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adam436

Was 2000 meant to be a "revamp"?

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There were a great number of changes in 2000 (possibly one of the biggest years of change to date!) and I was wondering if anyone knew the reason for that? Were the ratings down following a number of high profile departures over the previous few years (Marilyn, Chloe, Travis, Rebecca, even possibly dating back to Pippa in early 98) and mediocre storylines? Did a new EP take over and want to make their mark? Was there a push from Channel 7 or Channel 5 to modernise the show for whatever reason? 

Was it an official revamp or was it just a coincidence it all happened at once? 

  • The revamped titles/theme tune - for the first time, the titles did not feature "action" shots and instead just the actors faces.
  • The loss of familiar/long-standing sets - the Stewart house and the original Bayside diner were gone and were replaced with new sets, like the new diner and the Sally/Leah/Shauna share house, which debuted in 1999 and stayed for years. 
  • The cast changes - there was a huge turnover of cast in 2000. We lost Sam, James, Justine, Jesse, Edward, Peta, Judith, Joel, Natalie, Tom, Ken and then of course, Ailsa in the final episode, plus Harry and Mitch in the first few weeks of 2001. I don't know who quit and who left of their own accord, but given some of them were around a year or less, chances are at least some of them were axed. They were replaced with the Sutherlands, Brodie, Leah, Nick, Noah and Jude. Jude and Brodie were less-than-memorable, but Leah, Noah, Nick and the Sutherlands were obviously major players in the "revamped era" that followed. 
  • A new family in Summer Bay House and the move away from fostering - we had a brand new family in Summer Bay House. The first and only time this happened, as Pippa was replaced by Travis and Rebecca and then they were replaced by Joel and Natalie. It felt like strangers were living in the house, and took some time to get used to. They also seemed to stray away from fostering from this point - obviously Rhys and Shelley took in Brodie and Irene had the Smith children, but they were more like her almost-step-children rather than foster children. 
  • The darker storylines - I know we'd had some dark storylines in the previous few years (i.e. Chloe's rape, Justine accused of murdering a baby, the Robert Perez stuff), but they always seemed to be balanced out by lighter/comedy storylines. I can't recall many comedy storylines in that era, just the "doom and gloom" stuff like Dani's rape and all the Kirsty/Kane drama, Duncan's downward spiral, Miles' death, Gypsy's pregnancy, the school siege, Jade and Seb's car accident, Charlotte's death etc. 
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I look at 2000 as connection year as we had Alf /Ailsa/Donald/Sally for first 12 years as mainstays and for next 12 years we have Alf/Irene/Colleen/Leah as mainstays. 

I think it was interesting as it was first time they had ten older characters at once. 

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2000 was a hugely transitional year for Corrie, EastEnders and Home And Away. Somehow the 3 shows changed radically when the 2000's hit. 1999 was the last "classic" year for the 3 shows I feel. EE and H&A bought in the rowdy Sutherland/Slater family in 2000 and they totally dominated the shows in a way none of the previous families had done. Also H&A as said, got rid of the old diner, the Stewart House and Ailsa died, and Sam, James left. EE had a huge cast cull in 2000 such as the exits of Matthew Rose, the DiMarcos and 3 early years characters Kathy, Ethel and Frank. And Corrie introduced darker storylines in 2000 with the Frescho siege, and a shift towards greed and selfishness instead of Northern warmth and humour.

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Do you think there has ever been such a huge year of change before or since on H&A? I can't think of one... 

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17 minutes ago, adam436 said:

Do you think there has ever been such a huge year of change before or since on H&A? I can't think of one... 

2013 had lot of new characters arrive(Matt/Josh/Nate/Andy/Zac/Chris/Spencer/Evie/Maddy/Phoebe/Hannah/Ricky.

Problem was they all left so close together.

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I've never fully watched the early 2000s seasons, but from what I have read and seen of it, it seems like it's Home and Away's answer to Prisoner's Barnhurst Five era... Huge changes, major departures and the feel of the show changing.

The Sutherland family = The Barnhurst 5.

Edited by Luigi Severus Fletcher

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On 08/04/2019 at 04:37, j.laur5 said:

2013 had lot of new characters arrive(Matt/Josh/Nate/Andy/Zac/Chris/Spencer/Evie/Maddy/Phoebe/Hannah/Ricky.

Problem was they all left so close together.

Yes and almost all of those characters left in 2016, with the exception of Phoebe, Evie and Matt lasting a little longer. 

I really enjoyed 2000, and yes it does seem like some kind of revamp. I would say 2004 and 2013 were other mini revamps. Possibly the beginning of 2011 too with the introduction of the Braxtons. 

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2000 was very much a revamp,  but the whole of the Seven Network got a major makeover too.  Bevan Lee has gone on-record on this site previously to state there was a concious decision to bring back a large number of 90s characters for Sally's non-wedding in order to hook "lapsed" viewers into the new show.  I believe it was also done as a way of getting the UK fans back on board after a year's hiatus between ITV and Channel 5.

The only other major revamp I can think of in recent memory is the 2005 one, when Dan Bennett came in with a clean slate.  I'd argue Coral Drouyn was the last of the "old guard" of producers, with Bevan Lee overseeing the transition between Drouyn and Bennett.  But it's definitely true to say Dan's two years very much took us into the modern style of the show and I always see the barn explosion and helicopter crash as the turning point - that was where the opening credits, which for 18 years had been such a major part of the show's identity, started to be phased out.  Still think to this day it was a major mistake - it was copying an American trend (and in 2006 H&A were definitely heavily influenced by Lost) but nowadays on streaming services the opening titles give you time for the connection to stabilise!

I suppose you've got to decide what it's going to be - is it half an hour of escapist lightweight drama or it is going to try and be a nightly version of the big American HBO/Netflix/Amazon serials?  Really, it's always been more Coronation Street or EastEnders than House of Cards or Man in the High Castle.  The "summer-every-day" vibe is what made it such a hit in the UK.  You could stick it on during a dark winter's teatime and immediately be on the beach in the height of summer.  That's what made it great.

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I think 2011 was a bit of a revamp, the show introduced the Braxtons and some even darker storylines. Another revamp has been from 2017-2019, you could probably include 2016 in that as well. That period has been a mini revamp.

I think the show is more focused on 20-30 somethings than ever now.

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