Water Rats: articles

Water Rat pregnant

NOT even the Water Rats script writers could produce as many dramas into the Nine Network show as what is happening on the real life set.

Yesterday, Dee Smart announced to cast and crew she was pregnant with her husband Chris Hancock.

Nine's director of drama Kris Noble was already on his way up from Melbourne to speak to the cast, who were filming at Vaucluse yesterday, to re-affirm Nine's commitment to the program.

He was therefore on hand to congratulate Smart who will film up until July when the cast have their regular production break.

It is not clear at this point if she will resume filming in September.

The announcement comes at a time of upheaval on the police series—which is looking tenuous with weak ratings and actor Steve Bisley saying he will not be returning next year.

Bisley told The Daily Telegraph's Kylie Keogh he would not be renewing his contract when filming of the show ended in June. Shaky relations were being smoothed over, with Noble and Bisley lunching together yesterday.

Playing Detective Jack Christey, one of the lead roles in the drama about Sydney's water police, Bisley questioned the show's new focus away from the crime and more on the personal lives of the characters.

"The intention was good but the execution is another thing," he said. Bisley, who has 25 years experience in the Australian entertainment industry, also expressed frustration at not having enough input.

"I'm not a control freak but I like to have a fair hand in the process," he said. "But there were various reasons for my decision not to continue with the show.

"And I'm pretty sick of [Christey]."

A Rats insider said the cast and crew had not been told the series was finishing.

"Basically, we don't know. Everyone is contracted until June," the source said.

"Last year we didn't know until June 31 whether there was going to be another series.

"As for Bisley, he always says this around this time of the year to up his asking price."

Noble said the network had "complete faith" in Water Rats.

"We expect the show to prosper for many years to come," he said.

"We have a terrific cast and crew and Steve is one of the stars, and I'm confident that in the end he will be with us for the next series."

March 30, 2001
The Daily Telegraph