6 Sep 2015

Spectrum's Life and Times - Part 2

From Spectrum, 12:10 pm on 6 September 2015

Soon after Spectrum began in 1972, Hop Owen and Jack Perkins flexed their muscles and produced All the Queen’s Men, a recreation of the battle at Gate Pā, Tauranga in 1864 between colonial forces and Māori. The programme broke new ground. Spectrum hired a dozen actors as well as teams of Pākehā and Māori to do battle and a stretch of farmland was turned into something resembling a film set rather than a radio production.

Spectrum wasn’t just tied to history – wing stands on a tiger moth in full flight, hang gliding, accompanying SAS recruits on a ‘test to destruction’ – nothing daunted Spectrum.

Hop Owen’s satirical pen pushed other boundaries – he poked fun at the traditional Kiwi wedding and end-of-year school speeches, brought Queen Victoria to colonial New Zealand disguised as a highland gentleman, introduced a bit of acid into the syrup surrounding the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in 1981.

By the 1980s, Spectrum was also recording overseas, particularly the Australian outback and their prolific oral history output provided grist for several books.

In the second of two programmes, Spectrum’s co-founders, Alwyn (Hop) Owen and Jack Perkins continue their chat about the life and times of Spectrum.

Listen to some of the original Spectrums referred to in this programme

Gallery: Just a few of the team of Spectrum producers over the years