Like the All Blacks, the launch proved a trial for the viewers, with the quorum of 25 getting restless waiting for kick-off. McGill kicked his first effort into touch on the full, a joke about his childhood spent in a steam train railway settlement in the Bay of Plenty and now he was in his second childhood in this steam train railway settlement. He got back in the game explaining that he had written what he believed to be New Zealand’s first spy novel about the New Zealand Police and particularly Special Branch conducting surveillance in 1935 of the increasingly aggressive Auckland German Club, which was taking names of Jews and those with German heritage of military age. This he combined with the attack on a Takapuna inventor of a ‘death ray’ by ‘foreign agents’ attempting to steal his blueprints and the government whisking him off by steam train in the dead of night to Wellington. The inventor spent six months on Somes Island in the middle of the harbour under armed guard 24 hours a day trying to develop weapons keenly sought by all the major powers gearing up for war. Hence the cover flags of Germany, Britain and the Soviet Union flanking the inventor on the front cover.
What we now know as lasers and radar were not yet invented, but claims this inventor could blow up objects at a distance and identify planes before they were in sight were the very weapons all countries were actively seeking.