H2O: Just Add Water

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H2O: Just Add Water
H2O Just Add Water.png
Also known asH2O
Created by Jonathan M. Shiff
Directed by
Theme music composerShelley Rosenberg
Opening theme"No Ordinary Girl"
Ending theme"No Ordinary Girl"
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of series3
No. of episodes78 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Jonathan M. Shiff
  • Kay Ben M'Rad (series 1)
  • Julia Adams (series 2–3)
  • Jonathan M. Shiff
  • Joanna Werner
  • Bruce Phillips (series 1)
  • Zenon Sawko (series 2–3)
  • Geoff Lamb
  • Strutts Psyridis
  • Philip Watts
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time23–25 minutes
Production company Jonathan M. Shiff Productions
Distributor ZDF Enterprises (worldwide) [1]
Original network Network Ten
Audio format Surround sound
Original release7 July 2006 (2006-07-07) 
16 April 2010 (2010-04-16)
Related shows

H2O: Just Add Water, also known as H2O, is an Australian fantasy teen drama created by Jonathan M. Shiff. It first screened on Australia's Network Ten and runs in syndication on channels in over 120 countries and has a worldwide audience of more than 250 million. [2] [3] It was filmed on location at Sea World and other locations on the Gold Coast. The show revolves around three teenage girls facing everyday teen problems with an added twist: they are mermaids with powers over water.


Only two series with a total of 52 episodes were originally planned, but due to popular demand, a third series was filmed. Series one premiered in July 2006, followed by series two in September 2007. Series three first aired in the United Kingdom in October 2009, with the Australian premiere occurring in May 2010.


Rikki Chadwick, Emma Gilbert, and Cleo Sertori are three teenage Australian girls who find themselves stranded on the mysterious Mako Island, where they end up in a pool under a dormant volcano just as a full moon passes above them, bathing the pool in light. The girls are rescued and brought back to shore, only to discover something strange. Ten seconds after coming into contact with water, the girls transform into mermaids. After further experimentation, the girls also discover they have supernatural powers over water. The trio enlist the help of Cleo's friend Lewis McCartney to help them keep their secret and find out more about it.

Everyday situations, such as bathing and dealing with rainy weather, become tricky as the girls struggle with their newfound abilities, which come with many advantages and disadvantages, while also trying to keep them a secret from everyone else, including their families. They soon adapt to their new abilities and lifestyles.

Series two introduces Charlotte Watsford, a rival to Cleo, for dating Lewis shortly after Cleo had broken up with him. She gains mermaid powers and becomes the main antagonist of series two. She has all three of the mermaids' powers. In the end, Charlotte loses both her powers and Lewis.

Series three sees the departure of Emma, who has left to travel the world with her parents. A new character, Bella Hartley, is introduced and it is discovered that she has been a mermaid since the age of nine. Rikki and Cleo become friends with Bella, but are soon beset by a mysterious tentacle of water with a connection to Mako Island. A new boy, Will Benjamin, also arrives and becomes friends with the trio when he discovers that they are mermaids. The girls learn that Earth is in the path of a comet that could destroy the planet. They try to think of a plan to stop the catastrophe.





SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 267 July 2006 (2006-07-07)29 December 2006 (2006-12-29)
2 2628 September 2007 (2007-09-28)21 March 2008 (2008-03-21)
3 2626 October 2009 (2009-10-26) (UK)16 April 2010 (2010-04-16) (UK)

Development and production

There are three different types of mermaid tails used on the show: custom-fitted tails that the girls swim in, a "floppy tail" used for stationary shots, and a "hard tail" for stunts. The custom costumes took six months to build, with the tails and tops made from body casts and comprising individually hand-crafted scales. The finished product weighs between 12 and 15 kilograms (26 and 33 lb). Inside the tail are leg straps where the girls are strapped up and then zipped up. Once in costume, the girls have to be lifted into the water. Attempts were made to minimise the on-screen visibility of the zips on the tails, such as adding extra scales and crafting a ridge of material around the length of the zip. The tail fin itself was designed with a foot pedal to assist the actresses with swimming. This, along with the fin, adds some 60 centimetres (2 ft) to the length of the costume.


Home media

All series have been released on DVD in Region 4 PAL format. Series one comprises six individual DVD sets released between September 2007 and November 2008, and a complete series set released in June 2009. Series two comprises three individual sets released between February and September 2009, and a complete series set released in November 2009. Series three comprises two individual sets released in July and September 2012, with a complete series released in December 2012.

A three-disc set, H2O: Season 1, Volume 1, containing the first 13 episodes of series 1 for Region 1 NTSC format was released on 16 June 2009 by Nickelodeon as a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) DVD-R release via Amazon.com through their CreateSpace service. No follow-up DVD volume releases were made from this initial set, which was later discontinued. [5] [6] A complete series DVD boxed set was released in Region 1 NTSC format on 6 November 2012 from New Video, [7] and all three series were made available for purchase individually beginning on 5 March 2013. [8]

TitleRelease dateEpisodes
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series One: Volume 1
12 September 20071."Metamorphosis", 2."Pool Party", 3."Catch of the Day", 4."Party Girls"
  • Special features: series one trailer, profiles of main characters
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series One: Volume 2
12 September 20075."Something Fishy", 6."Young Love", 7."Moon Spell", 8."The Denman Affair"
  • Special features: photo gallery of series one
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series One: Volume 3
5 March 20089."Dangerous Waters", 10."Sink or Swim", 11."The Camera Never Lies", 12."The Siren Effect"
  • Special features: character profiles of Emma, Cleo, Rikki, Lewis and Zane
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series One: Volume 4
7 May 200813."Shipwrecked", 14."Surprise!", 15."The Big Chill", 16."Lovesick"
  • Special features: H2O quiz game
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series One: Volume 5
9 July 200817."Under the Weather", 18."Bad Moon Rising", 19."Hurricane Angela", 20."Hook, Line and Sinker", 21."Red Herring"
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series One: Volume 6
5 November 200822."Fish Out of Water", 23."In Too Deep", 24."Love Potion #9", 25."Dr Danger", 26."A Twist in the Tail"
H2O: Just Add Water:
Complete Series One
2 June 2009All episodes of series one
  • Special features: H2O quiz game, character profiles of Emma, Cleo, Rikki, Lewis and Zane, photo gallery of series one, series one trailer, profiles of main characters
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series 2: Volume 1
27 January 20091."Stormy Weather", 2."Control", 3."The One That Got Away", 4."Fire and Ice", 5."Hocus Pocus", 6."Pressure Cooker", 7."In Hot Water", 8."Wrong Side of the Tracks"
  • Special features: series one telemovie, series two trailer
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series 2: Volume 2
2 June 20099."Riding For a Fall", 10."Missed the Boat", 11."In Over Our Heads", 12."Fish Fever", 13."Moonwalker", 14."Get Off My Tail", 15."Irresistible", 16."Double Trouble", 17."Moonstruck"
  • Special features: photo gallery of series two
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series 2: Volume 3
2 September 200918."The Heat is On", 19."The Gracie Code (Part 1)", 20."The Gracie Code (Part 2)", 21."And Then There Were Four", 22."Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble", 23."Reckless", 24."Three's Company", 25."Sea Change", 26."Unfathomable"
  • Special features: behind the scenes special
H2O: Just Add Water:
Complete Series Two
4 November 2009All episodes of series two
  • Special features: series one telemovie, series two trailer, photo gallery of series two, behind-the-scenes special
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series 3: Volume 1
27 June 20121."The Awakening", 2."Jungle Hunt", 3."Keep Your Enemies Close", 4."Valentine's Day", 5."Big Ideas", 6."Secrets & Lies", 7."Happy Families", 8."Kidnapped", 9."The Sorcerer's Apprentice", 10."Revealed", 11."Just a Girl At Heart", 12."Crime & Punishment", 13."To Have & To Hold Back"
  • Special Features:Photo Gallery & Character Profiles
H2O: Just Add Water:
Series 3: Volume 2
5 September 201214."Mermaid Magic" 15."Power Play", 16."The Dark Side", 17."A Magnetic Attraction", 18."Into The Light", 19."Breakaway", 20."Queen For A Day", 21."The Jewel Thief", 22."Mako Masters", 23."Beach Party", 24."Too Close For Comfort", 25."A Date With Destiny", 26."Graduation"
  • Special features: behind the scenes special
H2O: Just Add Water:
Complete Series Three
3 December 2012All episodes of series three
  • Special features: behind the scenes special
H2O: Just Add Water:
Complete Series
3 December 2012All three series in one box
  • Special features: bonus features known from previous releases


An official soundtrack for series two of the show, titled H2O: Just Add Water and recorded by singer Kate Alexa, was first released on 10 September 2007 in Australia on Liberation Records and has since been made available worldwide. Its lead track, "No Ordinary Girl", is the theme song for the show. "No Ordinary Girl" is performed by Ellie Henderson in series one, by Kate Alexa in series two and by Indiana Evans in series three.

A second soundtrack, featuring music from series three, was first released on iTunes on 17 February 2011 [9] and later worldwide in March 2011. It is also titled H2O: Just Add Water and was recorded by actress Indiana Evans. [10]


Several children's books have been released by Nickelodeon UK: [11]

  1. No Ordinary Girl – 2 February 2009
  2. Living with Secrets – 2 February 2009
  3. Fishy Business – 5 May 2009
  4. A Sleepover Tail – 6 July 2009
  5. Sequins for Sea Queens – 7 January 2010
  6. First Crush – 29 April 2010
  7. Moonspell – 5 August 2010
  8. Testing Times – 6 January 2011
  9. Hot Stuff – 9 June 2011
  10. In Too Deep – 4 August 2011
  11. Mermaid Emotions – 27 October 2011
  12. Siren Status – 2 February 2012

Awards and nominations

2007 Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards Best TV Show [2] H2O: Just Add WaterNominated
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program [12] H2O: Just Add WaterNominated
2008 AFI Awards Best Visual Effects [13] H2O: Just Add WaterWon
Best Children's Television Drama [14] H2O: Just Add WaterNominated
Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama [14] Phoebe TonkinNominated
Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama [14] Brittany ByrnesNominated
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program [15] H2O: Just Add WaterNominated
Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards Best TV Drama Show [16] H2O: Just Add WaterWon
2009 Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards Best Drama Show [17] H2O: Just Add WaterNominated
Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program [18] H2O: Just Add WaterWon
2011 AACTA Awards Best Children's Television Series [19] H2O: Just Add WaterNominated


In July 2011, the production of a 26-episode spin-off was announced. [20] The new series, Mako: Island of Secrets , follows the adventures of 15-year-old Zac and mermaids Sirena, Nixie, and Lyla. [21] In the final series of the show, Cariba Heine makes a guest appearance as Rikki.

In May 2015, an animated spin-off targeted to children premiered on Netflix, titled H2O: Mermaid Adventures . [22] [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

Cleo may refer to:

<i>Ocean Girl</i> Television series

Ocean Girl is an Australian science fiction TV series aimed for family audiences and starring Marzena Godecki as the lead character. The show is set in the near future, and focuses on an unusual girl named Neri who lives alone on an island, and the friendships she develops with the inhabitants of an underwater research facility called ORCA the show is an example of deep ecology science fiction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indiana Evans</span> Australian actress and singer-songwriter (born 1990)

Indiana Rose Evans (born 27 July 1990) is an Australian actress, singer and songwriter, known for her roles in Home and Away as Matilda Hunter, H2O: Just Add Water as Bella Hartley, and Blue Lagoon: The Awakening as Emmaline Robinson.

Kate Alexa Gudinski is an Australian pop rock singer and the daughter of the late Australian music promoter Michael Gudinski, AM. Alexa first hit the spotlight in 2004 when her song "Always There" was featured in the Channel 7 series Home and Away. After supporting the Backstreet Boys on their Australia tour, her third single "All I Hear" shot straight into the ARIA top ten, and stayed inside the top twenty for eight weeks.

Ariel (<i>The Little Mermaid</i>) Title character in Disneys 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid

Ariel is a fictional character in Walt Disney Pictures' 28th animated film The Little Mermaid (1989). Ariel is voiced by Jodi Benson in all official animated appearances and merchandise.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phoebe Tonkin</span> Australian actress

Phoebe Jane Elizabeth Tonkin (born 12 July 1989) is an Australian actress. She is known for portraying Cleo Sertori in H2O: Just Add Water, Fiona Maxwell in Tomorrow, When the War Began, Faye Chamberlain in The Secret Circle, and Hayley Marshall in The CW series The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off series The Originals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Claire Holt</span> Australian actress

Claire Rhiannon Holt (born 11 June 1988) is an Australian-American actress, who is known for her roles as Emma Gilbert in H2O: Just Add Water, Samara Cook in Pretty Little Liars, Chastity Meyer in Mean Girls 2, Rebekah Mikaelson in The Vampire Diaries, and its spinoff series The Originals and Legacies and Kate in the 2017 survival horror film, 47 Meters Down.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cariba Heine</span> Australian actress (born 1988)

Cariba Heine (born c. 1988) is a South African-born Australian actress and dancer. She is known for her roles as Rikki Chadwick in the Network Ten show H2O: Just Add Water, Bridget Sanchez in the third series of Blue Water High, and Caroline Byrne in A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne.

Brittany Anne Byrnes (born 31 July 1987) is an Australian actress. Her most notable acting role has been Charlotte Watsford in H2O: Just Add Water.

Taryn Natalie Marler is an Australian actress.

Cleo Massey is an Australian actress. She is known for her portrayal of Kim Sertori in the television series H2O: Just Add Water. Massey has been performing on TV and film since the age of 11. In 2010, she was cast in the feature-length film The Little Things (2010) directed by Neil McGregor. In 2015, Cleo began a blog called Pass Around the Smile, based around living a positive life. Pass Around the Smile has since expanded into events, courses, online meditations and Positive Guidance cards. Gaining influence and exposure on social media sites such as Tik Tok and Facebook, Cleo has continued to help many people live an authentic and happy life. Cleo got married on the 11th of December 2021, to her partner of 10 years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jonathan M. Shiff</span> Australian television producer

Jonathan Mark Shiff, better known as Jonathan M. Shiff, is an Australian television producer of television series. After leaving his work as a lawyer, he founded his Melbourne-based production company, Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, in 1988. His company produces programs for children and families, which are screened in 170 countries. He is regarded in the industry as being known for discovering Australian talent who go on to successful international careers, such as Margot Robbie, Liam Hemsworth, Claire Holt, and Phoebe Tonkin.

<i>Mako: Island of Secrets</i> Australian television series

Mako: Island of Secrets is an Australian television programme for children and teenagers created by Jonathan M. Shiff. Internationally released as Mako Mermaids, the show is a spin-off of H2O: Just Add Water and is produced by Jonathan M. Shiff Productions in association with Network Ten, ZDF and Netflix.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mermaiding</span>

Mermaiding is the practice of wearing, and often swimming in, a costume mermaid tail.

Ivy Joy Latimer is an Australian-American actor best known for portraying the mermaid Nixie on the TV series Mako: Island of Secrets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lucy Fry</span> Australian actress

Lucy Elizabeth Fry is an Australian actress. She is known for portraying Zoey in Lightning Point, Lyla in Mako: Island of Secrets, and Lissa Dragomir in the film Vampire Academy. Fry was also cast in Hulu's eight part miniseries 11.22.63 as Marina Oswald, wife of Lee Harvey Oswald, and played the lead in the 2016 Australian horror television series Wolf Creek and Tikka in the 2017 Netflix film Bright.

<i>H<sub>2</sub>O: Mermaid Adventures</i>

H2O: Mermaid Adventures is an animated Netflix original programme for children. It is based on the Australian teenage show H2O: Just Add Water created by Jonathan M. Shiff. The series is produced by Denis Olivieri and directed by Tian Xiao Zhang. A 13-episode first series was released to Netflix on 22 May 2015. The second series was released on Netflix on 15 July 2015.

The Bureau of Magical Things is an Australian drama television series created by Jonathan M. Shiff and developed by Jonathan M. Shiff and Mark Shirrefs that premiered in Australia on Eleven on 8 July 2018, and aired through 2 November 2018. In the United States, the series debuted on Nickelodeon on 8 October 2018; it later moved to TeenNick where it was broadcast from 15 October to 8 November 2018. The series stars Kimie Tsukakoshi, Elizabeth Cullen, Mia Milnes, Julian Cullen, Rainbow Wedell, Jamie Carter, and Christopher Sommers. The Bureau of Magical Things was renewed for a second season in November 2019, which premiered on 10 July 2021 on 10 Shake.


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