Sea Patrol (season 2)

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Sea Patrol II: The Coup
HMAS Hammersley cap.jpg
Cap from the fictional Armidale class HMAS Hammersley
Country of origin Australia
No. of episodes 13
Original channel Nine Network
Original run 31 March 2008 (2008-03-31)
23 June 2008 (2008-06-23)
Season chronology
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Sea Patrol I

The second season of the Australian drama Sea Patrol premiered on the Nine Network on 31 March 2008 and aired on Monday nights at 8:30 PM. The thirteen-episode season ended on 23 June 2008.

The season introduced a new patrol boat, following the decommissioning of the original, Fremantle class boat in the final scenes of season one. The new HMAS Hammersley (hull number 82) was of the Armidale class, reflecting the real-life changeover in the Australian fleet. The second season also featured the debut of a new main character, Able Seaman Rebecca "Bomber" Brown, as the boat's new cook.

Though advertised by the Nine Network as Sea Patrol II: The Coup,[1] episodes themselves bore no title other than Sea Patrol, and the ISAN number indicated that the episodes were merely episodes 14–26 of Sea Patrol.

Continuing the format from the first season, episodes generally moved a season-long story arc along. As the Nine Network marketing indicated, this arc involved a coup on the Samaru Islands, a fictional island nation close to Australia. In many ways, the story was evocative of Operation ANODE,[2] a peacekeeping mission to the Solomon Islands that has been called "the [operational] pinnacle for the Fremantle class" by the Australian Department of Defence.[3]


Main cast[edit]

Actor Character Rank Position
Ian Stenlake Mike "CO" Flynn RAN Lieutenant-Commander Commanding Officer
Lisa McCune Kate "XO" McGregor RAN Lieutenant Executive Officer
Saskia Burmeister Nikki "Nav" Caetano Lieutenant Navigator
John Batchelor Andy "Charge" Thorpe Chief Petty Officer Chief Engineer
Matthew Holmes Chris "Swain" Blake Petty Officer Coxswain/Chief Medic
Jeremy Lindsay Taylor Pete "Buffer" Tomaszewski Petty Officer Boatswain
Kristian Schmid Robert "RO" Dixon Leading Seaman Radio Operator
David Lyons Josh "ET" Holiday Leading Seaman Electronics Technician
Kirsty Lee Allan Rebecca "Bomber" Brown Able Seaman Chef/Assistant Medic
Jay Ryan Billy "Spider" Webb Seaman Boatswain's Mate

Recurring cast[edit]

Actor Character
Steve Bisley Commander Steven 'Steve' Marshall
Alan Dale Ray Walsman
Ditch Davey SAS Captain Jim Roth
Dajana Cahill Carly Walsman
Geoff Morrell Lieutenant-Commander Jack Freeman

Main plot[edit]

The season-long story arc revolved around a political conflict in the fictional Samaru Islands, which was ultimately shown to be located approximately due east of Cairns.[4] Starting somewhere during a political campaign to elect the nation's president, the season ended literally on the day of the election.[5] Throughout the season, the crew of Hammersley encountered an increasing number of clues that someone was using the waters off northeast Queensland to stage a paramilitary coup of the sitting Samaran government. Ultimately, it became clear that someone meant to stop the impending election from proceeding according to the will of voters. Over the course of the season, Australian businessman, Ray Walsman — an apparent victim of the anti-government forces in the premiere episode — emerged as the leader of the insurgency. His aim was to secure lucrative mining rights from the government which would have been formed had the coup succeeded.[6]

In the season opener, the writers allowed one of the characters to directly reference the real-life events that inspired the story line. Following an initial rescue mission to the Samaru Islands in "The Dogs of War", Hammersley's captain tells his department heads that the Australian government has finalised a peacekeeping arrangement with the Samaran government, and that return visits are therefore likely. Charge says, "Great. That'd be the Solomons all over again."

Ongoing subplots[edit]

All main characters had at least one subplot which appeared in more than one episode. Among them were: Nav and ET's increasing problems in keeping their romantic relationship a secret, Bomber's anger-management issues, Spider's relationship with Carly Walsman, the negative impact of a naval career on Swain's marriage, the differing ways in which Buffer and Charge dealt with near-death experiences, Kate's relationship with SAS officer Jim Roth, Mike's struggle to choose the best way to proceed his career, and ROs continued social isolation from his shipmates..


HMAS Launceston, one of the Armidale class boats used for filming Sea Patrol

The season was filmed on the Royal Australian Navy's new Armidale class patrol boat. 42 days of the filming schedule were spent aboard HMAS Broome, with pickup shooting later performed aboard HMAS Launceston. The remainder of the 86 days of filming were at studios, and on location at the Gold Coast, Queensland.[2]


Storylines controversies[edit]

The series caused controversy among some officers of the Royal Australian Navy when they came to believe that "its raunchy storylines" were "making a mockery of the navy".[7] Controversy was caused when, in some episodes, there were hints of romance between RAN officers and seamen. These were said to make a mockery of the navy's strict non-fraterisation policy.

The amount of sex on the show is simply a bloody joke... It makes a mockery of the incredible lengths that the navy and Department of Defence have taken to ensure that interpersonal relationships are kept at a professional level... The reality is some of it is absolutely absurd

—Naval Association of Australia president, Les Dwyer, [7]

Some controversy was also caused with the storylines of the second season of Sea Patrol which feature a political coup in the fictional islands of Samaru.[8] While some critics embraced the new storylines of the show, some were worried that "It's a tricky business when TV dramas stray into real-world politics".[8]

Critical response[edit]

Reviews of the season were mixed. One reviewer said that the show had learned from its mistakes of "simplicity and stiffness" during its freshman season to deliver a season whose "most striking aspect" was its "naturalness".[2]

Another reviewer recommended the season to his readers as an overall improvement on the first, especially praising the dramatic possibilities inherent in the bigger Armidale-class bridge and the "more contemporary, plot-driven" story arc. But he still highlighted areas of possible improvement. Making the point that the show's dependence on the Australian Navy sometimes made it difficult for the show to indulge in interesting usage of dramatic license, he said that "McElroy All Media appears to have taken a "steady as she goes" approach to change rather than taking hold of the wheel and firmly jumping the shark with a tougher, grittier tone."[9]


Ratings for this season successfully reversed the trend of the first season. Whereas the freshman year had been plagued by a generally downward trend, season two was characterised by gradually improving ratings. Only the Brisbane region exhibited a strong fall-off of viewers in the season's final weeks. Although no episode of the season scored as highly as season one's first week, the final five weeks held steady at 1.5 million viewers nationally. The last two episodes of the season gained well over half a million more viewers over the last two installments of season one.

Sea Patrol (season 2) ratings.jpg
Episode number
Production number
Title Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth TOTAL WEEKLY
The Dogs of War 407,000 327,000 227,000 144,000 142,000 1,247,000 21[10] 7[11]
Fortune Favours 321,000 379,000 218,000 158,000 146,000 1,222,000 26[12] 12[13]
Takedown 345,000 318,000 252,000 156,000 196,000 1,267,000 20[14] 7[15]
Heaven Born Captains 387,000 422,000 244,000 153,000 156,000 1,362,000 18[16] 7[17]
Giving Up The Dead 361,000 352,000 217,000 162,000 169,000 1,260,000 26[18] 9[19]
Birds 389,000 332,000 237,000 161,000 168,000 1,287,000 21[20] 6[21]
Hidden Agendas 396,000 405,000 270,000 166,000 157,000 1,394,000 10[22] 5[23]
Heart of Glass 418,000 361,000 252,000 153,000 196,000 1,380,000 12[24] 6[25]
Shadow Line 427,000 461,000 252,000 163,000 194,000 1,505,000 6[26] 4[27]
Rules of Engagement 411,000 413,000 304,000 170,000 174,000 1,471,000 10[28] 5[29]
A Brilliant Career 354,000 449,000 321,000 184,000 183,000 1,491,000 8[30] 4[31]
Friends Close, Enemies Closer 415,000 426,000 277,000 169,000 203,000 1,489,000 8[32] 3[33]
Soldiers of Fortune 430,000 467,000 239,000 159,000 191,000 1,486,000 8[34] 4[35]


Title Directed by Written by Original air date
14 1 "The Dogs of War" Geoff Bennett Adam H. Todd 31 March 2008 (2008-03-31)
Hammersley is sent to rescue aid workers during a coup in the Pacific nation of the Samaru Islands. The interception of a foreign fishing vessel turns into a life threatening pursuit. Guest actors: Brad McMurray, Che Timmins, Jimmy Christiansen, Byron Hulbert, Russell Ingram, Rico Lescott, Troy Hunter, Malachi Waters.
15 2 "Fortune Favours" Ian Barry Michaeley O'Brien 7 April 2008 (2008-04-07)
A deadly eastern brown snake threatens lives, a curious medical emergency keeps Hammersley crew on high alert, and one of the ship’s favorites is decorated for bravery. Guest actors: Anthony Standish, Robert Griffiths.
16 3 "Takedown" Geoff Bennett Tony Morphett 14 April 2008 (2008-04-14)
Kate and Nikki are in dire jeopardy. An innocent child fights for survival. There are gun battles onboard Hammersley, and the very existence of the ship is threatened. Guest actors: James Stewart, Anthony Edwards, Ray Tiernan, Michelle Ayala.
17 4 "Heaven Born Captains" Ian Barry Jeff Truman 21 April 2008 (2008-04-21)
A charming SAS officer causes a stir. An illegal fishing boat is the subject of a perilous boarding. A promised promotion is put at risk, and an elegant soiree given by the French Consulate on Samaru is attended by both Cupid and the green-eyed monster. Guest actors: Joel Pierce, Mira Pawel, Richard Chong, Ariu Lang Sio, Vince Gorce, Anthony Guilbert, Haley Mitchell, Ben Siemer, Nik Schodel, Jamie Hite.
18 5 "Giving Up The Dead" Geoff Bennett John Ridley 28 April 2008 (2008-04-28)
Either beaten or disabled by a date rape drug, two of the ship’s crew face a fiery death. A cache of forged Samaruan bank notes is destined to destabilise the fragile economy of the troubled islands. Guest actors: Alex Petersons, Sebastian Wichne, Adam Fawns, Todd Levi, Robert Reitano, Jimmy Christiansen.
19 6 "Birds" Ian Berry Matt Ford 5 May 2008 (2008-05-05)
One crew member faces a gruesome operation, while a visitor to the ship learns that blackmail can work both ways. Guest actors: Andrew Buchanan, Trent Huen, Shea Adams.
20 7 "Hidden Agendas" Geoff Bennett Philip Dalkin 12 May 2008 (2008-05-12)
When a kid on the Samaru Islands gets kidnapped Swain goes to massive lengths to save him. Kate and Jim's romantic getaway turns into a life-or-death struggle when they encounter rebel forces. Guest actors: Michael Tuahine, Patrick Jhanur, Steven Harman, Ling-Hsueh Tang, Daisy Betts, Rico Lescott, Joyce McNeill, Steve Daddow, Josh Elkington, Sam Elia.
21 8 "Heart of Glass" Ian Berry Samantha Winston 19 May 2008 (2008-05-19)
Bomber's 21st birthday celebrations are cut short when she and Spider are lost overboard, while Buffer secretly deals with a personal tragedy. Guest actors: Eugene Gilfedder, Lexie Symon, Scott McRae, Lee O'Shaughnessy, Steve Harmon.
22 9 "Shadow Line" Geoff Bennett Tony Morphett 26 May 2008 (2008-05-26)
The crew of Hammersley comes under fire trying to capture the man who stabbed Charge. Guest actors: Brad McMurray, Will Wensley, Ariu Lang Sio, Hayley Mitchell, Lee O'Shaughnessy.
23 10 "Rules of Engagement" Ian Barry Jeff Truman 2 June 2008 (2008-06-02)
Captain Roth's patrol gets ambushed, leaving three dead and severely injuring Mike Flynn, leaving Kate in charge of Hammersley Guest actors: Emelia Burnset
24 11 "A Brilliant Career" Geoff Bennett Michaeley O'Brien 9 June 2008 (2008-06-09)
A new officer takes command of Hammersley. The crew intercept an illegal prawn trawler, whose crew have murdered a man. The man who stabbed Charge dies. Mike Flynn gets out of hospital. Mike believes Ray Walsman is involved in an illegal shipping business. Guest actors: Geoff Morrell, Brad McMurray, Kaitlyn Clare, Peter Adams.
25 12 "Friends Close, Enemies Closer" Ian Berry Felicity Packard 16 June 2008 (2008-06-16)
On shore leave, Buffer sees a person that he thinks is an organiser of the rebel forces, and follows him. He gets taken prisoner and Walsman orders him to be killed. Guest actors: Aaron Fa'aosa, Goran D. Kleut, Bo Kaan, Colin Handley, Ben Siemer, Sharm Brown, Rico Lescott.
26 13 "Soldiers of Fortune" Ian Berry John Ridley 23 June 2008 (2008-06-23)
Guest actors: Damien Cassidy, Aaron Fa'aosa, Yves Chapand, Colin Handley, David Martin, Darryl Walsh, Rene Perrin, Ben Siemer, Jimmy Christiansen, Ben Siemer, Jamie Hite, Ben Siemer, Mark Ferguson.

DVD release[edit]

The second season of Sea Patrol – Sea Patrol II: The Coup – was released on Region 4 DVD on 6 November 2008.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Promotional card for series 2". Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Idato, Michael (2008-03-31). "All ship shape". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  3. ^ "Farewell to the Fremantle Class". Semaphore. Sea Power Centre, Australian Department of Defence. October 2005. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Shadow Line". Sea Patrol. Season 2. Episode 9. Nine Network.
  5. ^ "Soldiers of Fortune". Sea Patrol. Season 2. Episode 13. Nine Network.
  6. ^ "Friends Close, Enemies Closer". Sea Patrol. Season 2. Episode 12. Nine Network.
  7. ^ a b Deery, Shannon; Markson, Sharri. No sex please, we're navy, Sunday Herald Sun, 1 June 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  8. ^ a b Ellis, Scott. Patrol plays politics, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 May 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  9. ^ Knox, David (2008-03-29). "First Review: Sea Patrol II". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  10. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 14, TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  11. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 14, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  12. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 15, TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  13. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 15, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  14. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 16, TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  15. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 16, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  16. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 17, TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  17. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 17, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  18. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 18, TV Tonight. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  19. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 18, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  20. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 19, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  21. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 19, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  22. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 20, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  23. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 20, TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  24. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 21, TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
  25. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 21, TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
  26. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 22, TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  27. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 22, TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  28. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 23, TV Tonight. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  29. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 23, TV Tonight. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  30. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 24, TV Tonight. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  31. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 24, TV Tonight. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  32. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 25, TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  33. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 25, TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  34. ^ Knox, David. Network Rankings – Week 26, TV Tonight. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  35. ^ Knox, David. Television Ratings – Week 26, TV Tonight. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  36. ^ Sea Patrol – Season 2 (complete) DVD summary, Retrieved 16 August 2008.
General references