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1996 Episode Discussion

Dan F

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So...had a mammoth catch-up of 34 episodes which has left me, er, a week behind where everyone else is.Hopefully I'll get there eventually...

So we started off with the end of Bennett's first stint.Irene was a bit annoying at times, if understandably so.It was a bit odd that they made such a big deal about Saul being let out on bail only for him to never appear.I've never been quite sure what to make of Saul "suddenly" realising Selina had run away.Possibly he was putting two and two together and being overly dramatic about it, but it almost felt like some sort of psychic flash.See also the way Selina seems to know he's behind her without looking.

And a second stint for Joanne, the one where she has least to do with Angel, with the interaction mostly confined to one episode of her winding her up in the Diner.I'm pretty sure that even first time round I knew Chloe was setting her up.Shame Steven didn't manage to have a go with her first: It seemed like he had two women being thrust at him and didn't get anywhere with either of them.I was also a bit bemused to hear Pippa claiming he never had a serious girlfriend in senior year: What was Viv then?Anyway, on a bit of a tangent, it was interesting to see the role reversal of Alf being the voice of reason about Shane and Angel's trip while Donald and Ailsa are busy complaining about how it would affect them.

I supported Sally and Jack at first but it fell apart thanks to Wilson being a complete tool, reminding me why he's pretty much the only character from this era that I've viewed in a less than fond manner.It was kind of ironic that he claimed he's not enough of a loser to keep Sally's interest, given that that's exactly how he ended up:One of the long line of losers Sally dated during this period.(He actually thinks that Nelson, the guy who literally pulled him out of the fire the last time he was being a dropkick, is a bigger loser than him?Jerk.)His attitude towards Brendan, who was clearly suffering from some sort of depression, stank to high heaven and it was a real punch-the-air moment when Brendan poured scorn on his attitude that you have to get into pointless fights to be a "real man".(Mind you, Jack's not alone in that regard.Irene and Marilyn saying that women with post-natal depression should be strung up was a shockingly ignorant moment and it's hard to imagine their current incarnations saying that.Shame Ailsa wasn't there to put them straight...)While Sally had a few frustratingly childish black-and-white moments, there were clear signs of the adult she'll become in her behaviour throughout the storyline.Some scenes could have been given to her ten years later without any change.

And the first appearance of Katherine Walker...demonstrating that Shannon's another one with Multiple Choice Past, given that she stated during her abuse storyline that her mother was dead.Whilst right of centre, she didn't really seem like the extremist she was implied to be.So are we to assume that it was during this visit that she and Donald had a brief relationship?Part of me wishes they'd just left it like that instead of turning her into Shannon's recurring nemesis.That nicely underplayed scene where both Shannon and Katherine clearly know who the other is but don't say so would have made a good end note.I'd query Pippa's advice on what outfit Shannon should have worn to their non-meeting.That's a dress I'd have wanted her to wear on a date, not if she was my daughter.The other one looked a lot more appropriate.

Steven and Selina really did come out of nowhere, it felt like they had a couple of scenes together and suddenly he's her new love interest.Some of Selina's behaviour indicated she really isn't very mature (I cringed at her dismissing the illegality of a relationship with "I wouldn't tell anyone") even if she did seem to get the message eventually.Incidentally, was "conch" the buzz word of the month?It seemed like suddenly every teen from Curtis to Jack to Selina to Chloe was saying it at every opportunity.(A corruption of "conscientious", I'm guessing?)

I actually quite liked Fin being back.I think for most of Home and Away's history they've actually done a good job of not having characters cease to exist once they're no longer on the opening titles, so people like Fin and Damian and Sarah can pop back when appropriate.Yeah, she wasn't in the most sympathetic mood but that's often the case in these "trying to have a baby" storylines.I'm not sure I buy the interpretation that she came back to call in a favour from Irene, she didn't seem to be thinking of surrogacy until Irene brought it up.There was an understandable suggestion that she resented the fact Irene's been more of a mother to Selina than she was to her, but they seemed to part on good terms.Marilyn was childish and judgemental, spouting the hardline Catholic view rather than actually thinking about it. "It's interfering with nature" is one of those nonsense phrases that completely falls apart if you examine it logically.If you take that point of view, Curtis shouldn't take his insulin injections because that's interfering with nature. People shouldn't wear glasses because it's interfering with nature.It's not even like IVF was banned, so nature was already being interfered with.It's curious: Twenty years on some of the storyline seems very dated now Australia has followed the precedent set by other countries (surrogacy was already legal in the UK at the time), while other parts are still timely, with the law still lagging behind the technology in terms of defining parenthood.

I haven't got as far as the climax of Shane and Angel yet, but knowing what's to come I winced when Alf first drove into view with Travis' chicken wire in the back of the ute...Oh, and the rather low-key debut of Simon.

A word on UK showings: ITV really seem to have thrown themselves into taking Home and Away off on bank holidays, with so far as I can tell no episodes on Good Friday, Easter Monday or May Day.Ironically, that means the show was being shown in the original blocks for possibly the first time ever, with 1867 broadcast on Tuesday 7th May, exactly 10 weeks after the Oz showing.Of course, with Spring Bank Holiday coming up, I suspect that didn't last long...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Angel scattered Shane's ashes overboard from Travis's boat as Kylie Minogue's Dangerous Game played in the soundtrack. The final scene ends with Dylan asking Angel: "Can I have some lunch now?". Angel says "Of course you can, sweetheart".

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Made it through the last week of episodes, with the whole arc of the end of the Shangel Era.We start with them as happy as they've ever been, set for a new adventure and celebrating their first anniversary, only for it to all be cut short.To be honest, I've never been fond of that musical montage at the start of 1878.I like the idea of us slowly seeing the news spread around the Bay but I found the music somewhat overpowering to the point that it almost drains the scenes of emotion.I guess it does bring us back to earth with a bump with the raw scene of Angel recoiling from kissing Shane's body but the scenes between Angel and Dylan at the end of the episode work a lot better.Ironically, it did seem as though they got help to Shane quickly, they just realised too late that something was wrong.Was that really Damian's last ever episode?Odd moment if so, with him sitting there praying at the lookout.They did do a good job of using the awkwardness of his status as a trainee priest without making him seem too preachy.

(Incidentally, UK soap fans had a double whammy that week: Arthur Fowler died in EastEnders at the same time!)

I have fond memories of that scene where Marilyn was speechifying about not interfering with the nature of childbirth and Pippa, in her own Pippa way, basically says "That's stupid and so are you."It got the message home and saw her leave with Irene.In the circumstances, Irene might have been better off leaving Selina and Chloe on their own than leaving Selina and Steven under the same roof.At the same time, things progress between Alex and Shannon, with a lovely awkwardness in Michael and Pippa's reaction to her coming home dripping wet.They do seem to be a lot more liberal all of a sudden.Oh, and Wilson continues to be annoying, to the point that I quite enjoyed Plugger putting him down even though he's no saint himself.It's what you get for being a wannabe...

So, farewell to the early years, it's been a long road and I'm not sure any of us expected it to go this far.It is slightly disappointing knowing the characters and storylines just around the corner and the glimpses of things never to be resolved (I believe this Doctor McLaren ends up making a mess of Alf's heart surgery) but this is where we are and it's been fun.

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Ladies, Genetlemen or Otherwise, Your Final BIG HULKING REVIEW. Thanks for nothing Seven you Sons of... Beachballs!


We start with Shane being found lying in a ditch after being sideswiped and Don bricking it in case he thought he did. Melissa did some good acting here.

Glad Maria got found out, the bitch. Had Jack gone home perma like, odd are he woulda probably got into with the Stepdad and the sitch would be like Rick/Owen 2004.

The Chase to catch Saul was pretty thrilling. Go Alex! Loved how Jealous Shannon got. She was probably thinking Selina wanted Alex to join her under the covers. In a more comedic show they'd probably would have slept either side of him but then Selina having a nightmare, waking up screaming and Irene coming in with a bat/butcher/knife or whatever!  :lol: Also Selina's dream of Alex being Gasolined alive did prove to be somewhat prophetic

1997 Commune fire, which involved ANOTHER son of Saul

I don't think Zemanek had to do much acting. He was just basically playing himself with his negative side Jacked up to 11 in Treloar with the whole Ailsa/Kelly (TWO of a certain Forum member's most disliked characters) radio thing.  Small town prejudices (which haven't quite gone away in the modern product)

Chloe/Drugs is a lot more compelling without the sodding ITV butchery (yet they left in the scene where she flung a snooker ball at Curtis' head a few months later, fortunately missing and hitting the pool table). Is it weird to think she was kind of cute doing those jumping jacks in the beach house living room while off her face?

Jo pops up once again and I won't lie; Kim Joseph was hot, especially in that beach scene where she asked Stevo to sunscreen her. Oh my,:wub: Still, she was a right bitch for what she did to Don (lying about him touching her to take the heat off the pushing). Had to cackle at Alf's "Micky Merve" line (Rhyming slang for Perv. Rhyming slang is one thing that held on from the colonial days!)  Just as well nothing really progressed with Stevo and her otherwise we'd have rabbits being boiled on stoves. Maybe Tom before he died gave Stevo a talk about "Not sticking it in crazy!" :D

Brendan/Sally/Selina baby... Brendan did seem a bit off... but he was turned out after all that mess. Jack was a proper dick (and I'll get to him in a mo), No damn empathy. Chuckled a bit at Sam's joke about Jack farting at night.

The Shane/Travis/Rex/Bruce/Cronies mess was pretty compelling stuff. Another thing ITV may, most likely have shaved (Swear the controller was throwing his weight around). There's a lesson in that s***; Don't answer other people's mobiles phones! I doubt the budget was spared when the Navy came to save Shane and Travis who if they hadn't been found in time woulda washed up in Tasmania and run into Harold Bishop! Those scenes didn't even feel like H&A.

Plane wreck... Nice. I swear Shannon and Alex should have got their own spinoff with them being explorers with occaisional help from Stevo or Travis.

Jack/Sally comes to an end; And Enter Zinc, Plugger and Dr. D (who is the least prevalent of these three hoons). This kind of plot element would be recycled for Lucas/Mattie in 2006. Man, they mashed the Surf Club and the store! "If Brains were Dynamite, you wouldn't have enough to blow the wax out of your ears!" :D That said Jack just went downhill rapidly!

Curtis getting beaten up was a bit more horrifying than I remembered. Irene jumped the gun thinking he was drinking again.

Shannon's flashback, the little girl portraying young Shannon was kind of cute.


We get Fin's return and the briefly fleeting appearance of her beau

And Current Husband

Barry Michaels. I think David Woodley played him a great deal younger than he played Joel Nash. Old H&A fan, WTF did HE ever do to you to warrant the "Shoulda been drowned at birth" curse from you? He was only in two eps. Is it the fact he

Later got Fin pregnant anyhow?

. Anyhow this sets up one of the longest arcs in the show's history, the surrogacy which stretches out a year (maybe the writers forgot)!

Selina/Stevo, oh Christ. Don't stand so, Don't stand so close to hiiim...

Shane cutting himself always makes me wince when I watch it back.

You see how fast Selina, Chloe and Curtis' faces fell when Don and Stevo moved in!  C-blocked!  And there go all their cool points in one fell swoop. The Selina/Chloe scream scene made me laugh. :D

Simon's debut, He got a shock alright. Comes 1/2 Finds Granny's skeleton and the one of the man she ran way with!

Shane's death... Well, Dieter wanted to go and figured this would be the one way he'd be free of the character, incidentally 16/17yrs later he'd die in Neighbours! The music really didn't help with those lyrics... "I will squeeeeze the life out of yooooou...." I can see Red pulling a face and rolling his eyes (Yeah, I read your review). I suppose this was probably the strongest arc 7TWO could possibly finish on.

More Jack/Zinc/Plugger stuff down the beach, acting like some third rate Beastie Boys with the boombox.

Also, Isla should have put her own Calendar around that time. There's been a couple rather tasty beach scenes with her and Tempany in this production period, always did have the cutest little tush, still does! Scene springs to mind where they're sun bathing and the timer goes and they both simultaneously turn over. Side Two!:D 

Well, That's My Big Hulking Review. It's been a ride people, I'll still be here on the forum (Dan you're NOT getting rid of me that easy!), running my gums about the modern product, cracking jokes, sending things/people up, answering any questions I can, offering fanfic feedback, or raking over previous ground.

I'll resume reviews if Seven pull a finger out or someone somewhere vomits up some episodes....








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  • 2 weeks later...
21 minutes ago, dees189227 said:

Sorry if it's been mentioned but 2 questions as Im still trying to watch some eps. 

What episode did we finish on before this little break?

Did they ever catch the person who knocked Shane off his Bike? 

1) Episode 1880

2) No, but...


...we eventually discover its Chris Hale, the copper


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  • 4 months later...


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