New Zealand television on New Zealand television…

Following on in the strangely muted and hidden footsteps of that mockumentary political satire The Pretender on TV3, last night saw the introduction of Liberation Force to TV2, and with it an extremely low budget poke at US foreign policy / oil fever.

The premise is that vast oil reserves have been discovered off the West Coast of New Zealand, the U.S. does the only thing it realistically can and decides to implement regime change in New Zealand and bring us Democracy™ and Freedom™, and free us from the shackles of Terra™.

To do this, they send in the troops, an infantry division is dispatched from Hawaii, and spend the episode engaged in bringing a Christchurch suburb to Liberation™.

Liberation force is another mockumentary (which is why I mentioned The Pretender), we follow the lives of Corporal Eric Johnson and Private Beau Baker.

The acting is rough, these guys might be actors, but they don’t have a lot of polish – well done for unknown (to me at least) new guys though. The budget is obviously tiny, all the troops are wearing what looks like army surplus stuff – and doesn’t look anything like U.S. Army camoflage. Oh and they seem to be driving 70’s era Landrovers, not the ever present Humvee.

But, to me at least, the point isn’t the acting or the props or the jokes, the point is that it’s a brutal savaging of U.S. foreign policy. And I really like that.

I want to see some more of Private Beau Baker (aka the White Ninja) and his Wong Po Fist of Fury, it really scares the hell out of little girls skipping rope in their driveways.

I also want to see these guys get their asses handed to them by the locals, but that really wouldn’t fit – the locals just want them to "piss off," and tell them so in no uncertain terms ("get the fuck off my driveway!"), but otherwise just tolerate them with quiet sneers.

Standout performances: the little boy in the dairy and the girl skipping ripe, what a pair of little cuties; the bewildered looking maori guy at the checkpoint; and the older guy in the supermarket that called the Corporal a cock – "this is the express lane, cock."

I’ve got a feeling, from the TV2 website, that this was a one shot wonder. So if you didn’t see it, you won’t see it again. Sorry.


Oh, Atlantis season 2 episode 8 finally made its way down the lines, it’s ok. They do need to lift their writing , and if you’re going to have weird aliens, you should think about putting some money into your makeup budget.

But it’s still better than any of the SF that’s actually on New Zealand TV right now. Do you know why? Oh, yeah – SF would get in the way of Garden Patrol, Painting Disasters and NZSing Your Way to Servitude.