Summer Bay gets back to basics

By David Knox on December 22, 2009 / Filed Under News 36

asFor the last few years there have been stalkers, gunmen, and kidnappings on Home and Away. It’s turned into the darkest little town on TV since Mt Thomas left our screens.

But next year the show promises a lighter touch, and according to veteran actor Ray Meagher, it will shift away from darker plots. He reckons it will have at least two light-hearted flamin’ moments per episode.

“We’ve had too many guns and balaclavas and bank robberies and that sort of thing,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“We’re going back to a family show.

“We’ll still have teenage angst. What I’ve been agitating for is to have a good belly laugh or at least a nice warm smile each quarter hour in there.”

That should make life more challenging for the show’s resident cop station.

Series producer Cameron Welsh confirmed the return of a female character who moves in with Alf and Miles would add to the shift.

The move comes amid off screen stories involving actors that are as racy as some of the fictional storylines.

The show has also seen a slip in ratings since the departure of Kate Ritchie, though it remains more than competitive.

Still, it was the Summer Bay Stalker storylines that drew a lot of buzz for the show.

Source: Daily Telegraph

36 Comments »

  1. KFed December 24, 2009 at 10:28 pm -

    I hope they stick to this promise. The show has been utterly depressing for a couple of years now and what used to be a favourite has become a real turn-off. I would like to suggest a bomb gets rid of all the dead-weight and the comedy characters can move in and start afresh.

    Remember when the crux of the show was the conflict between teens and their parents? Now half of them don’t even have parents. Where is the Fisher? For the matter, why isn’t Morag at all like Morag any more? And why won’t they make her a regular? She lifts every scene she is in.

    And remember when there actually used to be surfies and lifeguards in Summer Bay?

    Martin, Lance, Vinnie and Adam were brilliant comic characters, as were Marilyn and Narelle. More such characters please.

    (I am a fan of both Shane and Sonia but so far they have been really boring on the show)

  2. Birddoggy December 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm -

    Agree about Sonya and Shane.
    @brisvegas FYI Morag has won on a number of occasions. Her defence of Aden is the most recent that comes to mind.

  3. Macarthurblack December 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm -

    I gotta say, I’m lovin’ Sonia Todd and Shane Withington back on our screens. Hopefully they’ll become permanent cast members. They make a great couple.

  4. AlvinC December 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm -

    @Daniel G: haha. i noe, i saw those 2 days ago and it was such a bad promo.

  5. Daniel G December 23, 2009 at 11:51 am -

    At least that explains those irritating ‘Bay of Love’ promos.

  6. Carta December 23, 2009 at 10:17 am -

    Wasn’t Roo Stewart only 16 when she had Martha (or maybe 17)? Justine Clarke is 13 years older than Jodi Gordon, so it’s certainly well within the realm of plausibility. As they did with Duncan Stewart, Martha’s age was altered when she returned, so all they’d need to do is alter Roo’s age to make it all work nicely. As for Conrad Coleby, he definitely isn’t old enough to have a daughter Nicole’s age, but his character was older than his actual age, so it worked (Conrad turned 30 months after he left Home and Away, so he was playing the father of someone who was actually only 12 years younger than himself).

  7. brisvegas December 23, 2009 at 9:04 am -

    another thing…………..after alllllllll the years morag has been in the show – can they for once have her defend someone in court and have her win? :)

    lol for an apparent ex-judge, she has a terribly low success rate. Surely the residents must know that having her defend you in court is like the kiss of death. Same old story – big mystery / “who-dunnit”, the wrong person gets charged & jailed, morag defends & loses…..blah blah blah.

  8. Brekkie December 23, 2009 at 3:58 am -

    God no. Home and Away isn’t Home and Away without a serial killer taking revenge for the previous serial killer getting killed!

  9. Dakota December 23, 2009 at 12:41 am -

    I agree about the Early Years being great…but I remember an interview with Cameron Welsh saying that he wanted to bring back some mystery into the characters. Think about it when they were watching H&A when it first began… you didn’t know everything about any of the characters. Look at how they revealed Donald & Bobby! So I understood where he was trying togo. The show needs to have a Stalker or a Smuggling Ring but obviously they couldn’t keep that going another year… there’ll be another big mystery or something stunt-like during the year otherwise the show gets boring. Even with Sally there was the Rocco Stuff, so the show usually balances it out and goes through its phases like any show.

  10. Trent December 23, 2009 at 12:30 am -

    I only watched the show when it had the Summer Bay Stalker.

  11. stevie g December 22, 2009 at 8:58 pm -

    Patrick, Home & away has had a few parents that didn’t seem old enough to be
    parents of teenages in recent years. There was Amanda, Roman & Jazz. I agree Justine Clarke looks too young to be Martha’s mother. But they could always recast the role, as she is tied to Tangle anyway.

  12. Anna December 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm -

    Home and Away always over hype their storylines but they never really live up to it, like the horrible ‘year long mystery’ so im not expecting anything special next year. If they really want to change the first step should be to get rid of the terrible actors like Esther Anderson and whoever plays that Xavier guy. They drag the show down.

  13. elaine December 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm -

    Annie Campball is come back .

  14. Patrick December 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm -

    THe show needs to get back to its core concept of a foster family moving in – it worked the first time so why not do so again?

    Hopefully they’ll also get rid of some of the actors – Jodi Gordon for one is a shocker of an actress and does the show no favours. I know she has her fans and has been through a lot in her personal life, but the girl simply cannot act.

    I also agree in bringing back some of the older characters, I’d love Roo Stewart to return but given that the actress who played her is only a few years older than Jodi Gordon I suppose bringing her back would seem a little strange…..

  15. Boo December 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm -

    I can’t see this turning out well. I like a balance between dramatic storylines and the character driven storylines but Home and Away never seem to get that balance right. Its always one or the other making the show either very far fetched and unbelievable or just plain boring. I also doubt the return of Marilyn is going to change much.

  16. elaine December 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm -

    Yes Marilyn player by Emily Symons.
    New sets

  17. Andy December 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm -

    So it’s going to get boring again?

  18. Tim December 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm -

    I assume the Female Character is Marilyn played by Emily Symons ? ? ?

    If they are moving away from the High Dramatics, they may be best adding a few new sets, perhaps a doctors surgery as opposed to a hospital and in regards to casting I think they should perhaps look at bringing a large family in, just some thoughts….

  19. Birddoggy December 22, 2009 at 3:29 pm -

    5 eps a week, 46 weeks a year = 115 hours of serial drama a year, to service 20 or more characters. Do you know how hard that is to pull off and still rate over 1 million every night? I’m glad for the change too bit give them a break – it’s been going for 20 years now. Coming up with new ideas and stories day in day out must be tough. The TV landscape would hve a serious hole left in it without H&A and Neighbours.

  20. elaine December 22, 2009 at 2:57 pm -

    Marilyn come to live with Miles and Alf

  21. Buck December 22, 2009 at 2:48 pm -

    Home & Away has been ridiculous and boring for such a long time now.

    You only have to watch the repeats on 7Two at 9:30am each morning to see just how good the show used to be. The show needs to bring back the bitch, the speedo and the fun. A crazed stalker every now and then is great fun if they are characters like Zoe McCallister (Emily Perry) or Elliott Gillien (Paul Pantano), but enough with people smuggling and annoying teenage girls (like: Annie Campbell, Gypsy Nash, Justine Wells, Matilda Hunter, Shannon Reed, Angel Brooks, Karen Dean, Tasha Andrews, Tiegan Brooks, Hayley Smith, Dani Sutherland, Belle Taylor & Cassie Turner), though I always did like Selina Cook (Tempany Deckert).

    The great humour and storylines in H&A always came from their great and hilarious and interesting characters. Look at this list and tell me that these weren’t some of the most amusing and fun characters in Aussie soap history:

    Celia Stewart (Fiona Spence)
    Morag Bellingham (Cornelia Frances)
    Marilyn Chambers (Emily Symons)
    Floss McPhee (Sheila Kennelly)
    Ruth Stewart (Justine Clarke)
    Donald Fisher (Norman Coburn)
    Colleen Smart (Lyn Collingwood)
    Bobby Simpson (Nicolle Dickson)
    Adam Cameron (Mat Stevenson)

    It’s no conincidence that most of the best characters haven’t been the mundane teenagers with angst that continually get paraded through Summer Bay and out the back door into obscurity.

  22. Jack! December 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm -

    Fine. Then how about we cut all the adds for Tampons and “female hedge trimmers” as well that make us want to throw up every night during the show!!!!!
    Jack!

  23. Craig H December 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm -

    theres good and bad to this, I agree that H&A has been to plot rather than character driven for years, the Summer Bay Stalker worked so well for them a few years back that they thought try to replicate that year after year would work, but it didnt…but, if it goes to character / teen angst based then it risks beccoming like Neighbours which is an inane G rated irrelevant waste of time..its a fine line…

  24. Craig(Buzz) December 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm -

    Gave up on this show about three to four years ago,when there was always some emergency happening,there was always a character in hospital everyday something very dramatic always going on.It was over the top especially for a small town,instead i now watch Eastenders.Neighbours on the other hand also have had troubles,but the last 12 months in particular they have gone back to the good old days with some great stories well done Neighbours

  25. vinny December 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm -

    Yes it is about time, I found Home and Away ever so boring this year compared to other years. It needs to go back to focussing on the characters. I am sick of them constantly in the police station. We already have at least 10-15 cop shows on other networks throughout the week. Hopefully it will be more like the year 2000 episodes.

  26. mark zanker December 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm -

    I haven’t seen home and away since nearly the end of my teenhood and gee all i can is why? why? did i waste my time watching this crud. Like john said, more seachange please. And for the adults a secret life of us type show.

  27. Tad December 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm -

    This hasn’t worked for Neighbours.

    I’d rather they go more towards Sons & Daughters with longer storylines with characters from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.

  28. Robert December 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm -

    They should copy some of the stories from Degrassi the next generation.

  29. Reece December 22, 2009 at 11:53 am -

    Im sick of any storyline that involves the hospital and police station they are used to much, there always seems to be one character requiring medical treatment and police assiastance.

  30. Dan December 22, 2009 at 10:56 am -

    This is the best news I’ve heard in ages! Home And Away has been far too plot-driven the past few years, with mystery after mystery. This year’s season finale didn’t even feel like and episode of Home And Away, it could’ve easily been mistaken for an episode of City Homicide!

    I’m glad we’re going to be seeing some humour injected back into the show, and hopefully the characters will become likeable and interesting again. This is where Neighbours exceeds over Home And Away, although unfortunately the ratings show that Home And Away is the more popular of the two.

  31. Lou December 22, 2009 at 10:52 am -

    I guess no gay characters this year, it may be “un-family” like… :(

  32. Mr. Do-Bee December 22, 2009 at 10:49 am -

    Gee, I was looking forward to the Summer Bay panty sniffer storyline.

  33. Bruce Banner December 22, 2009 at 10:33 am -

    Haven’t watched the show for 11 years since Pippa left, that’s when the show jumped the shark and became a bad imitation of Days Of Our Lives. Neighbours all the way!

  34. brisvegas December 22, 2009 at 9:14 am -

    about time. H&A has turned into a case of rotating “who has their life in danger this week?” If you pick any character on the soap, you’ll see that more than likely, their life has been in danger at least once in the past year. It comes across as lazy plot creation.

    It’d be great to have it with a lot more genuine humor too – like the “good old days” when you had the characters like lance & martin, Alfs sister etc. It just hasn’t been a “fun” show in some time.

  35. john December 22, 2009 at 7:58 am -

    Summer Bay,Erinsborough??When are these shows going to be laid to rest.They’ve had a great run.We need more programs like Seachange,Always Greener & Secret Life.

  36. jack December 22, 2009 at 6:55 am -

    Thats funny- exactly the same move Neighbours made in 2007 and the female character wo returned to initiate this revamp was Libby Kennedy.

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