TV Week: “Knocker’s a Dirty Rat!” Water Rats 1996


Peter Mochrie has good reason to be happy. How Water Rats character, Det. Sen Sgt John “Knocker” Harrison, has gradually emerged from the background of the Nine Network series to become one of its most liked characters.

And now, with a wedding to colleague Rachel “Goldie” Goldstein (Catherine McClements) looming, Peter’s character is undergoing a radical revamp.

In a shock turnaround, Knocker is going from respected nice guy to suspected murderer and dirty cop.

“I’ve played a goodie, I’ve played a half baddie and now I’m playing the whole mongrel,” Peter Says.

In the weeks leading to the series’ climax in August, Knocker’s fall from grace takes centre stage.

As his web of deception unravels most of the show’s characters including his fiancée and Frank Holloway (Colin Friels), are drawn into his dark and sinister world.

While many characters can’t believe Knocker is anything but an exemplary officer, there is the suggestion that he may have murdered Frank’s brother, Kevin, earlier in the season. Covering his trail will call for even more bloodshed.

“He’s a bent cop,” Peter says. “He had a choice and it took him down the wrong road. Once you start you have to finish.”

Far from disappointed that his character has taken a turn for the worse, Peter is glad interesting storylines are flooding his way. While fans of Knocker may be shocked, his sinister side was always in the making. From the moment he played the heavy to Goldie’s ex-husband in a recent episode, audiences have had an idea that there is a darker side.

“We planned all of this. Nothing is new,” Peter says “I always knew this was how knocker was going to turn out. He’s filthy.

“He is still a dedicated cop who likes to see right triumph over evil,” he adds. “As long as it doesn’t get in his way.”

Story: Shane Sutton
Picture: Andrew Jacob