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Peter Elliot, one of New Zealand's best known actors and presenters, goes on a journey through time to unravel New Zealand's ancient past and for the first time reveals the surprising origins of our most iconic animals... be prepared to be shocked!
Primeval New Zealand is a spectacular celebration of the origins of life in New Zealand and a scandalous expose - as the shocking past of some of our best loved animals are revealed. Primeval New Zealand also sheds new light on the lesser known stars of our unique environment; the kaka, the New Zealand falcon, giant meat-eating snails, prehistoric giant weta, the rarely seen takahe, and unique & unusual penguins.
Using state of the art 3D modelling and computer graphics from Weta Productions, the legendary moa walks the forests again; we reveal the scale and terrifying attack of the extinct Haast's eagle and prototype an aquatic bird that predated penguins. Sophisticated high definition cameras enliven the magic of our natural world and a new Phantom ultra-high-speed camera shows animal action in super slow motion - a rare insight into the mechanics of flight and movement.
As seen on TVOne.
A LOT shorter than I hoped, this entire show is a mere 44 minutes in length. Total. With all of the resources available and the many, many aborted hints that lead to much more information, I was hoping this would have been a mini-series at the very least. In all honesty, I think this could very easily have been filled out to a well-documented, informative series of 4-6 episodes, each one this length; land birds, sea birds, insects and invertebrates, mammals, and maybe one more on the changed the "immigrants" underwent to adapt and make them true Aotearoans.
However, if there was a budget limit, of some form of time constraint imposed on the show, rather than simply a lack of suitable reference and resource material, then this was a good effort. It raised a lot of questions, and thoughtfully provided most of the answers. I made sure many of the younger whanau watched this with me and they were soon buzzing with questions about some of the "loose ends" brought up. It was quite funny to hear them rage about the unfairness of some of the revelations but that is the way of the young - don't accept what you can complain loudly about instead.
The presenter is probably going to be most recognisable from all the TV adverts warning us to be prepared when the next natural disaster strikes. In this show he does a good job of presenting us the information with a good mix of anticipation, humour and tongue-in-cheek seriousness. The quips and little digs at our national pride won't go down well with some people, but real Kiwis can take a dig and just keep grinning anyway.
All in all, I found this to be a delightful, if somewhat shorter than ideal, show and something I would like to see expanded in the future sometime.
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