Barrier Reef (TV series)

Barrier Reef was an Australian television series that was first screened domestically in 1971.[1] However, 19 episodes had already premiered on British television on BBC1 between 5 October 1970 and 15 February 1971 and four more aired between 5 April and 3 May 1971 in advance of Australian broadcast.

Barrier Reef
Also known as"Minus Five"
Created byFauna Productions
Developed byJohn McCallum and Lee Robinson
Directed byBrian Faull
Eric Fullilove
Creative director(s)Ron Taylor,
director of underwater photography
StarringJoe James
Harold Hopkins
Ken James
George Assang
Rowena Wallace
Theme music composerEric Jupp
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes39
Production location(s)North Queensland, Great Barrier Reef
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)D.L. Taffner
Original networkThe 0-10 Network
Original release12 February 1971 
2 May 1972

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 US 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.

See also


  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 22 April 2011.
  3. "Barrier Reef". Classic Australian Television. Archived from the original on 22 April 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 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.
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