Lisa McCune bites the bullet
LEADING lady Lisa McCune and children's TV creator Jonathan M Shiff team up in Ten's new family drama Reef Doctors.
Set on fictional Hope Island in Far North Queensland, the series revolves around GP turned venom researcher Dr Sam Stuart (McCune) and the remote island's tight-knit community.
Sam is seeking a sea change after the break-up of her marriage.
"She's stepped away from her career to a degree and gone into research," McCune told The Guide.
"She wants to learn and continue what her father left off."
McCune is a producer on the show, and said she was keen to make a family drama that appealed to kids as much as their parents.
"As a mum I wonder what my kids are watching," she said.
"We've all got TVs in different rooms now; we've all got Foxtel and computers. That one show we might be able to watch together has kind of disappeared on the TV landscape.
"That was very much my reason for wanting to work with Jonathan."
Shiff is best known for his hit children's shows H2O: Just Add Water, The Elephant Princess and Lightning Point, all filmed on the Gold Coast.
Reef Doctors was filmed partially on the Gold Coast, at Movie World and Mt Tamborine, and on the Great Barrier Reef.
Her lead role sees McCune scuba diving, climbing trees and handling animals.
"It really stretches your skills set," she said.
"I was fine with the monitor lizard, but snakes for me are one of those animals."
She had to overcome her fear, with 10 of the deadliest snakes in the world used as set pieces in Dr Sam's lab.
"They're not rubber ones," she said. "They're really moving in the background."
The series also stars Matt Day (Tangle, Rake), Rohan Nichol (Fool's Gold, Red Dog), Richard Brancatisano (Underbelly: Razor, Home and Away), Tasneem Roc (Spirited, East West 101), Kristof Piechocki (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries) and Andrew Ryan (Tomorrow, When the War Began).
"We've been really blessed with the cast," McCune said.
"There are some new faces and I think people will really love them."