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Back of the Y Masterpiece Television - 7, Series One, Episode Seven

Television, 2001 (Full Length Episode)

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.

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Back of the Y Masterpiece Television - 5, Series One, Episode Five

Television, 2001 (Full Length Episode)

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.

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The Years Back - 4, The New Decade (Episode Four)

Television, 1973 (Full Length Episode)

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.

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The Years Back - 13, The State of the Nation (Episode 13)

Television, 1973 (Full Length Episode)

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.

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The Years Back - 6, The Italian Campaign (Episode Six)

Television, 1973 (Full Length Episode)

In this The Years Back episode Bernard Kearns charts New Zealand's 6th Brigade and Maori Battalion as they fight their way through Italy between 1943 and 1945. Reaching Monte Cassino in 1944, the force suffered 1600 casualties in 12 weeks of bitter fighting. Using NFU pictures, the documentary traces the advance north after Cassino falls, and includes the bloodless capture of Padua and the setting up of the New Zealand Forces Club in the best hotel in Venice. The documentary ends with Kiwi forces facing down Tito's Yugoslav partisans in Trieste.

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The Years Back - 8, Making Do (Episode Eight)

Television, 1973 (Full Length Episode)

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.

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Back of the Y Masterpiece Television - 2, Series One, Episode Two

Television, 2001 (Full Length Episode)

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".

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The Years Back - 9, The Unquiet Ocean (Episode Nine)

Television, 1973 (Full Length)

The Years Back was a documentary series that used archive footage and interviews to survey New Zealand’s 20th century history. This episode details events in the Pacific during World War II, from Japan’s 1941 attack of Pearl Harbour through to mid 1944. Japan’s aggressive thrust into South East Asia threatened New Zealand and Australia (“any day now it’ll be us”), and forced the countries into war close to home. Veterans and commanders recall sea battles, rallying of air defences and jungle warfare, from New Caledonia to New Guinea.The series was made by the National Film Unit. 

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The Years Back - 12, The Big Ice (Episode 12)

Television, 1973 (Full Length Episode)

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.

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The Years Back - 10, The Final Peace (Episode 10)

Television, 1973 (Full Length Episode)

The end of World War II is in sight in the 10th episode of this series about 20th century history. 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.