• Ray grew up in the UK during sixties, John Lennon and the flower power days were a big inspiration for “The Tribe”.
• Ray’s dream was to become a writer.
• A lot of distributors rejected the idea of “The Tribe” but Ray had so much faith that he never even filmed a pilot, but went on to film the whole season one.
• Was anyone meant to be an autistic character in The Tribe? Ray says Jack.
Ray’s youngest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
Ray himself was 50 years old when he found out he had Asperger’s too.
• Bob the dog spent his last years on the vineyard and Ray got so attached to him he swore he’d not get another dog until he saw two puppies at a local pound.
• The New Tomorrow was meant to be a sequel, but in Australia they had different rules that prevented Ray from telling the story he had envisioned, so it just became trapped in remnants of development and was a stand-alone series but not what Ray would perceive as a sequel he wanted to carry out.
• Ray would now only imagine a movie version if he could develop a sequel with the original cast.
• On follow-up books: This is the actual way Ray intended the story to go and he’s happy that on pages he didn’t have to compromise and could afford exploring all the storylines he wanted to do.
• Ray has a passion for wine. In 1992 he came to NZ to film a series for 6 months, but fell in love with Martinborough and visited the building that later became Tirohana (his wine estate).
The pays homage to his late mother who was part Scottish, part roman gypsy - Tirohana translates to “Earth family”.
• Ray’s holiday home in Australia is located in the suburb of Hope Island
“A glass of Pinot Noir with the cornflakes.”
“It’s wrongly reported that I stopped The Tribe because the characters were getting older… the context of that…that’s a bit out of context. Television is an interesting medium and scheldulers like to scheldule, they tend to brand something as either childrens programme or young adults or you know, drama or sci-fi or whatever. And “The Tribe” was an unusual one really, as I never perceived it as solely being “children’s program”. And we were proved to be correct, because people who watched “The Tribe” were all ages, probably ex-hippies like myself who would look back and warm to the themes that would be… it’s about human interaction, human interplay. And that’s the best drama. I often used to call it “Mad Max meets Neighbours” or “Home and Away meets The Terminator” or “Beverly Hills 90210” - or whatever the equivalent human drama series are - against a dystopian backdrop.
But I always thought of “The Tribe” as not necessarily post-apocalyptic in a very negative way, but I always wanted it to be “blue sky dystopia” - positive and with hope, you know. And so we could get to dark themes, as we did with many of the tribes, Zoot and zootists but the Mall Rats represented hope and positivity for all within the tribe. It was descention and disagreements…
But coming back to your original question, what had happened, was that…”
"When the characters started to age and the actors became older, a lot of the broadcasters would say “well you know there’s no children…this isn’t children’s programming.”
“So that’s the context, when I - in consultation with Channel 5 - because we’d have to move out of Channel 5’s childrens programming and go into adults. You see, it became a bit of a high-bred and…”
“When you think that we did, whatever it is - almost 300 episodes - I mean, normally that’s like 30 seasons, if you’re doing ten episodes a year and creatively, you know, it’s exhausting, it took five, six, seven years solidly to put these together, it’s a lot of work, a lot of time… and I wanted to rest it, with the intention of doing a sequel or coming at it a different way to relaunch it so that it could go into the mainstream, rather than just childrens programming.”
“I’m a big fan of Star Trek and I loved what they did, with that franchise where they had movie versions and different sequels.”
“And so, I then went to Hollywood to develop a motion picture and that’s a long complicated story.”
“Stay strong, keep your peckers up as I say and we’ll get through this together.”