Vet series now released on DVD

Wakatipu veterinarians Nicky Viggers and Geoff Woodhouse, with four-legged friends, feature in Remarkable Vets, the Queenstown television series on the clinics, which is now available on DVD. Photo by James Beech.
Wakatipu veterinarians Nicky Viggers and Geoff Woodhouse, with four-legged friends, feature in Remarkable Vets, the Queenstown television series on the clinics, which is now available on DVD. Photo by James Beech.
The Queenstown television programme about Wakatipu veterinarians treating all creatures great and small is now available on DVD after years of requests from worldwide viewers.

Remarkable Vets was produced by the Queenstown and Auckland based company Great Southern Film and Television and documents vet Geoff Woodhouse and team as they established a new half-domestic and half-rural veterinary practice in Arrowtown, caring for everything from cats and dogs to alpacas, bison, horses and goats.

The first series of 10 episodes of 25 minutes was filmed on location in the summer of 2004-05 and the second series in the summer of 2005-06.

Staff become household names and cases often tugged the heartstrings, such as Achilles, a stray kitten unable to use his hind legs due to an abscess on his spine.

His recovery was charted throughout the series.

The programme has become a time capsule of the Wakatipu community almost 10 years ago.

Many residents were captured on camera bringing in their ill animals for consultation.

Remarkable Vets was broadcast in New Zealand and Australia and won fans further afield when it was bought by the National Geographic Channel in mid-2007.

''It's a wonderful snapshot of a quite unique time,'' vet Nicky Viggers said.

''Geoff was setting up a vet practice, which is quite a brave thing to do, and it feels like we've been here forever now, from having one staff member and one clinic to 10 staff and two clinics.''

Drs Woodhouse and Viggers said the practice had been inundated with inquiries from fans who visited while holidaying in Queenstown, or contacted them from overseas, to ask when the series would be available on DVD.

After six months of securing the rights and producing 100 copies of the DVD, with 100 more produced this week, both series of Remarkable Vets are now available for sale or order, for $20 each, from Remarkable Vets clinics on Malaghans and Gorge Rds, Dorothy Brown's Cinema, Arrowtown, and Mooch, Remarkables Park Town Centre.

A third series has been discussed with executive producer Philip Smith and was ''under consideration'', Dr Woodhouse said.

''Everything's about timing, so we'll see when the window of opportunity opens again.''