HD World First for TV2

TV2 tonight will screen a world premiere in HD.

Panic at Rock Island is a disaster telemovie co-produced by Wellington’s Gibson Group and Goalpost Pictures Australia.

It won’t air on Channel Nine until later in the year, making tonight’s 8.30 broadcast a world first.

About two Kiwis at a Sydney Harbour rock concert where a deadly virus breaks out, it stars Grant Bowler (Outrageous Fortune, True Blood), Anna Hutchison (Go Girls, Underbelly: The Mr Asia Story), Viva Bianca (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), and another Underbelly: Mr Asia Story cast member, Simone Kessell, who also starred in the Gibson Group’s mid-’90s TV newsmag drama, CoverStory.

Channel Nine commissioned the $A3 million Panic as a follow-up to its 2008 Scorched telemovie, about Sydney being ravaged by bush fires; Tony Tilse again directs.

Nine’s head of drama Jo Horsbugh told TV Tonight: “Scorched proved to be contemporary, current content because of the fires, the desalination plant and the drought.

“So, too, is Panic at Rock Island. It actually explores all the different political, community and military departments who deal with crises that happen within the city.”

A feature of Panic is the number of Australian and NZ rock bands who perform in it, including Smashproof.

In an interview with Inside Film, Tilse, who’s also one of the producers, says the telemovie, which was shot in four weeks, portrays an “intrinsic realism” that he hopes bodes well for more ambitious TV productions.

“It’s our passion and drive to return to these bigger and higher concept stories which tend to be shied away from due to budget concerns.

“Australian telemovies need to present something good and this [Panic at Rock Island] is a bolder concept than what has ever been done before.”

But NZ Herald reviewer Deborah Hill Cone was less than impressed with the “vomatorium” nature of the storyline.

“I suppose even a barf-o-phobe like me could suppress her gag reflex through a film such as Panic at Rock Island if there was going to be a twist that would make the retching worthwhile. There are some music performances from top bands including You Am I and Gin Wigmore.

“And there is the zombie subtext, as well as a profound theme about the very fragile nature of this thing we call civilisation …

“Sadly for me and my churny guts, the good bits just didn’t seem to justify the effort to keep my dinner down.”

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply