H2O — Just Add Water: synopsis

Series 1

Emma, Cleo and Rikki are sixteen year old girls growing up on the sun-drenched beaches of the Gold Coast. Emma’s confident and athletic, Cleo is slightly insecure and awkward. Rikki is ‘different’ — the new girl — aloof and smart. For our heroines, life revolves around clothes, the beach, and boys — with school as a minor distraction.

Because of Rikki, the girls find themselves accidentally stranded at sea one day, floating towards mysterious Mako Island. The three urban girls find themselves exploring the eerie jungle covered island before becoming trapped in an ancient cavern under a volcano. Discovering an underwater channel, they decide to swim to safety. As they enter the pool, the light from a full moon illuminates the water, creating a mysterious glow.

Emma, Cleo and Rikki get off the island as fast as they can and back to ‘normal’ life. One by one however the girls find life is never going to be normal again.

It’s Emma who discovers it first when she goes for a morning training swim alone — contact with water makes her grow a fish tail! The others find exactly the same thing; Cleo — in the bath, Rikki — hit by a garden sprinkler! It seems if water touches them they have seconds to dry off before long, elegant tails appear! They’re mermaids!

But the surprises aren’t over. As the girls experiment they find they’ve got extraordinary, magical powers over H2O. Emma can freeze water. Cleo can turn a drop into a bucketful and mould it into any shape. And Rikki can boil water with a gesture.

Everyday situations have now turned tricky. The morning shower — the swimming sports — rainstorms, all create profound problems. However together with their loyal friend Lewis, the girls resolve to resume their normal teenage lives. But it’s hard to be normal when you’re a part-time mermaid!

The girls enter a wonderful, underwater world, but the nature of their powers draws them into wild adventures. And when local bad boy, Zane Bennett is rescued from a sinking boat by Emma, he turns out to be the biggest threat of all. Having seen ‘something’ under the water, Zane embarks on a hunt for the mysterious creature lurking out at sea.

As Zane closes in, the secret of their magic powers could be revealed to the world!

Series 2

Emma, Rikki and Cleo think they fooled everyone who discovered their secret into thinking they lost their powers. Only Lewis knows they're still mermaids. Life is back to normal for the girls, they go swimming on the underwater reefs, shop for the latest clothes — and avoid getting splashed with water. After all, no-one wants to grow a mermaid tail in public! Life radically changes on the next full moon when the girls are hit with super strong moon blast that sends their powers out of control.

Lewis is almost hurt as the girls struggle with their powers over water. However, with enough practice they do eventually learn to control them. But it's an eerie question: why have their powers increased?

Charlotte starts school. She's smart, ambitious, and immediately finds Lewis attractive. The only problem is he's going out with Cleo. Not for long. While learning how to control their new powers, Lewis won't leave the girls alone and smothers Cleo. She can't handle it anymore and reluctantly breaks up with him. Lewis is devastated but Charlotte quickly takes her opportunity to spend more time with Lewis. They connect. Soon, Lewis finds himself torn.

Along the way the girls have a lot to deal with: from magical mermaid myths about wish giving and love potions to more everyday problems like dealing with your family. One thing rises in importance; fifty years ago there were three other mermaids. And just like Lewis knows about our girls, there was a boy who knew about them — Max Hamilton. Lewis tracks Max down and finds he knows a lot about mermaids, especially the one who was his one true love: Gracie.

When Gracie is discovered to be Charlotte's long lost grandmother, everything changes. Charlotte had a short but very close relationship with her and she is driven to find out everything about Gracie. Lewis tries to waylay Charlotte and their relationship is on the brink when she discovers he's been covering up the truth all along — her grandmother really was a mermaid.

Charlotte finds the moon pool — and becomes a mermaid! Emma, Rikki and Cleo take Charlotte in as the fourth mermaid but it is clear this can't last. Soon all the planets line up to form the biggest full moon event in history. Finally Emma, Rikki and Cleo discover the answer to why their powers increased.

And they're going to need all the help they can get.

Series 3

It's nearly the end of school holidays and Cleo and Rikki are about to face their last year of high school without Emma, who's gone overseas. They're confident they know everything there is to know about their mermaid powers and Mako Island. But when water suddenly attacks and kidnaps Rikki, they realise they couldn't be more wrong.

Torn between saving Rikki and revealing herself to a witness of the attack, Cleo dives off the jetty, only to discover that Bella, has dived into the murky waters after her. A new girl in town, Bella (whose real name is Isabel Hartley) became a mermaid in the sea caves of Ireland when she was ten and becomes a crucial ally in the fight against the water tentacle.

The immediate threat over, Rikki, Cleo and Bella are seriously startled to find Will, a new boy at school with freakish free-diving skills, unconscious on the floor of the cave. Once woken, Will groggily speaks of water attacking him; of waterfalls where none now exist. Rikki, Cleo and Bella are forced to build an instant bond to try and keep their newly shared secret safe...

In Cleo and Rikki, Bella is excited to not only discover other mermaids but feels she has a chance at real and deep friendship for the first time. Rikki and Cleo befriend effervescent Bella and there's a very real sense they need her help to understand why water has become the enemy.

Over summer Zane has been working on a surprise for Rikki — an upmarket café — his first business venture out of school. Rikki's rapt to be offered the role as a partner in the venture, feeling it's the first step toward her own independence. She installs Nate's new band as the resident entertainment at the venue and with Bella's songbird voice and lyrical way with words, they become a permanent fixture at the café.

Cleo and Lewis join forces to investigate the Moon Pool and discover some remarkable changes and new magic in the cavern. But complications arise when Bella develops a crush on Will and pursues him as her first boyfriend. Her actions test the bond between the girls and place her in conflict with Will's protective and ambitious sister SOPHIE. When Will discovers Bella is a mermaid, the trio learns to accept him as someone they may now have to trust.

Cleo's faced with some major adjustments of her own. Don remarries and Lewis departs to study overseas. Without Lewis, Cleo takes charge and steadily rises to the challenges of her final year of school, all the while continuing to search for answers to the Mako mystery through her new interest in science.

Everything changes when Will's building rivalry with Zane results in a challenge to complete an incredible free-dive where he nearly drowns. Rikki breathes life into Will underwater, and the incident begins a special bond between them and the beginnings of a change in direction for Rikki. Tiring of Zane's return to his old superior attitude and arrogance — and seeking to reclaim her own identity — Rikki breaks up with him. It's at this time that Rikki confronts the water force in the Moon Pool on her own and it affects her. She enters a dark period and begins to withdraw from the group. Cleo, Bella and Will help lift her back into the light and Rikki's experiences help them gain a new perspective on the water attacks.

Prompted by unsettling events, where fish flee the coast, Cleo leads a final charge to unlock the true purpose of the unusual changes in the Moon Pool. The discovery of some extraordinary crystals propels them toward a final showdown with Sophie and Zane who, heartbroken after the break up with Rikki, becomes involved in Sophie's plans to profit from them. Ultimately, Cleo, Rikki and Bella use their combined powers to protect the island and face off a catastrophic event — realising their special purpose as mermaids.