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adam436

Does anyone know why Tom and Michael were killed off?

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Both Tom and Pippa were absent for extended periods of time in late 1989/early 1990. Tom was in hospital recovering from a stroke and Pippa just vanished for about 10 weeks, with us later being told she was caring for her sick parents. I don't know the behind-the-scenes reasons for Roger and Vanessa's breaks (though given they both left permanently soon after, I wonder if there was more to the story!), but neither's absence really left a big hole in the show or even Summer Bay House, which is very sad considering how pivotal they were to the show in 1988. 

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On 27/09/2019 at 11:12, c120701 said:

I felt at times with Pippa & Michael (and maybe it was because Debra & Dennis were co-parenting off-screen) that they were often used separately so that there was always a parent around at Summer Bay House - someone was always in Yabbie Creek.

I'd forgotten about this but it might be one reason why they decided that Michael wasn't all that important to the show. Then they could have another go at having Pippa being a single foster parent. They left her single for quite a while after they killed off Michael. I wonder how long that would've continued for if Debra hadn't decided to leave?

12 hours ago, adam436 said:

Both Tom and Pippa were absent for extended periods of time in late 1989/early 1990. Tom was in hospital recovering from a stroke and Pippa just vanished for about 10 weeks, with us later being told she was caring for her sick parents. I don't know the behind-the-scenes reasons for Roger and Vanessa's breaks (though given they both left permanently soon after, I wonder if there was more to the story!), but neither's absence really left a big hole in the show or even Summer Bay House, which is very sad considering how pivotal they were to the show in 1988.

Yes, it is rather curious why both left so soon. The Pippa/Michael era was much longer and only brought to an end by the producers. After the show got established, they had so many strong characters/big storylines, the adults tended to fade into the background. Maybe both actors felt they were going nowhere on the show and that it was time to move on. It was only afterwards that we started to see former H&A actors making their mark in the USA.

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18 hours ago, cymbaline said:

They left her single for quite a while after they killed off Michael. I wonder how long that would've continued for if Debra hadn't decided to leave?

I'd say around the time the Nashes arrived. They arrived just a few weeks before Pippa left, so maybe Joel would have become her next husband/father figure at Summer Bay House. He could either have been introduced as a single father, but given that seems too close to Michael and Pippa's story, they could have perhaps introduced Natalie but killed her off soon after (like how Emily was killed off early on, paving the way for Brad and Sally). Just my guess, but who knows? 

My memory of 1997 is a bit vague, but was Ian only introduced once Debra Lawrence handed in her notice? I know he was a long-term recurring guest, but I don't know how much notice Debra gave the producers.. I just mean was introduced solely to facilitate her exit or were there perhaps plans to expand Ian's role in the show somewhat? 

 

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My recollections are similarly vague but I wouldn't be surprised if they got a long notice period from Debra and they then introduced Ian as the next man brave enough to get involved with Pippa her next love interest. If you look at Patrick Dickson's acting career, he doesn't come across as somebody who'd settle down for a long run on a soap. Debra has a lot of nice things to say about the show so perhaps she gave them plenty of notice. My memory of that time is that Pippa and Ian's attraction to each other didn't take that long to manifest. God, I wish they'd continued with the re-runs :(

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I personally don’t think Tom or Michael needed storylines all the time as I think being the heart of Summer Bay kept them fresh. 

I wonder if eventually maybe they might have had an affair storyline but I can’t see either Tom or Michael ever cheating . 

I would have much preferred it if Michael and Pippa had left together in 1998 and moved to Melbourne as it would have been a nice nod to connect their characters to actors. 

I wonder if Michael would return as a guest just as many times as Pippa. 

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8 hours ago, Homeandawayfan. said:

Imagine if Tom and Michael had met? Michael first appeared a few months after Tom died I think.

I  doubt Michael would ever have existed on the show if Tom had stayed.

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Agreed. Michael was clearly brought in as a replacement for Tom. Maybe in time the producers would have brought in the boat shed/boat shed owner anyway. It was a nice addition to Summer Bay. I wonder why did they stop using it as a location?

I wonder did the actors who played Tom/Michael/Pippa ever meet in real life? The two Pippas have but I don't know about any of the others.

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It sucks that they were killed off. Michael at least could have been swept away somewhere, developed amnesia and lived a "new" life somewhere else and then remembered everything that had happened. Would have been a killer story line if he had come back last year or maybe this year. Can't say the same for Tom as we pretty much saw his demise on screen and his corpse being put in an ambulance in a body bag (kinda extreme for a show like Home and Away, then again 1995 and 2017 went further).

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