Lisa McCune sets sail on fourth Sea Patrol

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Action, drama, romance and a reunion with a former cast mate is all in a day's work for Lisa McCune.

As Sea Patrol enters its fourth series for the Nine Network, Lisa McCune recalls that it was watching another Australian drama that actually helped her make the decision to step aboard the HMAS Hammersley.

"I watched an episode of Blackjack with Colin Friels and I heard people talking about it, and I thought something action-based would get the broad demographic. A couple of months later [producer] Hal McElroy rang me and said 'We've got this thing called Sea Patrol and you'll be out on the water leading a crack team of navy guys'," she said.

"I thought, 'Far out'. I'd just done Marshall Law, which was fantastic because it was a legal drama with lots of words and very studio base. So I thought this would be my last chance as a girl to do something action-based. Kind of a character that you're not going to get to play a lot. So I thought 'This is such a great chance'."

Now returning to the role of Lieutenant "XO" McGregor RAN, she remains just as enthusiastic about the show, even though she knew it would be met with some scepticism.

"Anything that you do that's commercial and appeals to a broad demographic will attract negativity," she says.

"I just think when you start these kinds of shows there are those who would prefer to watch The West Wing, which I loved. People might want to watch something a little more high brow. But I thought, 'What are we making here, we're making something to try and get Aussie audiences watching Australian TV', and getting younger audiences to watch. So I thought this feels right."

This series sees Tammy MacIntosh, Conrad Coleby and Danielle Horvat join the series. McCune is also enthusiastic about the guest cast, one of which sees her reunited with former Blue Heelers cast mate, Martin Sacks. She says it is impossible to ignore how well the two work together on screen.

"I said to Hal, 'Some people you just have chemistry with, it doesn't matter what you do. I have chemistry with that man.'

"There's something about us, we just have it. And I don't know if it's because we know each other so well, but you can see it on screen," she says.

But her character will be at odds with Petty Officer Dylan "Dutchy" Mulholland (Coleby) across the series.

"He's been a decorated war hero, but he's quite a damaged character and he and my character don't get along. So that's been the source of some great stuff to play. It's great when people don't get on."

So will there be any romance for her character this year? There's just enough in the 16 episodes to match the action and the drama, but viewers will have to watch to find out who it will involve.

"We've got the romance because you need it in a show. Even if it's not really present I think sometimes when it's bubbling away underneath you can feel the chemistry. And it doesn't matter if it's love chemistry or deep friendship chemistry, it's the stuff that we respond to as humans."

Sea Patrol airs 8:30pm Thursdays on Nine.

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