Flipper (1995 TV series)
Season 1 title card
|Starring||Brian Wimmer (Ssn 1)
Colleen Flynn (Ssn 1)
Payton Haas (Ssn 1)
Jessica Alba (Ssns 1-2)
Whip Hubley (Ssns 2-4)
Elizabeth Morehead (Ssn 2)
Wren T. Brown (Ssn 2)
Scott Michaelson (Ssn 2)
Anja Coleby (Ssns 2-4)
Gus Mercurio (Ssns 2-4)
Tiffany Lamb (Ssns 3-4)
Craig Marriott (Ssns 3-4)
Laura Donaldson (Ssns 3-4)
Darrin Klimek (Ssns 3-4)
Skye Patch (Ssns 3-4)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||88 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Samuel Goldwyn Television
|Original channel||Syndication (Seasons 1-2)
PAX (Seasons 3-4)
|Original run||October 2, 1995 – July 1, 2000|
Flipper, (also known as Flipper - The New Adventures) is an American revival television series of the original 1964 Flipper television series. The first two seasons aired in first-run syndication; seasons 3 and 4 aired on the PAX network.
The 1995 version brought back Bud Ricks as a scientist doing marine research in Florida. The dolphin Flipper was one with whom Dr. Ricks was working. This TV show is available for online viewing on hulu in the United States and at Rogers On Demand in Canada.
Although the show was set in Bal Harbour, Florida, it was largely filmed in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. However three episodes during the first season, including the pilot, were filmed in Pigeon Key, Florida and at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida.
Season 1 opened with the adult Dr. Keith "Bud" Ricks (Brian Wimmer) from the original 1964 Flipper series, leading dolphin research at the Bal Harbour Marine Institute in the Florida Keys. Dr. Pam Blondell (Colleen Flynn), a naval officer, relocated to the Florida Keys to join Dr. Ricks at the institute to perform dolphin research. Dr. Blondell is accompanied by her son Mike (Payton Haas), a rebellious teen. Mike was unhappy about the move until he met Maya Graham (Jessica Alba), a free spirited 14 year old girl who had a special connection with Flipper and the ocean.
At the beginning of Season 2, Dr. Ricks, Dr. Blondell, and her son Mike were written out of the series by leaving Bal Harbour. Dr. Jennifer Daulton took over as the institute's director. Maya became an intern at the institute while two new interns, Dean Gregson (Scott Michaelson) and Holly Myers (Anja Coleby) were introduced. Next door to the institute, a new substation for Air Sea Rescue opened introducing Deputies Tom Hampton (Whip Hubley) and Quinn Garnett (Wren T. Brown). The deputies were responsible for rescuing people in trouble at sea and performed numerous rescues through the season. Hampton and Dr. Daulton had an on-again, off-again romance during the season. Edward 'Cap' Daulton (Gus Mercurio), Dr. Daulton's estranged father also moved to Bal Harbour to try and re-establish a relationship with his daughter. Cap was a charter boat captain and owned his own boat, the Maria D, named after his late wife.
In Season 3, Dr. Daulton and Maya were written out of the series by leaving Bal Harbour to perform research in the Red Sea and San Diego. Lt. Alex Parker (Tiffany Lamb), a navy marine became the institute's director and married Tom Hampton. Hampton and Parker, along her two kids Chris Parker (Craig Marriott) and Jackie Parker (Laura Donaldson), moved into a house and the series began to focus more on their family. Deputy Mark Delaney (Darrin Klimek) also replaced Garnett as Hampton's partner at the substation. At the marine institute, Holly remained an intern but Dean left. Cap still appeared throughout Seasons 3 and 4 but is noticeably absent from many episodes.
In Season 4, Tom's niece Courtney Gordon (Skye Patch), moved in with the Hampton/Parker family after being unhappy living with her mother in Washington D.C. Season 4 was essentially a continuation of Season 3 with no major changes. Most episodes are self-contained and there was very little serialized storylines between episodes. The series ended on a shockingly tragic note as Flipper accidentally became beached on a sand dune and was unable to free himself. Upon learning what happened, the entire cast rushed to the scene but arrived too late. Flipper's heart stopped as they were trying to save him. The final scene of the series was left somewhat ambiguous as to whether Flipper was actually dead suggesting that his heart may have started again and that he actually survives.
Cast and characters
- Brian Wimmer as Dr. Keith Ricks (Season 1)
- Colleen Flynn as Dr. Pamela Blondell (Season 1)
- Payton Haas as Mike (Season 1)
- Jessica Alba as Maya Graham (Seasons 1-2)
- Whip Hubley as Tom Hampton (Seasons 2-4)
- Elizabeth Morehead as Dr. Jennifer Daulton (Season 2)
- Wren T. Brown as Quinn Garnett (Season 2)
- Scott Michaelson as Dean Gregson (Season 2)
- Anja Coleby as Holly (Seasons 2-4)
- Gus Mercurio as Cap (Seasons 2-4)
- Tiffany Lamb as Alexandra "Alex" Parker Hampton (Season 3-4)
- Craig Marriott as Chris Parker (Season 3-4)
- Laura Donaldson as Jacqueline "Jackie" Parker (Season 3-4)
- Darrin Klimek as Mark Delaney (Season 3-4)
- Skye Patch as Courtney Gordon (Season 3 (recurring), Season 4)
- Nichola Parker as Bianca (Season 4 (recurring))
Since Flipper was filmed in Australia, producers had to rely heavily on Australian talent. Several regular cast members and most guest stars spoke their dialogue using non-native American accents. During seasons 3 and 4, Whip Hubley and Gus Mercurio were the only American actors in the cast. All other characters were portrayed by Australian actors.
Flipper had many notable guest stars including Alan Dale (The O.C.), Dwight Schultz (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Nicholas Hammond (The Sound Of Music), Jane Badler (V), Robert Coleby (father of Anja Coleby), and Season Hubley (real life sister of Whip Hubley). In fact, many of these guest stars made more than one appearance, but often portrayed different characters each time. Seasons 3 and 4 regular cast member Darrin Klimek also appeared briefly as a different character in the Season 1 episode "Treasure Hunt".
MGM Home Entertainment released the first season of Flipper- The New Adventures on DVD on June 3, 2010 via Amazon.com's CreateSpace program. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Amazon.com.
On April 2, 2013, TGG Direct will release seasons 2, 3, & 4 on DVD in Region 1.
The primary setting for Flipper was The Bal Harbour Marine Institute, a fictional dolphin research facility funded by the fictional Bal Harbour University.
Between Seasons 1 and 2, The Air Sea Rescue Substation was built next door to the Marine Institute when the series began focusing less on ocean and dolphin research based plots. The Air Sea Rescue was located directly on the beach and had access to its own helicopter and hovercraft for rescues. A speedboat was also added in Season 3.
The Shipwreck was a restaurant located between the marine institute and the substation. The restaurant opened in Season 2 and was featured until the end of the series. During Season 1, the Shipwreck's building was the residence of Dr. Keith Ricks.
At the start of Season 3, Tom Hampton married Alex Parker and they moved into a house with Alex's children, Chris and Jackie. Alex Parker was widowed by Jack Parker, who died in a drowning accident about 2 years before appearing in the series. The house contained an in-ground swimming pool and large dock.
Initial production on Flipper began in the Florida Keys with the pilot and two other episodes being filmed there in Season 1. Three locations were used for the "Bal Harbor Institute" including Pigeon Key and the Dolphin Research Institute on Grassy Key with a third location being used for the beach where Maya first meets Mike. A fourth location was also used just east of Conch Key adjacent to Overseas Highway 1 where Maya runs and meets Keith in the Jeep to inform him Mike is in trouble. This location is also the same location used in the movie True Lies.
Three different filming locations were used to portray the Marine Institute. The pool area of the institute was filmed at Sea World, Gold Coast. The two story building was notable for being the only set used for the entire run of the series, although it did not appear in every episode. The same set was also re-used with little modification for other film and television productions such as Sabrina Down Under. After filming on Flipper wrapped, the building was demolished in order to accommodate Sea World's Imagine Dolphin Show attraction located nearby. Although the area is unrecognizable today, an aerial shot in the Season 1 episode "F. Scott" shows the original configuration of the building at Sea World.
During the first two seasons only, indoor office space for the institute also appears. It is believed that this was filmed on a soundstage at either Sea World or Warner Bros. Movie World.
The exterior facade of the institute's building along the waterfront was filmed in park space abutting the Gold Coast Broadwater located in Southport, Australia (a suburb of Gold Coast) near Ephraim Island. The Ephraim Island road bridge is visible in many waterfront shots in the latter half of the series. The same location was also used for the Air Sea Rescue Substation and The Shipwreck. All three buildings along with the beachfront and park space were demolished in the early 2000s (decade) to make way for apartment buildings  and a small harbour.
The Hampton/Parker family home was filmed at an actual house (now known as McKinnon House) located at 1 Howard St. in the Gold Coast suburb of Runaway Bay. The house was located just south of the marine institute, substation and the shipwreck filming locations. The exterior of the house today is relatively unchanged since filming wrapped of Flipper in 2000.
Flipper filmed numerous scenes in the water and underwater. Many scenes above water were filmed in the channels and islands of the Gold Coast Broadwater while some diving scenes were filmed in giant water tanks located at Warner Bros. Movie World.
Awards and nominations
- 1996 – Outstanding Sound Mixing – Paul Brincat, Kevin Patrick Burns, Jon Taylor, and Christian P. Minkler (won)
- 1997 – Outstanding Sound Mixing – Jon Taylor, Kevin Patrick Burns, Todd Orr, and Craig Walmsley (won)
- Australia - Seven Network - Currently re-run on its digital channel 7TWO at 10:00AM Sunday mornings.
- USA - Family Net - Currently rerun re-run on its digital channel at 4:00PM ET Weekdays
- India - Pogo - 2004-05
- "SHOWS FOR YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PARENTS TOO : Second-generation Flipper makes a splash on KCAL with environmental slant - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1995-10-08. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "323 Bayview Street, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - Google Maps". Maps.google.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "Gold Coast, 1 Howard Street, Runaway Bay, Queensland, Australia - Google Maps". Maps.google.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-11-28.