H20: Just Add Water producer Jonathan M. Shiff is now dipping his toes into the family drama pond.
Today, the renowned kids TV producer, also known for such series as Ocean Girl and The Elephant Princess, is starting production on new show Reef Doctors, starring four-time Gold Logie Award winner Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers, Sea Patrol).
The 13×1-hour action adventure family drama follows Sam (McCune) – a GP single mother with a freespirit and a determination who has an unusual hobby: venom. Running the remote Hope Island Clinic, Sam is an accomplished doctor, who, with her team, looks after the residents of all the neighbouring islands, as well as the holiday makers and thrillseekers who visit the area. The residents of the tiny island pull together through thick and thin, proving that there are many different definitions of the term 'family'.
“With the production of Reef Doctors, we are re-introducing a genre for Australia that is long overdue – family action adventure, with high production values and wonderful characters,” Shiff said in a statement.
The series, set on the Great Barrier Reef, is being directed by Colin Budds (The Elephant Princess, Stingers, The Flying Doctors) and Grant Brown (Rush, Crownies, Underbelly).
McCune, who is also co-producing, heads up the strong cast which includes Matt Day (Tangle, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo), Rohan Nichol (Killing Time, Red Dog), Richard Brancatisano (Underbelly: Razor, Bait), Tasneem Roc (Crownies, East West 101) and Andrew Ryan (The Jesters).
Best known for winning four consecutive Gold Logies between 1997 and 2000 for playing Constable Maggie Doyle in Seven's Blue Heelers, McCune said in a statement that the humour and the heart of the series would "resonate deeply" with Australian and international audiences.
The Post Lounge, which is currently working on VFX for Shiff series Lightning Point, will again work with the production company. For a feature on The Post Lounge's work on Lightning Point, check out the December/January issue of IF Magazine. Finance for Reef Doctors was provided by ZDF Enterprises Germany, Screen Queensland and the Gold Coast City Council.
Reef Doctors will premiere on Channel Ten next year.