Auckland faces a massive natural disaster in TV3’s major new telefeature, Eruption, as the volcanic hot spot beneath the city begins to stir.
In Graeme Tetley’s tense screenplay, a new source of volcanic activity is detected beneath the Waitemata Harbour by the brilliant, maverick scientist Clive de Roo (played by Mark Mitchinson).
Clive, who believes an eruption is less than a week away, must convince his skeptical colleagues to take the threat seriously and evacuate Auckland City. Meanwhile, Clive’s ambitious wife Mere is livid that his scientific discovery could interrupt a major cruise ship visit to the city.
Mark Mitchinson plays Clive As the activity moves closer to the surface, Clive turns to the media to get Aucklanders to listen to him, enlisting the help of popular talkback radio hosts BJ and Buckle.
Eruption is the latest major undertaking by Wellington production company The Gibson Group, who made TV3’s award-winning telefeature, Aftershock (also written by Tetley).
While Aftershock followed the fortunes of Wellington residents in the week after a catastrophic earthquake, Eruption follows several Auckland families in the days leading up to a volcanic eruption.
Against a backdrop of impressive special effects, the tightly-directed drama follows residents who have much bigger personal problems than a volcano in their back garden.
In scientist Clive de Roo’s own family, his daughter Molly wants a meeting about her stepmother Mere’s drinking problem, but neither Clive nor Mere will give her the time.
Mark Mitchinson as Clive, Nicola Kawana as Mere & Billie Holland as Molly flee to the beach
Meanwhile, inner-city Chinese couple Jet and Wei Wei struggle with language barriers and their superstitious landlady. Oliver and Peni, two young brothers who should be in school, race into town to see the volcano, as their mother lies in hospital. And a marae expecting a large contingent of tourists from the cruise liner must make room for locals instead.
“You can’t choose when you will have a crisis,” says scriptwriter Tetley, “and it’s just bad luck if you have one when there is a volcano arriving on what was supposed to be ‘your’ big day.”
As the volcano bursts to the surface, each of Eruption’s characters must make a decision – stay or go? Is it already too late to run?
Eruption’s scenario is based upon scientific reasoning that at any time, a new volcano could be created from the hot spot that sits 100km beneath Auckland. While today’s scientists don’t expect that an eruption will happen on their watch, the fact is Auckland’s volcanic field is relatively young, with the last eruption producing the iconic Rangitoto only 600 years ago.
Eruption asks how Aucklanders would react to the threat of such a massive natural disaster.
1 x 90 minute drama for TV3 16:9 HD, shot on RED camera M+E available on request