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Ngaio Marsh Theatre - Died in the Wool

Television, 1978 (Full Length Episode)

Died in the Wool was part of a TV anthology adapting the murder mysteries of Dame Ngaio Marsh. MP Flossie Rubrick has been found dead in a wool bale, and it's up to Inspector Roderick Alleyn (UK actor George Baker — Bond, Z Cars, I, Claudius) to unravel the secrets of a South Island sheep station. The tale of a cultured Englishman amidst World War II spies, Bach and seamy colonial crimes — like Marsh's books — found a global audience: it was the first NZ TV drama to screen in the US (on PBS). Includes a Cluedo-style sitting room inquest and a wool shed reveal.

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Collection

NZ Book Collection

Curated by NZ On Screen team

In the beginning — of both movies and books — is the word. Many classic Kiwi films and television dramas have come from books (Sleeping DogsWhale Rider); and many writers have found new readers, through being celebrated and adapted on screen. This collection showcases Kiwi books and authors on screen. Plus check out booklover Finlay Macdonald's backgrounder.

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Three New Zealanders: Ngaio Marsh

Television, 1977 (Full Length)

Three New Zealanders was a documentary series that looked at the lives of three of NZ's most celebrated writers: Sylvia-Ashton Warner, Janet Frame and Dame Ngaio Marsh. Produced by Endeavour Films (John Barnett), the final chapter of this three-part series centres on internationally acclaimed crime-writer and Shakespearean director Dame Ngaio Marsh. It contains an interview with Marsh in her later years, interspersed with comments from former students and friends, and re-enactments from her novels (with the Blerta crew as players, and John Bach as Hamlet!).

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Collection

More Legendary NZ TV Moments

Curated by NZ On Screen team

This collection celebrates more of the legendary TV moments that Kiwis gawked at, chortled with, and choked on our tea over. In the collection primer Paul (Eating Media Lunch) Casserly chews on rapper Redhead Kingpin’s equine advice to 3:45 LIVE! and mo’ memorable moments: from a NSFW Angela D'Audney to screen folk heroes Colin McKenzie and the Ingham twins.

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Series

Ngaio Marsh Theatre

Television, 1978

Ngaio Marsh Theatre adapted for television four murder mysteries from crime writer Dame Ngaio Marsh: Vintage Murder, Died in the Wool, Colour Scheme, and Opening Night (with the latter the only one not set in her homeland). Starring UK actor George Baker (Bond, Dial M for Murder, I, Claudius) as Inspector Roderick Alleyn — the rational Englishman solving murderous crimes in the green and pleasant colony — the series successfully leveraged the international appeal of Marsh's novels. Ngaio Marsh Theatre was the first NZ TV drama to screen in the US (on PBS).  

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Barbara Darragh

Costume Designer

Barbara Darragh's screen costumes have been worn by ghosts, prostitutes, Māori warriors and Tainuia Kid Billy T James. An award-winner for The Dead Lands, River Queen and The End of the Golden Weather, Darragh's CV includes TV shows Under the Mountain and Greenstone, plus more than a dozen other features. She also runs Auckland costume hire company Across the Board.

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Max Quinn

Director, Producer, Camera

Max Quinn began dabbling in filmmaking as a teenager. Aged 17, he joined the NZBC as a trainee film cameraman. At 25 he was shooting landmark dramas like Hunter’s Gold. In 1980 Quinn moved into directing and producing. Since joining Dunedin’s Natural History Unit (now NHNZ) in 1987, his double-barreled talents have helped establish a reputation as one of the most experienced polar filmmakers on the globe.

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Ilona Rodgers

Actor

Actor Ilona Rodgers made her name with a starring role as magazine editor Maxine Redfern in prime-time soap Gloss. But Rodgers' career began in her native England; her globetrotting career has seen her acting alongside Doctor Who, The Beverly Hillbillies, and the inhabitants of Marlin Bay

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John McRae

Producer

As a head of drama in New Zealand television, John McRae spearheaded a run of shows that were both local and export successes. McRae's four-decade television career saw him working in three countries, and winning two Emmy awards.

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Michael O'Connor

Camera

A cameraman with 30+ years experience, Michael O’Connor joined the NZBC as a trainee straight from school. His goal was to shoot drama and, after working on news, sports and documentaries, he was camera operator on Hunter’s Gold - New Zealand’s first totally location-based series. He continues to work as a director of photography and lighting cameraman, and has directed documentaries for local and American channels.