Major Home and Away Spoilers for Australia and the UK: With filming well and truly back on track after the pause earlier this year, both fans and the paparazzi have spotted plenty of interesting scenes being filmed at Palm Beach over the last couple of months.
With September just around the corner, we analyse these tidbits and take an in-depth look at some of the storylines we can expect to see in the final few months of the year.
There are new arrivals aplenty, new possible love interests for a number of characters, a marriage proposal, a replacement beach which will make Summer Bay look very different, and is one resident on their way to prison?
A new love interest for Tori as Dr Christian Green arrives
It was announced a few weeks ago that Ditch Davey would be joining the show as Dr Christian Green.
Ditch is perhaps best known for his role as Evan Jones in Seven’s police drama Blue Heelers, in which he starred from 2001 until the show’s demise in 2006. Amongst other roles, he has since starred in Sea Patrol and as Julius Caesar in the Netflix docudrama Roman Empire.
The official press release for the character states that Christian’s level of expertise and arrogance puts a few noses out of joint at the hospital, but that doesn’t mean he lacks a sense of humour… or softer side for those he wants to let in.
Indeed from the recent promo it appears that he quickly gets on the wrong side of new colleague Tori Morgan (Penny McNamee), as she finds him casually on the phone at the emergency department’s reception desk with his feet up on the desk.
On asking who he is, she’s surprised when she learns his identity, and there’s clear tension between the two as they share a lift together in another scene.
But in Summer Bay that can surely only mean one thing….
Looking ahead into coming months, filming at Palm Beach shows that Tori and Christian will indeed enter into a relationship, with scenes shot in June showing the couple leaning in for a kiss.
However that’s not all, as further scenes witnessed by fan Vicki Ross at Palm Beach last week appear to show that Tori and Christian have become engaged, with a ring visible on Tori’s hand.
Further photos and footage, which Vicki provided to us, see Christian and Tori arriving at the surf club to find a large banner on the balcony emblazoned with “Tori and Christian together forever”.
Leah and Justin excitedly shout from the balcony telling the couple to come up to what we presume will be some form of celebration lunch, but Tori doesn’t appear to look entirely happy with the idea.
“Home And Away has been such an institution to audiences in both Australia and the UK for such a long time and it’s great to be a part of that now, but the people are what it’s all about,” Ditch said at the time of the casting announcement. “The cast and crew are brilliant and have made me feel at home immediately”
This will mark the first romance for Tori since her relationship with Ash (George Mason), which ended in 2018.
Bridie Carter as Susie McCalister – Is John moving on from Marilyn?
Another well known face heading to Summer Bay in coming months is that of actress Bridie Carter, best known for her role as Tess in the hugely popular Nine drama McLeod’s Daughters.
Bridie first announced the news two weeks ago via a post on Instagram, with it later being confirmed that she would play an estate agent named Susie McCalister.
“She is a really fun, dynamic woman,” Bridie told The Advertiser. “She is fiercely independent and she comes to the Bay from WA and, let me say, she befriends certain people quite particularly.”
Filming last week appears to show that Susie has struck up a friendship with John Palmer (Shane Withington), with the two walking arm in arm along the beach.
Could John be about to find his happy ever after, following the recent breakdown of his marriage to Marilyn Chambers (Emily Symons)?
No information has been given in regards to the length of Bridie’s tenure as Susie, but talking to the Daily Telegraph, Bridie said she was grateful to be offered the opportunity:
“I think it is miraculous that in these uncertain times when my industry is floundering that I got a phone call to say would I like to come to Summer Bay,” she said. “I was astounded and ecstatic at the same time. I am very fortunate and very grateful because I have a lot of friends who are sitting in a very precarious position.”
The role actually marks the third time that Bridie has appeared on the show.
She first starred in two episodes of the show in 1995 as Toni Jarvis, the editor and then-girlfriend of writer Mandy Thomas (Rachael Blake).
She later guest-starred as Brooke Taylor in 1999, who became infatuated with Travis Nash (Nic Testoni) due to him being the spitting image of her deceased boyfriend David. It would later transpire that David was Travis and Joel’s illegitimate half-brother.
Luke Arnold as a new love interest for Jasmine?
Black Sails star Luke Arnold has also been spotted filming at Palm Beach over the past month.
Famous for his role as Long John Silver in the series, which acted as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, Luke also portrayed Michael Hutchence in the 2014 mini-series INXS: Never Tear us Apart.
The majority of Luke’s scenes so far appear to have been with Sam Frost, with rumours circulating that he could be a possible love interest for Jasmine.
No character name is officially confirmed at the moment, and it’s unknown how long Luke will be on the show for.
In a recent Instagram Q&A, the actor and author explained that he was currently working on a show in Sydney that he wasn’t able to talk about, having been lucky enough to cross the border from Victoria shortly before travel restrictions were put into place.
Does Colby go to prison?
With the murder of his stepfather Ross Nixon hanging over his head since early 2019, it’s often been speculated that the discovery of Ross’ body would be the catalyst for Colby’s eventual departure from the show. With that now having happened, and Detective Angelo Rosetta (Luke Jacobz) now on Colby’s case, could his days be numbered…?
Colby first appeared on the show in February 2018, and with the predictability of many actors only staying for a single three-year contract, it’s now come to the time where we could very well be seeing the filming of Colby’s exit.
Filming at this stage in the year would usually be for the opening weeks of the new season, though it’s unknown as to whether the COVID-19 enforced production break has put the crew behind at all this year.
Filming that took place in Riverstone a couple of weeks ago, which saw the return of Heath Braxton (Dan Ewing) in scenes alongside Dean, the Paratas and gangs of other men, was purported to be for the 2021 season opener episodes, but this is currently unconfirmed.
One unverified rumour that has been doing the rounds is that Colby ends up in jail, given that location filming was apparently taking place in one, and that the River Boys were teaming up to break him out… whilst another rumour claims that Colby actually dies in jail.
In either case, it’s been exactly two months since Tim Franklin was last pictured by the paparazzi filming in Palm Beach, and reports from fans claimed that Colby was seen being arrested by Angelo.
Since that time, scenes have been filmed which have seen Dean approaching sister Mackenzie (Emily Weir) and Bella outside the surf club with a split lip. Both women looked relieved to see him and hugged him.
Further scenes shot at Palm Beach this month have also seen Dean and Bella looking stressed and particularly sombre as they sit on the pier…
Do Nikau and Bella split up?
There could be a new teen on the horizon in Summer Bay, with actress Sam Barrett spotted shooting scenes two weeks ago.
Although pictures of only one scene have emerged so far, Sam’s character is seen talking to Ryder (Lukas Radovich) and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), with Nik having his arm around her.
Whilst it could of course be perfectly innocent, it does lead to speculation about the status of Nik’s relationship with Bella (Courtney Miller).
In recent episodes, Bella has confided in Nik that Colby (Tim Franklin) was the one who killed her dad Ross. The two ran away together in an attempt to avoid Bella being questioned by Angelo and potentially implicate Colby.
But with the rumours of Colby’s exit, could the stress of the secret they’re keeping rip the pair apart?
Nik of course has his own reasons to hate Colby, given Colby’s vendetta against the Parata family and his being responsible for them being separated from Gemma (Bree Peters) on their planned trip to New Zealand. Whilst Nik and Colby had come to a truce of sorts in recent weeks, Nik was particularly angry to learn of Colby’s hypocrisy when Bella told him their secret.
With that in mind, could Nik actually be the one to bring Colby’s downfall, and in doing so sacrifice his relationship with Bella? The possibilities are endless.
A different Summer Bay beach….
In some slightly different news, viewers can expect to see views of a rather different beach in the coming months.
When production of the show resumed in May, after a two month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the crew were initially prevented from returning to Palm Beach due to safety concerns.
As a result, a novel approach was thought upon for filming Summer Bay beach scenes – the crew would build their own!
10 tonnes of sand were transported to the estate at Kenthurst where Summer Bay House is located, and placed at the bottom of a small hill directly in front of the house.
A pathway up the rise was constructed, alongside fencing, some prop signs and a strategically placed surf rescue buggy, which made for a remarkably realistic setup.
Rob Kipa-Williams posted an Instagram story featuring himself and Emily Weir on their first day back on set, where they shared a glimpse of their amazing ‘new beach’, without disclosing it’s true nature and location.
Bringing the beach to Kenthurst would enable the crew to film at four different locations in a controlled environment during those difficult times, with the caravan park and Justin’s garage also based on the estate.
Of course filming has since resumed at Palm Beach, so it’s likely that this replacement will only be short-lived on-screen.