In this episode of the archive-compiled history series, Bernard Kearns focuses on the Roaring Twenties. Soldiers returning from the First World War struggle to tame the land as commodity prices fall. The Labour Party, with miners as its backbone, gains a foothold on the political scene, and the Ratana Church emerges as an alternative to more distant Māori leaders. In Dunedin, the New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition proves a huge success and members of the Royal Family are popular visitors to our shores. But the Great Depression looms.
In this episode of Chris Stapp and Matt Heath's bawdy, bogan, BSA baiting TV variety series spoof, studio band Deja Voodoo have been fire after the police raid in the previous episode — but replacements, The Warlocks of Firetop Mountain, lack the "sharp suits and sharp tunes" that presenter Danny Parker is looking for in a band. There's an extended episode of Bottlestore Galactica but the real focus is on stuntman Randy Campbell's last despairing attempt to succeed at even the simplest challenge. His inevitable failure extacts a terrifying toll.
The end of World War II is in sight in the 10th episode of this NZ 20th Century history series. But there's still fighting to be done by New Zealand troops and their allies as they battle tenacious Japanese forces in the Pacific. Future Prime Minister Jack Marshall addresses his men in the jungle, and war correspondent Stan Wemyss recalls being under fire with Fijian troops in the jungles of Bougainville (while his footage of the event plays). When the war finally ends, Prime Minister Peter Fraser delivers his victory speech and there is dancing in the streets.
With the Second World War over, Kiwis stood with their more powerful allies in the occupation of Japan. But with Britain increasingly preoccupied with its home affairs and Europe, New Zealand began to set its own foreign policy agenda. In this episode of The Years Back presenter Bernard Kearns explains how New Zealand turned to its own backyard to create new export markets. That also meant military involvement in Korea and Malaya and a sometimes fumbling attempt at being a colonial power in the Pacific.
The final episode of Chris Stapp and Matt Heath's bawdy, bogan, BSA baiting TV variety series spoof opens with a tribute to "People's Presenter" Danny Parker who was a victim of the previous episode's carnage. Show regular Piers Graham looks behind the scenes at the show's imagined past (including 60s exploitation pic 'Datura Flowers of the Garden of Death') and the real injuries sustained by cast members in the show's stunts; and hapless mechanic Spanners Watson get his chance to assume daredevil stuntman Randy Campbell's hopeless mantle.
New Zealand's relationship with Antarctica and the explorers and scientists who went there is the focus of this episode in The Years Back series, with Bernard Kearns as guide. Early last century NZ was the starting point for most polar expeditions, including Robert Falcon Scott's fatal attempt to reach the Pole. Footage of Scott on the ice is featured, and as well as clips of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic survival tale. Of course the Sir Edmund Hillary-led 50s Kiwi expedition is shown: Hillary made a defiant dash for the Pole on tractors, arriving 4 January 1958.
This episode of archive-compiled The Years Back series sees presenter Bernard Kearns exploring how New Zealand coped on the home front as World War II expanded into South East Asia and the Pacific. Access to imports was hampered and rationing bit. Fuel and rubber shortages are overcome with novel approaches and farmland becomes the garden for our allies. The episode also examines how industry switched from civilian needs to making war materials. The Home Guard changes from a bit of a laugh to deadly seriousness as the threat grows of invasion by Japan.
This edition of the New Zealand history series looks at the beginning of World War II. With war declared in 1939 NZ faces the new decade with a call to arms. Presenter Bernard Kearns explains how Kiwis mobilised and set sail for the Middle East, before being sent to Greece and Crete where overwhelming German superiority sent them into retreat. Prime Minister Peter Fraser explains the defeat to New Zealanders in an NFU newsreel filmed in Egypt. The contemporary footage also shows the victory at the naval Battle of the River Plate and looks at some Kiwi war heroes.
In this episode of the "greatest TV show on earth", the ape set on fire in the show's first episode — when Randy Campbell's stunt went "horribly wrong" — has escaped, and the hairy one is after vengeance. Meanwhile the police show no sympathy for presenter Danny Parker and daredevil Campbell, for the way the show has portrayed them. And against all odds, Spanners Watson's rocket car 'The Spirit of Russell Crowe' might actually work ... but the ape and the police are closing in.
This episode of Chris Stapp and Matt Heath's bawdy, bogan, BSA baiting TV variety series spoof is a Bullying Special featuring 12 year old, gingered-headed Maurice (from the South Island) futilely attempting to make new friends in a typical Auckland school. Meanwhile, Constables Rob Bogan and Neville Pratt deal out an "art lesson they won't forget" to unsuspecting graffiti artists. Stuntman Randy Campbell's "dangerous, reckless and bloody stupid" attempt to jump off the back of the studio results in yet another "dark day for the NZ stunt industry".