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Annie Campbell - Charlotte Best

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I think they completely ruined her by brining her back. Before she at least had some substance and depth. All she talked about on her return was Romeo and all she seemed to do was try and get him to convince her to stay. Of course it's natural she'd grow up and gain confidence etc but i feel it was all too much and so far removed from how Annie used to be.

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The departure of Annie wasa cause for regret on my part. Not so much because of her as a character, although I did think she was interesting and a little different to the usual Home and Away characters. My main regret was that I thought the producers had returned to their practice of some years ago of nurturing young talent over a nymber of years on the show. This doesn't appear to have happened with Charlotte.

However at this stage we don't know why she has left. Maybe it was her decision to return to school and complete her studies, maybe she got a better offer and we will see her appear somewhere else.

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It’s a week I wasn’t exactly looking forward to, but it’s been much worse than I thought it would be. ‘Annie Campbell’s final performance’ and ‘Goodbye Charlotte ‘ headings on the Y7 H&A official home page leave no room for doubt. I don’t think there’ll be a return for Annie.

On screen, Annie finally admits she’s returning to Japan, in well acted scenes with Romeo, which makes her departure all the more poignant and confusing. She just wasn’t given much of a chance before . However, the on screen problems that have plagued her return - meandering plot and lack of consistent, realistic characterisation - were there again to taint her departure. To have Annie, one of the ‘good guys’, behave as she did, was just wrong. It left a nasty taste in the mouth to add to her loss from the show.

Annie was raised with strong values, some people might not like them, but she wouldn’t be such a moral coward as to run away completely from her feelings for Romeo, even if she was showing signs of emotional problems probably rooted in the loss of her birth family. Nor would she keep him hanging on for her decision. The argument that it’s better for her to continue her education in Japan for another 6 months is also ridiculous; - they’re saying she can’t handle a normal relationship with Romeo, but she can handle being away from home for nearly a year all told; - a foster child aged 15 - 16 ? Come on.

How her departure, and her part in it, unfolded seemed to be at odds with the supposed ‘family values’ of the show this year. What has happened to her is so far from those kind of values (including a lack of parenting from Irene, who seemed more interested in Leah’s love life and Ruby's singing) that it makes me wonder what H&A think those values are. Not to mention (but I can’t stop myself) recognition, and nurturing, of acting talent for that matter. The story lacked sense, respect for the character and, in the end, portrayed Annie as morally weak and selfish. Considering her previous character, I think that’s called character assassination isn’t it ? So why did they do that to her ?

H&A knew Charlotte wasn’t going to stay for long after being de-cast listed, and in fact, they must have known she was going to leave for good, but still went ahead with publicity like the ‘Bay of Love’ video and especially Y7 H&A spoiler comments that gave people the impression she was going to stay with Romeo, and that ‘fans would like what happens to them‘. Given what’s happened since, what word could be used to describe that kind of behaviour ? Hint, it goes beyond spoiler teasing.

Finally, we still don’t know whether she jumped or was pushed. If it was Charlotte’s decision, it would have been a simple matter to announce she was leaving to concentrate on her schooling, so I assume that's not the reason she's gone. That hasn’t happened, so isn’t it reasonable to assume that she was ‘let go’ ? Any chance of confirmation, or denial, of that ?

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An interview, by telephone, with someone in Japan who claims to be Annie Campbell.

Annie Campbell ?

Yes….. for the not so foreseeable future..

The last time I spoke to you, you didn’t seem to be quite yourself. In fact you haven’t seemed to be yourself for many months now.

Well, I’ve been so confused and messed around, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going.

Well you’ve gone back to Japan now, how’s that going ?

I feel homesick, That started about a month after I arrived here the first time. It felt so unreal. It was like a holiday at first, it’s such a big, bright city; but that holiday feeling wore off and I realised I had no one close to talk to about my feelings. So I just studied, head down all the time. It began to feel like a school prison.

Hmmnn … You seem to be missing being home, what kind of things are you missing ?

Something people wouldn’t think about while they’re watching the shows - I’m missing being able to look at the stars. When I was growing up on the farm, and while I’ve been at Irene’s, I’d look at the stars, and look for certain stars that meant something to me. But here, the city lights tell me there’s none.

So, you’re missing being home a lot. Let’s go back to when, and why, you returned to the bay for your holiday break.

When I went back, and I lifted my head, I realised…. I can’t tell where I belong. I really needed someone to tell me I belonged there.

Like who ?

Irene of course, but it felt like Irene had already said goodbye to me, without her caring enough to admit it to me. She was talking to me like a teacher would, offering advice about how good the opportunity of going to Japan was, always pushing me there… but she never talked to me about the other side of it; how bad I’d feel, how I’d miss being home… like a mother would have done.

How do you feel about Irene now ?

You know, she never told me she wanted me to stay ? And especially that I was too young to go to Japan for so long, away from family and friends ? When I came back, I began to pull away from her, you can see it in that first scene on the beach, when she hugged me, it felt like she was just going through the motions, to make it easier for them to get the ending they wanted.

And a few weeks later, when she said that I was ‘still her little girl’, it seemed so false. She should have seen how confused I was, how much I was hurting, and that I needed her to talk to me about where my home was.

I wanted to talk to her about what was going on in my life, but she wasn’t listening to me. I know she’s been through this before with others, but this is frightening to me. With Geoff going away, I‘ve already lost all my real family, this is like losing my family twice. I don’t know, Irene’s done so much for us, but it seems as if there’s something missing inside her now. Geoff was older when he left; I was 15 when I went to Japan, now I’m just 16 and I don’t have any family left. It hurts me so much that she didn’t see that.

Why couldn’t you speak to someone about these feelings ?

I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone who might have given me different advice and let me express my fears, like Geoff was able to with Alf. He just knew what was right for Geoff. The few people I was allowed to talk to were making it seem as though Japan was the best thing for me. If I’d spoken to other people, they’d have cut the scenes. I wanted to speak to Martha, Alf, Aden and the new Reverend. I know now they didn’t want the other side of this put out on air. I did manage to speak with Alf just before I left, but they wouldn’t show it because he was talking to me about the kind of things Irene should have been talking about weeks before. He was upset I was being pushed out like this.

Couldn’t you talk to Jai ?

I hardly see Jai over here, we took different study options. I do see him from time to time, but it would be wrong to put this onto Jai. He’s a too good a person, and even after what happened before we left the bay, he’s still a good friend. Because of that, I don’t want to do put this on him. Anyway, my home isn’t here in Japan.

So why did you come back to the bay ?

Martha persuaded me to, I thought, because Irene was missing me. Irene never asked me to come back. That really tells me something now. I wouldn’t have come back otherwise.

Not for Romeo ?

I really missed him, but I never wanted to put everything onto him. That’s why I wasn’t going to return for the 6 weeks holiday break, I’d heard what they were going to make me do to him. They turned it into a challenge for Romeo to make me stay. That wasn’t how I felt and it made no sense. At my age, I need to be somewhere I belong,

Do you love Romeo ?

I do, and it would have worked out, but only if they wanted me there. And before you ask me, I think I’m too young to have gone living with Romeo. They made it impossible for us. They told me to act like a little girl with him at times. It didn’t seem right, but I was desperate and I went along with it for my own reason - because when I was younger I was made to feel that I belonged there, and I thought that the right people would feel like that again about me. But Romeo wasn’t the one I was aiming that at. In the end, it all went wrong for me, but right for them.

What do you mean ?

Romeo is staying and they wanted him to be seen as the victim.

Victim of what, or who ?

Me. He was turned into a victim, so that I seemed to be the villain who splits us up, which I now know is how they planned my exit. I’d never have done that to Romeo, It’s just not me, the things they had me say at the end didn’t make any sense. It just didn’t fit in with what had happened before, or what kind of a person I am. I wouldn’t have run away from my feelings for Romeo like that, and I wouldn‘t have kept him waiting for my decision until the very end. I was raised with better values than that. They watered my character down and had me hurt Romeo. Do you know how it feels that they wanted people to remember that’s the last thing I did there. That hurts me too.

Do you accept that some of the blame could be yours ?

That’s a strange way of looking at it. I’m not in control of what gets shown. I was in two minds about going to Japan at first for a study visit, but Romeo was fine with my first stay in Japan, but neither of us knew it would be for 9 months, or forever. I think it should be clear to most people that I’ve been pushed into this. I wouldn’t have wanted to be away for so long.

Some people will blame me anyway, they seem to think I’m a little house mouse and shouldn’t have opinions at all. I think they’re bullies. I’ve seen the comments about me, and they‘ll get worse now that people think I‘ve hurt Romeo. It’s already started on the message boards. They’re spiteful bullies.

So, life isn’t fair ?

Life’s hard enough without bullies trying to make it harder - what’s wrong with saying that ?

So what’s next Annie ?

They say I’ve gone back to Japan for another 6 months, but I know now they don’t want me to return to the bay. They’ve already told people I’ve left for good. I’ve got no home to go back to. I feel so lonely.

I’ve got to stop this now, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

You need to talk to someone Annie - why not get in touch with Geoff ?

I’ll try, but I can‘t stay with him either, can I ? Bye.

I don’t know what else to say.

Goodbye Annie.

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I don't really know why they bothered bringing Annie back.All she did was mope about Romeo for a few weeks and then leave.The publicity claimed that she was going to come back mature and confident.At times it seemed more like the opposite.The old Annie was kind-hearted and stood up for what she believed in.The new Annie seemed somewhat self-centred and obsessed with some boy she didn't really know that well.There were only a few occasions, like her attempts to help Romeo with his stage fright, when she actually seemed to show some of her old spark.She didn't really have any connection to anyone in the Bay apart from Irene and Ruby and most of their conversations seemed to centre around Romeo as well.Presumably someone thought their relationship needed some sort of resolution but they could have achieved the same effect by having her send him a message saying she wasn't coming back.Then we wouldn't have had to sit through endless scenes about a relationship that obviously wasn't going anywhere and the character wouldn't have had her image tarnished quite so much.

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Quote by Dan F in Spoiler section

Annie returned in Week 7 of the 2010 Season but has now also left for good, with no plans for a return.

O.K. that seems to be quite final, along with the stuff on the Y7 H&A website. Does raise one or two interesting points though, both about Annie and Charlotte Best.

Annie's permanent departure, for those normal, untroubled souls who just watch the show, might well have gone unnoticed, and have been surprising if they had noticed, given her age and the story, until then, being about her return to Japan lasting 'just' another 6 months. The only clue was that cryptic little exchange about how nice it was of Annie to say goodbye to Alf (off screen,) who had done so much for her and Geoff, when Annie and Irene were walking to the car that last morning. 2 years as a parent to the girl, and all that can be squeezed out of it is "O.K. let's go" from Annie, not a whisper from Irene. So it goes.

So, a goodbye from Irene would have been beyond her recent characterisation. Does raise the question as to how Annie, aged 16.5 when the 6 months exchange is over, is going to earn her keep in Japan ? Perhaps Irene, having rediscovered a caring parental side to her nature, has already suggested that, with her western good looks, Annie becomes a novelty Geisha. From Annie's point of view, based on Irene's behaviour over the 9 months, she'd undoubtedly get a more caring and sympathetic response from drunken Japanese businessmen (or drunken foreign tourists) than from Irene.

Can't let this go without a reference to the pathetic 'Goodbye Charlotte' gallery on the Y7 H&A website. The last photo is of Charlotte captioned 'A cake was shared for the final farewell with cast and crew'. Except that it isn't. It's the photo they took, probably last June/July, and posted in October, when Jordan (Jai) left and Charlotte was taken off the cast list. No photographer was around during her final days on set ? Because she was only a 'guest' ? So let her go with a photo of her and half a cake, now 7 or 8 months old. Says a lot. So it goes.

If, not that it does much good, I was to say that I think H&A lost interest in Annie as a character and axed Charlotte Best from the show, would anyone be able to dispute that conclusion ?

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Quote by Dan F in Spoiler section

Annie returned in Week 7 of the 2010 Season but has now also left for good, with no plans for a return.

O.K. that seems to be quite final, along with the stuff on the Y7 H&A website. Does raise one or two interesting points though, both about Annie and Charlotte Best.

Annie's permanent departure, for those normal, untroubled souls who just watch the show, might well have gone unnoticed, and have been surprising if they had noticed, given her age and the story, until then, being about her return to Japan lasting 'just' another 6 months. The only clue was that cryptic little exchange about how nice it was of Annie to say goodbye to Alf (off screen,) who had done so much for her and Geoff, when Annie and Irene were walking to the car that last morning. 2 years as a parent to the girl, and all that can be squeezed out of it is "O.K. let's go" from Annie, not a whisper from Irene. So it goes.

So, a goodbye from Irene would have been beyond her recent characterisation. Does raise the question as to how Annie, aged 16.5 when the 6 months exchange is over, is going to earn her keep in Japan ? Perhaps Irene, having rediscovered a caring parental side to her nature, has already suggested that, with her western good looks, Annie becomes a novelty Geisha. From Annie's point of view, based on Irene's behaviour over the 9 months, she'd undoubtedly get a more caring and sympathetic response from drunken Japanese businessmen (or drunken foreign tourists) than from Irene.

Can't let this go without a reference to the pathetic 'Goodbye Charlotte' gallery on the Y7 H&A website. The last photo is of Charlotte captioned 'A cake was shared for the final farewell with cast and crew'. Except that it isn't. It's the photo they took, probably last June/July, and posted in October, when Jordan (Jai) left and Charlotte was taken off the cast list. No photographer was around during her final days on set ? Because she was only a 'guest' ? So let her go with a photo of her and half a cake, now 7 or 8 months old. Says a lot. So it goes.

If, not that it does much good, I was to say that I think H&A lost interest in Annie as a character and axed Charlotte Best from the show, would anyone be able to dispute that conclusion ?

I doubt Annie was axed from the show as there were many fields they could have taken the character. If the show had really lost interest in the character of Annie they would have wrote her out with Jai and not worried about getting her back and finishing her storyline with Romeo.

I do think Irene had the wrong view about Annie's return and thinking she was only staying because of Romeo. But I really wish there was a proper goodbye scene between Irene and Annie.

This is what I would have liked. A scene at the airport.

Irene - Now, Annie love, I am so proud of how far you have come in the last few years and Belle would have been proud of you too.

Annie - Thanks for eveything. Love you.

Irene - No problem. Love you too and I will always have room for you when ever you need it, okay.

Annie - Thanks.

Annie and Irene hug and Annie moves to the next room to board the plane.

Irene cries and waves goodbye.

End of episode.

PS. The other thing that annoyed me was that there was no Annie and Ruby final scene.

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Original post by j.laur5.

I doubt Annie was axed from the show as there were many fields they could have taken the character. If the show had really lost interest in the character of Annie they would have wrote her out with Jai and not worried about getting her back and finishing her storyline with Romeo.

I do think she was axed from the show, but you’re right in saying that there were many interesting directions her character could have gone, partly because of the possibilities that her character gave the script writers e.g. interacting with Romeo’s family, Dexter returning, how much she matures before going to university…. and that’s before individual story lines emerge. And partly because she was different to the other teen girls on the show, which should have given it a dynamic balance.

Can’t agree that the show (not all of this is down to the writers) showed interest in her character by bringing her back from Japan to finish the story with Romeo. It was so badly handled, written and overall it was just insulting. But having got the evidence of what the script writers did, or to be more accurate, didn’t do with her character development after Romeo arrived, I’m not sure that they knew what they had or what they were doing anyway. It was insulting nonsense.

It also happened to Aden’s character at the end, so not just a one off I’m afraid.

Thinking about it now, I really wouldn’t have wanted to have seen goodbye scenes for Annie, because her leaving for good at age 16, with no rhyme or reason to it, would have made them doomed attempts to legitimise a stupid storyline.

I won’t repeat some of the discussion points that have taken place over the last 9 months about this. But the fact remains that Annie isn’t on the show anymore and, as I’ve said in the character thread about Ruby, H&A will soon have 4 self-centered ‘teen’ girls who are from the same production line.

May the Lord have mercy on the guys on this show.

As to why Charlotte Best left the show… I just can’t believe, after 2 years hard work, that she’d walk away from it. There would be no shame or blame if that was the case. So the fact that no announcement was made to that effect, leads me to the conclusion that she didn’t walk away, and it has been mutually agreed to keep quiet about the reason - to prevent embarrassment for both sides, but for obviously different reasons.

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Trying very hard not to get dragged into conspiracy theories, I've no idea whether Charlotte was axed or chose to leave but if I really had to come down on one side I'd probably choose the latter. It's interesting that people seemed to be saying the exact same thing when Geoff left, not sure which side of the argument that supports, both I suppose.I agree that if they really were tired of the character and wanted rid of her they could have just left her in Japan and forgotten about her. Unless they intended to bring her back to strip her of everything that made her unique and make everyone hate her so no-one would care she'd gone.Yeah, that was probably it...

Really, I'm not sure why they brought her back.All she seemed to do was date Romeo and then leave.Fans of that relationship may have had a few cute scenes to remember but ultimately they were probably left frustrated that they'd invested in a pairing that was always going nowhere.I don't think her departure is comparable to others:Like it or loathe it, the whole point of Aden's departure was he left town without seeing anyone because he felt disillusioned with the town, so that made sense.Geoff's departure was rushed and abrupt but he got the farewell scenes with Irene and Ruby and they were the important ones despite all the other names flung about.As if to emphasise why she'd come back, Annie had two farewell scenes with Romeo in her last episode and none with anyone else.(Again, Irene and Ruby were the important ones, she didn't really have any connection with anyone else in the Bay.)Her previous farewell episode was a lot better, they went to the trouble of giving her a farewell scene with Geoff because they knew it was the last time we'd see them together whereas by the end it felt like all the relationships she'd built up over the past two years were just forgotten about on the basis that her boyfriend of a few weeks was somehow more important.

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