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Television (Full Length) – 1974

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)
Ian Mune is really something. Has anybody else his ability to project the New Zealand common man? The face is ugly, the voice grates, he sings abominably. Yet you watch him like you watch a time bomb.
– Reviewer Dick Campion in The Listener, late 1974
What a pity it is that that very good actor Ian Mune is not provided with a play commensurate with his talents ... if we're going to indulge in bawdiness on the screen, let it be spiced with wit and humour. There's nothing wrong with the belly laugh at an audacious sally into smut as long as it is funny. But there's no virtue in playing for the self-conscious snigger.
– Reviewer James Gasson in The Dominion, 1 November 1974
There wasn't a line of dialogue that was worth remembering and the show depended for impact on several "situations" — a glimpse of a nude, two men relieving themselves in the office lavatory, a drunk dropping his trousers, an unsuccessful attempt at intercourse, a witless interlude in a pub.
– Reviewer James Gasson in The Dominion, 1 November 1974
Ian Mune's Derek was so close to the bone it hurt ... because the show will probably evoke a strong sense of identification there will, I suspect, be considerable viewer resistance to Aardvark Film's first production.
– Television reviewer Irvine Yardley, publication and date unknown
...poor, mixed up Derek, in all his shortcomings, vanities, inanities, frustrations and irritations, was, whether we liked him, or not, something of a reflection of ourselves, and our society. We may not all be "proper Dereks" ... but who's to say that there are not also bits of him in nearly all of us?
– Auckland Star reviewer Barry Shaw, 28 October 1974
...the first time I have seen, in drama, a New Zealander who is distinctively and recognisably a New Zealander: whose portrayal was neither self-conscious nor a caricature. Derek was a sympathetic and intelligent look at ourselves. It deserves all kinds of acclaim. It got, instead, scheduled in a late night, end-of-holiday slot — after, apparently, a few expurgations.
– Reviewer Sue McCauley, late 1974
...the most exhilarating play to hit the small screen for a long time, and the acting was superb.
– Self-described "farmwife" Mrs S Bates of Reporoa on Derek, in a letter to the editor, late 1974
[Ian] Mune's biggest asset is an extremely mobile face. It's hardly beautiful. Neither is Walter Matthau's. But how Mune can use it.
– Auckland Star reviewer Barry Shaw, 28 October 1974
I trust that the great majority of New Zealand men think and behave differently and know a more intellectual and sensitive way of life. There was no criticism made of the amount of lavatory hardware which one was obliged to watch. This film can only be rated as a further attempt to lower our standard of behaviour.
– 'Family Doctor' of St Heliers, in a letter to The NZ Herald, late 1974
It upset the hell out of morals campaigners, but it won a Feltex Award and told everyone we were here.
– Derek's co-creator and lead actor Ian Mune, in his backgrounder for NZ On Screen's Roger Donaldson Collection
At last here's a scriptwriter with a really perceptive ear for idiom, and an actor with craftsmanship to blend completely into the everyman role. At last here's a local film which is not constrained by self-consciousness, pomposity or an over-developed sense of "good taste".
– 'J.D.M.' from the North Shore on Derek, in a letter to the editor, late 1974
Mune's performance was a tour de force, a model of character portrayal, totally convincing ... though only a oncer, and not an NZBC job, [Derek] moved homegrown film entertainment forward at least another decade.
– Reviewer 'Marlow', publication unknown, late 1974
It's Begby. It's his last day, thank god.
– Derek Begby's boss Mr Grubble (Laurence Hepworth) on the phone
...one of the most competent and certainly the most significant bits of New Zealand drama to have been shown on television. Derek, played by Ian Mune, was the kind of anti-hero familiar to film and literature from way back — a descendant of Lucky Jim and Billy Liar and a host of others.
– Reviewer Sue McCauley, late 1974