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Who wrote what storyline?

Old H&A Fan

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Let's do a research project on who wrote the most memorable storyline arcs in early Home And Away.

The Script Producers page can be our starting point for the research.

Who wrote:

• The Barlow domestic violence storyline (1988)

• The Dodge storyline (1989). Who created the character "Dodge"?

• Viv and her little sister's escape from her abusive father (1989)

• Meg's leukemia (1992)

• The notorious David Croft and Sophie pregnancy story arc (1991–92)

• Andrew and Donna domestic violence story arc (1995) which earned the actor Nicole Quilter an award

• Hayden's gambling story arc (1994)

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  • 5 months later...

I have second-hand information that it was Dave Worthington who wrote the Dodge storyline (at least the original part in 1989) but that is still yet to be confirmed.

I have found an account belonging to a Boaz Stark (who could be this one), who posted a comment to a video on Instagram about Greg and Tug having a fight during soccer in 1993 (disguised as a tackle). I have asked him whether he wrote the Shane and Tug jail story that played out in 1992-93. Or does he know other storyliners who wrote stories like that.

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Great new topic, William! Kudos!

It's quite simple to chronicle the Script Producer & Series Story Editor roles (slight differences in their remits but personal conversations with one of the folks highlighted below implies that there was little difference in reality) in a given period on an episodic block level by watching credits (I can only access pre-mid 96 episodes):-

1988 - 1996:-

Ep 1 - 280: Bevan Lee. The "Sons and Daughters meets Eastenders" era. Roo causing mayhem, Bobby's parentgate, Alan, Gary Samuels, Bobby/Frank.

281 - 415: John Worthington. Starts very well with the Dodge arc and then loses its way. A LOT. Image, Pippa's irritating old bat of a Mum, Danny Price.

416 - 1105: Greg Stevens & John Hugginson. A shaky start (late 89 / early 90 has a Baywatch feel for me, very dull with killer sharks, iron men competitions & elections) but they really found their groove circa mid/late 1990. Some great arcs lasting well into 1992: Bobby's 2-year journey from a dating advert to second marriage, Sophie becoming a teen Mum (infamously, your favourite storyline), Karen / Revhead, Nick/Loo/Ryan (although that wasn't perhaps the best example of a well-crafted storyline), Meggy, early Shane & Damo.

1106 - 1320: Greg Stevens & Boaz Stark. A bit of a dull "sub-era" to start off with. Feels the loss of characters like Loo & Marilyn who were so key to 92 & Sophie's never-ending saga reaches an impossible level of nausea. A now blonder Bobby suddenly ages (even more than before) & lots of filler like Kelly, Blake's Dad, Roxy/Nick, Blake/Fin and, of course, there's Ryan just hanging around like a sexy bad smell. Though, once Tug v Shane gets going & Sophie & Blake are written out (coinciding with the departure of Des as Exec Producer, to be replaced by Andrew Howie), it really comes into its own; the musical, Dale, the beginnings of Shane & Angel. Mixed in with lots of short-term stories like Laura, Bill Cunningham, Kevin. Of course, this sub-era is defined by how they wrote out blonde-era Bobby with the associated build-up (Greg/Fiona), climax & spin-off stories (Adam, Morag & Sam etc).

1321 - 1360: Greg Millin & Greg Stevens: Greg’s departure, Kevin, Morag stepping up custody of Sam, early Nathan.

1361 - 1400: Anthony Ellis & Greg Stevens. Good. Defined by Nathan/Sarah and Angel's secret son.

1401 - 1440 Ray Harding & Greg Stevens. Some great stuff like Tug's suicide but coinciding with the beginning of a descent into slapstick short stories.

1441 - 1480 Greg Haddrick & Greg Stevens. Early Jack provides humour but very much into 1994 now.

1481 - 1520: Greg Millin & Greg Stevens. Bizarre ways of exiting long-term characters like Fin, Luke & Nick. Crap for drama, great for slapstick (different strokes for different folks aka viewers).

1521 - 1560: Anthony Ellis & Greg Stevens. Utter crap for drama. Just my opinion. Painful stuff like Rob & Roxy's attempts to get together and sausage order mixups.

1561 - 1600: Boaz Stark & Greg Stevens. Starting to pick up a bit. Sewing the seeds for Selina/Jack/Shannon/Curtis. Gradual renaissance of "harder" stories like Ros, Roxy's melanoma.

1601 - 1660: Ray Harding & Greg Stevens. Really picking up. Has a 1991/2 feel in my opinion. Still closer to 1993/4 than "classic 1995-7" (see below) but stuff like Laura & Angel's accident is picking things up again. Plus, the beginnings of Andrew/Donna. The comedy's still key but not to the point of dominance. On an Exec Producer front, John Holmes has just returned, likely giving more freedom to both Russell Webb (Series Producer with a Director background) and the storylining team.

1661 - (?) some point in 1997: Ray Harding & Greg Haddrick. Perhaps influenced by the departure of Greg Stevens (as 1990 - early 95 definitely feels like an "era in itself" for me). The start of the "golden age". I personally find earlier 1995 a little dull. The seeds for the "revamp" are being sown then for sure, perhaps even as early as later 1994, but it only really "kicks off" for me from the moment Laura is hit by the train. Then there is no going back (alas no turning away from the TV screen). Too many great stories to even begin to list (which were, sadly, often confusing for those of us in the UK given ITV's treatment by then)!!! I'm sure that the topic starter will have a lot of fun reminding us of the many great plots in this period!

The above are pretty much exactly how I define "eras" (tenures of actors & characters aside). Especially in terms of the plots & the methods of storytelling. 1994 definitely feels the impact of "rotating heads" in my opinion and, subjectively speaking, isn't a favourite period of mine (hence I could not be energised to outline key stories). Greg Stevens' continued presence in that time does little to create any consistency. Mid-1994 especially feels like a period of many short-term "stories" (some only lasting 1 - 2 episodes), usually lighthearted in nature, and a reliance on guest actors to drive month-long stories (examples: Beth, Rebecca 2, Ros Parrish, early Selina).

Of course, Home and Away was a team production and many other in the crew would have surely played significant roles in the storytelling method & development of storylines. Lots of interdependencies one would imagine but I would expect that the (espeically) Executive Producer and Series Producers would have had a huge say, being line managers to the Script team;  they would approve more controversial stories and introduce permanent characters. Whenever time allows, I'll respond to this post with a chronicle of who was Producer & when so that we can appreciate the outcome of such co-dependencies! ?





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Excellent work Nenecherry!

So. Ray Harding and Greg Haddrick wrote the Andrew & Donna domestic violence story ay? Interesting. And the Selina/"Mud" stuff. And the murder of Murdoch Roberts, and the creation of the character as Irene's ex-husband, and the idea of giving him the name "Mud". Well well well! I wonder how the sexual twist came into it. Was he a sex maniac or did he turn into a sex maniac, and how??

As for Andrew Warren, I wonder whose idea was it to have him park in the disabled bay when Angel was in a wheelchair (1649).....?

I wonder how Dave Worthington designed the very intriguing Dodge story?

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1 hour ago, nenehcherry2 said:

Whenever time allows, I'll respond to this post with a chronicle of who was Producer & when so that we can appreciate the outcome of such co-dependencies! ?

Exec Producer Tenures (by episode period):

1 - 210: Alan Bateman. Poached by Channel 9.

211 - 1145: Des Monaghan. 

1146 - 1565: Andrew Howie. The Luke/Sarah/Tug/Roxy era. 

1566 - some point in 2002ish: John Holmes.

Series Producers:

1 - 260: John Holmes. The first classic era, supported by Bevan Lee's great writing style.

261 - 1145: Andrew Howie. The Bobby then Sophie show.

1146 - 1425: No Series Producer. 

1426 - some point around year 2001: Russell Webb. Russell was originally a Director of the show and the mid/late 1990s - early 00s is defined by some great stunts & montages = Laura's train track adventure, Bobby/Fridge, Dodge/Steve's fight on the cliff, Selina's sequence, Michael being washed away, Stephanie's accident, another endless list.

Interesting to see how the above correlates with each other as well as my previously shared Script Producer / Series Story Editor list. It's clear that the Des / Howie duo had different ideas about the look, feel and, most importantly, age of the show versus Alan & John (and Bevan). Almost immediately, credits become slightly more colourful, "Flossille" (who were obviously viewed as a pair of fossils (get it?!) by the new team) are axed, Phil is burned to death and fostering (at least, of sorts) is suddenly no longer "copyright Fletchers". They hang onto Lance, Martin, Celia, Stacey and Morag for contingency but axe them at the next end of contracts (not sure what the Tom situation was but have heard several non-substantiated rumours there) and the show suddenly becomes younger. More external scenes than ever before There's that initial period of wanting to bring in every Australian celebrity "name" (Dannii, Craig, Julian and Terry Donovan) before they find their feet with a new formula that lasts them through much of the 90s - bring in 4 or 5 fresh year 10s every 2 years, have them living in different households so dating is permissable & then a recycle bi-annually. Des & Andrew had a more conservative approach than the 88 lot. A more down-to-earth feel. Gone is the mysticism of Floss' predictions, the flashbacks, the 90s EastEnders like "whodunnits" of Fisher/Morag/Bobby or Gary Samuels (Dodge aside), the oh so 80s feel of certain 88 characters and a lot of the grit to be replaced by an emphasis on teen / 20s romance, the topical (think Sophie/Tammy, Meg, Bobby's miscarriage & more) and some much camper baddies (Al Simpson, Josh Webb, Revhead, Irene 1, Lois Crawford). But some long-lasting arcs, especially in the mid 91 - early 92 part.

Andrew's promotion from Series Producer to Exec, to me, felt like an enhancement of conservatism combined with a loss of writing creativity. Lots of references to characters having no money. The show feels yet even more down-to-earth and the mainstays are, for the most part, all very nice people who are down on their luck. Just as in 90-2, lots of Ailsa giving out coffee and advice, Bobby has lost, at least on paper, much of her edge (though Nicolle does a great job of keeping something feisty & youthful about her line delivery till the bitter end) and the 20something characters, with the exception of Adam, are now solely defined by their relationships with the core teen characters. Nothing that eventful happens bar Bobby's death & poor Dale but, of course, those stories were written very reactively to real-life actor decisions. Lots of very short-term storylines and, into 1994 epsecially, an increasing reliance on comedy.

Russell coming in feels great in principle but I suspect he was limited to what he could do creatively until Andrew Howie's departure. John Holmes' return was a great thing for the series and it gets even better once Ray Harding & Greg Haddrick are leading the scripts. And we have a return of many of the great things that defined the first circa 370 episodes of the show. The paranormal (as I call it) is back, Laura's grisly death feels like a real new territory for the show and they are once again writing long-running plots of grit. Ailsa suddenly has her own storylines again.


On 18/04/2022 at 16:04, Old H&A Fan said:

Let's do a research project on who wrote the most memorable storyline arcs in early Home And Away.

The Script Producers page can be our starting point for the research.

Who wrote:

• The Barlow domestic violence storyline (1988) - Written by Bevan Lee, overseen by Alan Bateman & John Holmes

• The Dodge storyline (1989). Who created the character "Dodge"? The story's script was storylined by John Worthington but the Producers were (Exective) Des Monaghan and (Series) Andrew Howie. We don't know which of these 3 created the character and, top-line, the plot idea.

• Viv and her little sister's escape from her abusive father (1989) Storylined by John Worthington, overseen by Des and Andrew.

• Meg's leukemia (1992) Storylined by John Hugginson and Greg Stevens, overseen by Des and Andrew.

• The notorious David Croft and Sophie pregnancy story arc (1991–92) Storylined by John Hugginson and Greg Stevens, overseen by Des and Andrew.

• Andrew and Donna domestic violence story arc (1995) which earned the actor Nicole Quilter an award The bit until 1660 was storylined by Greg Harding and Ray Harding. Greg Haddrick took over Greg Harding's role in 1661. This was overseen by John Holmes (Exec Producer) and Russell Webb (Series Producer). So, likely, a Ray Harding job.

• Hayden's gambling story arc (1994) Kicked off by Greg Stevens & Ray Harding, Greg Haddrick took over Ray's role from 1441. Also likely complemented by Russell Webb being hired as Series Producer in 1426. With Andrew Howie overseeing the entire plot as Exec.


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Coral Drouyn was a story editor in Prisoner (c.250 to 587), who created stalker Angie around 2002, modelled after Angela Adams (Angel), Meg's nemesis in Prisoner. She has been giving commentary on 'Talking Prisoner' podcasts.

According to the BTTB main site under her page, she wrote 2 episodes (1646 & 1676), both in 1995.

EPISODE 1646 (original airdate 13/3/95)

Shane & Angel: Angel drops a stack of CDs. Meanwhile, Don Fisher eases up on the building plans and is prepared to let Angel stay on with Shane at his house for another 6 months. Angel is determined to keep her independence and not let the wheelchair destroy her and Shane’s future.

Curtis & Laura: Alsa puts her foot down on Laura and Curtis. At the beginning of the episode, Jack whinges to Michael about Curtis taking Laura off him, but Michael persuades Curtis & Jack to make up, and they make up in the Surf Club kiosk. Mr Fisher sticks his nose in and abuses Curtis and Laura, demanding them to “cool it”, as they kiss. At the end of the episode, after Alsa lays down the law (just like how her grouchy husband does it) demanding that there is no “funny business” under her roof, Laura tells Curtis she has a dire warning for Donald Fisher that he better watch out!


EPISODE 1676 (24/4/95)

Shane & Angel: Angel tells Pippa she will fight to the end — no matter the cost — to get custody of her own son. She says she and Shane had to wait 20 minutes at the solicitor’s for Mrs Harris, and she failed to show up at all.

Andrew ♥s Donna: Rob makes peace with Donna in light of her decision to move in with Andrew.

Damy&Selina: her disgusting pregnancy: Selina goes to the city and tells Damian that she is pregnant. Selina tells Damian that she doesn't care about the costs to her life, and is pig-headed in deciding to keep the baby. Selina chucks a real mental when Damian tells her that he won’t have that. Irene backs her up. At the end of the episode, Damian tells Selina and Irene that he isn’t going until an agreement is reached, and won’t have Selina and Irene make him change his mind.

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