Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby

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Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby
Genre Satire
Created by Danny Mulheron
Dave Armstrong
Tom Scott
Written by Danny Mulheron
Dave Armstrong
Tom Scott
Directed by Danny Mulheron
Starring David McPhail
Country of originNew Zealand
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes14
Running time25 minutes per episode
Original network TVNZ 1
Original release6 May 2005 (2005-05-06) 
8 May 2006 (2006-05-08)

Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby is a satirical New Zealand television series, created and written by Danny Mulheron (who also directs and co-produces), Dave Armstrong, and Tom Scott. [1] It stars David McPhail as the titular Mr Gormsby, whose politically incorrect attitudes and "old school" teaching style clash and contrast with the environment at the fictional Tepapawai High School. The show pokes fun at the New Zealand education system but also at modern New Zealand social attitudes more generally.



The story follows various events at a New Zealand low-decile high school in a low-income area having often poorly-qualified teaching staff and many students with difficult socio-economic backgrounds - mostly belonging to ethnic minorities, Māori and Pasifika.


Class 5F

Filming and broadcasting

The series ran for two seasons; the first was broadcast in 2005 on TV ONE in New Zealand and the ABC TV in Australia. The second series was shown in New Zealand in 2006 and in Australia, on ABC2, April 2008. DVDs of the series were sold in Australia through the ABC Shop. The series was nominated for Best Script and Best Comedy in the 2006 NZ Screen Awards. [2]

The program was filmed at two schools in the suburbs of Lower Hutt: the first season at Wainuiomata College [3] and the second at Petone College.

The first season's school's original location is now occupied by Wainuiomata Little Theatre.
Address 106 Moohan St, Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt 5014, New Zealand ( Google map location)

Episode List

Series One

No. in
No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"The Appalling Mr Gormsby"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott6 May 2005 (2005-05-06)
22"Comrade Gormsby"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott13 May 2005 (2005-05-13)
33"Human Relationships"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott20 May 2005 (2005-05-20)
44"Open Day"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott27 May 2005 (2005-05-27)
55"The Retarded Boy"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott3 June 2005 (2005-06-03)
66"Coon Tunes"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott10 June 2005 (2005-06-10)
77"The ERO Parade"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott17 June 2005 (2005-06-17)

Series Two

No. in
No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
81"Heads Will Roll"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott27 March 2006 (2006-03-27)
92"Crime and Punishment"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott3 April 2006 (2006-04-03)
103"The Slave Trade"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott10 April 2006 (2006-04-10)
114"Dancing with the Staff"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott17 April 2006 (2006-04-17)
125"Camp Te Papawai"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott24 April 2006 (2006-04-24)
136"An Inspector Calls"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott1 May 2006 (2006-05-01)
147"For Whom The Bell Tolls"Danny MulheronDave Armstrong, Danny Mulheron & Tom Scott8 May 2006 (2006-05-08)


The series was received mostly positively by Australian critics, although some aspects of its politically incorrect nature raised some eyebrows. [4] [5] [6]

Ray Cassin ( The Age ) writes that the series is attacking hypocrisy on all fronts and tries to unmasks deceits and pretensions with a rather relentless and gleeful insistence. [5] Jim Schembri ( Sydney Morning Herald ) argues the show skating on thin ice due to its politically incorrect nature and sees it as another example of how far New Zealand is ahead of Australia when it comes to dealing with delicate matters through comedy. [7] Alan Mascarenhas (The Age) states while the series has low production values and patchy acting it does nevertheless possess a pythonesque quality. He recalls that couldn't stop laughing even at scenes where he probably shouldn't have. According to him the show goes further than The Office ever dared balancing between fun and bigotry. [6]

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  1. IMDB listing
  2. "Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby". NZ On Screen . Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  3. Wood, Stacey (12 July 2010). "Teens charged over Wainuiomata blaze". . Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  4. ‘Mr. Gormsby’ wows Australian critics!. Scoop, 12 December 2005
  5. 1 2 Ray Cassin: "This Kiwi teacher has Chips for dinner" The Age, 3 December 2005
  6. 1 2 Alan Mascarenhas: "Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby". The Age, 28 December 2005
  7. Jim Schembri: "Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby". Sydney Morning Herald, 14 December 2005