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An Awful Silence

Television (Full Length) – 1972

This tale of body-snatching botanical aliens invading 70s Wellington shared the 1973 Feltex Award for Best Drama. Dominated by Davina Whitehouse’s performance as a retired teacher-turned ET foster parent, it included early TV roles for Paul Holmes, Grant Tilly and Susan Wilson. Vincent Ley’s script won a Ngaio Marsh teleplay contest, and its realisation stylishly traverses local summertime environs — Silence was one of the first NZBC dramas filmed in colour. Director David Stevens went on to success in Australia (writing Breaker Morant, and The Sum of Us).

There's an old saying that has stood me in very good stead. Never try to explain. Your friends do not expect it and the others would not believe you anyway.
– Mrs Oliver (Davina Whitehouse)

Key Cast & Crew

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David Stevens

Producer, Director

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Vincent Ley


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Davina Whitehouse

As: Mrs Oliver

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Alan Jervis

As: Detective Inspector Puttick

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Michael Keir-Morrissey

As: Detective Sgt Aldrich

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Hazel Cole

As: Sarah Alright

See all 19 credits

Produced by

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NZ Broadcasting Corporation


NZ On Screen acknowledges the talent and creatives for allowing NZ On Screen to reproduce this title on this website.



Composed by Ian McDonald.