Reef Doctors premiering on television
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.
the cast of Reef Doctors filmed around Port Douglas