Barrier Reef (TV series)

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Barrier Reef
Also known as "Minus Five"
Genre Adventure
Created by Fauna Productions
Developed by John McCallum and Lee Robinson
Directed by Brian Faull
Eric Fullilove
Creative director(s) Ron Taylor,
director of underwater photography
Starring Joe James
Harold Hopkins
Ken James
George Assang
Theme music composer Eric Jupp
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 39
Location(s) North Queensland, Great Barrier Reef
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) D.L. Taffner
Original release 12 February 1971 – 2 May 1972

Barrier Reef was an Australian television series that was first screened in 1971.[1]

Barrier Reef was about a group of marine biologists on board a sailing ship called the New Endeavour,[2] researching around the Great Barrier Reef, off Queensland, Australia. "It was the first series in the world to feature extensive colour underwater filming on location".[3] It was also a unique location for a TV show.


In contrast to TV shows like Riptide or The Outsiders this series was made in Australia, using Australian scripts, featuring Australian leading actors, and covering scientific topics that were uncommon on TV. It was broadcast by BBC, in the USA by NBC, and also by TV stations in Canada, Japan, South America, South Africa and numerous European countries.[3] The series had 39 episodes and was re-run in various markets for many years.

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  1. ^ Albert Moran, Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, AFTRS 1993 p 74
  2. ^ "An adventures series about the crew of a scientific search and recovery team working for General Trust Corporation aboard the barquentine 'New Endeavour', which houses the sophisticated 'Minus Five' electronic equipment.". Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  3. ^ a b "Barrier Reef". Classic Australian Television. Archived from the original on 22 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-22. Barrier Reef was sold to over fifty countries, including Britain where it was screened by the BBC. In the U.S. it was picked up by NBC, who were impressed by the underwater scenes, which they called ‘glug glug’. Other countries that bought the series included Canada, Japan, South America, South Africa and most of Europe.