Episode Number
Tahiti... Pacific Cocktail
Producing Organization
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/516-nk3610ww6f).
Episode Description
Halfway between the United States and Australia lies Tahiti, island of legend and pleasure, currently in the throes of an economic resolution. Tourism, which the natives have accepted as a necessity without knowing why, is the unique newcomer investigated in TAHITI ... PACIFIC COCKTAIL. Ninth in the series of Intertel documentaries, the episode is the first production of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in its partnership with broadcasters in Canada, Great Britain and the United States. A happy amalgam of Polynesian, Chinese and European, the Tahitians comprehend little of the realities that prompted France to throw the island open to the gaze of the world. But the emerging changes are varied and apparent among them. Taxi drivers, for example, find it necessary to speak three languages: English, Tahitian, and French. Although the Tahitian is amused when he sees a film unit setting up in town, it is more than likely that he was an extra in several of the big feature films made there in recent years. He doesn't know why Marlon Brando and James Mason should be brought at great expense to his small, thirty-seven mile island, but he has learned there is money in it for him. The desire for money is a recent phenomenon, and it is symptomatic of what the 1960's are doing to Tahiti. Three young citizens are the focus of this documentary. The story of Leone, an air hostess on TAI jet service, illustrates the new Tahiti ambitions. The story of Edgar Tua, a disillusioned seventeen-year-old, reflects the negativism creeping into island life; and the story of Marie Louise, a fifteen-year-old hotel maid, recalls the traditional Tahiti of beach-combing lack of ambition. Along the route these three follow in their daily lives, we meet government leaders who attack or defend the French protectorate system; island philosophers and businessmen who both welcome and fear the tourist trade; and citizens who pursue ancient customs in the very shadow of the new jet airstrip. Part of the narration is spoken by Martial Iorrs, a frank and widely respected Tahitian, seventy-two years old and anti-tourist. The incredibly rapid birth rate, the flexible morals, the ravages of alcohol, the housing shortage, and the dominant Chinese minority are among the problems argued by civil servants and average citizens during the telecast. The population of 40,000 is almost unanimously anxious to become French citizens because of substantial tax benefits, but at the same time the major concern is the specter of paradise lost. The episode production was completed in November, 1962. The episode later re-aired as Perspectives #21. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
Intertel, a dramatic breakthrough in the dissemination of ideas and cultural exchange through television, was conceived in November 1960. Five television broadcasters in the four major English-speaking nations joined to form the International Television Federation, to be known as Intertel, the first such international organization. The participants were Associated Rediffusion, Ltd. of Great Britain, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and for the United States, the National Educational Television and Radio Center and the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. Intertel produced on a bi-monthly basis hour-long documentaries on important world topics, inaugurating a global television production agency dedicated to the creation of programs of substance and meaning. John F. White, President of NET, called Intertel more than a fusion of the creative talents of the organizations involved in producing television programs of outstanding merit. It is a step forward to world understanding, he added. I believe that the exchange of documentaries, while of great significance in the vastness of the mutual understanding in it can foster, is but the first step in a regular exchange of all forms of programming. Donald H. McGannon, President of WBC, hailed the new organization as a pool of the technical and creative ability and knowledge of all the groups which will extend the international horizons of television in all aspects. This is the first practical step, after years of talking and hoping, toward the creation and use of international television for cultural exchange and an effective weapon for peace. By having observers examine topics far removed from their everyday assignments, Intertel gives viewers a fresh viewpoint. The founder members indicated that by dubbing these programs in foreign languages and making them available to all nations, they hoped television companies in Europe, Asia and South America will eventually join this unique project. The supervisory committee for the United States programming segments consists of Mr. McGannon and Mr. White; Richard M. Pack, WBC Vice President Programming; and Robert Hudson, NET Vice President for Programming. Intertel came into formal being November 14, 1960, in a special meeting in Vancouver, B.C., and the culmination of plans for such an association which has been under way for a long time. John McMilliam of Associate Rediffusion, was named contemporary Coordinating Officer at that time. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Public Affairs
Media type
Camera Operator: Grimmond, Bill
Camera Operator: Purvis, Peter
Director: Gray, John S.
Executive Producer: Edwards, Neil
Film Editor: Southgate, Arthur
Narrator: Iorrs, Martial
Producer: Chapman, Ivan
Producing Organization: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Sound Editor: Cox, Arthur
Sound Recordist: Daniels, Geoffrey
Writer: Chapman, Ivan
AAPB Contributor Holdings
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Intertel; 11; Tahiti... Pacific Cocktail,” 1963-01-21, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “Intertel; 11; Tahiti... Pacific Cocktail.” 1963-01-21. American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Intertel; 11; Tahiti... Pacific Cocktail. Boston, MA: American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from