Water Rats: articles

The long, strong arm of the law The long, strong arm of the law

No-one's more on the straight and narrow than Snr Constable Gavin Sykes. So much so, you could be excused for thinking he's overacting when an apparently innocent ice-cream boat becomes his latest arrest.

"Sykes is a young guy with a chip on his shoulder," explains the man who plays him, Brett Partridge. "He hates people getting away with breaking the law or doing things wrong. He has Christian morals and ethics, he believes in police management and he believes in people doing the right thing."

"He loves bringing people down who step over the mark. Everyone from some girl trying to get away with a parking ticket to drug smugglers trying to bring in a shipment."

Later this month, in an episode tastefully called Mocha Fudge, we get to see Snr Constable Sykes in all his glory. An ice-cream boat has been intercepted by a speed boat on the harbour and the water police are on hand to investigate.

The owner of the ice cream boat is an old friend of Holloway's and when another boat is attacked with a home made bomb, they realise it is more than just a coincidence.

Tavita and Sykes are investigating an old pal of Holloway's, Eddie, who they believe to be involved in the attacked on the ice cream boats. It becomes clear that Eddie has nothing to do with these attacks, but he does lead the water police to a shipment of stolen VCR's. One thing leads to another and it is revealed that a shipment of heroin is being imported using the ice cream boats as a cover.

" We've all got a bit to do with it, it's a bit of an ensemble episode," says Brett.

As you would expect the bad guys are nabbed in the end even if it's not all down to Snr Constable Sykes.

"Gavin would love to have a bigger part in bringing these guys in. I think he's still still a bit green. He's learning his way, but he's still quite young."

None the less, this doesn't stop the young Constable in his pursuit of justice, even if he has a few things to learn himself.

"He's a young guy trying to work out how people get on in society—especially relating to other peers and the opposite sex," Brett explains.

For the last three seasons Sykes has been a regular on the small screen, something Brett is more than happy with.

He often remends himself how lucky he is to have a job which takes him out onto one of the most beautiful harbours every day. "There have been many times when I have hit myself over the head and said, 'Hey, wake up man! You're a lucky guy to be here.'"

Whilst there are similarities between Brett and Gavin, Brett has a no nonsense approach to his life that Gavin is still searching for. "Basically I just wake up the next day and do what I can. Whatever comes along, if I can work, I'll be happy doing it. It could be anything. It could really be anything."

And similarities! "Oh yeah, there are quite a few similarities, I'm a bit of a stickler for justice myself. That's part of my personality.

May 1998
Soap World