Tangiwai is written and produced by Paula Boock and Donna Malane, the owners of Lippy Pictures. It is directed by Charlie Haskell (Hercules, Xena and Maddigan's Quest) and stars Rose McIver (as Nerissa Love), Ryan O'Kane (Bob Blair) and Dean O'Gorman (Bert Sutcliffe).
Tangiwai: A Love Story airs 8:30pm TVOne this Sunday
The first television drama to be based on the 1953 Tangiwai railway disaster will be screened on TVNZ this Sunday night.
Tangiwai: A Love Story tells of the tragedy that shook our nation through the love story of New Zealand cricketing legend, Bob Blair and his nineteenâ€yearâ€old fiancé. This tale remains one of our country's most powerful and heartâ€wrenching stories.
For director Charlie Haskell, the production has been an intense but rewarding challenge.
"There were so many human stories around Tangiwai. After you hear the stories, and the personal stories particularly, it does mean a hell of a lot more to you. We all wanted to pay due respects to all the people, the families of the victims."
Weta Workshop has been involved in the production, recreating the train, as well as the location itself, including the tracks, the river and lahar.
Ian Ruxton, Weta Workshop: "For the train, we took a silicone mould from a model locomotive one of Richard Taylor's friends had actually built over the last ten years, which was basically the same model."
"We then cast the whole fuselage of the train in a type of durable urethane. There was an enormous amount of detail to go on after that, but it just gave us a head start on building the train. We then spent months detailing the outside of the locomotive and matching it exactly. I also went down in Plimmerton, where there's a sister locomotive to the Tangiwai train, and photographed everything out of it, so we were able to copy out of that as much as we could. There were eleven carriages in total that we needed to build and every single car had a separate design."