Letters to the editor: negative responses
If, as claimed in your front page story of October 30, the
Richard Pearse segment and much of the
rest of Sunday night's TV1 documentary on the Colin McKenzie film collection was a spoof, heads
should roll in Television New Zealand.
In regard to the Pearse item on television, I would like to add
my voice to that of Doug Drake (November 1) in expressing disappointment that so much talent,
technical resources and public funds should have been used with the sole purpose of a hoax.
I hope Peter Jackson and Costa Botes are happy with the
result of their hoax television "documentary" about Colin McKenzie, film-maker, screened
on Sunday October 29. I don't mind having my leg pulled once in a while, and we all need to
laugh at ourselves occasionally, but what was the point of it all? It didn't take too long to
realise that this programme was way over the top, as soon as the grand egg theft, magic Tahitian
berry and "lost city" bits came along, but I'd be interested to know if, there is in fact
evidence for Richard Pearse having made the first flight. In view of the hoax, this makes an ass out of Richard Pearse rather
than a hero. As for Sam Neill ... well. If this film was, in fact, made with the support of the
New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand on Air, as was claimed in the credits, then I think
it was an outrageous waste of my money.
Yes, I was taken in by the television programme Forgotten
Silver, although I did think the coloured film was well before its time.
As one of the "gullible" who viewed Forgotten
Silver, I feel I was not deceived or cheated at having been victim of such an elaborate
ruse. But I am saddened that Colin McKenzie is not part of my heritage as a New Zealander,
and that the display of determination and spirit was not more than a figment of imagination
in the guise of a documentary.
Following Peter Jackson's litany of lies, it now only
requires NZ On Air to inform him that their offer of funding from the broadcasting fee was
just a hoax, and could they please have their
money back? (Correction, OUR money.) The look on his face would go some way to compensating our
family for now not knowing what to believe, and henceforth caring even less, about early New
Zealand film-making (NZ Film Archives, are you listening?)
As TV Guide was gullible enough to print that Forgotten
Silver (TV1, October 29) was a documentary,
do you include yourself among deluded gullible viewers? Misuse of the word 'documentary' is the
key issue. In order to get a buzz, a group of TV hoaxers used their privileged position to
masquerade fact and fiction. Little wonder Sam Neill looked uncomfortable participating in
this 'documentary'. It's akin to the idiot DJ phoning the Queen. It is deceitful and dishonest
to claim documentary status in order to perpetrate a joke. It only goes to show how gullible TVNZ
are to condone the hoax documentary syndrome as a good joke. Who are the gullible ones?
TV Guide sometimes gets letters complaining about programmes like
Just Kidding! where people have jokes played on them and are made to look silly. But
everyone seems to have forgotten the nasty
trick that TV1 played on the nation on October 29 - Forgotten Silver. Afterwards the
crammed with people wanting to express their delight at the extraordinary story that in a brief
70 minutes gave us a hero, gave us an extraordinary past and also showed 'proof' that we were
the first nation to fly. I know that everybody was fooled, so I am not embarrassed to admit I
was too and I don't think it's funny. It has made me unable to trust anything that TV1 puts
What a con and waste of time it was to watch Forgotten
Silver, a spoof claimed as a documentary. I hope it will never be repeated again on TV. The vast number of people who were conned by the
advance publicity are very displeased. I really expected a better standard of honesty from the
people who are in control of television programmes.
Your correspondent Michael Rudd wasn't alone in feeling
sad that Colin McKenzie wasn't real, but the determination and spirit he refers to which made
Forgotten Silver so convincing are real.
As a result of this programme I am now going to pay my broadcasting
fee in monopoly money.
Peter Jackson and his Silver Screen conspirators should be shot.
I admit to being completely taken in, and found the
phenomenon of McKenzie truly inspirational
- worthy to stand alongside Rutherford and others in New Zealand's legend.
The connection with Richard Pearse was tasteless and left
many in South Canterbury disappointed
and angry. It also may have the effect of discounting any claim that he might have of being the
first to fly, for many may now dismiss his life as part of the hoax that the film has perpetrated.