The Adventures of Seaspray

1966 | Australia

Having made good international sales with The Magic Boomerang, Pacific Films in Australia embarked on a somewhat more ambitious project about a widowed father travelling the Southern Pacific seas with his two sons, daughter and a deckhand. Originally made as a monochrome pilot in 1965 entitled The Cruise of the Seaspray, Pacific took the bold step of filming the episode entirely on location in Fiji. Realising that they would not be able to afford the grand budget required to do the series justice Pacific sought co-funding and found it at Screen Gems, a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures in the USA. However, the American company required some changes before the series went into production and as a result there were some cast changes, the filming moved to full colour and the title was changed to the more dynamic sounding The Adventures of Seaspray

The deckhand in the pilot only had a small role but this was expanded for the series. A Fijian native, Leone Lesianawai, was a real-life police officer in Fiji but left the force to play the character of Willyum Lesi. Walter Brown was drafted in to play Captain Dan Wells (replacing Joe McCormick as Captain Dan Wilder in the pilot) and Gary Gray and Rodney Pearlman played sons Mike and Noah. The daughter, Sue, was played by Susanne Haworth. 

After seven episodes the character of Noah was dropped when Rodney Pearlman decided that he didn't want to be an actor after all, and would rather resume his educational studies. The Seaspray continued to sail thereafter with a crew of four. It was initially planned to produce a series of 26 episodes but in the end 32 were made. 

The pilot episode was never screened. 

Published on November 26th, 2018. Noel Onely.

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