Sunday Theatre

Venus and Mars

An attack on a Palmerston North fraud detective seemed more like a fictional horror film than a true story. It had a NZ public fascinated as the events unfolded and tomorrow it will be on our screens for the first time!

Posted by TV One on Friday, 21 August 2015

The second installment of TV ONE’s Sunday Theatre season follows one of the most shocking crimes in contemporary New Zealand history.

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Some of New Zealand’s most dramatic stories are being brought to life this August, with a brand new season of Sunday Theatre dramas airing on TV ONE.

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8:30pm Sunday, January 13 on TV One

TV ONE’s Sunday Theatre brings you a two-part, BAFTA Award-winning psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself face-to-face with one of the most terrifying serial killers of modern time.

Starring Emily Watson (War Horse) and Dominic West (The Wire), Appropriate Adult is the incredible true story of the unusual relationship between notorious serial killer Fred West (Dominic West) and Janet Leach (Watson).

The routine life of Gloucester woman Janet Leach is dramatically transformed when she is asked by police to sit in as an ‘appropriate adult’ on interviews with a man they have arrested.

That man is serial killer Fred West, and within minutes he makes a shocking confession of murder. From that moment on, Janet is drawn into the centre of the investigation and a complex personal relationship with West.

8:30pm Sunday, June 10 on TV One

The triumphant return of TV ONE’s Sunday Theatre – The Audi New Zealand Season begins with Safe House, a dramatic and gritty story inspired by a woman’s account of her time in witness protection.

It’s 1985. Carole Taylor ( Morgana O’Reilly, Billy) is a reformed party girl, trying to make a secure home for her two young children. But her past, in the person of former boyfriend Tony Michaels (Erroll Shand, This Is Not My Life) is threatening to shatter the security of the fragile world she has built. Tony refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer and turns up at her home one morning in the early hours in blood soaked clothes and everything changes.

Detective Inspector Andrew Hunter ( Peter Elliott, Heavenly Creatures) has Tony in centre frame for a brutal murder. But in 1985 Auckland, police investigation is a laborious time-consuming process. The only evidence that could convict Tony is a missing CCTV tape and two witnesses – Carole Taylor and her eight-year-old daughter Rosie. Against her will Carole and her children are taken into hiding by three unlikely policemen – a tired veteran counting down to retirement, a gullible rookie and a would-be predator.

Witness protection is in its infancy in New Zealand in the 1980s, and the officers charged with the Taylor family’s security are under resourced, inexperienced and ill-prepared. Tony Michaels is recklessly committed to finding and destroying the evidence against him – the video tape and the witnesses. Inspector Hunter is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring Michaels to justice, even it means using Carole, her kids and his own officers as bait.

In order to protect Carole Taylor’s identity, the events and individuals portrayed in this programme (and in particular, storylines involving the New Zealand Police) are entirely fictionalised and dramatised. Any similarities between characters in this programme and any living person should not be considered to be a true and accurate reflection of any living person.

8:30pm Sunday, January 8 on TV One

An all-star cast headlines this Golden Globe-winning comedy-drama, which is the first major motion picture to be based on a blog.

Julie Powell ( Amy Adams, The Fighter) is verging on thirty and frustrated in a temp secretary job at a Manhattan call centre. To spice up her life she goes on a year-long culinary quest: to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s seminal cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

In the process, she chronicles her trials and tribulations in a blog that catches on with the food crowd.

Woven into the story is that of chef Julia Child’s ( Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady) time in Paris throughout the 1950s, where she attends Le Cordon Bleu to learn French cooking, and begins collaborating on a book about French cooking for American housewives.

8:30pm Sunday, December 18 on TV One

Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis and Asa Butterfield star in Little Voice writer/director Mark Herman’s adaptation of John Boyne’s novel about the forbidden friendship between an eight-year-old German boy and a Jewish concentration camp prisoner in World War II-era Germany.

Bruno is the sheltered son of a Nazi officer whose promotion takes the family from their comfortable home in Berlin to a desolate area where the lonely boy finds nothing to do and no-one to play with.

Crushed by boredom and compelled by curiosity, Bruno ignores his mother’s repeated instructions not to explore the back garden and heads for the “farm” he has seen in the near distance.

There he meets Shmuel, a boy his own age who lives a parallel, alien existence on the other side of a barbed wire fence.

Bruno’s encounter with the boy in the striped pyjamas leads him from innocence to a dawning awareness of the adult world around them, as his meetings with Shmuel develop into a friendship with devastating consequences.

8:30pm Sunday, December 11 on TV One

Tragic in life, tragic in death.

Five Daughters is a sensitive portrait of events surrounding the discovery of five young women tragically murdered in Ipswich, a small town on the east coast of England, in December 2006.

Made with the full co-operation of Suffolk police and other agencies involved in the case, this poignant drama portrays the women’s lives as seen through the eyes of family members and friends, as well as following the inside story of the investigation.

Tania, Gemma, Anneli, Paula and Annette were ordinary young women – friends, daughters, sisters and mothers – full of potential, until one wrong turn, one chance meeting, led them into the world of heroin and crack cocaine. Their dependency on these drugs facilitated their easy exploitation and led them to work in the sex industry.

Looking at the girls’ relationships with their families, the story explores some of the reasons for them drifting into the lives they did. It also forces us to witness the horrors of heroin addiction. The women were so desperate, they still went out on the streets even when their friends had gone missing – and were later found dead.

Following events right up to the arrest of the killer, Steven Wright, just eight weeks later, Five Daughters is both truthful and incredibly dramatic – revealing just how extraordinary these events were, for all those involved.

“A sombre and responsible yet tightly paced and suspenseful drama that makes its points without appearing issues-driven” – The Telegraph

“BBC drama at its best” – The Guardian

Missed an episode of Sunday Theatre: Five Daughters? Full episodes are available online. Go to and click ‘on demand’.

8:30pm Sunday, October 30 on TV One

Tonight’s Sunday Theatre: Live Aid – When Harvey Met Bob follows the story of how Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof (Domhnall Gleeson, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows) and promoter Harvey Goldsmith (Ian Hart, Dirt) put together Live Aid, the global charity music event, to ‘feed the world’.

It is October 1984. Geldof arrives home to find his wife, Paula Yates (Lesley-Ann Halvey), watching the legendary BBC broadcast by Michael Buerk from the feeding camps in the Eritrea province of Ethiopia.

Deeply affected, Geldof moves into action, persuading a host of rock stars to give their names and talent for free to the Band Aid record, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which sells millions of copies.

But when Geldof then visits Ethiopia to ensure the proceeds from the record will reach the starving people, he realises that so much more needs to be done. He needs to raise even more money to fulfill his promise that every penny from the record will get there. At this point, he conceives the idea of a global music event to feed the world.

Enter respected music promoter Harvey Goldsmith and the start of the rollercoaster ride that is the funny and moving story of the relationship between a musical odd couple as they go from a madcap idea and a list of unconfirmed acts, to the biggest televised international charity event in history.

8:30pm Sunday, October 2 on TV One

Tonight’s Sunday Theatre: The Young Victoria chronicles Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne, focusing on the early turbulent years of her reign and her legendary romance and marriage to Prince Albert.

1837. On the eve of her 18th birthday and succession to the English throne, Princess Victoria (Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada) is caught in a royal struggle for power.

Her overbearing mother, the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Rchardson, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) and her ambitious adviser, Conroy (Mark Strong, Body Of Lies), are desperate to rule in her place and devise a plan to seize control.

However, Princess Victoria is unwavering in her resolve to rule England and, as her love affair with her German cousin, Albert (Rupert Friend, Pride & Prejudice), blossoms, she finds the passion and strength to become one of her country’s greatest ever monarchs.

8:30pm Sunday, September 18 on TV One

Tonight’s Sunday Theatre is the very latest instalment in the adventures of Britain’s infamous spy, James Bond, another high-octane thriller starring Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace.

Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, Bond fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Aware of his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and M (Judi Dench, Notes On A Scandal) interrogate Mr White (Jesper Christensen, The Intrepreter) who reveal the organisation which blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies himself with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, he must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists and even M (Dench), to unveil the sinister plan and stop ‘Quantum’.

Craig returns to the role of Bond after the smash hit success of Casino Royal which saw his debut in the role in 2006. “It’s like I’ve never been away”, says Craig.

Quantum of Solace is the first direct sequel in the James Bond film series, Craig explains; “We felt we needed to tie up the loose ends from Casino Royal and make sure people realise we are back making Bond movies. For me it’s about creating something that is going to stand alone but if you put the two films together, you’re going to have an incredible experience because you will see one continuous story.”

This latest Bond adventure was filmed in more countries than any other film in the franchise, Craig explains why: “I think the remit for the Bond movie is that we have to be taken somewhere. It is important that we see this character go places that excite you and make you look at the world in a different way.

“For me, as a kid, Bond movies transported you to another world. It was important that it took you to different locations and showed you how wonderful, amazing and diverse the world is. If that was the only reason to make this film, we have fulfilled it.”