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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 35 Number 6. April 11, 1972

Popeye on-the-box

Popeye on-the-box

Why review Section Seven? Why waste paper and patience on a programme that strains one's patriotism to peruse? The answer lies in the writer's strange belief that NZBC Drama can learn from its past mistakes.

Perhaps this task can best be tackled by comparing the local product to Dr. Finlay's Casebook, (Sunday nights) Both programmes are relatively low key, both dealing with a social service.

One of the main differences is the approach to the storyline. In Section Seven the plot is dominant. This in itself is not bad - westerns and detective stories come under this heading - but fast, exciting action is needed to sustain interest. This is in part why Section Seven is bad - if the plot is bad, interest is transferred to the characters and the action. However, there is no action, and the characters are two dimensional, almost stereotypes.

In the BBC series the plot is almost incidental: it becomes a means whereby we can see another facet of the characteristic of the BBC product is that it portrays so well the little conflicts that occur in all situations we are aware of Drs. Finlay and Cameron more as individuals than as a combination. In Section Seven, we are conscious of the 'team' solving this weeks's social problem, which gives it more of the air of a casework study than of a television programme.

The reappearance of Survey (late Wednesdays) shows up a large gap in the local productions. Survey's brief specifically excludes current affairs - thereby preventing it from giving an in-depth treatment of things that Gallery must by necessity skim over. However, any programme fitting this format is unlikely to hit the boards - mainly because the administration seems more interested in the honours list than in good, boat-rocking programmes.