I remember watching a TV series in the 80s about a boy and a girl who are on vacation on an island - may have been New Zealand, although I think they had Australian accents - and they run into a creepy family who are actually sort of slug-like aliens who can shapeshift to look human.

I think the series was based on a book, but am not sure.

The aliens have underground tunnels all around the island and are trying to steal either all the life force or all the mineral resources from the island or maybe from Earth in general, not sure.

There's another alien who is apparently on Earth to try to stop them. He recruits the kids and teaches them to use some sort of psychic powers they have to communicate and use some kind of psychic energy weapon to destroy the aliens or the gateway they use. They also had to say something like" I give you the gift of oblivion" I think?

A couple of scenes or plot points I remember:

  • The aliens owning / living in a house accross a lake from where the kids are staying that they can see from the house they are in

  • Scenes with the kids having to concentrate on some rocks to make them glow red or blue and the boy initially being sceptical about the whole thing.

  • At some point the boy lets something slip that makes the aliens suspicious and almost gets them all killed.

  • Scenes with one or both of the kids using/sliding down the alien tunnels that looked rather organic and kinda creepy and ending up in an underground lair.

  • At one point they find some sort of hologram or model of the galaxy floating in a room in the aliens' house or underground lair

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you're thinking of Under the Mountain, an early 1980s TV series produced in New Zealand, and based on a novel of the same name.

The Wikipedia synopsis matches most of the plot points you raised:

The show focuses on twins Rachel and Theo Matheson. While on school summer holidays in Auckland, they are contacted by a man named Mr. Jones, who had met them briefly eight years earlier. This time, Mr. Jones reveals his true identity and mission. He is an alien--a member of the mysterious race called The People Who Understand and was sent from another world in a battle against another race of aliens. These latter creatures were a family of slimy, slug-like beasts who could take on human form. Led by the evil Mr. Wilberforce, the slug monsters were now bent on destroying Earth and only the twins' emerging psychic abilities could turn them back. The other major conflict presented by the series is that of Rachel and Theo's emerging abilities. Rachel accepted the truth of their abilities, while Theo was more of a cynic and often challenged Mr. Jones. The psychic abilities in the series increase in effectiveness as the individual grows in trust and acceptance of his or her abilities. In the final episode of the series, the twins are each required to throw a stone and focus their psychic energy into the stone to create a red and blue bridge-like construct that will defeat the Wilberforces. Because Theo's faith in his abilities and his belief in supernatural phenomena in general is lacking, his half of the bridge is insufficient to complete the construct. Mr. Jones uses the last of his life energy to complete the construct and defeat the Wilberforces, and can no longer be with Rachel and Theo as a result.

Here's a clip of the first episode:

  • 1
    This is it, thanks. Now to see if I can actually get my hands on a copy of the DVD they mentioned or see if I can watch it online somewhere.
    – Gwyn
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 8:32
  • Found episode 4 here: nzonscreen.com/title/under-the-mountain-episode-four-1981
    – Gwyn
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 9:35
  • Can't get the DVD at the moment, and only Episode 4 on the archives, but this YouTube Channel has the whole thing: m.youtube.com/channel/UCM2_04oSi2rHx13gNR-M7-Q
    – Gwyn
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 9:42
  • Yup. I watched sections of the other episodes to confirm that everything you mentioned was there. Episode 4 has Mr. Jones teaching the kids how to use their powers. Episode 8 has the scene with the glowing red and blue rocks. Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 10:18

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