Water Rats: articles

Rat doing the limbo

NEW rat in the ranks Rodger Corser has just finished filming his first major television role and now has to sweat it to see if Water Rats returns next year.

Shooting of this season's episodes finished three weeks ago and since then Corser has been sitting around with his partner Christine Anu.

They met on the set of the musical Rent and Anu is also in limbo after the revival of the stage show Hair was cancelled at the end of last month.

They're spending their time keeping her five-year-old occupied while he's on school holidays. "He's running around in a Power Rangers suit at the moment," Corser says.

Theatre and bands are a more familiar art to Corser, who was born in Melbourne and moved to Sydney several years ago.

But he "had a ball" on the four Water Rats episodes he shot last month and hopes his contract will be renewed if the series continues for another season. A new season depends on overseas sales to help finance the show.

Luckily the script writers have made his character, Detective Senior Constable George Newhouse, a likeable sort of fellow.

He's a knockabout but responsible cop and an instant hit with the ladies.

"He's totally oblivious to [the magic he works with women] and that gets the other guys' backs up," Corser says. "So they're like 'OK pretty boy, let's see if you can do this job."'

To get Corser's foot in the Water Rats door, the script writers have broken the tightly knit triangle of Mick Riley (Aaron Pederson), Alex St Clair (Dee Smart) and Jack Christey (Steve Bisley).

Christey, who finishes with Water Rats this season, is assigned to be chief "paper-shuffler" while Chief Inspector Jeff Hawker (Peter Bensley) recovers from a car accident.

So, as Christey is trapped in his office, Newhouse is thrown in the deep end with Riley and St Clair.

"It's really the last three episodes where Newhouse gets his teeth into a story line and slowly gets to prove himself," Corser says.

Just as Riley and Newhouse eventually hit it off, so too have Pedersen and Corser off camera. "Az [Pederson] and I get along pretty well because we've been working together pretty closely over the last couple of episodes and I've met him before," Corser says.

Corser also writes music, but he is not sure if this talent will ever be recognised on Water Rats.

"I don't know if the singing detective works in Water Rats," he says.

* Water Rats, Tuesday, Nine, 9.30pm.

By Allison White
July 19, 2001
The Daily Telegraph