With the new Goodbye Pork Pie making its way towards completion, Mastermind and University Challenge back on TV, and Terry Teo about to join them, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the 1980s all over again. But no, New Zealand is just following the current global fondness for the screen re-make.
Watch the debut episode of the original Terry and the Gunrunners here:
Most New Zealanders first met Terry Teo in 1985, with the debut of Terry and the Gunrunners. Based on a graphic novel, the much-loved kidult TV series centred on skateboarding 12-year-old Teo, unwittingly drawn into a life of crime fighting. The original series featured cameos from Billy T James and former PM Robert Muldoon, along with a starring role from ex-Goon Michael Bentine. Set to screen from this Tuesday (via TVNZ's On Demand service), the new-look Terry Teo features a host of Kiwi stars, and picks up with Terry at 17 - somewhat older and wiser, but still with skateboard in hand.
Released in 1981, Goodbye Pork Pie was a low-budget action comedy that quickly became a box office smash, earning its catchphrase "We're takin' this bloody car to Invercargill boy" a place in Kiwi pop culture history. Directed by Geoff Murphy, the movie is considered by many as marking the coming-of-age of New Zealand cinema. Earlier this year, filming began on a re-make of the movie, with Murphy's son Matt at the helm, and starring James Rolleston and Dean O'Gorman.
See an excerpt from the original Goodbye Pork Pie and an interview with Geoff Murphy here:
Maurice Gee's classic novel Under the Mountain has rarely gone out of print since its 1979 release. In 2009, director Jonathan King's feature film based on the book hit movie theatres, but the novel had its first screen life as a memorable 1980s TV series. The villainous Wilberforces, with their ability to morph from humans into giant slugs, remain imprinted in the memories of many.
Based on a BBC series, University Challenge arrived in New Zealand in 1976, beginning a 13-year run on our screens. Quizmaster Peter Sinclair pitted four-member teams from the country's universities against each other, testing the breadth of their tertiary education with questions across a wide variety of topics. In 2014, 25 years after its last broadcast, the show was revived, and began airing on Prime TV.
Sinclair was also the host of Mastermind, big brother to University Challenge, and hugely popular during the 80s. Again, the format (based on its creator's experience of being interrogated by the Gestapo) was licensed from the BBC, mixing general knowledge and specialist subject categories to determine who would receive the title of Mastermind (along with the coveted chair). The series was resurrected this year by TVNZ, and currently screens Sunday nights on TV ONE, with Peter Williams as host.
The godfather of all Kiwi quiz shows, It's in the Bag, clocked up nearly 20 years on our screens. Originally created as a radio series, the programme was anchored by long-time host Selwyn Toogood (with a series of glamorous 'bag ladies'), followed by brief stints from John Hawkesby and Nick Tansley. In 2009, Māori Television rebooted the show, with presenters Stacey Daniels Morrison and Pio Terei travelling the country to offer the chance of "the money or the bag."
Watch the Maori Television version of It's in the Bag here: