TV Week: “It’s Showdown Time Again!” Water Rats 19th July 1997

After last year’s big Shootout Finale, for Water Rats Cop Goldie …

It’s Showdown Time Again!
TV Week
19th July 1997

SEN-DET. Rachel “Goldie” Goldstein would be well advised to take a long holiday far away from the Sydney Water Police around this time every year.

A year ago she was hurtling towards a gun-slinging showdown with her crooked fiancé, Det. John “Knocker” Harrison (played by Peter Mochrie).

Now Goldie (Catherine McClements) is in the thick of the action again as the series gears up for its 1997 finale on August 4.

This time she’s back in the emotional and physical firing line as she tries to clear her partner, Sen-Det. Frank Holloway (Colin Friels), of serious criminal charges.

“The aim is for the bad guys to get Frank,” executive producer Hal McElroy says of the top-secret storyline at the centre of this year’s four-part finale.

“I won’t reveal the ending, but there’s a lot of action.”

Last year’s widely praised and shocking finale is generally regarded as the turning point for the Nine Network series.

A moderate success in its first year, the action-drama has since gone on to become a certified ratings success and a TV WEEK Logie Award winner.

The show’s two major stars are both recuperating before beginning work on the show’s third season next month, and Hal hints at a gripping climax.

“He (Holloway) is in terrible trouble and Goldie doesn’t know what she should do to help him,” Hal says.

“She doesn’t know if she should bend the rules to help him, or even if she should trust or believe him.”

With filming for series two now complete, Catherine has escaped for some R&R to the European summer after weeks working on the taut finale.

Colin is staying close to home while he awaits the birth of his second child to actress-wife Judy Davis.

Hal says holidays are well deserved for Water Rats cast and crew.

“Their courage and ability to take on a huge workload without complaint is phenomenal,” he says.

“It was particularly hard for Colin and Catherine, because they carry the lion’s share of the work.

“It is a very strenuous and dangerous shoot, and very physically demanding … and then they also have the intellectual challenge of maintaining their characters while they are shooting very fast.”

Just before she left for a break, Catherine revealed just how exhausting the final weeks on the show were.

“I think I’ll be this tired for the rest of my life,” she said.

But added: “Something always happens to spark you up when you get to work.”

Fans will have to wait to find out what will turn that spark into a flame for Catherine next year and what is in store for their favorite other characters.

“It is a little early to let out too much,” Hal says of plans already under way.

“What we will see with our cast is a family that is getting a little older and a little wiser, a little more willing to help each other.

Along with that though, some deep seated resentments, rivalries and jealousies will surface. “There’s romance, a promotion, a dismissal and also health scares planned,” he says.

“We’re going to be making 32 episodes for the third season as opposed to 26 this year, so a part of it will be delving deeper into the emotional lives of all our principal characters.”

Apart from finding out what makes some of the other characters tick when not in uniform, does this mean there will finally be some kind of resolution to the ongoing sexual tension between Holloway and Goldie?

“I’m not going to confirm or deny whether they have a romance,” Hal says.

“We’re not easily going to throw them into bed or away from each other.”

Fans would be pleased to get a happy-ever-after relationship, but Catherine has never been keen to tie her unlucky-in-love character down.

Catherine says she was initially attracted to her character because “it wasn’t this whole thing about being a woman or trying to find people to fall in love with”.

More recently she hasn’t budged an inch.

“I’d much rather nothing happened between them,” Catherine says.

“I don’t think it’s a classic romantic double act.”

Hal agrees the chemistry and storyline would have to be just right.

“I don’t want to belittle their professionalism to suggest that they would too easily succumb to temptation,’ Hal says.

“We’re going to spend quite a lot of time looking at the dynamics that occur with people whose attitudes towards each other oscillate.

“A good romance only occurs when both hearts are in sync.

“With Frank and Goldie they are such disparate characters that trying to get the two hearts in sync is very, very difficult.”

Shane Sutton

Original content copyright TV Week.