TV Week: “The Love Boat” Sea Patrol 10th April 2010

TV Week
10th April 2010

Things are heating up at sea when the Hammersley sets sail for season four.

The last season of Sea Patrol ended win a bomb blast but this year is set to be even more explosive, as the series gets the sexed-up Underbelly treatment!

“Part of the story we’re telling this year is what happens when you put people who are attracted to each other in close proximity and see how it unfolds,” says executive producer Hal McElroy of the show’s revamp.

“There’s such a freshness to this season,” adds Ian Stenlake, who plays the ship’s captain, Mike. “What you gain by holding on to characters is that wonderful sense of family, which builds. But when you lose characters, its opens up opportunities for fresh ideas, love and conflict. The show has been invigorated immensely. People will obviously miss the old characters, but they’ll love the new ones, too!”

Hot new hook-up?

Former Home And Away hunk Conrad Coleby certainly makes an impression when he boards the Hammersley. Arriving in a convertible with two girls in tow, his character Dutchy, is already a far cry from Summer Bay’s Roman Harris.

“I guess you could say he’s a ladies’ man,” Conrad laughs. “He does like his convertibles and he’s very friendly with the girls!”

With Buffer (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) out of the picture this year, Dutchy is fast shaping up to be the go-to shirtless hunk of the series. Unlike Buffer, however, Dutchy takes an immediate dislike to Kate (Lisa McCune), but wastes little time in charming every other female aboard the ship.

“There are hints of a flirtation between him and other crew members, but he plays his cards very close to his chest – and that’s part of his mystery,” Conrad explains.

Although Dutchy appears too caught up in himself to notice, there’s someone onboard who immediately holds a flame for him. Newcomer Bird, played by former Neighbours actress Danielle Horvat, is quickly smitten with her fellow crew member, and its not long before he steps in to protect her from a controlling ex-boyfriend.

“RO (Kristian Schmid) tries to help but gets punched in the face – so Dutchy is man of the moment,” Danielle reveals. “Bird is really infatuated with Dutchy!”

Three’s a crowd…

The unresolved sexual tension between Mike and Kate finally has lift-off this year, with the shipmates afforded the opportunity to act on their chemistry. But just as the lovebirds seem on course for smooth sailing, a love rival joints the ranks of the HMAS Hammersley and threatens to tear them apart.

“This season is great for Mike because has a chance to get off the boat and we finally explore his relationship with Kate,” Ian reveals.

He goes on to explain that the arrival of new Commander Maxine (Tammy Macintosh) throws a spanner in the works: “She brings a lot of history with her and we’ll be caught up to speed quickly about how she and Mike go back quite a way. They have a deep trust and friendship.”

While Mike and Kate have long skirted around their obvious attraction, his connection with Maxine may prompt Kate to acknowledge her buried feelings. The fact that Maxine is hot, single and at ease around Mike also has her on edge.

“Mike is Maxine’s son’s godfather, so they have a close relationship,” Lisa explains. “Kate accepts that there’s history between them, but when she sees how close they are, there’s a tinge of jealousy.

“Maxine is a widow,” Lisa continues, “and that settles Kate and brings the questions she’s always had to the fore.”

While the two suitors look set to duke it out for Mike’s heart, we’ll finally get a glimpse into Mike and Kate’s past. Viewers have never been privy to exact details of the couple’s backstory, but career commitments obviously played a big part.

“It didn’t work out the first time because neither Mike nor Kate wanted to give up their careers,” Lisa explains. “So the big question this season will be: if it’s that hard, are they really meant to be?”

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