Sea Patrol: articles

The cast of TV show Sea Patrol

TV audiences can look forward to a fourth series of navy drama Sea Patrol, which returns April 15th.

Sea Patrol keeps on rolling

Navy action drama Sea Patrol returns for a fourth series this week, and if producers and actors have their way it'll keep going for at least another six years.

Original cast member Ian Stenlake, who plays commanding officer Mike Flynn, says he's delighted the show has maintained its success over the years.

He'd like to see it keep going, with producers and writers having mapped out a 10-year plan for the series.

"That would be awesome," Stenlake told AAP.

"It would be very difficult to leave. It's such a good time to be involved."

Also starring Lisa McCune, the series set aboard a fictional Australian naval vessel, HMAS Hammersley, has been a solid ratings winner for the Nine Network.

Stenlake says he believes audiences have kept tuning in year after year, because the series is "completely unique" but not "far-fetched" - largely thanks to assistance from the Royal Australian Navy.

"They have a major input," Stenlake says.

"Right from the script development, right from the start, there's someone with the writers the whole time."

On occasion, Stenlake admits the navy has stepped in to stop some stunts but he says the TV crews are very respectful of its authority.

"We have a navy liaison on set every day, and we can always make phone calls if we need to, which we do," he says.

"Because we want to represent these guys as accurately as possible, without forgetting the fact that it's drama, and we can take licence occasion."

The upcoming series, which moves from Mondays to the Thursday 8.30pm timeslot, was shot over five months, near Mission Beach in far north Queensland and on the Gold Coast.

The series has been extended by three episodes to 16 and will introduce three new cast members including former Home and Away actor Conrad Coleby, who plays Petty Officer Dylan "Dutchy" Mulholland.

Stenlake, who's been with the show from the beginning, says he believes this series is better than ever.

"Series four, it's just bigger, it's better, and I don't know how but we managed to have a lot more fun," Stenlake says.

"We've had some brilliant people come and work with us, and I think it looks good, too."

The fourth series of Sea Patrol will premiere on the Nine Network at 8.30pm on April 15.

By Katherine Field
April 13, 2010