Bonanza with bubbles

– is my manager’s unkind assessment of the titles to Barrier Reef.
Reader, I cannot speak highly enough of this show. It captured my imagination in the early 70s and still has it to this day. It was an Australian series about a marine science unit based on an old sailing ship that had been significantly upgraded into a high-tech floating laboratory. It must have been pretty high-budget for a kids’ show. The extensive underwater scenes really were shot underwater, and the two jet boats that come thundering towards the viewer in the opening bars of the title sequence really are thundering towards the viewer. Most of it was shot on location – the scenes on board ship, even below decks, were shot on board ship. The title music is just as stirring as the Thunderbirds march and I’ve been able to hum it ever since.
I enjoy, or at least am interested in, old ships, computers, scuba diving, science and the sea. I can probably trace all those back to this show.
Barrier Reef was produced by the same company that made Skippy. It seems grossly unfair that that stupid wallaby gets the lasting fame and Barrier Reef has faded beyond even the reach of DVD re-releases. How hard would it be? I’ll do without the usual cast interviews, value added features and easter eggs. Just stick the eps on disk and I’ll watch them end to end. And pay for it. Who could ask more?
Two things I learn as an adult watching the closing titles that evaded me as a child. Three things. Among the things I learn are: (1) without the music it would be pretty dull. (2) I bet that boat’s under power. (3) There’s a key change I’d forgotten. For the opening titles, Bonusbarn comments that that’s the most useless submarine he’s ever seen.