With only a week to go before Home and Away returns to Australian screens, on Monday 30th January, we take a look at what we can expect in the first week of the 2017 season.
The 2016 season closed in December with the lives of many Summer Bay residents in peril. Justin Morgan (James Stewart) had been stabbed in the stomach by Ranae Turner (Sacha Horler); Billie Ashford (Tesse de Josselin) & VJ Patterson (Matt Little) were stranded in the middle of nowhere after their car broke down as Billie’s labour intensified; and viewers were left shocked when John Palmer (Shane Withington) was revealed as the Summer Bay arsonist — just as he snuck off and lit a bushfire right next to the Summer Grooves festival!
When we return to Summer Bay, the race is on to evacuate the festival goers when Kat (Pia Miller) receives warning that the arsonist has struck again. Kat manages to get in touch with Phoebe (Isabella Giovinazzo), who starts spreading the word, and John reappears to assist Zac (Charlie Clausen) and Matt (Alec Snow) in getting everyone out. www.backtothebay.net
There is more concern however with Marilyn (Emily Symons), Mason (Orpheus Pledger) and Olivia (Raechelle Banno) nowhere to be found, and when Hunter (Scott Lee) heads off into the bush to find Olivia, he finds himself injured by a falling branch. “Hunter’s thinking the worst because he can’t find Olivia“, Scott told TV WEEK, “He’s acting on fear and not thinking rationally. Hunter runs into the fire which is stupid. But he’s scared of losing the girl he loves. He puts himself in danger and ends up in hospital.”
As the bushfire rages, others are forced to seek shelter in a small shack which is quickly being enveloped by thick smoke. When the residents later emerge from the shelter they are shipped off to hospital – but Marilyn is still missing, forcing John and Alf (Ray Meagher) to continue the search. www.backtothebay.net
Meanwhile on a road in the middle of the bush, a stranded Billie and VJ’s troubles worsen when they notice flames on the horizon. Already having to deal with the fact that he may have to deliver Billie’s baby, the reality that all their lives are in immediate danger calls for swift action from VJ as the fire edges closer. “He has a choice” explained Matt Little to TV WEEK, “I can stay here, panic and possibly die, or do something about it. Whether it’s a smart decision he doesn’t know. But he doesn’t even give himself the opportunity to be afraid. He picks this girl up and thinks he’ll just run and see how far he can get.”
Struggling with exposure to the smoke, and with Billie barely conscious, we’ll have to wait and see whether the duo make it to the hospital in time. Whether they do or not, we can say that their ordeal will have severe consequences in weeks to come… www.backtothebay.net
Elsewhere in the bay, a frantic Tori (Penny McNamee) calls an ambulance for Justin and he is rushed to hospital. With Justin needing lifesaving surgery, and the incoming surgeon nowhere in sight, Tori is almost forced to perform surgery on her own brother. However just in the nick of time the surgeon arrives, much to Tori’s surprise.
The man is in fact Riley Hawkins (Ryan O’Kane)—Tori’s ex-boyfriend who she hasn’t seen for seven years, since before their family went into witness protection. What’s more, it seems that Nate knows him too – this could prove awkward! “He’s fairly jealous she’s got history with another doctor” said Penny to TV WEEK. “But Nate broke up with her – he wants to have his cake and eat it too.”
Whilst Justin is now in safe hands, they shouldn’t get too comfortable… Ranae is still out there, and it isn’t long before she’s donning a cunning disguise in the hospital… www.backtothebay.net
Also in the first week—Irene (Lynne McGranger) is shocked when her son Mick Jennings (Kristian Schmid), who has recently been released from a psychiatric facility, lands on her doorstep; and Heath (Dan Ewing) and Bianca (Lisa Gormley) return with a secret…
View the full promo for the season return below:
Home and Away returns to Seven on Monday 30th January 2017 at 7pm.
For individual episode synopses, as well as major spoilers of other things to come in the new season, visit our Upcoming Australian Episodes page.
Visit Summer Bay!
With Sydney in its summer months, there’s no better time to see ‘Summer Bay’ in all its glory – and since production of the show resumed again last week, you may even be lucky enough to spot some cast members!
The Official Home and Away Tour departs from central Sydney four days a week, and costs just $99 per person. For more information, and to book tickets directly through the official tour provider, click here or on the button below.