6000 Episodes

As Home and Away airs its 6000th episode in Australia on Thursday 3rd July 2014, we take a look back at the other milestone episodes from the show's history.

Episode 1000 - Friday 8th May 1992

The 1000th episode saw the fallout from a drunken Irene Roberts falling down the stairs at Summer Bay House, during a struggle with her children Finlay and Damien in the previous episode. Believing Irene was dead, Fin and Damien left her at the bottom of the stairs and hid out in the bay overnight, thinking that no-one would believe it was an accident. When they eventually returned to the house to confess and hand themselves in, Pippa was perplexed - when Sophie & Nick had returned to the house the previous night, there was no sign of Irene, alive or dead.

Elsewhere in the bay, it was all drama at Alf's store when Adam and Marilyn's job-sharing scheme went awry, with Marilyn accidentally sending out a duplicate order that Adam had delivered the night before. 

Episode 2000 - Friday 30th August 1996
With Simon Broadhurst's return to England imminent, Angel Parrish was feeling conflicted over her feelings for him and the memory of her deceased husband Shane, who had passed away 5 months earlier. In the end her son Dylan managed to hurry things along by presenting Simon with a Father's Day card, Angel later told Simon that the reason Dylan had done so was because he thought Angel was in love with Simon. When Simon asked if that was the case, their fate was sealed with a kiss. After a heartfelt final chat with Donald, Angel waved goodbye to the bay (and to the viewers) with Simon, Dylan and baby Shane to start a new life in England - with the infamous 'Throw Your Arms Around Me' by Hunters & Collectors providing the soundtrack throughout.

Father's Day was also being marked elsewhere in the bay - Curtis Reed presented Alf with a new hat, and Chloe Richards decided to visit her father Max in prison. Max had been incarcerated for shooting dead the man who had been framed for Chloe's rape. 

Episode 3000 - Friday 9th March 2001
Episode 3000 came at the end of a big week in the bay which saw Leah Poulos marry Vinnie Patterson in a Greek ceremony in Summer Bay's church. Whilst the reception was over when Episode 3000 started, there was certainly no shortage of drama. Having been tracked down by an uncle he never knew about, Mitch McColl had recently been reunited with his dying grandmother in New Zealand. On his return, he made the difficult decision to move to NZ permanently to get to know his family.

As his departure day finally arrived, Mitch told girlfriend Brodie that she shouldn't come to see him off, as he wouldn't be able to cope, so they said their goodbyes early in the day. But Brodie changed her mind at the last minute, and raced off on Kirsty's bicycle to say goodbye. Mitch had already left however, and the episode ended with Brodie being knocked off her bike by Alex Poulos' car.

Elsewhere in Summer Bay, having been dumped by Dani Sutherland, Will Smith sought comfort with Gypsy Nash, which ended in them having sex in his car - a liason which would end up with Gypsy pregnant with their daughter, Lily. Duncan was also causing Alf grief after spotting him kissing Vinnie's mum Stella at the wedding, but Mitch was able in instil some words of wisdom before he left. 

Episode 4000 - Friday 8th July 2005
Coming at the end of another big week, with another wedding for Leah four episodes beforehand (this time to Dan Baker), Episode 4000 was the biggest celebratory episode so far. The episode featured Alf Stewart's 60th birthday, with no less than 14 former characters returning to Summer Bay in an episode filled with nostalgia. After Alf gave his speech, viewers were treated to a montage of clips from the past 17 years accompanied by the 1995-1999 theme tune.

It wasn't all fun and games however - at the end of the episode Alf, Chloe, Martha and Ric were run off the road by another car, leading to Chloe's death in the following episode. The storyline acted as a catalyst for the return of Diana Fraser, who fought for custody of granddaughter Olivia - until James Fraser arrived in the bay with Chloe's will, granting him custody of his niece. The driver of the other car was eventually revealed to be a drunken Jesse McGregor who was imprisoned.

Episode 5000 - Friday 29th January 2010
"5000's not that much". "5000's a lot". And so began an episode filled with a not too subtle hint towards the occasion. Episode 5000 aired in the first week of the 2010 season, which again had been a huge week with the wrap-up of the infamous year-long mystery, featuring Hugo Austin and the people smuggling racket. With so much packed into the week already, and with viewers treated to plenty of nostalgia during the 2008 season, a source at Seven told BTTB that there wouldn't be any specific celebration for Episode 5000, but it would rather be a "good, strong episode of the show." 

With Hugo's apparent death earlier in the week (in reality he had gone into witness protection), the episode featured his brother Xavier trying to deal with over $100,000 that Hugo had hidden away in a shoebox, with instructions to Xavier that he should do good with it. He and Romeo decided to anonymously donate $5000 of it to the refugee appeal, but when it accidentally fell into Leah's picnic basket it turned into a chain of events which saw them chasing the money around the bay only for it to end up right back at home.

Meanwhile, Gina Austin brought autistic son Brendan to the bay in order to break to him the sad news of his brother's 'death', and Romeo had a surprise when he returned home to find his sister Mink on the doorstep. 

Episode 6000 - Thursday 3rd July 2014
With Roo Stewart rushed to hospital earlier in the week with a mystery illness following her return from the US, Alf maintains a bedside vigil as his daughter fights for her life. Marilyn, worried about Alf, also stays by her bedside until Alf insists she go home to get some rest. At home, John and Jett are there to offer their support to Marilyn. Alf makes a heart-wrenching plea to a comatose Roo to wake up, but the next morning Roo goes into arrest as the episode ends.

Elsewhere in the bay, Hannah invites Andy over to dinner and Chris is saddened to find out that the object of his affections, Denny, has begun a relationship with Casey. Finding it awkward around Andy and with Casey also invited over for dinner. Zac makes his excuses and he and Oscar leave the two couples to it by going on a spontaneous camping expedition.

A Few Quick Statistics
So what does 6000 episodes mean in real terms?

Well given that the average episode length is 22 minutes, along with the 90 minute pilot, if you were superhuman and crazy enough to start watching those 6001 episodes non-stop, from midnight on 3rd July 2014 - you'd finish watching at around 17:30 on Thursday 9th October 2014. Here's how that breaks down into different units:

Pilot episode + 6000 episodes =
13.1 weeks
91 days, 17 hours and 30 mins
2202 hours
or 132090 mins of episodes

Over the past 26 years, 5 months and 16 days, Summer Bay has seen it's fair share of hatches, matches and dispatches, with approximately:
27 Births
34 Weddings

and 104 Deaths
(we're including both on-screen and off-screen events in those stats)

During that time hundreds of actors have passed through Summer Bay as part of the main cast - some stick around for years, and some are gone less than a year later. Here's the current Top 5 in regards to the amount of episodes as part of the main cast:

6001 Episodes - Alf Stewart (Ray Meagher)
4661 Episodes - Irene Roberts (Lynne McGranger)
4610 Episodes - Sally Fletcher (Kate Ritchie)
3456 Episodes - Donald Fisher (Norman Coburn)
3207 Episodes - Leah Patterson-Baker (Ada Nicodemou)

Don't forget that BTTB's Episode Guide provides synopses for every single episode of Home and Away that has aired, as well as those coming up in the next few weeks.