The Zone (Australian TV series)

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The Zone
THE ZONE TV show title card.jpg
The Zone title card
Genre Video Game News And Reviews
Based on Video Games
Directed by Nick Vale
Presented by
  • Adam Riley
  • Justin "Muttlee" Mansour
  • Megan Connolly
  • Dave Kelly
  • Amos Wong
  • Stuart Clarke
  • Andrew Humphries
  • Richard Parnell
  • Nick Smith
  • Geoff Bartlett
  • Rod De Martin
  • Tim Smith
  • Jo Borkman
  • Janice Tong
  • Anthony Mansour
Theme music composer Disturbed Guys Productions (Terry Memory and Adam Reily)
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 57
Production
Producer(s)
  • Nick Vale
  • Justin "Muttlee" Mansour
  • Dave Kelly
Production location(s) Australia
Editor(s)
  • David Wood
  • Ross Wood
Camera setup David Wood
Running time 23 mins (approx.)
Production company(s) Beyond Television Productions
Distributor Beyond Television Productions
Release
Original network Nine Network
Picture format SD
Audio format Stereo
Original release 30 April 1994 – 1 July 1995

The Zone was a video games focused television programme that aired on the Nine Network on Saturday mornings at 8:30AM AEST from 30 April 1994 to 1 July 1995. The show was produced by Beyond Television Productions and was hosted for the majority of its run by Adam Riley.

Format

The Zone took on a format similar to most magazine style programmes on television. The show generally opened with an introduction from Adam of what would be on the show that week, followed by the latest gaming news, previews, reviews and some random stuff like gamer jargon. Reviews and previews were typically presented by two people, many of whom were Sydney-based freelancers or worked on magazines such as HYPER>> and Gamestar.

The most popular member of the show's on air crew was Justin "Mutlee" Mansour, who also acted as the voice of the Sega Hotline at the time.[1] Mansour also worked behind the scenes on the show's technical production.

Production

The Zone was notorious for its low budget. According to one member of the crew, the show was filmed in a disused storage room. Sega Ozisoft was a major sponsor of the show.

Cancellation

The precise reasons for the cancellation of The Zone are not known. The final episode made fun of the fact that the show had got the axe.

Legacy

Due to the aged nature of the content, the potential rights issues concerning footage and the distinct lack of a market, it is unlikely that The Zone will ever see any sort of release on DVD or anything similar. Some dedicated fans and former crew have posted episodes of the show on YouTube, usually captured from VHS tapes that were used to record the show on their first airing.
(This is why the SD footage quality is so poor. The recording would depend on the broadcast reception as well as the VCR and tape used.)

  • 1994 Episode 4

This week The Zone features:

Reviews:

  • Tomcat Alley (Sega MEGA-CD)
  • Sonic 3 (Sega Megadrive)
  • Flashback (SNES)
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
  • Super Mario Kart (SNES)
  • Return To Zork (PC)
  • NBA Jam Tournament Edition (Arcade)
  • Art of Fighting (Arcade)
  • 1995 The Final Episode

This week The Zone features:

  • 3DO Competition Drawn

Reviews:

  • Brian Lara Cricket (Megadrive)
  • ' Little Big Adventure (PC)
  • Magic Carpet (PC)
  • The Big Red Adventure (PC)
  • Jane's Combat Simulations: US Navy Fighters (PC)

Music Review:

  • Band Deadly Nightshades

Parody:

  • TV show Just Kidding
  • TV show Burke's Backyard
  • The so-called "First Episode" with PONG review.

Criticism

Due to the show's G rating and the early morning timeslot in which it aired, The Zone was unable to show gameplay footage of games with a rating higher than M, which many of the popular titles of the time such as Doom and Mortal Kombat II carried. Rather than simply not covering these titles, the on-screen talent of the show would act out gameplay sequences from these games.

Despite being a contributor to a number of magazines, Amos Wong drew the ire of many Nintendo Magazine System readers for reviewing games on Sega platforms on the show.

Notes

  • Two episodes remain unaired.
  • Produced on Monday, aired on Saturday mornings.
  • According to Justin Mansour, Richard Parnell has the whole series on tape.
  • Adam Riley was originally brought in to do the music, but wound up being the host when a suitable candidate could not be found, and his screen test was well received.
  • Stuart Clarke was also editor for HYPER>> at the time.[2]

External links

  • "Hey Dudes, Don't Be Dogmeat, Jack In To The Zone" on Kotaku.
  • Justin "Mutlee" Mansour on LinkedIn.
  • Zone, Zone, Zone, Zone, Zone, Zone… on Dizrythmia.
  • Janice Tong on LinkedIn.
  1. ^ Mansour, Justin. "Justin Mansour". LinkedIn. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  2. ^ Hill, Justin. "Still Hyper after 200 issues". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
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