Pioneering series Pukemanu (the NZBC’s first continuing drama) was set in a North Island timber town. Its portrait of the town’s folk offered an archetypal screen image that Kiwis could relate to: rural, bi-cultural, boozy and blokey; viewers and reviewers praised its Swannie-clad authenticity. This first episode sees a culture clash as a motorcycle gang (including a young Bruno Lawrence) comes to town and causes trouble, running Ray (Geoff Murphy) off the road; and stranded townie Diana (Ginette McDonald) falls in love with a local axeman while hunting.
For years New Zealand viewers have delighted over the regional charm of Coronation Street with its unpretentious earthiness and quiet touches of pathos ... We may squirm in our armchairs, we may cringe with identification, but now the camera has turned on us with the same gleam of subtle observation.– Frances Parkin, NZ Herald review, 10th September 1971
NZ Broadcasting Corporation
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Music by Wayne Senior and the NZBC Symphony Orchestra