RESCUE Special Ops: articles

Underbelly star Les Hill says drama Rescue Special Ops more realistic than rivals

LES Hill, the star of Nine's Rescue Special Ops, says the new local action drama shouldn't be compared to anything else on television, past or present.

In a departure from the style of other local action dramas currently on screens, such as Ten's Rush, Nine's Sea Patrol, and the soon-to-be axed All Saints on Seven, Hill says Rescue Special Ops is more realistic.

"We're not quite as earnest as some of the shows that are around at the moment," Hill said.

"I think that we're more of a reflection of real life."

Set in Sydney, Rescue Special Ops is based around the work, and personal lives, of an elite rescue squad of paramedics.

Hill plays Dean Gallagher, the unit leader, and older brother to squad member Chase Gallagher, played by rising actor Andrew Lees.

The show has also drawn comparisons to the long-running 1990s ABC drama Police Rescue, but Hill says his show has "a very different feel".

Rescue Special Ops is unique because it highlights the ups and downs of being a rescuer, he said.

"You need to have a sense of humour when you're doing this sort of job, dealing with life and death, and you're not always going to win, you're not always going to come out on top," Hill says.

"And that's something we explore. Some of the characters have to deal with the other side of the job."

The rest of the unit is made up of Lara Knight, played by Gigi Edgley, Jordan Zwitowski, played by Daniel Amalm, and Heidi Wilson, played by Katherine Hicks.

Ex All Saints actor Libby Tanner plays Michelle Letourneau, the unit's station manager, while Underbelly's Peter Phelps is Vince Marchello, the station coordinator.

Former Police Rescue star Gary Sweet plays Dean and Chase's father Shane, a builder.

In the first episode of Rescue Special Ops, the team is sent to the Blue Mountains where two schoolchildren have gone missing.

They stumble across a plane wreckage with two victims.

The first two episodes are directed by Underbelly's Peter Andrikidis.

For the Nine Network, Rescue Special Ops is the big ratings hope for the second half of they year.

While crime drama Underbelly has been a winner for the network, others like last year's The Strip failed.

Hill, who was to join fellow cast members at an official launch party in Sydney last night, says time will tell how Rescue goes.

"No one's got the exact formula on how and why these things work," Hill said.

"We've just got to see what happens.

"But I don't believe in running things into the ground. I think that once they're no longer received well or no longer producing a good product, then you should stop."

Rescue Special Ops premieres on Nine on Sunday, at 8.30pm.

Katherine Hill
July 31, 200