Friday, 25 September 2009

Under that mountain

Ah, classic New Zealand science fiction/fantasy! I saw (at least some of it) a long time ago, read the book, which cleared up some confusions, and have now seen the DVD release.

Certainly if you know Auckland, this is quite the travel pic, with lots of shots of the streets and mountains up there. I'm sure someone has done a shot-by-shot location guide, but to me it was largely "yep, that's Auckland. I guess".

The story itself is odd in that it is eight episodes, and the first six are a really slow build-up, until suddenly episode seven it all kicks off and then the race to the end is on. The Wilberforces and the Worms want the Earth, and some old guy and two young red-haired twins are all that stand in their way. There is some discussion about "they are trying to survive, do we have to eradicate them?" and I do give credit to that although, of course, it's going to be humans all the way, it isn't treated in a pat manner.

The twins are played by Kirsty Wilkinson and Lance Warren, and haven't they gone on to do well? Well... actually... not really, but I'm sure they've had great non-TV careers. Watch out for cameos by Billy T James and Ray Woolf. (Some went on to put in their Shortland Street dues, but I never watched that.)

Special effects were certainly "special" back then. A lot done practically, with some outline glows added, although episode eight does suffer from "good enough" effects.

Check it out, but also pick up the book, it's a good read.

(There is a movie of this coming out, but to be honest I'd rather cut this version down to movie length.)


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