Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / Sea Patrol

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sea_patrol_3.jpg

Sea Patrol is an Australian television series focusing on the crew of HMAS Hammersley. The first three seasons have their own Jigsaw Puzzle Plot that is slowly revealed over the course of the season, though each episode was more focused on giving one or two crew members their day in the limelight. The fourth season ditched the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot and just focused on the characters. The fifth and final season went back to the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot of the first three seasons. Has been aired in many countries though not in the USA.


Tropes Include:

  • Accidental Kidnapping: Occasional plot; when it involves the crew, it's normally Kate.
  • Action Girl: Kate and Bomber qualify, Nikki rarely sees action but never lets anyone down and Bird can be generously described as too young and inexperienced to be one.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: 2Dads tries to play a joke on a female commander giving him a hard time on a training exercise by putting laxatives in her drink. But Buffer (who happens to be having a fling with the woman) gets it in his drink first, sending 2Dads racing to the bathroom...which Buffer then locks and blocks from the outside. At the end of the episode, rather than be mad, 2Dads actually compliments Buffer for a wicked prank.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Usually, it's 2Dads forced to accept he needs to take more responsibility and not have so much fun on duty and will seem to do so...only to once again cause a mess on shore leave or such. (the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue states he eventually went AWOL in Singapore and seemed to never learn).
    • RO will often be told to his face that his standoffish attitude and not being friendly with others is a reason why he's often alone when facing trouble yet still retains that attitude. Also, he can learn a lesson in humility but be back to an arrogant and judgemental mindset fast (in RO's defense, his Ambiguous Disorder may explain some of his behavior).
  • All Work vs. All Play: Kate and Mike.
  • Alone with the Psycho: "Red Sky".
  • Amateur Sleuth: The crew when they get involved with crimes and the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: The crew, especially Mike, do this on occasion
  • Artistic License Military: Real Armidale-class patrol boats don't have permanent crews as depicted in this show. Instead, multiple crews rotate through the boats in a division to keep them at sea as much as possiblenote , meaning crews don't settle in and get as attached to a particular boat the way the Hammersley crew does.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Mike has this problem once in a while. The job gets done but it's clear that the crew rarely agree with him when it happens.
  • Awesome Aussie: Not quite 'The Series' but given the majority of characters are Australian and a number of them do pretty badass things...
  • Belated Injury Realization: RO cuts his arm opening a crate with some refugees, but it looks like a minor cut which he wraps up. Later, RO collapses as his arm is now bleeding fast. Swain theorizes the combination of the salt water and the tight wetsuit RO was wearing stemmed the blood flow for a time, only for it to come back. Luckily, one of the refugees is a skilled surgeon who's able to sew up RO's wound so well that the hospital doctors don't have to do anything.
  • Betty and Veronica: Kate and Dr Ursula Morrell/Mike and Rick Gallagher/Jim Roth and Mike/ Mike and Dutchy (own choice for which fit)
  • Big Bad:
    • Season 1: Rick Gallagher
    • Season 2: Ray Walsman
    • Season 3: Campbell Fulton,
  • Big Eater: Charge mostly though he occasionally fights 2Dads for the muffins.
  • The Big Guy: Buffer, Dutchy replaces him in season 4.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In one episode the crew were attending a event at a French embassy and when Spider asked for a beer the French waiter pretended not to know English and said, "I'm proud of my bum when I see your face". Bomber came to his rescue and told the guy "Don't mess with me, w***!", and got his beer and one for herself. She then told Spider that she could just speak high-school French.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kate (blonde), Nikki (brunette), and Bomber (redhead). Later, Kate, Bird, and Bomber after Nikki left.
  • Boarding Party: Since they enforcing Australian law this happens once an episode. Rarely does it go smoothly....
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Buffer
  • Brains and Brawn: On the outside the officers and NCO but the officers can hold their own in a fight and many of the NCO (particularly ET, Charge, Swaine and 2Dads) clearly could outdo them in their fields.
  • Brainy Brunette: Nikki
  • Broken Pedestal: Charge is elated when the ship's temporary commander is his old CO Freeman. However, he realizes the man isn't that great when he constantly puts down Kate and other women and then slowly loses control. In the end, Charge has to stand with his crewmates refusing to comply with the orders of a man who clearly has lost his way.
  • Call-Back: In Season 3, 2Dads plays a joke by setting RO up with a "local favorite" who's really a guy. When Charge gets into a drunken marriage in Season 5, 2Dads jokes if he married a guy and Charge snarls, "do I look like a radio officer?"
  • Camp Cook: RO when Bomber is away. Anything she has done wrong is instantly forgiven.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Mike and Kate suffer from this when something goes wrong and there's time to think about it occasionally.
  • Chickification: Averted. While the women do have moments of weakness, it's justified, and usually they rescue themselves, or hold off till help comes.
  • Command Roster:
  • Contrived Coincidence: Happens a lot as often, by almost sheer chance, the crew stumbles onto a terrorist plot while on another mission or even shore leave.
    • Upset about being tricked into a tattoo with "XO XO," Buffer messes up the laundry room and makes Spider clean it up...which leads to Spider finding a bomb someone hid among the supplies.
    • RO is upset they have to let go a fishing trawler whose captain once hit RO with porcupine needles in his rear end and bad-mouths the guy as a waste of humanity. When he falls overboard in a drugged stupor, RO is rescued by that very trawler and learns a lesson in humility with the crew.
    • Washed overboard, Bomber and Spider are rescued by a boat...which happens to be hosting a wanted serial killer.
    • Mike saves a man from drowning with the guy saying he owes Mike his life. When later in the episode, Mike is about to be killed by drug dealers, their boss turns out to be the same guy who spares Mike's life to honor the debt.
    • Charge wakes up to find he drunkenly got married to a local woman. That woman turns out to be the daughter of a local crime boss who's being investigated for smuggling. Lampshaded as 2 Dads insists the girl sought out Charge on purpose to get info on the investigation. Likewise, the girl's father refuses to believe that Charge had no idea who his daughter was, and this is a plot against him. Poor Charge and the girl honestly had no clue what their drunken night would lead to.
  • Cool Boat: HMAS Hammersley. Some occasional boats that are pirated.
  • Curse: The ship suffers one in the first season when Thor, their mascot, is stolen while they're in port. As a result;
    • There are strange knocking noises in the walls.
    • Had to swallow their pride and leave their mascot in the Kingston's arms even though they've put Thor in pink hotpants and waving it right under their noses.
    • The refrigerator stops working.
    • A boarding mission goes badly.
    • Relationships go though a bad patch. (ET, Buffer and Nikki's most notably).
    • The generator room catches fire.
    • Change's bad eye is affected by the fire.
    • ET gets some bad news.
    • Mike and the Hammersley part in understanding the jigsaw plot hits a hard stumbling block.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Which involves getting back their mascot, stealing the other ship's mascot (of the crew that stole their's) and Buffer dressing up as Neptune to give a offering to appease the sea.
  • Damsel in Distress: Bird
  • Deadpan Snarker: Name a character, though RO and Buffer are, arguably, the most prominent examples.
  • Death by Childbirth: A Chinese illegal immigrant dies on Hammersley. However, there were clear reasons for this and the baby survived.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Poor women looking for a better life are forced to be this and are the centre of an episode in the third season.
  • The Drunken Sailor: Of course there's shore leave, but while Buffer and 2Dads took on two dangerous men and won, poor RO needs to stay away from the booze. The poor golf buggie....
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Buffer on a night out decides to get another tattoo and forces Spider to come along and get one himself. Buffer (who's definitely drunk) goes to sleep in the chair while his tattoo is being done. The next day Bomber is tending to the slightly infected tattoo and it becomes clear that it isn't the tattoo Buffer wanted. Bomber corners Spider, who admits that he didn't get one then realises that he messed with Buffer's choice. It turns out that he changed it to a heart with XO in it. And the first person Buffer shows it to is the XO. ... Spider is very lucky to not be maimed, let alone alive, when Buffer is finished with him.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Many characters are addressed either by position or by nicknames derived from their positions. So we have,"XO" (executive officer), "Nav" (navigator), "Swain" (coxswain), "RO" (radio operator), "ET" (electronics technician), "Chefo" (chef).
  • Exact Words: When she goes on a blind date Kate, who's had bad luck before with guys who find out she's in the Navy, tells the guy she's in "human resources." Kate is stunned when her date, Jim, shows up as the commander of a SAS team working on the ship. When Jim calls her out on the lie, she replies that a major part of being XO on a Navy patrol boat does indeed have much to do with human resources.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With anyone not from Hammersley
    • Bomber after two seasons of being the only girl in the ranks finds herself pushed aside when young Bird turns up.
  • General Failure:
    • In Season 2, with Mike injured, the crew gets a new captain in Jack Freeman, a top veteran commander. From the start, he ignores Kate's advice because she's a woman and becomes more frantic and erratic as a mission goes poorly. It culminates in the entire crew (including Charge, who'd previously served with the man) refusing to comply with his orders as he's relived of command.
    • Season 4 has Coburn becoming the new captain with Flynn getting an office job. He seems good at first helping take on some gator poachers but then is ready to let 2Dads take the fall for a mistake that was more his own stealing a croc. Luckily, 2Dads is able to prove the truth and for nearly ruining a junior officer's career to save his own, Coburn is removed from command and facing the choice of resigning or a court martial.
  • Going Down with the Ship: Poor Swaine nearly has this fate after a bad run in with some diamond smugglers.
  • Good with Numbers: Kate and Nikki are qualified navigators. Charge, ET, 2Dads, Swaine and RO would have to be good at maths to do their jobs. Mike is implied to be but there isn't much reason for his to show it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Interestingly, not much of a problem in ET and Nav's relationship (mostly by Nav accepting that he is an incurable flirt and he makes sure she knows she's number one). However when Mike or Kate show interest in someone else they are clearly upset and snark at each other, though they keep it mostly out of the crew's way ... well, Kate does.
  • Hero-Worshipper: 2Dads has some of this to Dutchy in season 4.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The entire plot of 'The Hunted'.
  • I Can Still Fight!:
    • A recurring problem with Charge. In Season 1, he has issues with his eye needing surgery. In Season 2, he comes back too quickly after being stabbed and suffers anxiety issues. In Season 5, he has a heart infection that nearly causes a heart attack. Each time, Charge is reluctant to go to a doctor as he's worried he'll be transferred off the ship.
    • In Season 4, RO nearly causes a mess when he can't lift a sailor out of the water. It turns out he had his appendix removed on shore leave and the doctors openly told him he should avoid heavy lifting for a while. RO simply didn't think this was big enough to keep him from duty (once more showing his Ambiguous Disorder at work) as Flynn rightly chews him out for keeping a major health condition quiet.
    • More than one wounded sailor insists on staying on duty, despite how they're clearly too hurt to continue.
  • Idiot Ball: Ship could be renamed this especially in the early seasons
  • Informed Flaw: A few crop up now and then.
  • Interservice Rivalry: A few times when an army man appears or once when the crew found weapons stolen from an army base but there is a problem with the FEDs everynow and again, while the crew isn't blameless there are one or two moments when the plot wouldn't have happened if the FEDs had just warned Hammersley something would happening in the area.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Some of the nicknames such as '2Dads' which is because his surname is a double barrel Kosov-Meyer. 'Bomber' is traditionally given to people with the surname Brown in the navy; sources differ on the origin.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: RO, 2Dads, Mike and Dutchy are the most glaring.
  • Karma Houdini: Played with. Often, a character (especially 2Dads) will pull a stunt that should have them kicked off the ship, if not outright court-martialed. However, they often manage to do something else to balance it out yet still have to face some sort of punishment.
    • Just as Flynn is complimenting Spider for saving the day in a raid, he finds Spider is the one who stole a French flag from a rival ship and ignored a chance to give it up with no consequences. Flynn tells Spider that he won't be reprimanded but this will go on his record and, more importantly, cost Spider his coveted promotion.
    • 2Dads' first day on the ship has him smuggling a monkey on board which robs some crewmembers with Flynn openly declaring he's kicking the guy off the boat. But after 2Dads risks his life to save Nikki and Charge from some gangsters, Flynn lets him stay...after he cleans every single spot on the ship the monkey touched...with a toothbrush.
    • Spider and Buffer are drugged at a boat party and put onto a smaller boat while the party (who turn out to be crooks) sail off. Somehow, they're not only allowed to remain on duty but take part in a raid on that party later.
  • Killed Off for Real: ET, Swaine.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Besides Mike, and to a lesser extent Kate, the whole cast is almost exclusively referred to by their nicknames.
    • Also Bird which is her surname.
  • Lethal Chef: Invoked when, with Bomber absent, RO is ordered to cook for the crew. Charge tries to bring up the last time it happened with a queasy expression. RO himself openly declares that he was ordered into this and he's not to blame if anyone gets sick.
  • Love Martyr: While he does love her, and it's not a one way street, some of the things Mike pulls on Kate feel like this though it's subverted by Kate knowing this and NOT being happy with it and she calls him out when it gets too far.
  • Malicious Slander: 2Dads spreads a rumour about Kate and Buffer being in a secret relationship after a (deservedly) harsh dressing down. Mike nearly physically throws him off the boat and Kate and Buffer make him retrieve pearls that a thief had swallowed.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Ryan
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: Kate. Although to be fair she did have a tummy bug and showed the classical signs of pregnancy so Swaine giving her the pregnancy test (to rule it out) and RO seeing the test and her behaviour makes it understandable that it happened.
  • Never My Fault: RO suffers from this to some extent. Everyone lets him know when he doing though
  • Ensign Newbie: Spider and Bird though Spider found himself coming in for more than Bird because he wasn't a she and pretty. Both are very gullible though, to everyone's delight.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: During the course of her duties, the XO of HMAS Hammersley was surreptitiously dosed with Rohypnol by a fisherman/murderer. After Hammersley saves the day, the Captain came down to her cabin to check on her condition; she didn't wake up when he arrived, and he was greeted with "I don't believe in pre-marital soy sauce!"
  • Not Me This Time: 2Dads increasingly suffers this as the series goes on. He does deserve it sometimes though.
  • Open Secret: ET and Nikki's relationship ends up being this. While everyone is more or less a shipper on deck no one wants them to leave and so they keep quiet about it. Mike and Kate are so good that it comes as a bit of a surprise when they show that they know about it.
  • Put on a Bus: Chefo between seasons 1 and 2; and Nav, Spider, and Buffer between seasons 3 and 4; and Bomber between seasons 4 and 5, though at least Bomber going away was referenced in the season 4 finale. Justified in that people in the Navy change boats regularly, just in the course of their careers.
  • Quicksand Sucks: 2Dads falls into a pit in Season Four, even briefly falling beneath the surface.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Normally Kate, but when Mike is given the rare chance he proves that his reputation isn't just talk, and Nikki isn't a pushover.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Characters leaving the show at the end of most seasons unexplainedly, which happens on real boats all the time.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The characters were only Put on a Bus because the actors didn't want to come back to the show.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Averted — the women are as feminine as they would be. They wear dresses off the ship, eye the eye-candy men, and have realistic conversations among themselves.
  • The Reveal: In Season 5, Mike is stunned when Maxine reveals that Ryan is actually his son.
  • Revealing Cover Up: This turns out to be the key plot of Season 3. The reason all the divers, including ET were killed was because the Fultons got involved in a plot to steal oil from an island refinery to sell on the black market. When the divers were getting close to the area, the Fultons panicked to arrange for them to be killed and bribed some coroners to say it was a freak accident. It might have worked except that ET being among the victims means the Hammersley crew don't stop until they uncover the truth.
  • Screaming Birth: This happens in the penultimate episode of the first season. She gives plenty of abuse to the father as well.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Ray Walsman
  • Sea Mine:
    • In the first season a mine washes up on a beach after a cyclone. While it is unstable, the only real danger comes from a pair of Too Dumb to Live preteen boys who find the mine, and don't report it straightaway. One even runs towards it when the bomb disposal unit are about to destroy it to save a tortoise.
    • In Season 3, an illegal fishing boat drops several mines in front of the Hammersley with one causing some damage. Buffer dives in to prevent another from hitting the ship and another boat is damaged aiding in catching the crooks.
  • Taking the Heat: 2Dads in an incident with a baby crocodile.
  • Team Dad: Split between Mike, Charge and Swaine. Mike is the authority figure, Charge the fun/caring one, and Swaine the sort of big brother.
  • Team Mom: Kate and Bomber. Kate as the authority figure, and Bomber as a sister.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Bird to the other ladies of Hammersley.
    • Zig zagged between the other ladies when paired with each other. Bomber, despite being the chef, generally comes off as the Tomboy however.
  • Traumatic C-Section: Though the mother was dead Swaine is haunted by doing this.
  • True Companions: Very strong crew and even when new troublemakers *cough*2Dads*cough* get into trouble they are saved.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: In season 3, the ship is aided by another boat with Charge nervous around their engineer. It turns out this is his son as Charge's wife took the kids and left years ago and he's barely spoken to them. At first, things are tense, with Jamie feeling his father abandoned the family. But after Charge saves his life in a fire, Jamie admits much of his issues is because "every time I look at myself in the mirror, I see you" as he's followed his dad's career path and they're more alike than he wants to admit. While still tense, the two are left on better terms by the end of the episode.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Kate and Mike. Bomber and RO. Bomber and 2Dads.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: A mild example with Mike and Kate. He is more laid back, happy to socialise, and inclined to take risks; Kate is more withdrawn, keeps her distance with the crew and by the book.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: RO and 2Dads.
  • Welcome Episode: The Pilot has Kate and Spider's first day on Hammersley, Spider has only been in the navy for four weeks.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Over the credits for the series finale: 2 Dads went AWOL in Singapore; Bird became a qualified Navy medic; Dutchy serves in Afghanistan; Ro continued to serve on patrol boats; Swain's daughter joined the Navy; Charge became a mining engineer; Mike was promoted to Captain, heading up NavCom and he and Kate got married and expecting their first child.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Buffer, Spider and Bomber end up stuck on a boat with about 10 deadly snakes at one point.
  • Will They or Won't They??: Mike and Kate. ET and Nikki ET and Nikki do but before it is finalised and fully out in the open, he is murdered. Mike and Kate finally get together at the start of the fourth series when he is promoted off the Hammersley but he is back at the end of the second episode and their relationship is put on hold for the rest of the season — to Kate's increasing frustration. She breaks it off in the fifth season and goes out with old flame Jim but they get together in the final episode.
  • Working with the Ex: Mike and Kate in the first season.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: A woman in series one sent Maydays all episode. She caused a lot of problems before she held ET at gun point.

<<|Australian Television Shows|>>

Top