The Tribe (Channel 5, 1999-2003)
After I reviewed a TV drama with a post-apocalyptic premise last time, I thought that I would now look at another one which was one of my favourites in this genre. The Tribe was a science-fiction show that was made in New Zealand but it went on to become a success all over the world with viewers as it was shown in various countries. The exact location and what year The Tribe was supposed to be set in was never revealed but it is presumably some time in the future.
The idea behind The Tribe was that the entire adult population has been wiped out by a deadly virus, and the children and teenagers that have been left behind now have to fend for themselves. They do this by forming into various tribes and battling against one another to survive. The main tribe that was followed in the show is called the Mall Rats because they all live in a now deserted shopping mall, although we do see lots of others.
As the episodes and years progress we get to know various characters and tribes as they try to get back to some kind of normal life. Each tribe had their own distinctive look and a lot of the makeup and costume design on the show was very impressive. I don’t know why but I have always enjoyed shows in this genre as characters with purple hair bicker with one another to solve their various problems.
As well as The Tribe, Raymond Thompson was also the creator of a sitcom called Atlantis High that was shown also shown on Channel 5 in the early-2000s. I don’t remember ever watching it at the time but from what I’ve read it does seem to be a very bizarre show and every episode is on YouTube so I’ll have to take a look at some of them and review that for a piece in the future as it sounds very good.
The Tribe was usually shown on Channel 5 on weekend afternoons and was a show that I always enjoyed watching when I was in my teens, and when the decision was made for the show to not return for a sixth series it was rather a shame, although there have been a few books released since the show ended which has continued the story. It also seems that after the show ended lots of the cast members went on to appear in New Zealand’s leading soap Shortland Street.
The Tribe ran for five series a massive 260 half-hour episodes were made which have all been released on DVD on 35 discs with various extras and I have all of them, and all these years later I still very much enjoy watching them. Although The Tribe hasn’t been shown on TV in this country in recent years I hope that it is still fondly remembered by many viewers as it was always an intriguing watch to discover what would happen next and there’s nothing like it on Channel 5 any more.