Mako: Island of Secrets

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Mako: Island of Secrets
Mako - Island of Secrets - Network 10.jpg
Australian series' intertitle
Also known as
  • Mako Mermaids
  • Secret of Mako Island
Created by Jonathan M. Shiff
Written by
  • Sam Carroll
  • Anthony Morris
  • Chris Roache
Directed by
  • Evan Clarry
  • Grant Brown
  • Lucy Fry
  • Ivy Latimer
  • Amy Ruffle
  • Chai Romruen
  • Isabel Durant (series 2)
  • Allie Bertram (series 2)
  • Alex Cubis (series 2)
Opening theme "I Just Wanna Be"
by Chantelle Defina &
Jack Dacy
Ending theme "I Just Wanna Be"
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Jonathan M. Shiff
  • Julia Adams
Producer(s) Jonathan M. Shiff
  • Zenon Sawko
  • Simon Christidis
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 26 minutes
Production company(s) Jonathan M. Shiff Productions
Distributor ZDF Enterprises
Original channel
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original run 26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) – present (present)
Related shows
External links
Production website

Mako: Island of Secrets is an Australian television programme for children and teenagers.

Internationally released as Mako Mermaids, the show is a spin-off of H2O: Just Add Water and is produced by Jonathan M. Shiff in association with Network Ten and Nickelodeon.[1]


Zac is a teenage boy who decides to camp on Mako Island, unaware that three mermaids, Sirena, Nixie, and Lyla, who are guardians of the island, are watching him. That night, when the full moon rises, the boy comes into contact with the magic water of the Moon Pool. The following morning, Zac discovers that he has the ability to control and manipulate water. Later, after accidentally falling into the water, he finds that he has also become a merman with a fish-like tail. His new-found merman abilities will cause problems for the mermaids.

The three mermaids, curious about living on land and motivated to remove Zac's merman powers, venture onto the land and learn to live among humans.


Main characters[edit]

  • Lucy Fry as Lyla (series 1), seen as the leader of the three mermaids. She is hot-headed, determined, but still very smart. Despite initially only being interested in him for the sake of removing his powers, she develops an attachment to Zac.
  • Amy Ruffle as Sirena (series 1 - present), one of the three mermaids. Naive and sweet, she acts as a mediator and peacemaker when Lyla and Nixie quarrel.
  • Ivy Latimer as Nixie (series 1), one of the three mermaids. She is an adventurous girl, who often gets into trouble and only does what she believes is right.
  • Chai Romruen as Zac Blakely (series 1 - present), who becomes a merman after entering the Moon Pool during a full moon. He grew up surfing and is sporty.
  • Isabel Durant as Ondina (series 2), a new mermaid in series 2.[2]
  • Allie Bertram as Mimmi (series 2), a new mermaid in series 2.[2]
  • Alex Cubis as Erik (series 2), a new merman in series 2.[2]

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Dominic Deutscher as Cam, Zac's best friend who is the first to be aware of his merman secret. He often helps him to hide his secret, but soon becomes jealous and envious of his powers. He reveals himself as the show's main antagonist towards the season one finale, out to become a merman and gain his own separate powers. He also serves as something of a small love interest to Nixie.
  • Gemma Forsyth as Evie, Zac's girlfriend. It is implied that the two have been together for some time prior to the series. Upon meeting the girls, she initially believes they are "stalking" her. She becomes increasingly jealous when Zac begins spending time with Lyla, even accusing him of cheating on her. Despite Zac's endless explanations, she remains suspicious of the three girls. However, when she is finally informed about the world of mermaids, all is resolved and she apologises for being quick to judge the girls.
  • Kerith Atkinson as Rita Santos, She is the school principal to Zac and his friends. She is also a mermaid, but had left her pod years ago to be with a human boy she fell in love with. The two became engaged, however, he died before they could marry. She serves as a source of knowledge and history, as well as a caretaker, for the girls and even puts them in "mermaid school" by teaching them how to properly use their powers. Though she had become used to life on land, she found companionship and laughter when the three mermaids entered her life.
  • Rowan Hills as David, an employee at the Ocean Cafe. He and Sirena become mutual love interests.
  • Brooke Nichole Lee as Carly, an employee at the Ocean Cafe. She has feelings for David and is Evie's best friend.

Development and production[edit]

Series one[edit]

The show, announced in July 2011,[3] consists of 26 episodes of 26 minutes each, plus an option for one 90-minute episode.[4][5] Filming was to begin in April 2012,[6] but it was postponed to the beginning of May.[4] On 8 May 2012, Shiff Productions announced the principal cast and the start of the shoot.[4][7] Filming ran through 12 October 2012.[8] Mako was scheduled to broadcast in the second half of 2013,[9] with a second series confirmed before the first had screened.[10] Production of the first series totalled A$12.3 million.[11]

The show was first announced as Mako: Island of Secrets, then as Secret of Mako Island, and finally as Mako Mermaids for its international release.[12] It debuted domestically on Network Ten as Mako: Island of Secrets on 26 July 2013.[13]

In partnership with Shiff Productions, Netflix is the exclusive internet television provider for the series. The first thirteen episodes were released on 26 July 2013, with the second half of the season airing on 15 September 2013.[14][15]

Change of network[edit]

On 8 November 2013, broadcasts of the show were switched from Network Ten to the free-to-air digital channel Eleven, first airing on Friday mornings at 8:00 a.m. and later changed to Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m.

Series two[edit]

A second series was confirmed in February 2013, with production beginning in the second half of 2013 contingent on funding from Screen Australia.[16]


Series Episodes Originally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 26 26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) 12 January 2014 (2014-01-12)
2 26 TBA TBA

International release dates[edit]

Country / region Channel Series premiere Title in country Source(s)
Australia Network Ten
26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) Mako: Island of Secrets N/A
United Kingdom Netflix 26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure [14][15]
United States Netflix 26 July 2013 (2013-07-26) Mako Mermaids [14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TV Series Index – In Production". Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c ""Mako Mermaids" are back with a splash hit". ZDF Enterprises (Press release). 20 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Knox, David (24 July 2011). "New telemovies, mini-series at Nine, ABC". TV Tonight. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Shooting starts on Jonathan M Shiff's $12.3 million series Mako Mermaids" (Press release). Jonathan M Shiff Productions via Inside Film. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "ZDF Enterprises celebrates 20th anniversary at MIPTV with premium programs and major structural innovations". ZDF Enterprises. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Mako – Island of Secrets". Inside Film. 16 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Drehstart für neue ZDF tivi-Fantasyserie 'Mako Mermaids'". Stadtjournal Rheine (in German). 8 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Secret of Mako Island". Inside Film. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Mako Mermaids Trailer". Screen Queensland. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Mako – Island of Secrets (Series 2)". Inside Film. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Simmons, Lisa (9 May 2012). "Mermaids fish for young TV fans worldwide". Archived from the original on 22 April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Mako Mermaids – Trailer. ZDF Enterprises. 5 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Knox, David (4 July 2013). "Airdate: Mako: Island of Secrets". TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c "H20: Just Add Water Spin-Off Mako Mermaids Coming to Netflix". 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c Crum, Chris (16 August 2013). "New Episodes of Netflix's 'Mako Mermaids' Get A Release Date". Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Mako – Island of Secrets (Series 2)". Inside Film. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 

External links[edit]