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5 reviews in total 
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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely brilliant work, 12 April 2012

I was looking forward to this BBC series and I was not in any way disappointed. The work that went in to bringing us these wonderful visions of the polar regions is amazing. Thankfully, in New Zealand, we saw the David Attenborough-narrated version as it was meant to be. No disrespect to Alec Baldwin, who narrated the US version, but Sir David has been there and done that in wildlife film-making for the best part of 60 years. He KNOWS what he's talking about. I'm very aware of the "controversy" that surrounds the seventh episode titled On Thin Ice, and the apparent reluctance of US TV to show it because it deals with climate change. My advice is: don't let anyone tell you that this is a piece of climate change propaganda. It's not. It simply lays out the facts in a non-judgmental way and backs them up with historical photography and clear satellite imagery. Watch it and make up your own mind.

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
An intensely irritating display of US nationalism., 4 June 2008

I remember watching this mini-series the first time in 1984 with a growing sense of anger and indignation. Having read the comments on this title, I must agree with those from the people in Greece. This was produced to coincide with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and, to me, it seemed like nothing more than an exercise in jingoistic, flag-waving American nationalism in which the American athletes are glorified at everyone else's expense. Some other nationalities would have every right to feel deeply insulted at the way they were portrayed in this series. It may, however, help to explain the way in which many American spectators behaved at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the TV coverage which seemed only interested in events that Americans were likely to win.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Strange re-write of New Zealand history., 1 August 2007

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 historical background.

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.

"Primeval" (2007)
11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Not clever enough, 11 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first episode of Primeval went to air in New Zealand last night and I'm afraid I'm joining the "disappointed" team. I was looking forward to this as a fan of British TV but it quickly lost my vote, and not just because it looks like a cross between Jurassic Park and Stargate. That wouldn't have been a problem if the writers and director had shown any degree of patience with their plot. Instead, they rushed headlong into the story as if in fear of the viewers getting away if they stopped for breath. So there was no tension, no build-up, no clever mind games with the viewer and, by the end of the first fifteen minutes, we already knew far too much - as did the characters. And what the characters discovered didn't scare them anywhere near enough. The main ones are supposed to be serious scientists but they were far too ready to accept things that should have thrown their world-view into chaos. Big, scary creature? Well, clearly it's a dinosaur that's somehow found its way into the present day. Oh, look - big sparkly thing in the forest. It must be a space-time anomaly. We've all heard about those! And yes, let's go through the big sparkly thing despite the fact that we have absolutely no idea what it will do to us or what, if anything, is on the other side. (At least Stargate had the nous to send a mechanical probe through first). And the scenes with the boy were just plain lazy and crude. A dinosaur manages to track the boy right back to his bedroom in suburban England and then proceeds to smash its way through his window and wreck his room without anyone in the other houses noticing. And when his mother comes up to tell the boy off for making so much noise, she doesn't even bother to ask how the bedroom window frame came to be smashed to pieces! Pu-lease! Yes, I know that sci-fi demands a suspension of disbelief but good sci-fi doesn't insult your intelligence along the way. What it should do is challenge your imagination. Primeval doesn't do that - at least not for the adult viewer - so I won't be tuning in next week.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
It didn't sink soon enough., 2 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think the writing was on the wall for this turkey when they named the captain of the ship after the author of the original novel and then had him shot in the back. As an earlier commentator has pointed out, the best line in the whole thing came right at the end: "It's a bloody mess".

Some say this version shouldn't be compared to the original movie but you can't help it when the title, the basic plot, many of the characters and even some of the scenes are identical. It's as though the makers of this version never understood what made the original so entertaining and figured they could do better. They couldn't - and didn't.

Apart from the bad script, bad acting and bad directing, this film demanded far too much suspension of disbelief to be a straight drama. Those responsible should have gone down with the ship.