Farewell: Rescue Special Ops

Minor Spoilers: Tonight the final ever episode of Rescue Special Ops will air on Nine, bringing to a close the Southern Star series about paramedics who specialise in rescue operations.

After three seasons the show will end as it began, with a mix of alpha-males, action and romance, often at the same time together. There seemed to be so much flirting on this series that it was sometimes surprising people got rescued at all.

Whenever I watched Rescue I always hoped there would be an episode that would break from the pack with a ripping script and taut direction. Sadly, I don’t remember seeing one.

Instead there were too many illogical choices by characters, with clunky dialogue that too often described verbally what it was already showing me visually. This is despite some well-stage stunts and nifty cinematography. Amid it all, Les Hill held up as the backbone of this show.

Whilst it hasn’t been a high rating show for some time Rescue has amassed a loyal, if modest, band of followers who will be sorry to see it go.

In terms of story the final episode doesn’t quite close the door, perhaps being finished without clarity from the network about its future.

I’m not really sure what the show’s legacy will be, but perhaps it is in establishing a new female producing duo in Sarah Smith and Julie McGauran. Showing they aren’t about to rest on their laurels, they have since moved onto Wild Boys, with telemovie Dripping in Chocolate next in their sights.

And that’s not such a bad legacy after all.

Rescue Special Ops finale airs 8:30pm tonight on Nine.


  1. I am soooo bummed-finished.. for good!? why?? sure there were issues with some areas but overall a worthy show to watch.
    I thought it was a great aussie drama- watched it every week.I too sat down to watch it last week & was so peeved when no rescue,then went to watch it again last night & again, no rescue. There was no big announcements or lead-ups stating the ‘finale’ like they do with all the other shows that will finish.I had no idea there was to be no more rescue- soo disappointed – i did enjoy it! Darn!
    There are shows that aren’t half as good & they don’t look nowhere near close to finishing( days of our lives) – now that show shoud have been axed 20yrs ago- really far fetched!& that stupid dinner date! c’mon! bring back Rescue!

  2. Please channel 9 bring rescue back!!! All the characters are good, Heidi, Jordan, Chase, Lara, Dean, Locky, Michelle and Vince. You have disapointed a lot of fans.

  3. We sat down tonight for our usual dose of Monday night entertainment to find that to our surprise Rescue wasn’t on. Then even to my greater surprise I read that it has been cancelled. Gutless bloody channel 9, not even a word last week that this was the last episode. Typical Channel 9, scrap another good Australian show for more American crap and reality rubbish. Police Rescue wasn’t an amazing production but it was good entertainment and supported Australian actors.
    Good luck to a fine group of Aussie actors….job well done.

  4. I loved Rescue and watched every show. I am very very disappointed in Channel 9 who obviously are trying to get American TV shows to take over Australian Tv shows. We are lucky to have such Australian dramas and Australian Talents in Peter Phelps, Andrew Lees and Les Hill. I hope their talents are recognized on another channel and show up Channel 9 for axing such a great show. Monday nights and Australian drama will never be the same.

  5. Compared to some rubbish that’s scheduled these days, I enjoyed this show. I’m hoping channel 9 finds all the farmers wives so they can kill that show too!

  6. I actually enjoyed seeing Les Hill back on aussie tv (post Underbelly) not 2 mention Gigi not dressed for Farscape. We do have some ultra fine acting talent in this country, just a shame we can have a shos for them all.

  7. I actually enjoyed watching this show – it was visually stunning, and I don’t think it was all that predictable (one or two rescue operations went wrong where you were expecting them to succeed). Granted, some of the storylines were shocking, but I’m still sorry to see Rescue go.

  8. I loved Rescue Special Ops and watched it every night. There is going to be nothing on Mondays any more now. Also I agree with Craig they should have played one episode last week and two tonight. I like watching Rush and the police shows but this was good for a change watching a rescue show. Channel 9 hasn’t had many good shows on and the only ones that I like are Rescue, McLeod’s Daughters and Farmer Wants a Wife. I wish they would put in another season.

  9. @allie
    I totally forget about cops: lac! I still think the strip was worse, but man was that show shockingly bad, i mean not to mention it lays claim to the worst name a television show has ever had

  10. Underbelly aside, Channel 9’s last really successful local drama was McLeod’s Daughters. They’ve had an absolutely pathetic track record of late with weekly drama series, that’s for sure. Nine haven’t had a decent, watchable drama in years, they have been serving up a steady stream of mediocrity – Cops:LAC, The Strip, Sea Patrol, Young Lions, Canal Road, etc. Seven and the ABC cream them when it comes to local drama series.

  11. Another example of an Australian drama following a well-worn “formula” or “template” laid down about thirty years ago – a concept show with soapie elements. It used to work for shows like “A Country Practice” and “Cop Shop” in a twice weekly format, then was very successful in the 90s with shows like “Blue Heelers”, “Police Rescue”, “Water Rats” and “All Saints”. Essentially they all centre around a concept or a setting which offers potential plots and supplement it with the usual cliched soap (romances, domestic issues etc) and similar characters. How many copies of this formula have there been, even in recent years? Even “Crownies” still falls into this same template.

    Producers need to shake things up more. How about a cop show that Only deals with the police work (like early years of “The Bill”) or a law show that is only about the cases featured in an episode. Is it that hard to not follow the characters home and have them hop beds with their colleagues? There are so many ways you can tell stories.

  12. Moanique in Brisbane

    From what I have seen of the show, the acting is good, but the storylines are weak and predictable. Channel Nine has never really had much success with drama’s, Underbelly and The Sullivans aside.

  13. There are a lot worse shows on television at the moment than Rescue and it is just another victim to the cheap to produce crap that rates at the moment. We enjoy Rescue each week just as we did with Sea Rescue and Rush. They may be predictable, cliched and over the top but it sure beats watching somebody paint a wall.

  14. I too am amazed it lasted as long as it did — the producers didn’t do the show any favours by calling it “Rescue Special Ops” or just plain “Rescue” half the time — brand recogition is everything and the show was fighting an uphill battle from the start with such an unimaginative title.

  15. I think the legacy is virtually zero apart from the producing duo as you suggest….but the show was just a ‘filler’ for one night of the week. I hope they bring in Same Name to replace it.

  16. Why didn’t they have a single ep last week, as planned and a double ep final tonight?

    I haven’t watched it much of late it just annoys me we you do go to watch it this season and you don’t know if you’re gonna get one or 2 eps.

  17. ‘m surprised it lasted three seasons, it should have been axed after the first season, as it never really delivered on the ratings front. TV Networks, can we please now have a moratorium on police resuce and medical based dramas? Thank you.

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