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The Zone

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Revision as of 15:49, 15 January 2019 by Doc eggfan (talk | contribs) (Season 1)
The Zone (Australian TV series).jpeg
The Zone
Studio: Beyond Television Productions
Number of seasons: 2
Number of episodes: 57
Original airdate: 1994-04-30
Original channel(s): Nine Network

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. Sega Ozisoft was a major sponsor of the show.

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. A cameraman for the show remembers only being paid $20 per episode each week.

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.)

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.

List of episodes

Season 1

No. Video Original Air Date News and Features Game Reviews
1 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-04-30, 8:30am
2 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-05-07, 8:30am
3 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-05-14, 8:30am
  • The Buzz (News): Project Mars - 32X (14:03)
  • Feature: Sega Cleaning Kit (19:34)
4 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-05-21, 8:30am
  • The Buzz (News): Sega Ozisoft "Sega Classics" Rental Plan (10:15)
5 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-05-28, 8:30am
  • Feature: Inside Hyper>> Magazine

- brief glimpse of Streets of Rage 3 (time - 13:01)

6 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-06-04, 8:30am
7 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-06-11, 8:30am
  • News: Australia hardware sales, as at Jun 1994 (time - 2:10)

- Game Gear - 50,000

- Game Boy - 250,000

- Master System - 300,000

- NES - 500,000

- Mega Drive - 600,000

- SNES - 300,000

- Mega CD - "heaps"

8 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-06-18, 8:30am
  • Sports Sim Special
9 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-06-25, 8:30am
10 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-07-02, 8:30am
11 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-07-09, 8:30am
  • The Zone Top 10 games of 94 competition (time - 0:00)

- Contenders: NBA Jam, Virtua Racing, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters,

Skitchin', Rock 'n Roll Racing, Clayfighter, Madden NFL '94

12 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-07-16, 8:30am
13 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-07-23, 8:30am
  • "Oz Gamer Day" - 23 July (time - 0:00)
  • Playguide: Sensible Soccer (time - 3:00)
  • Feature: The Zone Top 10 games of 94 (time - 7:50)

10. Tomcat Alley

9. FIFA International Soccer

8. Rock 'n Roll Racing

7. Alone in the Dark 2

6. Star Wars: Rebel Assault

5. Virtua Racing

4. Jungle Book

3. Street Fighter 2 Turbo

2. Super Metroid

1. NBA Jam

14 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-07-30, 8:30am
  • In the arcade review of Cyber Sled, the guys mention how the release of

Daytona USA caused Ridge Racer to drop to half price (time - 4:59)

15 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-08-06, 8:30am
  • Brought to you by Sega (time - 0:00)
  • NBA Jam Celebrity Shoot Out - Mutlee has a Sonic Basketball (time - 8:37)
  • Blockbuster World Game Master Competition Finals

- Sonic makes an appearance (time - 14:01)

16 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-08-13, 8:30am

- Sonic makes an appearance (time - 19:48) (incomplete video)

  • Taz 2 (time - 11:15) (score - 87)
17 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-08-20, 8:30am
18 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-08-27, 8:30am

- Skitchin' (score - 88.5)

- Tomcat Alley (from episode 4)

19 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-09-03, 8:30am

- Sydney Kings Basketball Team was sponsored by Sega in 1994

20 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-09-10, 8:30am
  • Ballz 3D (time - 00:58) (score - 80)
  • Zone Approved Games (Clips from earlier eps) (time - 05:26):

- The Jungle Book (from episode 11)

21 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-09-17, 8:30am

- Since they can't show footage of the M15+ game on their G rated show,

the team act out the moves in person

  • Zone Approved Games (Clips from earlier eps):

- NBA Jam (time - 05:52) (score - 95)

- Madden NFL '94 (time - 06:16) (score - 94)

22 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-09-24, 8:30am

- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (score - 83.5)

- Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck (from episode 15)

- Boogerman (from episode 17)

23 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-10-01, 8:30am
  • Playguide special
24 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-10-08, 8:30am
25 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-10-15, 8:30am

Double Switch. Sonic 2

26 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-10-22, 8:30am
  • The series was originally scheduled to end with this episode,

but was renewed by popular demand to continue the following week

at the new time of 8:00am.

Season 2

No. Video Original Air Date News and Features Game Reviews
27 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-10-29 08:00am
  • Adam is wearing a Sonic & Knuckles T-shirt (time - 02:51)
  • The Buzz (News): Radical Rex (time - 03:02)
  • The Buzz (News): Doom 2 for PC/DOS was released by Sega Ozisoft in Australia (time - 03:46)
  • Bev's Handy Hints: The Jungle Book (time - 05:37)
  • Games for your Dad (time - 07:26):

- PGA European Tour, Dune, Dune II: Battle for Arrakis, Landstalker

- Aladdin, John Madden Football, RoboCop Versus The Terminator, NBA Jam

28 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-11-05
  • The Buzz (News): USA Top 10 (time - 02:12)

- Mortal Kombat, Super Metroid, Street Fighter II Turbo, Star Fox, Earthworm Jim,

Samurai Showdown, Wild Guns, World Series Baseball, Pocky & Rocky

Streets of Rage 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters

- feat. Sonic & Knuckles poster

29 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1994-11-12
  • Games for your mum
30 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-11-19
  • The Buzz (News): Sega 32X Australian Launch (time - 03:10)

- 6:00pm, 19th November 1994, Hoyts Cinema Complex, George Street, Sydney

Virtua Fighter for playtesting in Nov '94 (time - 04:36)

- Bev is wearing a Sonic & Knuckles T-shirt

  • Hotline time: Sega Hotline (time - 14:58)
  • Playguide: The Lost Vikings (time - 16:40)
31 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-12-03
  • The Buzz (News): A Bookmaker in the UK was running a book on the top game

for Christmas 1994 (time - 03:18):

- 1. Donkey Kong Country - 6:4

- 2. Earthworm Jim - 2:1

- 3. FIFA International Soccer - 5:1

- 4. Super Street Fighter 2 - 5:1

- 5. The Lion King - 6:1

- 6. Mortal Kombat 2 - 10:1

- 7. Sonic & Knuckles - 12:1

  • The Buzz (News): Sega 32X event at Newcastle on 3rd December 1994 (time - 04:12)

- Sonic the Hedgehog was at the event

32 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-12-17

"If you can drink and drive, you're wrong" (time - 03:52)

- Freeplay Daytona USA at Bridge Point Tavern, Sydney on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights

33 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-12-24

"If you can drink and drive, you're wrong" (time - 05:51)

- Freeplay Daytona USA at New Brighton Hotel (Manly), Sydney on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights

34 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1994-12-31
35 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-01-07
  • Best of the Year specials
36 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-01-14
37 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-01-21
38 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-01-28
39 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-02-04
40 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-02-11
41 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-02-18
42 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-02-25
43 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png 1995-03-04
44 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
45 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
46 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
47 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
48 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
49 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
50 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
51 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
52 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
53 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
54 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
55 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
56 Missing TV Episode Placeholder (AU).png Unconfirmed
57 THE ZONE Video Link AU.jpg 1995-07-01

Final Episode

  • Brought to you courtesy of the big guys at Electronic Arts (time - 00:10)
  • First episode parody - Pong review (time - 11:53)

References