Major Spoilers for Oz & UK: A round-up and speculation on just some of the storylines, and comings and goings, that we can expect to see on Home and Away in the latter half of the 2019 season…
Please note that any expected airdates are based on when episodes were supposed to air, without taking into account Seven’s scheduling of triple episodes which may bring storylines forward.
Another door into Robbo’s (Jake Ryan) life before Summer Bay will be opening in a few days time, when the character’s parents make their debut.
Whilst we’ve previously learnt that Robbo’s wife Lauren, and two children Sophia and Lucas, were brutally murdered back in 2015, for a long time the character formerly known as Ryan Shaw had been noticeably quiet about any other relations. It wasn’t until Robbo returned from his recent time out from Summer Bay in April that he mentioned going to stay with his parents, having not seen them for a number of years.
With these plot seeds sown, Jasmine (Sam Frost) brought up the topic of Robbo’s parents again in recent episodes as she prepared invitiations for the wedding. After some prompting, we learnt Robbo had grown up on the family farm in rural NSW with his mum and dad, Ian and Wendy, and siblings Sarah and Daniel.
Learning more about Robbo’s family caused Jasmine to feel that she needed to introduce herself to Robbo’s parents before the wedding, and she was willing to postpone the ceremony to make it happen.
As such, Ian and Wendy Shaw will be appearing on our screens this coming week—played by actors Frankie J. Holden (Underbelly, A Place to Call Home) and Amanda Muggleton (Prisoner)—as Robbo takes Jasmine on a road trip to meet the folks.
Whilst Robbo claimed that his parents were fully aware of his circumstances in Summer Bay, we can’t help but wonder how Ian and Wendy feel about their son marrying one lady whilst expecting a child with another.
It’s sure to bring some interesting, if not awkward, discussion—and Jasmine is shocked when Wendy takes her to one side, and tells her in no uncertain terms, that she and Ian do not approve of Jasmine or the marriage. Will Jasmine be able to win them over?
Robbo & Jasmine’s Wedding
It’s been a rocky road for Robbo and Jasmine over the past few months on-screen, but with the engagement now back on and wedding plans in full force, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the loved-up couple.
Back in February, press photos captured the cast filming Robbo and Jasmine’s nuptials at St James’ Church in Pitt Town, the filming location for Summer Bay’s church on and off for the past three decades.
Whilst we didn’t spot Robbo’s parents in any of the published photos, Robbo’s former federal police colleague Lance Salisbury (Angus McLaren) was in attendance, presumably fulfilling best man duties.
Being careful not to reveal any details of the storyline themselves, stars Emily Symons, Ada Nicodemou and Lynne McGranger also shared some photos taken on the day.
There’s not long to wait, as we expect the wedding to be airing in July!
Robbo Rejoins the Feds?
With Lance back on the scene, will he finally succeed in convincing Robbo to rejoin the federal police? Actor Jake Ryan fuelled speculation that Robbo could be heading back to the force when he posted a photo on Instagram back in April, showing him with a gun and wearing a police vest in what looks to be an abandoned warehouse.
In another photo that has since been removed, Jake was pictured alongside Tim Franklin (Colby) posing with their guns in a car, Colby in a police vest, and Robbo in a federal police vest.
We expect these scenes to be airing some time in September.
Tori’s Maternity Leave…
As we previously reported, we still have an upcoming temporary departure for Tori (Penny McNamee) on the horizon, which we expect to be coming up next month on-screen, as we approach Penny’s maternity leave. The actress finished up in mid-February and gave birth to her second child, Neve, only two weeks later on 2nd March.
After the birth, Penny explained in an interview with New Idea that she wasn’t expecting to be heading back to work for a few months:
“I’ll go back in August. I’ve got six months off at home. Then I’ll go back, not to a full schedule, just to ease me back in. Our producers and script executive who’s written the storyline, they’ve been extraordinary and they’re letting me be a mum. I’ll come back ready to go!”
However with Penny also posting an Instagram story in late May with the caption “first day back”, it’s possible that Tori could be making an early return, or she will simply appear in a few scenes here and there before heading back full time. There’s speculation that Penny could have returned briefly just to film Tori’s birth scenes, and if so, we expect these scenes to air in early to mid-October.
As for the baby itself, Jake Ryan and Sam Frost have been seen filming at Palm Beach on several occasions in recent weeks carrying a baby, which could indicate Robbo and Jasmine are caring for the child in Tori’s absence.
How the show will explain Tori’s time away remains to be seen. With Tori learning this week that there is a danger of premature labour due to cervical weakness, it’s possible she may leave Summer Bay for some relaxation.
Some viewers on our forum have speculated whether she could simply spend an awful lot of time off-screen in her bedroom, or whether there could be a more dramatic storyline on the horizon—after all, it’s been well over a year since a member of the Morgan family has faced a kidnapping!
…And A New Doctor in Town
With the multi-tasking Tori heading on maternity leave, Northern Districts Hospital is sure to be facing a meltdown. Luckily there is a new character parachuting in to take charge of the Emergency Department (and, let’s be honest, probably every other department), in the form of Dr Alex Neilson, played by actress Zoë Ventoura.
No doubt best remembered by Aussie viewers as the much-loved character of Mel in Seven’s Packed to the Rafters, in which she starred alongside Home and Away actor James Stewart (Justin), the LA based actress jumped at the chance to return to Australia for the role – “I was sent the character information and asked if I was interested,” she told New Idea. “I immediately loved the character – that’s what got me in.”
Zoë continued “She’s strong and bold and smart and compelling. I loved how they have created her and written her on the page, and the storyline they have planned for her. It just seemed like a no-brainer… I played a nurse on Rafters – that was probably the closest I got, but I haven’t played a doctor before, so it’s exciting to really have that challenge. I’m nervous, obviously, because there’s a lot of medical jargon and a lot of responsibility that comes with it, but I’m very excited to step up to the challenge. It’s about wanting to do it justice.”
Talking about her return to the Seven studios, Zoë said “My first day on set was all in the hospital and was a real baptism of fire, a really hectic, crazy trauma situation – but Alex is completely in control. I’m really happy with the way it went and I can’t wait to see what it looks like. Alex is a complex woman with a lot of layers, and I’m very excited to explore them all. Coming to this beautiful and quiet coastal town seems like exactly what Alex is looking for, but little does she know that it’s not exactly the sleepy little place she thinks it’s going to be.”
It was also revealed that Alex comes to the bay nursing a broken heart, following the end of a ten year relationship, and will soon find some romance in Summer Bay.
As for the identity of Alex’s potential lover, we heard a surprising whisper from our own sources a while back. This snippet seemed to be all but confirmed in May, when press photos taken outside the surf club showed Alex getting very close to none other than Willow Harris (Sarah Roberts).
In the past few weeks the duo have been seen filming various scenes together, including what looks to be a beachside picnic.
Given the circumstances of Alex’s temporary position at the hospital, and Zoë Ventoura’s life in LA with husband Dan McPherson, we once again don’t expect this apparent introduction of some LGBTQI diversity to Summer Bay to last too long.
We anticipate Alex’s introduction to air towards the end of August.
A familar face will be returning to Summer Bay in coming months, as Simone McAullay returns to the show in a currently unknown role.
Long-term viewers may remember Simone as playing the character of Viv Anderson back in 2007-2008, who seduced Ric Dalby (Mark Furze) and ended up pregnant with his child.
Simone, who in recent years has been based in the UK and appeared in two series of acclaimed drama Broadchurch, was pictured filming in Palm Beach in April, alongside Ada Nicodemou (Leah) and Courtney Miller (Bella).
No further information on her character is confirmed, but these scenes are expected to air in September.
Blake (Tom Wilson)
Another new character heading to Summer Bay will be Blake, played by Tom Wilson. Whilst no further details about the character, or a surname, have yet been confirmed, we understand he will be appearing on a recurring basis.
Tom was pictured filming a scene alongside Lukas Radovich (Ryder) in May, which will air in late September/early October.
Home and Away has never shied away from recruiting from reality/talent shows—with the successful introduction of X Factor finalist Johnny Ruffo (Chris Harrington) back in 2013, and the more recent introduction of The Bachelor and Hell’s Kitchen contestant Sam Frost as Jasmine—and it seems there may be another heading to the bay in coming months.
Former The Voice contestant Mia Morrissey, who pursued acting at WAAPA following her stint on the singing contest in 2014, was seen filming scenes at Palm Beach earlier this month.
Again no details are known about her character, including whether it’s a recurring role or a one-off appearance, but the scenes in question saw Mia’s character receiving a surfing lesson from Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor) alongside Ryder Jackson (Lukas Radovich). We expect these episodes to air in October.
What’s up, Irene?
It’s never a good sign when Summer Bay’s matriarch Reenie gets upset, so it was rather concerning to see paparazzi photos of Lynne McGranger, filming a scene on the pier in February, where Irene seems visibly distraught and is being comforted by Marilyn (Emily Symons).
Could there be a problem with one of her off-screen children, or perhaps her grandchildren? Or could it simply have been a bad day in the diner? We won’t have too long to wait to find out, as these scenes should be airing in the latter half of July.
Scenes in the following months have also seen Irene holding hands with an upset Leah (Ada Nicodemou), and the two heading off in a car together, which immediately brings to mind their mutual granddaughter Luc… but that’s just idle speculation of course.
Whatever the case may be, Lynne McGranger did state on Instagram, as the cast went on their Easter break in April, that it had been a “HUGE couple of months“… so we keep our fingers crossed for a possible juicy storyline!
Colby in Court?
Back in early April, Penny McNamee posted another story on Instagram where she had happened to bump into her H&A co-stars whilst out walking with her baby. Shown in the picture were Tim Franklin (Colby) in a suit, alongside Lynne McGranger (Irene), Ada Nicodemou (Leah) and Courtney Miller (Bella)—though we can’t be certain whether further cast members were present.
Our curiosity was peaked however when we immediately recognised the filming location as Balmain Courthouse, which was last seen on-screen in 2018 when Robbo was facing charges for the crimes of his undercover identity Beckett Reid.
With the killing of his step-father Ross Nixon still hanging over his head, could Colby’s movements on that day be about to come under further scrutiny? Could Bella have got herself into some trouble, which would explain the presence of Irene? Or could it be nothing to do with either of them? We can only speculate…
Given that both Tim and Courtney have been continuing to film at Palm Beach in months since, and were later pictured having a group hug with Sarah Roberts (Willow) in what looked to be follow-up scenes, we can only presume that any court appearance will not have a particularly negative outcome. We will find out when these scenes air around September.
With Brody Morgan having departed Summer Bay last week, and with Tori set to be also absent for a time, there’s set to be another Morgan family departure later in the year when Raffy Morrison bows out after three years on screen.
Sixteen year old actress Olivia Deeble announced in May that she had left the show, and had already jetted off to Toronto to appear alongside Andi Mack star Peyton Elizabeth Lee in a new Disney+ movie named Secret Society of Second Born Royals.
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Taking to Instagram to reveal the news, Olivia said “I know there have been lots of rumours about me leaving Home and Away and don’t worry you still have a lot more of Raffy to look forward to onscreen. The opportunity HAA has given me to grow as an actor is incredible, while I’m not currently filming in Summer Bay, I’m forever grateful for what I have learned and the people I have met.”
Photos of what appeared to be Raffy’s farewell scene being filmed were taken by paparazzi in mid-April, which showed her farewelling Ryder (Lukas Radovich), Mason (Orpheus Pledger), John (Shane Withington) and Marilyn (Emily Symons) before being driven away by Justin (James Stewart).
We expect these scenes to air in the first couple of weeks of September.
We were as surprised as any to be reporting last year that Justin Morgan and Leah Patterson would be hooking up, but with their relationship now out in the open on-screen, it seems that “Lustin” (thanks, Roo) are going from strength to strength.
Actors James Stewart and Ada Nicodemou have been seen filming scenes between the couple as recently as last week, confirming that their relationship will still be intact as we move towards the end of the year.
There’s still one member of the Morgan family to give Justin & Leah their blessing however—Justin’s daughter, Ava. The result of his relationship with Nina Gilbert (Zoe Naylor) before Justin had to disappear into witness protection, Ava was last seen in April 2018 played by Grace Thomas.
We can confirm that Ava will be returning to the bay in the first week of July—having been recast with an as-yet-unnamed actress, who has been filming scenes with James, Ada and Orpheus Pledger (Mason) at various points between January and May.
The fact that Nina and husband Brian will let Ava visit Summer Bay again must surely be a miracle in itself however—in 2017 she broke her arm after being hit by Patrick Stanwood’s car, and in a subsequent visit in 2018 she was kidnapped by Hazel Easton. Fingers crossed this time!
Dean’s Parents Return
Speaking of new couples, Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson (…Diggy?) also appear to be going strong, with Patrick O’Connor and Sophie Dillman seen filming romantic scenes only last week.
With Dean’s half-sister MacKenzie (Emily Weir) now on the scene, it’s only inevitable that Dean will soon be crossing paths with his father Rick Booth, who was last seen paying off Dean back in October 2018 with the orders that he never wanted to see him again.
Sure enough, actor Mark Lee was spotted at Palm Beach back in February, filming scenes with Patrick that we expect to air next month.
We’ll also be seeing a return of Dean’s mother Karen Thompson, played by Georgia Adamson. Karen was last seen on-screen in March whilst on day release from her mental health facility, when she tried to help Dean as he battled his conscience over Ross’ death.
Georgia was pictured filming with Patrick and Sophie at Palm Beach in April, in episodes we expect to air in September.
Don’t worry, Alf Stewart isn’t going anywhere just yet! After 31 years on the show, Ray Meagher recently revealed that he had signed another three year contract, albeit with slightly reduced hours which will have little effect on-screen.
Talking to the Sydney Morning Herald in March, Ray said “We work for 46 weeks of the year, but I have clauses where I can give producers a reasonable amount of notice for them to write me out to go to the UK and do pantomimes or to go to London and do Priscilla in the West End. In this latest contract I said I wanted to work less weeks, so we’ve worked that out, but I’ll still be there more often than not. I’m taking a tiny little bit of extra time … but it’s not a bridge to retirement.”
Clarifying his statement in a further interview with UK show This Morning, Ray added “If you average my time over the last 10 or 15 years, I probably work 40 weeks a year. From now on, on a new contract, I’ll probably work 35, 36 weeks of the year.”
The rekindling of his relationship with his (no-longer-late) first wife Martha (Belinda Giblin), who lives in southern NSW, gives Alf more reason to spend time away from the bay, with the couple deciding earlier this year that a long-distance relationship would be the way forward.
A return stint for Martha is also on the horizon, with Belinda seen filming in May. We expect these scenes to air around late September/early October.
If you’re heading to Sydney anytime soon, why not take the time to visit the beautiful Palm Beach (Summer Bay) yourself on the Official Home and Away Tour – along the way you’ll get to see such filming locations as the Morgan House, the Pier Diner and the famous Surf Club, and you may even be lucky enough to spot some filming and take some snaps with cast members!
The tour departs from central Sydney five days a week (Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat), and costs $135 per person.
For more information on the tour options, and to book tickets directly through the official tour provider, click here or on the button below.