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Homeandawayfan.

Home And Away pre history.

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It is a good idea about the original pilot episode being filmed with Carol Willesse and then being re shot the following day with Vanessa Downing. I wonder if the Carol scenes were kept, therefore there being a lost episode of Home And Away or if her scenes were recorded over and are gone forever? I know the UK comedy Only Fools And Horses did a similar thing in 1985 when they filmed scenes with Lennard Pearce as Grandad but Lennard died, and Buster Merryfield took over as Grandad's long lost brother and the scenes were re filmed and the original scenes with Lennard were wiped forever though. Very similar to Carol Willesse and Pippa.

I would love to read or hear some Alan Bateman interviews about the pre history of H&A and when the idea first came about for the show.

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Yes she must have lost out twice.

I can't help but think that if they gave the role to Jackie in the first place in 1987 then we might still have had Pippa on the show to this day.

But I mean you never know, Jackie might not have enjoyed playing Pippa as much as Susan and Jackie might have left in due course.

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It is a good idea about the original pilot episode being filmed with Carol Willesse and then being re shot the following day with Vanessa Downing. I wonder if the Carol scenes were kept, therefore there being a lost episode of Home And Away or if her scenes were recorded over and are gone forever? I know the UK comedy Only Fools And Horses did a similar thing in 1985 when they filmed scenes with Lennard Pearce as Grandad but Lennard died, and Buster Merryfield took over as Grandad's long lost brother and the scenes were re filmed and the original scenes with Lennard were wiped forever though. Very similar to Carol Willesse and Pippa.

Neighbours did something similar as well. Emma Roche (of Heartbreak High fame) was originally cast as Steph Scully, but quit after a few weeks and they refilmed all her scenes with Carla Bonner. Apparently Emma can still be seen driving the car when the Scullys first rock up in Ramsay Street. Again, Neighbours would have been so different, as Steph was around for 11 years.

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Amazing that John Holmes both worked on the first seasons of Neighbours and H&A under the creators Reg Watson and Alan Bateman. John worked as series producer of both shows in their early seasons with Reg and Alan as exec producers. Reg Watson did say in an interview that may of the H&A crew were good friends of his.

I wonder if Norman Coburn applied for the role or was put forward as before that he played just minor roles in soaps and films but was also a businessman. Whatever, playing Donald was his big break. Nicolle Dickson apparently auditioned for the Bobby role.

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I found this article from this site actually from a Bevan Lee interview which does say the show was in development for over 2 years by the time he came on board in 1987, so yes the basic premise of what was to become H&A was first thought of no later than 1985, it seems the original plot was just about Tom and Pippa but Bevan and John doctored it and created the show we know and love today called Home And Away. See, a bit more Googling does wonders.

http://www.backtothebay.net/questions/questions_about_pilot_episode.shtml

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If ever H&A want anyone to write a book on the history of the show, I would apply for the position.

Alan Bateman got the idea for the show in a remote country town somewhere in south NSW. He was looking for ideas to base a long running show and saw building work in the town he stopped at to buy an ice cream. It was a foster home and it divided the community. He then returned to the town several times keeping eyes and ears open, talking to locals then did extensive case studies into foster work around Australia and foster children. And then of course when he developed his story idea he did audience research even though he had no cast and nothing on film as of yet, before he gave the green light for a pilot episode. I found a SMH article from 1 March 1987 saying they were to start casting for the show's pilot. So in Feb 1987 they were ready to start casting.

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