Reef Doc­tors pre­mier­ing on tele­vi­sion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

THE Dou­glas re­gion will be broad­cast across the na­tion next Sun­day night when the highly-an­tic­i­pated $14 mil­lion fam­ily ac­tion drama Reef Doc­tors de­buts on Chan­nel Ten.

Reef Doc­tors was filmed in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions across the re­gion in De­cem­ber 2011 by Jonathan M. Shiff Pro­duc­tions as well as Mt Tam­bourine on the Gold Coast.

The 13 one-hour episodes show is based on the fictitious Hope Is­land, where Dr Sam Ste­wart - co-pro­ducer and lead ac­tress Lisa McCune - leads a team of doc­tors at the lo­cal clinic, look­ing af­ter lo­cal res­i­dents, neigh­bour­ing is­lands and hol­i­day­mak­ers.

Pro­ducer Jonathan Shiff said the show en­com­passes the trop­ics and will en­cour­age peo­ple to hol­i­day in the re­gion.

‘‘ It trans­ports you to Far North Queens­land, you can feel the heat, see our coast, palm trees, reef and rain­for­est,’’ he said.

‘‘At al­most $14 mil­lion, it was a very high bud­get, but it looks it - it’s a gor­geous show with great char­ac­ters and heart-rac­ing fam­ily drama.

‘‘Lisa’s char­ac­ter is a fron­tier of Aus­tralia and a fron­tier of medicine, it’s a mix of ev­ery­thing .’’

Dr Sam Ste­wart is a sin­gle mother with a freespirit and an un­usual hobby - venom - in­spired by JCU as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor Jamie Sey­mour, to re­search for medic­i­nal pur­poses.

‘‘I am very grate­ful to As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Jamie Sey­mour and Richard Fitz­patrick. Jamie trained Lisa, took her into the lab to learn how to deal with and even milk snakes,’’ Mr Shiff said.

‘‘We had 10 of the most danger­ous snakes in the world in one room, so good luck choos­ing what’s real on the show be­cause most of snakes and spi­ders were real.

A sec­ond se­ries is now up to the au­di­ence and Mr Shiff said if there is an­other one he would try to ex­plore more of ‘‘Hope Is­land’’ and film for longer in the Dou­glas re­gion.

‘‘I would like to cel­e­brate and thank lo­cals for get­ting be­hind and mak­ing all of the cast and crew feel at home here,’’ he said.

There has been in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est in the show with a ver­sion be­ing dubbed in Ger­man, but that has been held back un­til it de­buts in Aus­tralia.

Reef Doc­tors was pro­duced in as­so­ci­a­tion with Net­work Ten, ZDF En­ter­prises Ger­many, with fund­ing from Screen Queens­land and the Gold Coast City Coun­cil.

Di­vi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu said the se­ries is a real coup for the re­gion.

‘‘I see so much po­ten­tial for film and TV pro­duc­tions in Dou­glas and fan­tas­dtic news that th se­ries will be on prime time TV,’’ she said.

‘‘This is an un­be­liev­ably great pro­mo­tion, not just for Dou­glas but for the en­tire re­gion.

‘‘I am sure that peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the chill of win­ter down south will be en­ticed to visit our re­gion, af­ter see­ing the ex­tra­or­di­nary beauty of our beaches and sur­round­ing stun­ning land­scapes.

* Reef Doc­tors de­buts on Chan­nel Ten on Sun­day, June 9, from 6.30pm.

TELE­VI­SION DE­BUT:

the cast of Reef Doc­tors filmed around Port Dou­glas

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