Tribe Podcasts during Quarantine

I am slowly working my way through tribe podcasts. Ray is brilliant for organizing those and taking an hour to chat to each cast member! Love that.

But also, since they are pretty lengthy, I am going to try and recap some more interesting details from those podcasts, please add what caught your attention too.

Vanessa Stacey

• Vanessa worked as dialogue coach for “A New Tomorrow”

• Vanessa was a voice actor in “Lord of the Rings”.

• Robyn Malcolm was one of Vanessa’s mentors during drama school.

• Vanessa had to decide between completing her masters degree at drama school or joining “The Tribe” as core cast.

• Vanessa’s family was heavily impacted by Christchurch earthquake, as her father’s house got destroyed.

• She continues to sing almost weekly and does gigs in Wellington, so if you’re ever around, find the venue.

• She is active in theatre/musical productions as well as teaching acting classes.


“It was extraordinary and I learned so much. At the time, as you know, Cloud9 was the fastest television production in the world… it was an extraordinary experience.
As a young up and coming practicioner, that was invaluable to me, Ray.”

“Each of us can be a hero by just looking after people who are closest to us, that we love; just staying home and just being safe. And also darling, this too shall pass.”

“People need to be lifted up, so take this time to write, to reflect, to breathe, really.”


Raymond Thompson

• 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 :wink:
“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.”


@Amber with the save so we don’t have to listen to the whole thing. Thanks for this. I like the cliff notes versions.


I love you SO much for this, ma’am! :heart:

I was aware of these but only started listening the other day when Sabine posted a link to the Vanessa Stacey one. I was only going to listen for a few minutes and instead sat through the whole thing. Will have to try and catch the rest now!

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Nick Miller

Editor’s note: This guy definitely has a great sense of humor by the way, this interview is proof.

• currently lives in Auckland

• is a television editor for national tv broadcasters so he gets to continue working during covid19

• still loves acting

• Back in “The Tribe” period he loved rock climbing and he practiced it daily, but now he loves spending time on the beach with a tent, off-grid

• Nick had a role in “Avatar” and shot a few scenes, but got cut out from the final version sadface

• His dreadlocks were a wig and it was a bit of a surprise about his character - and it was heavy! So that’s why they got a trim on it.

• Nick had to rearrange his university studies (political science) to move down to Wellington and for season three, he was on set for about two weeks at a time

• Ray wanted to explore spirituality and indigenous cultures by introducing the Gaians

• During covid, would Nick prefer belonging to #MallRats or #Ecos ? - Definitely Ecos, since they were already in self isolation and off-grid, self-sufficient

“This is not advice by the way, for anyone, but…I think, going to an abandoned Mall and stocking up and then gettng out to the bush would be the way to go. Raid all the camping equipment, maybe.”


Victoria Spence

• Lives in Auckland with her husband and two little boys Matthew (3) and Jack (almost 1 year old)

• She is a primary school teacher and was inspired to choose that career because one of the teachers on The Tribe’s set, Jill.

• Back in 2009, worked in Peru’s orphanage for a while.

• Tori says she has a lot of similarities with Salene in that sense, both of them love children.

• Victoria originally auditioned for the role of Trudy.

• She loved tribe tours and hearing the fans’ insights on the show.

• Victoria thinks in season 6 Salene would become more opinionated, more of a leader and she would also be looking for someone to spend her life with. Her newfound independence and strength would be paramount in her storyline.

• Most challenging storyline to play was the bulimia because it felt like a long storyline, all of those scenes were difficult to shoot, because it was difficult to snap out of.

The fun scenes were with the whole cast getting together because there were a lot of giggles.
She loved riding the horse as well.

• She believes all the struggles that Salene went through, made her a very approachable and sympathetic character.

• Red hair: the bleach would burn your scalp and both the pillowcases and collars always had red stains.

• Victoria’s favourite costume was her wedding outfit (and she still has it) and her season 5 outfit.

• She stopped acting partly because with the demands of university it was hard to keep up but she’d be open to continue that path as well.

• Victoria’s main passion is dancing.

• Victoria’s favourite book is actually Dr. Seuss “All the places you’ll go”

• She would love to travel more in her future and teach herself how to play guitar.

• Her favourite food is lasagna.

• Tori checks tribe insta

“Being able to talk and ask for help, is I think a real sign of strength more than anything, because it’s the hardest to say when you’re vulnerable.”