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Neighbours: Discussion Thread

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I agree that Oliver and Carmella's return was rushed, as well as Rebecca's exit. I'm not really sure why they chose to bring back Oliver and Carmella anyway, as they barely featured in the episodes they were in, and their return just seemed like a publicity stunt. I was annoyed that Carmella didn't share a scene with Toadie.

I hated the Scullys when they arrived. Maybe because the Martins were my favourite Neighbours family, so to me, it was a heavy blow that their exit episode didn't end on their exit. It was so contrived how the Scullys pulled into the drive just as the Martins left. I guess they wanted to show that a new era had started, but it just highlighted what a loss the Martins were. Then the writers proceeded to give the Scullys a stereotypical, OTT entrance with them rubbing people up the wrong way etc i.e. Lyn saying about Susan's hair. To me Steph and Lyn are iconic in Neighbours history, especially Lyn. But I think the others are generally forgettable. ITA about Lyn's idiosyncrasies. She was OTT to begin with, but she became such a brilliantly defined character thanks to Janet's brilliant acting. I never understood why they chose to bring in a nuclear family with three daughters, there wasn't much appealing about them at first, though I guess Flick was hot and that was something that young boys would have liked. I guess Phil and Ruth had naturally reached the end of their potential in storylines, but much like Karl and Susan stick around still for the fact that they're long-termers and generally are loved by the fans, I think the Martins should have too. I don't know if I attach a certain amount of sentimental value to the family as they were the main family during my upbringing. Though Ian Rawlings was very committed to the show, and at that point the Martins were the only, if tenuoius, link to the beginning of the show. I suppose Madge was also there, but it wasn't as if the Martins had become a fragmented family as Hannah, Anne and Lance were still in the show, though maybe they realised that Anne was leaving in a few months and wanted no.26 to have a clean slate. Michelle Scully started to become a decent character around 2002, when shebegan dating Connor. She was a very bland character but I found Flick rather bland too. A character like Joe Scully seems to be a rareity these days; an alpha male trying to look after his family the best he can. The older males in the show seem very watered down aka Michael, or characters based on the Joe Scully model just fail epicly, i.e. Steve Parker.

As for storied Phil and Ruth could have had, I could see maybe Ruth wanting to have some/a child/ren together but Phil not being keen on the idea since already had children from two different marriages. Another reason it was silly to get rid of them, was because they could always have brought back Debbie, or rather Michael, who could always have been a source for stories, being such a troubled character. I can see why you found Debbie annoying but I liked her on the whole. I always think she didn't really know how she fitted into the family. I am too young to remember, but I have been told that during her anorexia/bulimia storylines, Marnie Reece-Wilmore slimmed down so much the story had a real impact.

I agree about the K/S/I triangle. It was extremely well-written and last year I watched the entire 2004 season again. It was so good that it only took me a few months to get through. You could see each character's point of view and every twist and turn had you on the edge of your seat, like Father Tom Scully getting involved, Darcy, Gus, the dreams. It was paced so well; it wasn't too dragged out or too fast. It seemed so real and natural. I was a Kizzy fan too. There was a chemistry between Karl and Izzy, and you really wanted Izzy to just be loved and cared for.

I like your ideas for the Ramsay backstory. Such a shame that nothing will ever be done to sort out that mess while Bower is in control.

I am very much a fan of Toadie and Sonya. They are becoming one of the best couples in the show at the moment, but I think Eve Morey is an outstanding actress who really drives the stories with her portrayal. I don’t have a problem with the fact that her being Callum’s mother came out of nowhere. I’m sick of reading that they edited the backstory to fit with it when actually, they didn’t. I don’t like how the adults [email protected]#$%^&*] foot around Callum and treat him like a ten year old, plus I feel that Toadie can be a bit self-righteous and has changed quite a bit as a character but that is down to the plot-driven nature of the wrters storytelling at the moment. I didn’t appreciate how Sonya was victimised by promising Callum that she would never gamble again, as she only did that because she loved him so much. Sonya and Toadie have potential to be a long-term Neighbours couple IMO, I just hope that Eve Morey is committed to the show long-term, I’d love to see the two have children.

As for Drew/Joel/Sarah/Dee/Tess, I have to admit, they’re probably a bit before my time as I don’t recall that much about them. Drew was a similar character to Declan in that he was a leading man and a bit of a heart throb, his relationship with Libby never really bothered me that much and I actually thought she had much stronger chemistry with Darren. I couldn’t stand Joel, he was quite annoying a lot of the time and I wasn’t a fan of the no.30 comedy plots of that time with him, Toadie and Lance, though Lance was a vastly superior character. I can’t comment on Tess as I know virtually nothing about her. After the Martins left, I lost a lot of passion for Neighbours and din’t start watching properly again until 2003. Recently I’ve watched the 2002 season so that is still fresh in my mind but the there’s nothing from the 00-01 period that makes me want to watch it.

I don’t think the Hancocks deserve the reputation they have. I suppose you could argue that they were extremely bland but I don’t see why the writers couldn’t have developed the characters more to make them work. Evan, to me, was clearly the weak link of the piece. He seemed such a weak male character, and the actor was awfully stunted in his delivery. IMO they should have killed him off and kept the rest. Given time I think Maggie could have been a great character. When I went back to watching the 2002 season this year I was surprised that the family were so hated. They were heavily involved in storylines leading up to their departure such as Matt drag racing and the marriage problems between Maggie and Evan and there were some touching moments. I recall a moment when Matt was taken away by the police and he had to explain to Emily that he was going away for a while, it was all very heart-breaking. The Parkers far surpass the Hancocks as worst Neighbours family ever, if you ask me.

IA about Harold’s return. On the whole it has been a disappointment for me. I was expecting some epic scenes with all the old-timers like Lyn, the Ks, Lou, Toadie and Summer. I was also annoyed that he didn’t even share one scene with Lyn. His return has lacked something. I think it’s because they brought him back for Toadie’s storyline and I would have much rather he came back for a story of his own. It just all lacked purpose and you were left wondering why they even brought him back. I was one of the few who wasn’t against Harold re-marrying and I stick by that, but they even managed to stuff that up. It could have been great, but we didn’t get to see any of Harold and Carolyn’s relationship without other characters thrust upon scenes and that left you with the feeling that you didn’t know who she was. Then they make her bribe Troy to leave town, not allow Harold to have a bucks night and be a right b*tch to Lou for no reason. It was like the writers didn’t even want viewers to like Carolyn? To be honest I’m not really sure how they managed to screw it up so badly. I’m not even sure how her name is meant to be pronounced?

I loved Connor. I actually really miss him and his friendship with Toadie is one of my all-time favourites. The Stu/Connor/Toadie household is far supierior to the Lance/Joel/Toad one, though maybe not as strong as the 2006 gang. He was such a fun and upbeat character, though a little silly at times, I can see why people would think he was one-dimensional in some ways.

The ECO triangle sent me to sleep. I hated Oliver with a passion. He’s one of the most selfish characters of all time. Oliver was the root of the problem, but none of the pairings appealed to me either. Mia was a character with great potential, they should have kept her on, her and Oliver had quite a lot of chemistry but I think Mia was the sort of character who would work with anyone.

IA about Sister Mary Catherine. I know that she only became a nun to ease her conscience, but as you say they should have shown how religion had become important to her. The way they did write it in the end just showed that it was an ill-thought out plot device and lacked depth. The story would have had more of a point if Carmella’s time in the convent had impacted her more than she was expecting it. Perhaps she realised that their way of life was something to be admired, and her attitude to life did change after all? They didn’t need it to be a major part of her character after she ditched the habit, but it could have slightly influence her behaviour from then on. The odd comment here or there to guide the other characters. Just to show that people can be driven by religion, even if it’s just in a subtle way.

I think I’ve answered your posts back to front, not sure if I’ve replied to everything but will soon when I get time. These posts are insanely long but I enjoy reading them :P

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I just realised that I said I'd add more to the thread later, but reading through your points I think I've responded to everything! The only thing I'd like to add is that when I said I loved Cameron's death, it was more that I was impressed with the stunt than anything else. When I heard that Max was going to run him down, I was expecting some lame off-camera shot a la the Parkers car crash, but we actually saw Max hit Cameron and it looked real. It is a rare moment that Neighbours does a stunt and it works. I really wish that we had seen Paul fall from the mezzaninein the 6000th episode. What we got instead was pathetic and ruined the tension in the episode.

Look forward to reading your reply soon!

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You're right, that stunt was good. I was seriously disappointed with the Parker crash, b/c they had a budget increase and I expected more. Instead, they chose to spend all the money on cameras and fancy direction, instead of the actual crash - a stunt that was the heart of the story, not the equipment used to get several "great" scenes of Steve running aimlessly through the bush for an entire episode (literally) or the crane shots of the crash aftermath. I don't know if you saw the 1997(?) season finale, when Ben flipped his car on the race track and it caught fire, but that was an awesome stunt, and one that I've never forgotten (I wish I could see it again); this is what I imagined the Parker's crash to be like, but better due to having more money. Seriously disappointing. By the time Paul's fall from the mezzanine came about, I didn't have such high expectations, but I never thought it would turn out as cheaply as it did. Those SFX were beyond terrible, and really tainted what had been one of the best episodes of 2010 (can't decide if it was *the* best ep, or if the aftermath of Libby learning Steph's secret was slightly better - they were both the best single episodes of 2010). Now, my expectations were as low as they could go, so I was surprised when Steph mowed down Ringo, as it wasn't that bad. Disappointing that they didn't show Steph's bike spin off, like they did with the Steph/Libby bike crash in 2000 (I really enjoyed that storyline, as it still was impacting on the characters 10 years later, and it merged with the Tess/Brendan domestic abuse story).

I think their return was a publicity stunt, as Rebecca didn't physically need Oliver to leave town. A simple plane ticket sent e-mail would have serviced, and provided enough incentive and an escape route for her.

I remember that scene where the Martins turned left and the Scullys pulled in from the right. It felt like the Scullys were bring forced on to us from the get go, not giving anyone time to mourn the loss of the Martins. They made the Scullys annoying from the get-go, kinda like they were aliens, who had invaded #26 (a tactic that was repeated with the Timminses and their bogan ways). Are Lyn and Steph iconic simply b/c they lasted for 10 years? If the rest of their family had done the same, would they be classed as iconic, too? What makes Lyn and Steph iconic characters, as there isn't particularly stand-out character traits that the show hadn't seen before in Steph. Flick has been the template for many vixens over the years, like Izzy and Tash; and Joe was the shows' last true blue Aussie male, an archetype the show hadn't really seen since the days of Joe Mangle. I liked that they were 3 daughters instead of the usual mix of genders. Flick's instant appeal would have been b/c she was hot. The Martins are different to the Kennedys, and I feel like they (the Martins) never had the story scope like the Kennedys have. Could you imagine Phil or Ruth cheating and embarking on separate lives with a younger woman and a priest, respectively? Or having retrograde amnesia? The Kennedys also had Libby and the ability to bring Mal back, but Martins were set to lose Anne, and Lance moved on to #30, and all they would've had was Hannah, and she was no Libby. I found Ruth very dull and bland, and I can't imagine what the show would be like if she had stayed for as long as the Kennedys. The Kennedys have lasted not just b/c they're fan favourites, but b/c they had the ability to explore new story ground with them. Instead of comparing the Martins to the Kennedys, really, we should be comparing them to the Scullys, as they are the family that replaced the Martins, and showed the direction the show wanted to go in; they show the range of storylines that they were able to tell with the Scullys that they couldn't with the Martins, b/c they were disbanding. The only story that Lyn & Joe had that could have been given to Phil & Ruth, was maybe them having a baby, but I have this feeling that they explored that story with them... did they not? And you've already said that. :lol: I never saw Debbie's eating disorder story, and as I've said, I never really liked her character, so I wouldn't have warmed to her returning. Michael would have been good to explore further, but in the long-term, how much story would he have generated to the same extent the Scullys and Kennedys have?

Michelle was bland, and she did come into her own with Connor, even though he was a character that I never feel liked. He annoyed me on so many levels, except for when he was with Carmella, and doing HoT stuff (not all, but most HoT stories); I was glad when he left, but hated his crappy exit. Did Robert kill him? That was a good start, but then a week later it turned out he was in China. WTF?! That was not thought through at all. I loved Flick; she wasn't bland, just didn't have the same level of complexities as Tash and Izzy, but she did have issues. She was the pampered princess, but none of that fulfilled her; she wanted a lot of what other people had, and was never really satisfied when she got it, b/c she was never truly happy. She romanticized everything and used that to justify her behaviour. Extremely selfish, but once she learnt to put other peoples needs before her own (I.e. Steph) that kinda changed her. What did you think of Jack? Do you think he fitted in well with the family, or was his inclusion random? Like I said above, Joe has been the last proper older Aussie male character since the days of Joe Mangle. Steve Parker was a horrendous creation, who was simply horrible. I don't understand how anyone could like him or Bridget and their horrible personalities. Michael Williams is watered down b/c he hasn't been developed properly. Plus, there is an element to him that is supposed to be laid-back surfer dude - he's not supposed to be like Joe Scully. Have you read that they've cast Tash's aunt? She's supposed to be Serbian, so that should be cool. I hope she's Tash's maternal aunt, as that will create more story scope, and Michael could never pass for Serbian if she is Tash's paternal aunt, like DS said. She's got a 6 month contract, so I hope she proves popular and sticks around, as Tash really needs an older female family member, and *we* need to learn about Michael's past.

You really did want Izzy to "win", and I loved that she ended up having Karl's baby. I felt like that was a nod to all the loyal Kizzy fans. I loved how they incorporated Darcy into the story, first with him returning as Lou's cell mate, and then discovering Izzy's secret, and his "ambiguous" tumble down the stairwell, where you weren't sure if she pushed him or not, which lead to him being set-up for burglary, falling into a coma, only to wake up months later blackmailing Izzy, that triggered her nightmares, only for Darcy to spill her secret to Susan in a letter. Phew! My mother never liked Father Tom; she thought he was smug, and hated it when he popped back up again in 2006? (I forget the year.) Relating to religion and the way they handled Carmella's spell as a nun, but Tom's entrance also allowed for Lyn's Catholic beliefs to be explored, and for TPTB to forget them once Tom had left. What did you think of this aspect of Lyn's character and how they never really mentioned her beliefs again? B/c of this, I always thought she would've been less open with Chris, but then she did love Gino... I guess her Catholicism was kinda random and thrown onto Lyn b/c they created Tom?

ITA about Toadie & Sonya and Eve Morey's portrayal. They did kinda edit their back-stories, but overall a lot of it fits. Except for Jade. There are some questions that will never be answered, like why didn't Callum recognise Jade? Or why doesn't he have any memories of Jade with his great-gran? A lot of people seemed to take offence at the whole gran/great-gran thing, which I don't have a problem with, as people sometimes drop the "great" and just stick to gran. They do, but I feel that's down to Taodie and Sonya just trying to protect Callum. He has said numerous times that he's not a little kid any more. IA about Toadie's character change, and it's not been good development at all. The Steph plot really tarnished his character for a lot of people, much like the surrogacy story nearly ruined Susan's character (something she hasn't gotten over, as she's retained that judgemental streak - I hated it when Susan was judging Sonya after her secret came out; it was so out-of-character). Sonya's promise to Callum was an aspect of the story that I liked. I thought the reactions to it were spot, and understandable. I've loved the whole Toadie/Sonya/Troy/Callum story, as it had so much heart and character in it. Dieter Brummer was awesome, and I wish he had stayed around for longer as he would've made a good opposing villain to Paul. I hope Eve sticks around for many years, too, but I also hoped the same for Jane Hall, and look how that turned out.

I loved the Drew/Libby romance. That was at a time when you really rooted for the couple and wanted them to get together, not like now, where we have Andrew/Summer who have no rooting value at all b/c we haven't been given any reason to root for them. You can't have a "super-couple" without any proper romance, which is what they've been touted as. I loved Joel and the whole #30 crowd at that time. I never found Joel annoying at all. I thought Joel/Toadie/Lance + Sarah had great chemistry, even though some of the comedy was a little off. They essentially recreated that dynamic with Stuart/Toadie/Connor + Dee/Sindi. The comedy of the former was better than the latter - bikini shop, wrestling, anyone? I did quite like the Robot Wars one, though. So, I take it you didn't see the bike crash involving Libby/Steph/Tess/Brendan? That was a really good story and well shot, too. The feel of the show during the former times was more warm and fuzzy, while I loved Stu, I never quite felt the same about Connor. I don't think of 2000 as a bad year, as I quite liked some of stuff that happened, like the Tess/Brendan domestic violence story; Tad searching for his birth parents after learning he was adopted; Dee's arrival; the major development of the Libby/Drew/Steph triangle; Darcy's intro; Lance's infamous Seven Labours of Love (something I now look fondly on). 2001 also had some really good stories, like the Dee/Darcy/Tess triangle and Tess leaving Darcy at the altar; Dee's miscarriage; Lou learning that Lolly wasn't his daughter (I know, it was a retcon of the past and trashed Cheryl's character); Drew & Libby's wedding/birth of Ben; Steph & Woody (I loved seeing him again last year). I just wish that I had kept more of this stuff on tape.

The Hancocks weren't just bland, they just didn't work as a family unit. I never minded Matt's drag racing story, and I liked the Maggie/Toadie thing, but a part from that, everything else didn't really work. They were incredibly boring and dull, especially Evan, and Emily running away, Leo break dancing... almost as bad as the teen invasion of 2009 and Kate's dancing storylines.

After I typed that, Harold shared some scenes with Lucas, and Lou got a smidgen of a storyline. But overall, he should have shared scenes with Lyn, Paul, the Ks and Summer. I don't think Harold returning for Toadie should be used as an excuse, b/c that shouldn't have meant being confined to that one story bubble. Harold could still have mingled with other characters and shared the odd scene or two. It wouldn't have been difficult. The character just don't mix like they used to, or how Bower had them doing so in 2008, when she made a point about community, etc. I liked Carolyn. At first I thought it was all going to be random and rushed and not have any heart, but that wasn't quite the case. IA, we didn't get to see any of their relationship, but the fact that they had an awesome actor in Paula, and the way they made her similar to Madge, that kinda gave you the feeling that you already knew her (for me anyway). I liked how she never doubted Harold's love for her, and how he visited Madge's grave to say goodbye. Downside being, Ian Smith had to suggest those scenes as they weren't in the original script! I don't think she came off as a bad character, as her bribe to Troy was made with the best of intentions, and her being rude to Lou... well, to be fair he was disrespecting her in the first place, and she was just giving as good as he got. The no bucks night rule was her being forceful, and kinda channelling Madge in a way, with that kind of attitude and control. She had the potential to stay around for a lot longer, and I think her similarity to Madge is why Harold fell in love with her. I loved the flashbacks when Lou was in hospital and Harold thought he might die. I pronounce Carolyn the same way they did on the show. I usually say Caro'line' when it's spelt with an 'I' and Caro'lyn' when it's spelt with a 'Y'. But I have heard some people use the former for the latter as well. There's no hard and fast rule.

I never really felt like I knew Mia. Oliver worked best with her, but I never cared about them. Oliver was essentially a Will recast, and never really had much development until later on when Rebecca arrived.

I was thinking that if anyone wanted to learn about the show, all they'd have to do is read this thread, as we seem to cover a lot of ground! Good to read, just terrible to write.

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I always thought that the actor who played Oliver should have been a Will recast rather than Oliver. The same storylines could have played out the exact same way whether it was Will or Oliver (and they obviously did). Makes you wonder why they did not just make Oliver Will and be done with it.

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I can't believe I've found you Ben, I've never talked to such an interesting, intelligent person on a messageboard. I love reading your posts. Seriously, have you not written for soap before? I think you'd be great, have you ever considered it? I'd love to write for Neighbours, H&A or EastEnders but I haven't got the confidence to do anything about it. I don't know where to get the necessary experience in the field...

LOL at Steve running aimlessly through the bush for an entire episode. So true. Steve Parker's pinacle moment surely has to be talking with Lucas about a goldfish for an entire episode in 2009. I couldn't believe what I was watching. The Parkers were just a car crash full stop. I find it hugely ironic that Bridget was involved in a car accident as her arrival storyline, and then died in a car accident for her departure storyline. Neighbours can get things wrong (obviously) but to me, everything bad it has done at various times over the years, all culminated in the Parkers. Of course I've seen the 1997 season finale, I'm a hardcore Neighbours fan you know :P Yeah, I know I haven't watched 2000 or 2001, but my obsession with the show is unnatural. I have archived every episode of the show from April 2002 to the present day, bar September and November 2003. I loved that finale, you are so right, it was a brilliant season cliffhanger. Looking back, it seems strange that the show hasn't progressed in that regard. It has gone backwards in so many ways what with the censorship and the crap stunts. You have to wonder why the stunts are so poorly done. Do you think the producer just thinks it's not important, or that it's too expensive, or maybe that sometimes it's not logistically possible? I'm surprised you haven't been able to see the 97 episode again, Ben, don't you have the Iconic Episodes DVDs? The 6000th episode is my favourite episode of 2010, and actually one of my favourite episodes ever. It far surpasses the Libby/Steph aftermath if you ask me. I hated the aftermath. I didn't have a problem with the way the secret was outed, but it was all so theatrical. The confrontation out in the street between Libby an Steph is one of the lowest points in the history of the show for me. It was like the antithesis of what Neighbours should be. I liked the references to the past such as how Steph had always wanted Drew, and the first bike crash, but I found the acting quite poor. It wasn't Carla or Kym's best moment, very much 'reading the script' acting. And Libby calling Steph a 'filthy tramp' or something similar was almost as bad as when Chris was running after Andrew saying 'You're cactus, Robinson' about selling him the dating manual. Gosh, typing it out like this makes you realise how stupid the show can be sometimes :rolleyes: The camerawork for the reveal was also all over the shop, for such an important moment you'd think they'd try and keep it still. Plus the dodgy music in the background which was meant to add tension to the moment but just highlighted how pathetic the whole thing was. Funnily enough, I wasn't against the idea of Steph getting pregnant by Dan, it's just the way they went about it. They could have done it without turning Steph into a selifish, manipulative b*tch who acted without any logic whatsoever. I always said I would have liked it had she told Toadie shortly after she found out that she was pregnant to Dan, and she chose to tell everyone the baby was the result of a one-night stand. Then a few months later Libby walks in on a conversation between Steph and Toadie talking about the paternity of the baby and jumps to the conclusion that Toadie was the father. When she asks them excitedly, Steph is about to say he isn't when Toadie, in a moment of madness, jumps in to help Steph and admits that he is the father. This way all of the characters could have stayed true to themselves; Toadie would still be tied to the story but in a less contrived way. People probably would have enjoyed the storyline a lot more that way.

What were your other favourite episodes from 2010? After ep 6000 my next favourite would be 6025; Steph and Libby's confrontation followed by Ringo's death. The scenes in the bedsit were absoutely fantastic, as opposed to the reveal, these scenes were full of such emotion, they were so character-driven and so complex. It was the resolution to a story betwee friends that had been building for ten years. It touched on so many aspects of the characters and I loved it so much. The only thing that would have made it better was if Kym V hadn't used botox as it made her acting look poor with the lack of ability to move her face when in actual fact she's a star of the show. I also loved Steph's exit. It broke my heart to see her story end in such a horrible way, but I think the story, although maybe not intentional by the writers, had such a deep meaning and really made the audience think. That one mistake (sleeping with Dan) which could happen one night, can have such massive consequences for the rest of your life, because ultimately Steph wouldn't have been in that motel that day if she hadn't slept with Dan. A fantastic story and I don't care that many hated Steph's departure, I thought it was unique. I think it suited the character too. Steph has always been someone attracted to danger, right from the days of Woody, and I think there's a dark tone to the character that isn't often shown. She always felt that she wasn't worthy of being happy, and she always seems to sabotage her happiness, she feels she doesn't deserve it. And that danger is the thing she clings on to to maker her feel like she has a purpose, and that was the character's biggest downfall. I think her relationship with Max was out of character, b/c he represented everything that Steph was against, but maybe that's why she went for him, to bring normality back to her life? I suppose you could say that it was a natural progression for her to seek something grounded after the mess she made with her former boyfriends like Woody. Anyway, I've written all of this as it's why I think Steph's an iconic character. I don't know if iconic's the right word; on DS there have been many posters discussing what the word iconic actually means, and they think that people use it too often tom describe characters when the word should only be used sparingly to describe the ultimate stars of the show. I don't think that Steph became 'iconic' because she was in it for ten years, but time does help as the character develops so much more than a character who only appears for three years. To be fair though, a character has to be doing something right to be in the show that long, wouldn't you say?

You're right about the Scullys arrival making them seem like aliena. I agree that this was used later for the Timmins, but I woul say it was more successful for the latter. What's your opinion of the Timmins family? I suppose it was original that the Scullys were a family with 3 daughters but I think that limited their appeal. There was nothing to instantly like about this family or draw you in. They were just the annoying new family. The problem with it being 3 girls is that you felt like you were just watching some teen girls whining for 20 minutes, it was more like a children's TV show than a soap with the Scullys.

Reading what you've written, perhaps you are right about the Martin family. I guess we will never know because they haven't stayed as long as the Kennedys, but do you think you would have felt like that at the time, not knowing how long the K's would still be there for? Were you upset that the Martins had gone? Perhaps I wold feel differently if the Martins had been replaced by a family that I liked, but I think the fact I dislike the Scullys early years so much taints my view of getting rid of the Martins. There were other ways they could have beefed up the Martins; they could have explored more of Ruth's extended family, or maybe they could have adopted? To be fair though, it was probably the right decision to introduce a new family, I just don't think the Scullys were as good as the new family could have been. I like your description of Flick. Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between well-written characters and good actors. In this case I think I disliked Flick because I thought Holly was a poor actress. You have a point that Flick had a good story, but I never really believed in Holly as an actress. I don't like how many viewers seem to remember Flick as one of the classic characters, as I feel that gew out of Holly's looks and public profile from her music career more than anything to do with the character. Funnily enough, I LOVE Holly's music. I put on her album the other day and it doesn't sound dated at all despite being released in 2002. A highly underrated artist and a shame she didn't persevere with her music career as I think she had a good thing going with a unique sound. Jack was an ok character. Didn't exactly set me alive. I liked his 2004 storyline with Macca(?) and getting involved with drugs, even if they couldn't even say the word(!) Another fantastic story from 2004 and I love how they tied Stuart into it as well. There's nothing bad about that season, pure bliss really. :) I think Jack fitted well into the family, do you? I loved his relationship with Michelle, they had great chemistry as siblings and out of all the siblings I think they had the closest relationship. That's probably my favourite thing about both characters.

I didn't mean that I thought Michael was meant to be like Joe, but I think it's a shame that most of the older males are in that mould now rather than the Joe S/M mould. Yeah, he is supposed to be laid-bck etc which annoys the hell out of me most of the time, with his irresponsible decisions as principal. I have read about Tash's aunt, it's certainly intriguing. Do you want her to be a b*tch like Tash, or a character that can give Tash some guidance and get sympathy from the audience or Tash? I can't decide, I think I'd be happy with either scenario, but with the bching that goes on these days in the show, maybe it would be nice to have another grounded character. Especially as Dr Lawson is going to be a 'love-to-hate' character apparently. Many people are speculating that this 'aunt' could be revealed as Tash's real mum later in the year in the Lyn/Valda style. Do you think that's likely?

I have to agree with your mum about Tom Scully. I was always found him smug too, he seemed above his station. His return was in 2007, I have an unnatural affinity with the dates/years that everything happened in Neighbours, which comes out of my love for the show. I have Neighbours Asperger's. :lol: I loved that he and Susan watch Hitchcock films together one night, and in the recent story with Susan and Jim Dolan, Jim said one of his favourite films was Vertigo, to which I was hoping Susan would mention Tom but no such luck. Seems like such thorough and possibly contrived continuity would occur if I was in charge :lol: Was Lyn being religious not mentioned before Tom's arrival? I'm sure it's always been a part of the character, but maybe I'm wrong. I wouldn't have expected Lyn to react badly to Chris being gay as she was a hairdresser and as you say, loved Gino. I wish he'd come back :P

You think they did edit Callum and Sonya's backstories then? I'm inclined to disagree, as apart from Callum saying he caught his mum stealing from his piggybank, nothing else had ever been mentioned about her. So it doesn't fit with one line...? Plus I would say it is totally natural for Sonya's character. She went out of her way not to go out with Toaie back in 2009, making up all the excuses under the sun why she couldn't go out with him. I watched an ep the other day and Toadie said 'she must have a really messed up past' so it seems like it does fit to me. You're right about Jade and the GG thing. Also, why is Jade Asian? :lol:

As you say, the later no.30 group had some poor comedy stories like the bikini shop and the wrestling, but there was a lot of other light-hearted stuff that I enjoyed. Maybe I should give 2000/2001 another go, but the fact that the Scullys heavily feature is a hige turn-off for me.

Against all odds, I found myself liking Carolyn too. But I think a lot of viewers probably didn't because of the reasons I mentioned. I hadn't thought before about the similarities between her and Madge, and you have a point. But I think they could have shown her domineering side and how she was similar to Madge in a more believable way. Why shouldn't Harold have had a bucks night? It seems like an example of looking for drama when it isn't there or doesn't come naturally. Lou and Carolyn not getting on seemed like a predictable road to go down to me. What I meant by not knowing how to pronounce her name is that, right up until the wedding the characters were calling her 'Caro-lyn' but then on the wedding day even Harold pronounced it 'Caroline'...?!

I want to end this post by saying, I totally disagree that Lucas should leave, I would be very upset if he were to go as he's one of my favourite characters and has been consistently since his arrival. What an amazing actor they have in Scott Major and an awesome character in Lucas. I never get bored of his scenes and I think he's easily one of the strongest characters of the last decade. He's the sort of character that can mix with anyone and it works. So much charm and charisma hiding a damaged, vulnerable individual. I think it proves how wonderful he is that pretty much all of the characters have gone that he once interacted with, yet he continues to be such an onscreen presence.

You're right, we have covered a lot, and I know I'd certainly come here if I wanted to knoe more about the show. :lol:

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Oh my goodness, I think I may have just turned straight. How beautiful has Holl Valance become:


I'm disappointed she doesn't want to go back into music.

I was also going to ask, Ben, do you think Neighbours has the potential to last much longer or do you think it's one of the contemporary soaps which will die soon? Many people talk of its demise, and that due to low ratings on Five it most likely won't last another five or so years? It makes me sad to see on the boards and just in general that the show doesn't seem to be talked about hardly at all anymore, but will the diehard let it go without a fight? It is very much a TV anomoly, the way it's survived after its turbulent history.

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DS' Susan Bower Interview - Part 1

DS' Susan Bower Interview - Part 2

I think this is her best interview to date. It was honest and open, and the storylines all sound really promising. She's really listening to the fans, and that shows. I'm intrigued about the Michael/Tash story, loving that they are going to introduce a new family, and +60 characters! I'm a little bummed by the fact that they thought Lyn had run her course, as I think she would've added another dynamic to the Karl/Susan/Jim Dolan story, if she had been Jim's love interest. They could've played it as Jim not wanting to break Lyn's heart by telling her about his illness, and thus he confides in Susan, and everything else follows as planned. Me thinks Janet wanted to go back to theatre b/c she had no story, not b/c she particularly wanted to leave. Also a little perplexed about the Chris/Aidan story, as it will be a relationship story, but not a romance?! What does that actually mean?

Ed: I will reply to your post, soon. It's like tackling a mountain climb or something, and I have to get into "the zone". :lol::rolleyes:

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Thanks for the compliments, Ed. :) You're pretty intelligent yourself, and very knowledgeable about the show. I'm sure you must have come across other fans that are just as/more than interesting/knowledgeable than me about Neighbours. I've never written professionally for a TV show; it can be very hard to break into the industry, as it is very much who you know, or who knows you. I'd love to write for soaps, like Neighbours, EastEnders, etc. I'd love to just write for any drama or even film, I'm not picky like that. You should just go for it. I used to be like that, with zero confidence, always thinking that it was out of my league, but then one day I made a decision to study scriptwriting at uni, which was really good experience, and although I graduated at the worst possible time (middle of a global economic crisis), I don't regret it. It's a good idea to write spec scripts in you spare time, which will build your craft. Do you write at all? And, then it's all about picking the best route for you into the industry. It's never as simple as what other soap writers say, as those jobs (Script Co-ordinator, Writer's Assistant) that got them in hardly ever come along. I'm taking the Script Reader route, which will hopefully eventually lead me to writing for a show or something. If you can bag an internship with a production company that would really beef up your résumé. Do you remember when FremantleMedia run that trial programme for budding writers? I think it was in 2008. I "won" a place, and got to interact with some of the shows writers, and I had some really positive feedback from them. I know the show has a scriptwriting internship every year in Oz, and I so wish I lived out there, so I could apply. I think Carly @ N.Fans interned for the show through that scheme.

I'd forgotten all about that classic Parker moment! Steve got a lot more screen time than Miranda, who I found much more interesting than her husband. She had a couple of stories during their separation that had room for development, but b/c it was Miranda, they never went anywhere. But Steve gets a whole episode talking to a Gold Fish! That's true about Didge, and I hadn't realized. Probably b/c I don't like to think too much about her. LOL. How was she able to bag so many guys in the space of 2 years? And WTH did Nicola see in Steve? The mysterious attractions of the Parkers will always be a mystery to me. You have a vast collection, and one that surpasses mine, as I stopped keeping episodes during 2009, and I have hardly any of 2002. I do have the off few from 2001, but I wish I had more from the 90s. Have you ever thought about uploading some to YT? Censorship made the show go backwards in a lot of ways, and I kinda think that maybe that had an influence on the stunts. I also think budget was probably an issue for some, although in terms of the post-Channel 5 deal, money should not have been an issue. After reading Susan Bower's DS interview, I think I understand the reason why the show doesn't go PG, and that's b/c of their under 13 audience, but at the same time, I don't think using the words 'drugs', 'sex', 'naked', etc would really be that bad for a 12 year old. Like, Ivan asking Tash to send him a "hot pic", instead of a "sexy pic" or a "nude pic". It's designed to go over their heads and sometimes confuse ours. :lol: It is a crime that I do not own the Iconic Episodes DVDs, something that I must rectify. I see what you mean about the aftermath being theatrical, but I loved that episode, especially after all the dross that we had to sit through leading up to this, and this was the first ep of 2010 that had punch. Granted, Carla's acting wasn't her best, but I didn't think Kym was that bad. The dialogue for these types of scenes have always been a bit lacklustre, and that's b/c they don't use the words we expect them to use, like 'bitch' or 'slut' (I do like their use of the word 'skank'), but instead we get 'tart' and 'tramp'. That line from Chris read like a cartoon, not the threat that it was intended. Who the hell would say that? Certainly not a teenage boy. And you've reminded my about another horrible story that I had forgotten about: Andrew's pathetic dating manual. The shaky camera was meant to be dramatic and create a more real effect - EE have been using it recently, and people have complained. A lot of people think it's modern, but it's the oldest filming technique in the business. Your scenario would have worked so much better, and I'm surprised they actually went with what they did, as it felt like a pitch that hadn't been worked through. It was all so bad, especially the destruction of Toadie's character, and the misery cycle that Steph could not get out of. I had no problem with Steph sleeping with Dan and getting pregnant, but what was a promising story soon turned into a clusterfuck of a mess. I will say this though: it had drama, and that definitely pulled me in. Those stupid SFX ruined the 6000th ep for me, and b/c they were the stunt, it tainted that episode for me in a big way.

I loved those scenes in the bed sit, too. They felt very natural and Libby forgiving Steph felt right. I think they defined who they were as characters, and why they were best friends for 10 years. I never knew Kym used botox, as she's never used it in the past. This reminds me of the time Natalie Blair had collagen injected into her lips. One minute normal Carmella, and the next she had huge lips. It wasn't as bad as some, but it looked weird. Ringo's death was so sad, and Margot did some of her best work in the scenes. I wasn't a fan of Steph killing Ringo, as it all felt quite senseless and misery for misery sake. I think after everything that had happened, a semi-happy ending would have been nice. Her final prison scene was heartbreaking, and frustratingly, it should have been the ending, not bloody Summer and Andrew. For me, there wasn't that many episodes that stood out, but there was quite a few scenes that were phenomenal, b/c the actors involved really brought it. That scene with Paul in the hotel room, just before he slept with Diana, where he stood in front of the mirror was awesome. Stefan Dennis had no dialogue, and his expression said it all. I also loved how they handled Paul post-coma, especially the immediate aftermath when he woke up. Stefan's performance was so realistic, that I was genuinely surprised, as normally characters just wake up like they've had a long nap. Jane Hall was another brilliant actor, who could suck you into the heart of Rebecca's pain; she was so organic and real with every performance. I'll never forget the moment she found out Paul had betrayed her, or the time she confronted Richard Aaronow.

I'll pick this up tomorrow, as I'm going to watch Sons of Anarchy. Who'd have thought these two shows would ever appear in the same thread?!

ETA: Do you think Steph was always sabotaging her happiness pre-Max? Steph was a very angst-y character, and IA that she was attracted to danger, as seen in her many "bad boy" boyfriends, or the ones that were more adventurous, like Alex. Even though I agree about Max not being Steph's type and everything he represented was out of character for her, but when you of Drew, he was neither a bad boy or a thrill seeker - he was a down-to-earth nice guy, like Max. The difference being that Max was older than Drew, and probably less up tight. Maybe Max wasn't so out of character after all? You're right, a character does have to be doing something right to last as long as Steph did, but I wouldn't call her iconic, even though characters can be iconic for different reasons. Scott & Charlene are iconic, Izzy is iconic, so are Harold, Madge, Lou, Helen, Paul, the K's, etc. I think Flick was iconic b/c she was the template for the troubled young bitchy girl (there are a lot of similarities between Flick and Tash).

I loved the Timminses. Not at first. I hated Janelle when she first arrived; I thought she was vulgar, loud and plane annoying. I was grateful when she left. But when she returned with her kids, I actually grew to like her and her bogan ways; she became endearing and loveable really quickly. Janelle was hilarious, and I loved her dream sequences of The Bogan's Tipped Hair, even though a lot of people hated them. I loved Stingray, who was a classic Neighbours character, and I grew to love Dylan, who became one of my favourite characters by the time he left. Bree was awesome, and I loved her general character, and the fact they appeared to be leaning to making her asexual without actually saying it; she was the heart of that family. Janae was OK; I never loved her like the others as for her first few months she was very bogan and in your face. Loris was awesome; she could stand her ground, and I loved that she was rich. Kim was a good male character, who I guess was in the Joe Scully mould, just not as typically Aussie. I wished they had all stayed, but when Ben and Damien left the show, I understand why Ten saw their opportunity to fire Janelle and Bree. I would have loved it if they had introduced Brandon and Dwayne. I think Janelle was a character that could have lasted for years, and when she left, so did a little bit of Neighbours.

It's difficult to say, as all I remember feeling is sad seeing Phil & Hannah leave, and being annoyed by the Scullys arrival (I don't know anyone who liked them from off the bat). But I did grow into the Scullys, and I never hated them like you did, so I don't really know. Holly wasn't the best, but I don't think she was bad at all. I think she improved a lot by the time she got the whole Steph/Mark/Flick triangle, and her romance with Stuart. I do think that Holly's music career boosted Flick's profile and cemented her more into viewers minds. Holly's music wasn't my style, but she was catchy, I'll give her that. I think she's better suited to acting, personally. Did you see her in the film, Taken? I wish she bag herself a lead role, or at least a supporting player, instead of a bit part. I thought Jack fitted in well, too. He was never a character that was mega, just someone who fitted easily into the show. I could take him or leave him, and he wasn't a great loss to the show. His drugs story with Macca/Olivia was his best, and the fact that they couldn't say the word drugs was very annoying, as per usual.

I know what you mean. The male characters need some variety. I'd like Tash's aunt (why haven't they released the character name yet?) to be a mix of both. I see no reason why she can't be a bitch and give Tash advice, be a supportive figure to her. That could be her struggle, where she doesn't show her sensitive side very often, or it could be vice versa, and she struggles to unleash her inner bitch. I don;t want her to be confronting from the get go, or written like she's the villain; I want viewers to like her, as I think she'll probably have an edge. I wonder why she has to be Serbian? B/c they already have the research? LOL. Having read Bower's comments, I'm not sure I'd like that, as it's really predictable. I think there's more to the story about Tash's Mum than her simply being her faux aunt. So, is Rhys going to be a bit of a rogue?

I'm not sure Tom was meant to be smug, it's just the way he came across vie the actor's portrayal. I don;t think a random Tom mention would be necessary in those circumstances. What do you think about my idea that Lyn should have been Jim's love interest, and how she would've worked in this story with the K's/Jim? I don't remember Lyn's religiousness being discussed before hand, not quite like it was during 2005.

I know what you mean, and I've identified those points in the story, too. I guess I can't let go of the fact they never planed this from the get go, and was only created b/c Ryan Moloney jokily suggested the Callum/Sonya story, and TPTB ran with it! I know their histories don't fit, and it's only pure luck that they do as well as they do. I don't know way Jade is Asian. It has no bearing on the character on the story or anything, and it seems like cast Gemma Pranita simply b/c she's a good actress and is hot. Thank God she's both.

There are other characters besides the Scullys. And you said you like Steph, so that's OK. Do you have 2000-2001 on tape?

I know what you mean about Carolyn not wanting Harold to have a bucks seeming contrived. But, I think she said she didn't believe in all that or something. Plus, a bucks night is not very Harold. I think they had Lou & Carolyn bicker to create drama, as if they had been friends, there would not have been any story. I liked how she would call him out on being stubborn, etc. She had no fears of offending him. I noticed that, too, about her name, but I out that down to Ian Smith probably normally pronouncing it Caro'line'.

ITA about your assessment of Lucas and Scott Major. Lucas has chemistry with everyone, and slots into all of the characters lives with such ease. Scott is charismatic and can handle all the different storylines, from dramatic, emotional, to comedy and everyday stuff. I don't want to see Lucas go, as I think he brings something to the show that hadn't been seen for a while. He's bloke-y and a man's man, and I love that about him. He's a very grounded character.

Holly's been hot for a while... probably ever since she was in Prison Break.

I think the show has more life left, but I don;t want to jinx it. At the moment, the show is turning itself around and making improvements to last as long as it can, so I don't see why it can't last a few more years. The ratings are good and consistent on Eleven, and they're not that bad on Channel 5 (probably a bit more promotion would boost things), who seem to be happy with the show. When you look at how bad Hollyoaks rates, you'd think it was nearing death's door, but it keeps on ticking a long, and as far as C4 are concerned, that she still has many more years left. So, why can't Neighbours, which rates much better than Hollyoaks? It is sad that it doesn't have the online presence that it once hand, but I do think that may improve the more people realize the show has/is improving all the time. It will never get the buzz it once had, though.

Dion: ITA about Oliver and Will. He should have been a straight-up recast, as he took on all of Will's storylines from the get go.

Edited by Ben
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I see they've finally released Freya Stafford's character name - Emilia.

And they've cast Zoe Bertram as Paul's Polish cleaner, Lorraine Dowski, who has a 4 month guest contract. Paul's getting a cleaner - how random.

Ed, sorry for the many typos in my last post; I'm not usually that bad.

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Ha, you're not the one who should be apologising. There are so many typos in my posts but unfortunately my laptop plays up a lot.

And no, I haven't spoken to anyone else about the show in such depth. As for scriptwriting, I write scripts in my spare time, but I guess they would be rough copies as I know virtually nothing about the format of episodes for Neighbours etc. I have read EastEnders scripts in the past, but I haven't ever written for that show as my true passion is for Neighbours. Yet I love EastEnders too, I just think it would be impossible to write for that show. So many people watch it and I can imagine so many people want to write for the show too. I definitely need to build my confidence. The problem being, I've read a lot that there is no place for fragile egos in this game and I think I'm too shy to work in that sort of environment. But, if it's what I want to do, I should just go for it. As you say, it's tough to know which route to go down. What is a 'Script Reader'? Do you know anywhere you can familiarise yourself with the format of the scripts for a show like Neighbours? Carly from NFans told be that Ben Marshall or Luke Devenish spoke to her via PM on the board because they liked the way she wrote summaries. She went in for a chat with them and was offered a position. I don't think she was there for too long, around the late 2006/early 07 period. She told me she remembers being heavily involved in the storylining of razer going pig shooting with Alan Steiger. It annoys me that those opportunities are given to the Australians and that I am unable to apply.

I haven't ever thought of uploading to YouTube. I imagine it would be a time consuming process but maybe in future I will consider it. Though do you think there would be a big market for post 2000's Neighbours? I know 2003/4/5 might be popular, but I think a lot of that has already been uploaded. I wasn't very happy to read that the show can go PG if it wants but they've chosen not to. I can't think of any logical explanation as to why they've kept it G. Yes, it's a family show, but it can be a family show in the context of being PG rated. If the show goes G, that does not mean they're obliged to have the teens overdosing at parties and talking about sex all the time. They can be responsible about it. It's really odd, because Susan has complained in the past that they haven't done justice to storylines because of the rating, yet she wants to keep it G? She was unhappy with the poisoned lasagne plot from 2008 because nobody actually knew what Nicola had put in the lasagne, yet still the show remains G? The only explanation I can think of is that Ten have forced her hand on this issue. I don't agree on any level that Neighbours should be a G rated show.

You're right about the Paul stuff. Stefan was great in those scenes with Diana, and during the aftermath of the mezzanine storyline. I think Diana was an excellent character. I LOVED Rosemary's guest appearances and against all odds, despite the fact they forced technology on us once again using Skype or whatever it was for the characters to talk, it worked. I went on holiday for a few weeks in July 2010 and when I came back, and caught up on the backlog of episodes that had accumulated, I was genuinely surprised that the show seemed to buzz with creativity, and with a character that I felt was so redundant. I think it's silly that they didn't go further with the theme of Paul being forced into a corner with Diana, as it's not like he actually wanted to sleep with her. She was going to expose hi embezzlement had he not done what she told him, and Paul couldn't risk that. It never seemed to be confirmed to Rebecca the reason he acted the way he did. The 6000th episode was great, and they really upped the ante there but the effects, as you say, did taint the entire episode. For what should have been a massive celebration, TPTB should have shown viewers that they could do a great story with a great stunt, as the milestone generated a lot of publicity for the show and was a chance to really bring in viewers, old and new.

I don't know what Sons of Anarchy is so I'll have to trust your judgement on that one :lol:

I'm not too familiar with the stuff of 2000/2001 so I don't know much about Steph from that period. But I am aware all of her relationships from that time were full of drama and Steph was always a victim of her boyfriend's lifestyle. Would that be an accurate description? Drew was a normal guy, but typically Steph couldn't have him, and that's why it fits with the path the character has taken. Do you think she was genuinely in love with Marc? I didn't see much of their relationship develop, but I never thought they were matched and I don't think Steph truly loved him. I think she went for him as she saw it as secure and safe which was different to her former relationships, much in the same way she went for Max. After being with a young attractive guy like Marc, Max was dependable and safe in a way that Marc wasn't. I'm not making much sense. What I mean is, Marc was a respected, businessman who could provide Steph with security in terms of money and lifestyle, but that is not really what the character is about. Max provided emotional secutity which is something that Marc ultimately lacked. IA about all of those characters you listed as iconic, except Flick. Iconic was the wrong word to describe Steph, but I would definitely say she holds her own in the history of the show.

I loved the Timmins family too. I hated Janelle at first too. The turnaround in that character is unbelievable. I also loved the Bogan's Tipped Hair, how could anyone dislike it? Some of my favourite moments in the history of the show. "How can you be so cruel, Susan, what have me and mine ever done to you?!" :lol: Stingray lost a lot of his spark as time went on. I think it was difficult for the writers to adapt him from a teenage to adult character without him appearing immature but still staying true to the character. He was awesome in 2004, but come 2006 things were going downhill for that character. I was never a fan of his relationship with Rachel, but then I wasn't a fan of any of that whorebag's relationships except possibly Ringo. Bree was a great character. Although come 2006, she was also being ruined. Terrible how she one day decided to wear a peroxide blonde wig, a week later she's a goth with a black wig, which was so obviously a wig it made me cringe, then this fad proceeded to last for the rest of the 2006 season? It wouldn't have bothered me if it happened naturally, but there was no reason or logic behind it and it was ridiculous. It made it difficult to appreciate Sinoa Smit-McPhee who was a wonderful child actor. I'm so thrilled she has found success in the States as I truly feel she deserves it. Dylan never really bothered me that much, I didn't love or hate him. But I think he and Janae are the weak links of the family. At least during the Timmins peak. That doesn't really say a lot though as all of them were fantastic. What is your opinion of Sky? She's my favourite Neighbours character of all time, and I definitely think she's one of the most iconic characters of the noughties era, if that's the right term of phrase. For me, Sky and Izzy are the best characters to come from this era and I think they're certainly two of the most popular. I haven't seen you say much about her which surprises me, as she's awesome. I know the baby plot ruined her in a lot of ways but I think Stephanie McIntosh was great a lot of the time. The Terrence story is a highlight of the 2007 season.

I think Holly would have had longevity had she remained in the music industry. She very much had a unique style and wasn't a bland pop artist. Come 'State of Mind' she had really become an awesome electronic pop music artist and I was so disappointed we didn't see more of that.

Nice thoguhts about Tash's aunt. I wouldn't like her to turn out as the mother either. However, I think it would be good if she revealed that Tash's mum was still alive and out there somewhere. If she has chemistry with Michael, they could get together and then the mum could make a return. With the G rating, there's not too many shocking plots they can give the mother to explain her absence. :angry:

IA that Tom wasn't meant to be smug. You're right that it was the actor's fault. I like your idea that about Lyn and Jim. I think the writers would struggle with that considering it involves so many adult characters. :P Rhys doesn't seem like a character with a lot of potential. He always seems to have a gormless expression which I don't think is the intention, and he comes across as very cold and wooden. It seems funny to me that, Susan mentions in her interview with DS that when a character of a specific demographic is needed desparately, they will bring them in straight away as aregular, which is obviously the case with Rhys, but a 20s character is not what is desparately needed, so you have to wonder why they don't realise that the 40+ group is so depleted if they do use that process.

Jade is awesome. In fact, today's Aus episode focused on the relationship between Jade and Sonya, and the actors and characters are just fantastic. I think the show is very lucky to have both, and I hope they stay for a long time. The best Mitchell sisters in soap, beating Ronnie and Roxy :P

In regard to the future of the show, the reason I ask is because I just can't imagine my life without Neighbours. It's such a comfort to have it there and no matter how bad it gets, I can't seem to let go of it. I think it's a wonderful and highly underrated show. I wish the producers would try and generate some publicity and public interest in the show once again. I know it rated at about 2-2.5m most of the time with viewings combined, but it deserves more. I think it's difficult for me to adapt to this new era of ratings being low across all shows. I guess the demos and percentages are what matters now. If I was in charge, the first thing I'd be doing is bringing back a few past faces. Sky at the top of the list :D

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Sorry, it's taken me 2 weeks to reply, but I've been busy, and the board downtime stopped me from posting last week. Script formatting is pretty similar for most shows - and film - really. As long as you have the general correct format for a spec (heading/character/dialogue/action and no directions/camera angles, etc) then you should be OK. It is the writing that is most important. I know the BBC has a different look to most shows, but Neighbours scripts look generally a lot like the majority of scripts that aren't BBC. So, if you've ever seen a script of a US show, Neighbours looks pretty similar - standard format is the phase I looking for. I've just pulled out a Neighbours script from 2007 (Births, Deaths and Marriages) and as a shooting script, they list all the characters that appear in each scene individually. A lot of people will want to write for these shows, but I think that shouldn't stop you from trying (obviously, Neighbours is more difficult geographically), as if you don't try, you don't get. I'm shy, too (you have no idea), but you have build a thick skin, as there are a lot of "big personalities" and learn not to take things personally (that can be easier said than done, and I know, as I met some indie producer a few months ago who was a right bitch, and I simply vented my anger through recognizing that she was in the wrong and chalking it up to experience). A Script Reader is someone who reads spec scripts, and provides written coverage on them. You have to know about character, structure, format, story, etc, and read a lot of scripts to get to know why the good ones are good (the bad ones can be pretty obvious to spot). It's a good way of learning what works and what doesn't, so you can (hopefully) put that into your own work. Have you tried Google? I know there are scripts online for prime-time shows, but I've never seen any Neighbours scripts online. BTW: Do you use any scriptwriting software, like Final Draft or something? That will give you templates for you to use. Have you ever thought about doing a sort course? Where are you based, if you don't mind me asking, as I noticed the other day on NFans that your location said Germany, but you have the UK flag? So that's how Carly got the gig. I remember her saying she worked there, and she talking about the scriptwriting programme that they do, and I just assumed the two were linked. I liked the board when Ben & Luke used to post, but I joined a little late in their time over there, and missed a lot of their insight. Shame all that drama happened.

It can take time to u/l to YT, and I'm not really sure about how popular post-2000 eps would be (I guess you can only judge on the hits the existing ones get now). It comes across like they believe PG equals adult themes, when it really doesn't. All it allows them to be is more mature and less children's show. If you do a drugs story, then PG would allow them to say the word 'drugs', it doesn't mean that they should have Andrew OD'ing on crack. The same with Tash's naked photos - using the word 'naked' doesn't mean they have to get all graphic. I think it probably is a Ten issue, and that's sad, as going PG would simply lift the restraints.

Rosemary is awesome, and wish she'd been more up for longer guest stints. I loved the inclusion of the video conferencing, as it was real and it made sense; it wasn't forced like all of the talk about Facebook or Skype that they did in 2008-09. I loved Diana, too, and really wish they'd bring her back, as they could actually develop her character to show a more tragic side. They'd have to get passed the fact that she's a wanted woman for Paul's attack... The show did have a buzz and creativity during that time (I think it still has today, just a different kind of buzz - a good buzz). I think that point was made, but I don't think it lets Paul off for cheating in the first place. He should have been honest with Rebecca, instead of allowing himself to be backed into that corner. The stunt was disappointing, and I wonder why they did it like that, and how they brainstormed to begin with. I wish someone would do an interview with a writer during that time and ask them. I do think they revealed too much of the stunt by previewing it before every ep that week, as the suspense was kinda lost when we saw a direct replay of the stunt/attack that we'd seen all week. They gave too much away in trying something different.

Sons of Anarchy is an awesome show; very bloke-y and macho. It's about a motorcycle grew and the drama that leads from their illegal activities. It's very compelling, and the characters are so complex and well written. It airs on 5USA if your interested. If that's your type of show, or course.

I guess Steph was a victim of her boyfriends life styles during that time - Woody, Mitch, Alex, Marc, and even Max. I don't think she was ever in love with Marc, but I think she started to grow into the relationship and lifestyle, but it was never a match made in Heaven. I think security was a big factor, especially after Woody and Mitch. The best think from that time was the intro of Chloe, who I really liked, and I loved her "Graduate" relationship with Darcy. Marc was the polar opposite to Steph, but she and Max had things in common, and were more grounded. I think her attraction to Max was helped along b/c he was (in the beginning) into adventure, and he had travelled Oz, which Steph found attractive. Of course, once they got together, he seemed to lose that edge and settle in mid-life mode, which really didn't suit Steph at all; in fact, he crushed her spirit in a lot of ways. I wonder if they would've been together for so long, if the fan base had not be so large and vocal - so many loved Stax. Then TPTB screwed them over in 2007, and that must've been hard for the Stax fans.

Some people don't like things like the OTT fantasy sequences of the Bogan's Tipped Hair, and I get that, but I took them as what they were - tongue-in-cheek. I do think they were taking some inspiration from The Bold & the Beautiful, as that show used to get referenced a lot during that era. I loved how B&B got a mention a few months ago from Paul. Stingray did lose a lot of his spark as time went on, and I think you're right that he became difficult to write for during his transition from teen to adult, as they had that whole ADHD to contend with, and all his catch-phases that could have come across as immature and silly. I think they made a mistake giving him a "drink problem" as that story was so silly. Would Stingray have really turned to drink b/c of uni pressure and struggling to fit in? It felt wrong. I loved Bree, and I didn't mind her Goth phase, but was happy when it ended. I liked that it went for so long, as it made more real, even though it really didn't add up to much. I'm sure there was a reason, wasn't she just trying to find herself or something? Dylan was annoying to begin with, but I grew to love him, especially when he teamed up with Paul - and straightened his hair! laugh.png I never saw him as being a weak link, and he did have a large fan base. Janae also had her moments, and those were better once she evolved out of her very bogan ways, like accusing Karl of misconduct. I liked her w/ Boyd, but they trashed their relationship with the intro of Glenn Forest, and having Boyd out-of-character cheat on Janae with Gleen. That was so difficult to swallow, and Kyal Marsh seemed to feel the same at the time. What did you think of Kim and Loris?

I liked Sky, much preferred her pre-blonde, as once she changed her hair colour, her character seemed to change slightly as well. She was at the forefront of a lot of story during this period, and when she went blonde... I don't know, I never loved her or hated her; I just liked her. I did love the Terrence story, and faux Dr. Charlotte - that was a good story, and a highlight of 2007. Yeah, the baby stuff wasn't good, and highlighted a lot of the problems w/ 2006. I loved her w/ Dylan, and wasn't that sure about Stingray, and Boyd worked really well with Sky, too. Your user name is a dead give-away about your love for Sky!

The G rating does hamper what they can do with the secret of Tash's mother. I read a couple of spoilers about Tash getting into a near downing accident, and I wondered if it really will be an accident, or if it's a cry for help from Tash (I'm not sure where her and Michael's relationship is up to after the plastic surgery stuff)? I know that this accident prompts Michael to think about the past, and I wondered if maybe his wife committed suicide, but the G ratings means they can never deal with that subject, so I doubt it. People are speculating that Tash's mum died in a drowning accident or something...

Not just too many adult characters, but also too complex in the varying points of view they'd have to tell. I do really like Jim Dolan, though, and wish he wasn't dying. He and Lyn would've been so good together. *sigh* @ the missed opportunities. Rhys débuts next week on UK screens, so I'll be able to judge for myself. I think the missing demo thing goes in stages. The show had become a teen nightmare, and now it's moving up into the 20s - we have to give it time to move through the demos. By my logic, the show should at some point become over run with 40+ characters! laugh.png

What are your thoughts on the K/S/Jim story? It's only just really begun over here, and I think it's so sad.

Sonya and Jade are awesome, and are better than Ronnie & Roxy, even though I love both. I'll look forward to the Jade/Sonya episode, as it sounds so good. I'm so intrigued by Jade's secret, and I think it will be quite sad. I find her character so relatable on many levels. I don't want to jinx it by echoing your point. I'm just going to except that they'll be around for 3 years at best, and anything more is a blessing.

Have you missed Libby?

But Bower said that she's not a fan of bringing back past characters, b/c she thinks they need to have a story or something. I think as long as the character(s) have connections left in the show, then they can return at any point. Story could easily be generated if TPTB really want to write for them. What would you do with Sky, as she has no family on the canvas now?

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I've been watching some random September and October 2005 episodes I had and had then forgotten about. A few thoughts...

I don't understand why they killed Harold's son. He looks so much like a younger Harold, and they work great together. The scenes where Harold cheered him up at a dance club were a delight.

I don't like the Timmons mother very much. Just a lot of yelling. I would like her if she yelled a little less.

The story with Izzy/Darcy is full of great comedy and drama. I loved the episode where she went to Paul for a hitman, and he sent her a very confused restaurant supplier! Darcy is a fascinating character, not all good or all bad, and Izzy is great too. It's also a credit to the actors that play Izzy and Karl that I can actually believe them as a couple, instead of just a pathetic fantasy of a middle-aged man.

The story with the bikini shop is...odd filler. I did love Patrick's (?) dialogue about how ever since he was a little boy he wanted to run a bikini shop. Someone was having a laugh.

The story about Steph and her husband and the surrogate mother who changed her mind because of the stepson, Boyd, doesn't do anything for me. These types of stories are so obvious from the start.

Edited by CarlD2
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I forgot to say how effective the scene was of that boy (Dylan?) taking Paul out for a beer, after Paul had lost a foot, and Paul freaks out as people stare at him. It show just how simple a scene can have an impact. Stefan Booth was fantastic.

Whatever happened to that boy, and the annoying sullen girl who hung around with him?

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I think you have a few episodes from 2004 in there, as you talk about Darcy and Izzy and their story with Karl, and that played out mostly in 2004. But, I'm pretty sure the dreadful bikini shop stuff, and the Max/Steph surrogate story happened in 2005.

I'm so glad you liked Darcy and Izzy, as they are two of the most fascinating characters the show had during this time (and in some ways of all time). I've never thought of Darcy as a villain, as he so much more complex than that, and to define him as solely a bad boy does him a disservice, I think. And I'm happy that you believe in "Kizzy" as a couple, as I was a big fan of them (and probably still am if Izzy returned); they had great chemistry and the writing for these two were spot on.

Janelle Timmins did a lot of shouting during this time, but by late 2005/2006, she does calm down a lot, and she is developed as well.

It will forever remain a mystery as to why the Bishops were killed off. It doesn't make sense, and proved to be a disaster for the show. Ian Smith (Harold) didn't like it, and none of the other actors really understood it either. As far as I can tell, it was a ratings stunt, pure and simple.

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These were BBC episodes - I forgot that the BBC aired on a delay. But the part of the Darcy/Izzy story I mentioned was with the other scenes. At this point Darcy had almost died and confessed to some burglary, and was blackmailing Izzy for money. There was a good episode where Izzy was about to flee town, said various emotional non-goodbye goodbyes, then stopped when Karl told her over the phone that Darcy had lost a lot of memories. She did a little dance in the hospital corridor after seeing Darcy and getting it confirmed.

I wonder if they thought Bishops were boring. That's the death of so many soaps, getting rid of anyone who isn't OTT.

I think I've asked this before but who is that horribly annoying man (?) in the credits with Susan, mugging and yanking at her scarf?

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