All Saints: articles

Doctor Tammy feeling her age

TAMMY MACINTOSH recalls a time when she looked forward to being able to call herself a TV veteran.

Now that day has come, MacIntosh is not so sure it's a description she's happy with

"When I was doing Police Rescue I used to say I couldn't wait till I could say I had been doing this for 10 years, to say I was a veteran," she said by phone from Sydney last week.

"Now it's scary - I don't know how proud I am of that. I'm so old!"

MacIntosh, now the ripe old age of 32, started her career in Perth and first appeared on our TV screens as a contestant on Channel 9's Perth's Young Entertainers before moving on to its teen variety show Teamworkz.

She returns to series television tonight as Dr Charlotte Beaumont, the new physician on Ward 17 of Seven's hospital drama All Saints.

After a regular role in The Flying Doctors, MacIntosh shot to national attention as Kathy in the ABC's acclaimed drama Police Rescue. She was the original Claire in the McLeod's Daughters telemovie and has also appeared in GP, Wildside, Something in the Air and Stingers.

Although she has not been a regular fixture on our screens of late, MacIntosh has been working steadily, spending big chunks of the past three years in the US and appearing in the sci-fi series Farscape, which started out on Nine but now screens on Foxtel's Fox Kids.

MacIntosh has also been appearing in the Blair Witch Project-styled ABC Kids series Jeopardy, in which a group of Scottish school kids get lost in the Blue Mountains.

"I had to get it out of my system and see whether or not I wanted to do it," said MacIntosh of her time in the US.

"It's a very different culture to what I was used to in Australian TV. From having 12 or 13 years of being known to being a nobody was refreshing and debilitating at the same time.

"Spiritually I could not live there - my soul would die."

As fate would have it, MacIntosh returned from her last US trip to make the US series Farscape in her "own backyard". She plays Jool, an educated and privileged alien from a peaceful nation.

"It's Henson-like Muppet show for adults. It's interesting that Fox Kids have bought it," she said. "It's like a grown-up Muppets in Space."

MacIntosh has been with the show about 18 months and hopes to squeeze in more episodes if her hectic All Saints schedule allows it.

"This is the fastest TV I have ever worked on," she said of All Saints.

"With the Flying Doctors I was 18 and was ready to go, go go but did not have this workload."

MacIntosh said her time on the show would depend on how Charlotte interacted with other characters but she hoped to be there for the rest of this year and hopefully next.

"I have guested myself out and I would like to be able to hold my own in a series for the next few years," she said.

"What I want for her is to give the show a bit of grit. I don't want her to become a domestic character, I don't want her to be Dr Nanna. I want her to have a fresh edge, speak her mind and not be a slave to the rules, the nuns, the nurses."

Charlotte made her first appearance during the so-called Ebola episode a few weeks ago and has almost as trying a time tonight when she tries to help Mitch's cousin Paul and his girlfriend Hannah (played by guests Patrick Thompson and Kate Fischer) work through some fertility issues.

It must have been somewhat surreal to play a doctor being asked to give Kate Fischer's character a pap smear.

"It was a little tough for the first day on the ward," laughed MacIntosh.

Although she hasn't been back to WA for a few years, MacIntosh has been upset by the controversy surrounding the proposed marina development at Ningaloo Reef.

"That's not what Perth's about - we don't tear our environment apart, we don't go destroying our space," she said.

MacIntosh hasn't visited Ningaloo but would like to do so as soon as she gets a break.

By Sue Yeap
July 02, 2002
The West Australian