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This drama series just didn't work for me at all. If you are trying to
write historical drama, then your task is to dramatise historical
events. If, however, you are trying to write historical fiction then
you must set your fictional story against a genuine and well-researched
Greenstone, a cross-cultural love story supposedly set in 19th century New Zealand, followed neither of these basic rules and ended up losing the plot altogether.
The writers apparently wanted to write an "epic" story with a cast of easily-identifiable villains (arrogant, imperialist English) and victims/heroes (noble Maori, oppressed Irish) but shot themselves in the foot by inventing a false history of New Zealand to suit the story they wanted to tell. As a result, the story had no credibility.
I don't understand the writers' motives in doing this. Were they trying to invent a new history of New Zealand to suit a modern political agenda? Or could they simply not be bothered to research their subject properly? Whatever their motives, it didn't work. And a golden opportunity to create a truly believable historical TV drama about 19th Century New Zealand was lost.
That's a shame because New Zealand TV struggles to fund major drama series at the best of times. And a wasted opportunity like this doesn't help matters.
This is a beautifully lush story set in a very exciting time in New Zealand history. As the colonisation of New Zealand begins two cultures struggle to find their place in the new world. It has war and romance and well rounded characters. The beautiful landscape is wonderful to watch but it is the stories that are the star of this series. There are also wonderful performances from the actors involved. Simone Kessell, George Henare, Andy Anderson and Elizabeth Hawthorne don't let the New Zealand audience down as we are used to great performances from them. Richard Coyle and Matthew Rhys add weight to this fabulous cast and enhance the enjoyment of the story. I loved it. Another excellent example of kiwi filmic talent as well as telling a truly New Zealand story.
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