Focuses on the impact the war has on a middle New Zealand, Pakeha family and a Maori brother and sister. This spectacular drama cuts between life at home, Gallipoli and Egypt. The series ... See full summary »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Charles Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
Sophia Huybens ...
 Violet Penrose (6 episodes, 2015)
Freya Milner ...
 Cissy Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
Esther Stephens ...
 Bea Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 James Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
Gareth Williams ...
 Richard Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 George Mueller (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Ida Mueller (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Harry Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
Andrew Grainger ...
 John Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
John Leigh ...
 Bertie Mueller (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 William (6 episodes, 2015)
Sylvia Rands ...
 Hettie Smith (6 episodes, 2015)
Shavaughn Ruakere ...
 Awa Kokiri (6 episodes, 2015)
Alex Tarrant ...
 Manaki Kokiri / ... (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Lorna (5 episodes, 2015)
...
 Sergeant Graves (3 episodes, 2015)
Kieran Charnock ...
 Simmo (2 episodes, 2015)
Amelia Reynolds ...
 Annie (2 episodes, 2015)
Alex Walker ...
 Captain Huntley (2014) (2 episodes, 2015)
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Storyline

Focuses on the impact the war has on a middle New Zealand, Pakeha family and a Maori brother and sister. This spectacular drama cuts between life at home, Gallipoli and Egypt. The series begins in a time of optimism and hope, on the eve of war. New Zealand has one of the highest living standards in the world, is part of the mighty British Empire and few can foresee the horrors soon to come.

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26 April 2015 (New Zealand)  »

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Crass placement of the first episode
28 May 2015 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I don't have a TV anymore, but stumbled upon the back to back premiere of the first two episodes, when I went around to a friends house for a birthday party. He said there was a programme showing later that night about WW1, so all the boys there sat down to enjoy when it screened (no John Wayne for us this night).

Now context is very important here. The series is about New Zealand's entry into WWI. The episodes screened in the middle of a long weekend here, sandwiched on a Sunday (26 April) between the actual date (25 April) of our national war memorial day (ANZAC Day) and the (for the first time) statutory observed national holiday (27 April). And, this was the 100th anniversary of the Battle Of Gallipoli. Pretty high national feeling all over the country that weekend for those that had given their lives for us all. So the expectation was the show had potential (and from what I was told, it was three years in the making).

Now, I'm not an easily offended guy, but I was cringing twice in the first 10 minutes, and desperately feeling sorry for the average viewer. Within the 5 minutes we had a male tutor in medical school having sexual intercourse with his female student. Five minutes later, another guy is having his way with a prostitute in a brothel. Pretty insensitive start if you ask me, even if was (and I don't know if it was) based on fact. And it never got any better from there.

To rub salt into the wounds, NZ$6.1 million of the nations tax dollars went to funding it. Needless to say, I never watched any episodes after the first two. I've been generous and given a score of 2, even though the first episode was a 1 (as I can't score it a negative).

Anything good? Well, it had the stunning Shavaughn Ruakere in it, but even she was not enough to get me back for more.


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