.
Wellington-raised producer Debra Kelleher has more than three decades experience in the screen industry. She cut her production teeth in Australia (Neighbours, Sale of the Century), before returning home to work on Shortland Street, then cult teen show The Tribe. Kelleher was at the helm of breakfast TV show Good Morning, and five seasons of flagship TVNZ show Dancing with The Stars.
Loren Taylor won attention after starring in geek romance Eagle vs Shark, as a shy, lovestruck fast food worker (based on a character she created). Her film debut was four years earlier in road movie Kombi Nation; she also helped write the script. Taylor has appeared on Insider's Guide to Happiness, Atlantis High, and Lovely Rita (as Rita Angus). In 2012 she starred in post-apocalyptic feature Existence.
After immigrating to New Zealand from South Africa when she was 11, Megan Alatini (née Cassie) became a contestant on reality show Popstars in 1999, soon winning a place in girl group TrueBliss. The band topped the Kiwi singles and album charts. In 2002 Alatini joined the main cast for the fourth season of The Tribe as warrior Java, acting alongside her real-life sisters Meryl and Monique. Alatini also acted in the short-lived Atlantis High. In 2006 she was a judge on New Zealand Idol; the following year she competed on the third season of Dancing With The Stars, where she ended up runner-up behind Suzanne Paul.
Sitting bored in the car while his sister auditioned for The Legend of William Tell, Michael Wesley-Smith ventured inside and stumbled into a professional acting career. Discovered by the show’s casting director, he went on to appear in all five seasons of hit The Tribe. He also starred as the newest student at Atlantis High, another show made by company Cloud 9. Later, after completing a law degree in Otago and studying at Christchurch's NZ Broadcasting School, Wesley-Smith became a reporter for Three, and has worked on Campbell Live, Story and Newshub Nation. He has also reported for Sky and ESPN.