ORBzine - Wellington Paranormal (2018) TV Review

[Season 1 !Season 2 !Season 3 !Season 4 ]

Wellington Paranormal (2018)

Season 1

Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 1, Episode 1] Demon Girl
Shown 11th July 2018

This is a mockumentary about supernatural events in the town of Wellington, New Zealand. If this sounds a bit like What We Do In The Shadows (2014) , that is because it was created by the same team.

The story follows a couple of incompetent police officers who find a teenage girl vomiting pea soup - like in The Exorcist . The bad news is that the demon can jump from body to body, so the cops spend the rest of the episode chasing various characters.

The good news is that the cops are reassigned to deal with the supernatural cases. Their Sergeant has his own Wall of Weird, but none of the other cops wanted to work on those cases. The casting department seems to have The X-Files in mind, as the cops are lookalikes of Mulder and Scully. They even make an on-screen comparison. A pity that show is from 1993, a quarter of a century ago.

Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 1, Episode 2] Cop Circles
Shown 18th July 2018

Somehow, some cows have been found stuck in tree-tops. Minogue and O'Leary, the local Mulder and Scully, are sent out to the farm to investigate.

It turns out that the local farmers are completely inbred. Either that or they are a bunch of pod people, like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers . Anyway, the cops have a typical case of genre-blindness.

There is a large crop circle in the maize field. This leads on to a parody of the Shyamalan movie Signs .

Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 1, Episode 3] 70s Ghosts AKA Things That Do The Bump In The Night
Shown 25th July 2018

The cops are called out to investigate a late-night noise complaint. Someone has been playing 1970s music in a house that has been vacant since 1977 ... when a bunch of people died in a house party.

The Sarge calls in a specialist, a professional Medium , to investigate the Poultergeists - or as the Kiwis call them, Party-Ghosts.

Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 1, Episode 4] The She-Wolf Of Kurimarama Street
Shown 1st August 2018

Minogue and O'Leary investigate when someone robs a pizza-delivery boy. The assailant is described as a large dog, wearing jeans. It turns out that something has been snatching local pets.

A young woman, assumed to be the victim of a werewolf, may actually be the perpetrator. Since the NZ police are politically correct, they describe the perp as a person-wolf.

Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 1, Episode 5] A Normal Night
Shown 8th August 2018

Minogue and O'Leary investigate some sightings of ghosts.

The Sarge mentions there are thirteen unsolved homicides in the city. Not that the ghosts are in any way linked to this, just that the police resources tend to be completely mis-allocated.

Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 1, Episode 6] Zombie Cops
Shown 15th August 2018

Minogue and O'Leary investigate an outbreak of zombie-itis. Unfortunately a pair of other cops are infected, and continue their police duties ... as zombies.





Wellington Paranormal

Wellington Paranormal Wellington Paranormal [Season 4 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2018

Reviewed in our special supplement Wellington Paranormal

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  • Wellington Paranormal (2018)

    Season 2

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 2, Episode 1] Taniwha
    Shown 16th October 2019

    Minogue and O'Leary investigate disappearances of people who were fishing on a certain beach. The Sarge tags along, as does an expendable officer named Parker.

    The maritime unit are also involved. Captain Quinn takes the cops out on his boat, which leads on to a story-telling session parodying the one in Jaws . The Sarge tells them the legend of the Taniwha, a species of enormous amphibious creatures that used to live in the area.

    The monster comes onto land, and leaves enormous footprints like Godzilla . By following the prints, the cops discover the victims are entombed alive - like in Aliens . Yes, there are quite a few references to monster movies this time.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 2, Episode 2] Fear The Briannas
    Shown 23rd October 2019

    Minogue and O'Leary investigate a shoplifting incident. Their suspects are wearing a school uniform, so the cops go to the local Girls School.

    The school's power trio is The Briannas, which may be a reference to Heathers. They started as the nerdy girl librarians, but they got real magical powers from a book in the witchcraft section of the library. Yes, just like Sunnydale High in Buffy The Vampire Slayer , the school library has a large emphasis on the paranormal.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 2, Episode 3] Mt. Victoria Hooters
    Shown 30th October 2019

    The cops investigate another ghost sighting. This turns out to be an undead police constable, with Victorian-era clothing who is apparently from the 1930s. Whatever period he is from, he is unhappy with the car-friendly police cap and the presence of female patrol officers. This lack of political correctness leaves O'Leary and Minogue stressed to the point that Sergeant Maaka offers to book them an appointment with the counselor.

    The idea of a ghost cop is actually a good one. After all, since Season One there has been at least one ghost criminal on the loose.

    The SPFX budget seems a lot bigger this Season, since the first few episodes have already been quite CGI intensive. That said, it is always well-used to support the story rather than just becoming spectacle over substance.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 2, Episode 4] Copy Cops
    Shown 6th November 2019

    A dead body has been discovered that bears an uncanny resemblence to Officer Minogue. He and O'Leary visit a small town to investigate, and end up trapped by an army of duplicate of themselves.

    Sergeant Maaka deduces that this is a sequel to the events of Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 1, Episode 2] Cop Circles, which was left open-ended like an episode of The X-Files .

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 2, Episode 5] Haunted Nissan
    Shown 13th November 2019

    The Paranormal unit have not had a special case in a few weeks, so they might get fired as a budget-saving measure. Also, Sergeant Maaka blew the budget when he bought a remote-control camera drone to replace them.

    Minogue and O'Leary investigate a stolen car. It turns out that the car is haunted by a former owner.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 2, Episode 6] Mobots
    Shown 20th November 2019

    Sergeant Maaka puts Minogue and O'Leary on a new case, investigating a series of thefts of obsolete technology. The cops visit O'Leary's mother, who lives in the neighbourhood, and we learn yet more about O'Leary's past.

    Decade-old flip-phones and other items are walking off by themselves. They combine to create a robot which has the voice of Jerome Clement ( Legion ).

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 2, Episode 7] Christmas Special
    Shown 19th December 2019

    The cops are called to a shopping mall. Instead of hiring a Santa for the Xmas season, the dyslexic manager accidentally summoned Satan.

    The other great Kiwi tradition at Xmas is the barbecue. Well, being in the southern hemisphere their December is mid-summer. Unfortunately this barbecue has a portal into another dimension, which sucks in all the meat.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018)

    Season 3

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 3, Episode 1] Invisible Friend
    Shown 24th February 2021

    Minogue and O'Leary investigate an apparent burglary case. They discover that the intruder is an invisible monster, which uses its superhuman strength to elude capture. As well as Sergeant Maaka, they also get help from Parker the incompetent rookie.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 3, Episode 2] Te Maero (35 mins)
    Shown 3rd March 2021

    A video blogger goes camping, like in Blair Witch Project , and gets abducted by an unseen monster - like in Dog Soldiers . The cops team up with Anton the Park Ranger (Rhys Darby - What We Do in The Shadows ). Is the monster a werewolf ... not a swearwolf?

    The cops have to forage for food, and end up accidentally consuming magic mushrooms. They start to halucinate, which means that their encounter with the monster might be a case of The untruthful narrator ... Except for the fact that this is a Found Footage show.

    When they meet the Bigfoot, there is a joke reminiscent of an episode of Farscape when it becomes apparent that not everyone conforms to certain gender norms. In recent years that episode has been labeled as Transphobic, while in reality it is pro-trans because it illustrates the importance of respecting preferred pronouns.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 3, Episode 3] Fear Factory
    Shown 10th March 2021

    Minogue and O'Leary investigate incidents where people have witnessed their worst fears come to life. It turns out to be something to do with the Fear Factory, a bar that is themed around scaring people.

    The suspect is a shapeshifter who feeds on his victims' fear. Luckily the cops have a secret weapon - Parker, who is a complete coward.

    This is an O'Leary episode, bringing out her obsessive fear of disappointing her mother.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 3, Episode 4] The Sevens Ghosts
    Shown 17th March 2021

    A ghostly apparition starts to abduct average-looking men. It turns out that the apparitions are a group of sports fans who died en route to the big game. They are trying to locate the missing member of their group.

    This is a Minogue episode, bringing out his obsession with the Where's Walter books.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 3, Episode 5] The Revengers
    Shown 24th March 2021

    A meteorite crashes into a suburb of Wellington, and gives superpowers to the local Neighbourhood Watch. They then go around beating up petty criminals. Minogue and O'Leary must apprehend these vigilantes, before the Police Department are all rendered unemployed.

    Wellington Paranormal (2018) Wellington Paranormal (2018) [Season 3, Episode 6] Fatberg
    Shown 31 Mar 21

    Minogue and O'Leary investigate a missing persons case. It seems that a fatberg from local fast food restuarants has absorbed people, and is congealing them into a hive mind.

    Luckily, Parker confiscated some fireworks ... including a couple of bundles of TNT. Will this foreshadowing pay off?

    Wellington Paranormal (2018)

    Season 4

    Wellington Paranormal Wellington Paranormal [Season 4, Episode 1] Bird Woman
    Shown 16 Feb 22

    An enormous creature, half bird and half woman, is stealing shiny objects across Wellington. Minogue and O'Leary are assigned a specialist advisor, a young woman who Sergeant Maaka met on an internet forum about birds.

    Constable Parker comes up with some ideas of how to trap the Bird Woman. Of course, he only manages to make things worse. Only the empowered women are actually competent this episode.

    Wellington Paranormal Wellington Paranormal [Season 4, Episode 2] The Wicked Man
    Shown 23 Feb 22

    Parker, the resident idiot, has fallen foul of some pidgeons while he was investigating a drug dealer. Although the Sergeant insists the pidgeons are not culpable, Parker insists the birds were trained. In all fairness, that would not be the strangest thing the cops have seen.

    A young girl has gone missing on an island peopled by a religious cult. Since this is a European cult rather than a Maori one, they are obviously heavily suspect. Of course, the setup is a parody of The Wicker Man . Since Minogue and O'Leary are still technically virgins, by the Cult's heteronormative standards, they are clearly in the Edward Woodward role.

    Wellington Paranormal Wellington Paranormal [Season 4, Episode 3] The Coolening
    Shown 02 Mar 22

    Minogue and O'Leary are assigned to visit a High School, as a recruitment and community service mission. It turns out that in their own High School days, none of the Police department were deemed to be Cool. Now that takes a different turn, as the cops confiscate a magical jacket that makes its wearer cool. Unfortunately the cops cannot agree to share it, and spend most of their time competing against each other. Predictably, the female officer becomes really skilled at everything while the male officer is a human Jar-Jar Binks.

    This seems to have been inspired by a couple of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer . However, the resolution is much more in keeping with this show.

    Wellington Paranormal Wellington Paranormal [Season 4, Episode 4] Skeleton Crew
    Shown 09 Mar 22

    It turns out that the Police Station is built on an ancient burial ground. Not a Native one, like in a Stephen King story, but a Caucasian one! The ghosts start to possess the officers.

    Wellington Paranormal Wellington Paranormal [Season 4, Episode 5] Who The Hell
    Shown 16 Mar 22

    The team split up to investigate seperate curses. Sergeant Maaka is back in his control room, where some magical force has taken control of his map. Officer Minogue tries to help a woman whose head has disappeared, although strangely she can somehow hear him. Officer O'Leary, the only one of the team who is competent, tracks the source of the curses down. It is Satan, who is no longer a Mall Santa like in the Xmas special.

    Officer Parker requests to be transfered to the Supernatural team. However, Maaka keeps him on mainstream duties and gives him a new partner. It seems that Parker must have a curse of his own, because all his partners die horrible deaths. How long will the new one survive? Although Parker thinks his mainstream policing duties are boring, he and his new partner are part of a SWAT team!

    Wellington Paranormal Wellington Paranormal [Season 4, Episode 6] Time Cop
    Shown 23 Mar 22

    Sergeant Maaka deploys all his police resources to stop skateboarders from having a good time. Unfortunately this leaves nobody to fight real crimes like robbery. The sergeant starts to question his life choices, such as ever starting a career in law enforcement.

    Minogue and O'Leary chase a time-worm through a portal to 1994. However, while they are there they meet the young Maaka. Unfortunately when they return to their normal time, Maaka never became a policeman. Now the city is overrun by zombies and other monsters, while Sergeant Parker is not really up to the job.