Indie filmmakers Roger Donaldson and Ian Mune certainly made a splash when they collaborated on this no-holds-barred teleplay. Unseen for decades before its digitisation in 2021 by Park Road Post, Derek was greeted with both enthusiasm and horror ("uncouth and sordid") when it screened on 1974 drama slot Spotlight. Mune stars as an everyman office worker on his last day, who staves off his fears of failure through childish antics and spontaneous fantasies. He won a Feltex Award; even the unconvinced critics praised his acting. Mune and critic Costa Botes write here about Derek's creation, detractors — and importance.
The 50-minute drama was sold to the NZBC for $1600, a price which didn't even cover production costs ... [it] was subsidised by the Arts Council with a grant of $3,500.– Writer Chris von Keisenberg in Craccum, 22 April 1975, page 8 (Volume 49, issue 7)
Made with assistance from the Queen Elizabeth Arts Council
Opening and closing music from the Karelia Suite composed by Jean Sibelius