Some of New Zealand's most memorable screen images have come from science fiction. From Bruno Lawrence wandering onto Eden Park in a nightie, to Temuera Morrison as an intergalactic bounty hunter, via oversized slugs living under Rangitoto, television and film sci-fi has imprinted itself firmly on to our national psyche.
Under the Mountain
Adapted from the Maurice Gee novel, Under the Mountain has rightly become a TV cult classic in Aotearoa. The series centered on psychic ginger twins, but arguably the real stars of the show were the slimy, villainous Wilberforces. Thanks to them, many an 80s Kiwi kid harbours an irrational fear of slugs to this day.
Prior to gaining international acclaim in The Quiet Earth, Bruno Lawrence earned his sci-fi chops in 1982's Battletruck. A locally produced spin on Mad Max, the film sees the Central Otago plains masquerading as apocalyptic wastelands in a lawless fuel wars future.
Children of the Dog Star
Alien space probes; machinery with a mind of its own; a weathervane with mysterious powers, Children of the Dog Star hits multiple sci-fi marks. This episode of the classic girl-power teen TV series sees a secret discovered in a spooky tapu swamp. Almost as frightening is a shorts-clad cameo from future weatherman Jim Hickey.
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Good Taste Made Bad Taste
Sci-fi meets splatter, in Peter Jackson's still-brilliant Bad Taste. Highlighting the DIY genius employed in the making of his first feature, this behind-the-scenes doco sees 25-year-old Jackson offering gems such as "If you've got to have a machete going into somebody's head, it's easier to have a real person's head with a fake machete, so you knock something together with a bit of cardboard and some ice cream sticks."
The Boy from Andromeda
On a holiday to Mt Tarawera, Jenny (the young Katrina Hobbs) finds an odd shard of metal, sparking all kinds of weirdness, and a fateful encounter with The Boy from Andromeda. This 90s kidult show was a local hit, and also went on to score significant international sales.
The Tem Show - Star Wars
Temuera Morrison explores the Star Wars Kiwi connection, attending a fan convention and sitting down for a chat with 'Uncle' George Lucas in this 2005 episode of The Tem Show. Rena Owen and Jay Laga'aia also weigh in on their experiences in a galaxy far, far away. It has been rumoured that Morrison will play Boba Fett in an upcoming installment of the anthology.
• You can see more classic Kiwi screen science fiction here.