Seven, the TV network that airs Home and Away in Australia, has given us our first clues as to what we can expect in Home and Away in 2021. Read on for some pretty major spoilers.
It aired its 2021 “Upfronts” last night, an annual preview of what the channel has in store in the year ahead.
The event usually takes place in person at Seven’s base in Media City, Eveleigh, but was replaced with a virtual event this year due to the new world we’ve all become very familiar with.
Upfronts are events designed to entice the channel’s advertisers and investors into spending money, but they also give TV lovers an insight into what their favourite TV channels are planning to air in the year ahead. So keep reading for some big spoilers coming up in 2021.
As the Upfront is mainly targeting advertisers, we saw Sam Frost (Jasmine), Emily Weir (Mackenzie), Rob Kipa-Williams (Ari) and Ethan Browne (Tane) walk along Summer Beach, discussing the success the show has had over the past year both on TV and digitally.
Sam tells us that as the Number 1 Australian drama, it gets over 2 million viewers each week. Ethan tells us that over 12 million minutes of the show get streamed on catch-up service 7Plus each week, while Rob points to the show’s over 2 million social media followers on Facebook and Instagram.
As Emily points out, “that is a lot of Aussies tuning in for the sun, surf, romance, intrigue and action“.
Now onto the important bit, the preview of what we can expect in 2021. The event had the following to say about Home and Away:
It’s the No. 1 drama that’s embedded in Australia’s DNA and in 2021, award-winning Home and Away will explore stories of new beginnings, second chances, love, betrayal and revenge.
A ghost from the past will threaten to derail one of the Bay’s favourite couples, a familiar face returns to right some wrongs, and when love becomes twisted and trust is misplaced, the community will be torn apart.
Plus, a special wedding we’ve all been waiting for – all set against the beautiful backdrop of sunny Summer Bay.
If you’re an avid follower of Home and Away spoilers, you probably knew some of those things already. Yet there are a couple of new bits of info in there as well, so let’s try and dissect things and see what we can deduce.
A ghost from the past
“A ghost from the past will threaten to derail one of the Bay’s favourite couples”
We should probably begin with a quick recap of Summer Bay’s current couples, of which there are quite a few:
- Leah and Justin
- Bella and Nikau
- Mackenzie and Ari
- Alf and Martha
- Roo and Owen
- Angelo and Taylor
- Tori and Christian
It seems fair to say that Angelo (Luke Jacobz) and Taylor (Annabelle Stephenson) will no longer be a couple by the end of the week, let alone in 2021, so we can safely discount them.
Alf (Ray Meagher) and Martha (Belinda Giblin) seem unlikely as well. Martha was the ghost from his past, and there can hardly be many people left from Alf’s past to derail anything. They only got married a year ago, and Martha has only been on screen in a limited capacity ever since, so it seems unlikely that anything serious is going to come along and ruin things already.
It is Home and Away, so never say never, but we’ll ignore them for now.
There’s potential with Leah (Ada Nikodemou) and Justin (James Stewart). The Morgans came to Summer Bay under a witness protection scheme, and although that now seems to be a long forgotten memory, there’s still the possibility that one of the members of the drugs syndicate returns for another pop at Justin and Tori.
Roo (Georgie Parker) and Owen (Cameron Daddo) are another definite potential. They’re one of the Bay’s newest couples and are still very much finding their feet, but that certainly doesn’t make them immune from issues. Owen has been struggling to adapt to a new relationship, having only just found out that he has a long lost brother he never met.
We’ve also yet to meet the rest of his family, including his daughters, or his ex wife. Could one of them arrive in the Bay and cause problems?
Bella (Courtney Miller) and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) seem to be one of the more likely candidates. The loved up youngsters haven’t been together very long, but have already had a lot of drama to contend with.
Shortly before the pair escaped Summer Bay for the Blue Mountains, Bella confessed to him Colby’s role in her father’s death. Although he’s done a good job of keeping it secret until now, Bella has been wracked with guilt at him having to deal with it, so could the added stress cause more problems for their relationship?
Or could the fallout of Colby going to prison (keep reading for this one!) be too much to handle for Bella, and she breaks things off?
Paparazzi photos from earlier this year showed Nikau with his arm around a mystery blonde, played by actress Sam Barrett.
Sam’s character was seen talking to Ryder (Lukas Radovich) and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), with Nik having his arm around her. This could of course be perfectly innocent, but could she be an ex or friend from Nikau’s past set to cause problems for his blossoming relationship with Bella (Courtney Miller)?
A familiar face
“A familiar face returns to right some wrongs”
This can only be the one and only Heath Braxton!
Details are still few and far between, but we know that Heath is set to return either at the end of 2020 or the start of 2021, in a storyline linked to a number of Summer Bay favourites.
Earlier this year, Home and Away took over a car park in a Sydney suburb to film a fight scene between two rival gangs.
The filming showed Patrick O’Connor (Dean), Rob Kipa-Williams (Ari) and Ethan Browne (Tane) approach a group of unknown characters. As they talk, a familiar face steps out of a mustard-coloured ute, and it’s none other than Dan Ewing, who played Heath off and on from 2011 to 2017.
Speculation instantly mounted as to why Heath has returned to Summer Bay, more than three years after he was last seen. With his arrival coinciding with the Colby / Ross Nixon storyline, and with the cast and crew recently spotted filming at a prison, some fans believe that Heath has returned to help Colby break out of prison.
Yet as Tim Franklin (Colby) hasn’t been seen filming on Palm Beach (the real life home of Summer Bay’s outdoor scenes) since June, it seems that any breakout attempt won’t be a success. Another rumour going round is that Colby dies in prison, so it seems likely that we’re only weeks away from seeing Senior Constable Thorne’s final scenes.
Another distinct possibility is that Tane’s current dodgy dealings are the start of Heath’s return storyline. He recently bagged himself a job at Summer Bay Auto, but landed Ziggy and the garage in hot water almost immediately when he used it to store a van full of stolen goods.
With the police now tracking down the van, and his criminal friends washing their hands of hit, he’s stuck with a hot van and nowhere to go.
Could the van be in some way connected to the Braxtons? It seems like Heath is on the same side as Dean, Tane and Ari, so that seems unlikely at this stage … so perhaps an ever loyal Dean comes to Ziggy and Tane’s rescue, employing the help of his old River Boy mates to ward off whoever comes looking for the stolen goods?
Heath’s return to Aussie screens may not be far away. With speculation that he’ll appear on or just before the show’s 2020 season finale, we could just be a month or so away from the River Boy’s return.
Love becomes twisted
“When love becomes twisted and trust is misplaced, the community will be torn apart.”
Well, we can’t know everything, and we’re stumped when it comes to this one. We haven’t been short of affairs and break ups in Summer Bay over the last few years, but not many have had the force to tear the community apart.
Any ideas on this one? We’ve opened up the comments section at the end of the article, so let us know what you think it could be referring to!
There’s little doubt in our minds that this is the wedding of Tori and Christian. Yes, it seems that a couple who are only just beginning aren’t planning on hanging around.
The two doctors may have only just shared their first proper date on Australian screens, but it looks like Christian is a fast mover, and he’s set to propose to Dr Morgan in the first half of 2021.
Eagle eyed fan Vikki Ross was at Palm Beach in August, and was lucky enough to witness the aftermath of the engagement, as her friends and family gathered together to celebrate the happy news.
The happy couple filmed scenes walking along the beach towards the surf club, with an engagement ring clearly visible on Tori’s hand.
As Christian and Tori arrive at the surf club, they’re greeted by shouts of “Come on up!” from Leah and Justin, and a large banner on the balcony emblazoned with “Tori and Christian together forever”.
The residents of Summer Bay don’t hang around when it comes to arranging a wedding, so it’s unlikely there’ll be a 2 to 3 year engagement here. Will we have wedding bells before the half way point of next season?
Tori’s relationship with Christian will mark her first romance since her relationship with Ash (George Mason), which ended in 2018. It seems she’s found someone much more suited, a sensible doctor looking for a serious relationship, so could this finally be happily ever after for Tori?
We’re also set for two brand new characters in 2021, with the arrival of Bridie Carter as Susie McCalister, and Luke Arnold as a potential new love interest for Jasmine.
As we discussed in our August spoiler roundup, the two well known Aussie actors have recently been spotted filming scenes at Palm Beach.
Bridie’s character Susie McCalister seems set to befriend John Palmer, potentially as a new love interest after his breakup with Marilyn Chambers. Scenes filmed in August saw the pair walking hand in hand along the beach.
“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.”
Luke Arnold, famous for playing Long John Silver in Black Sails, has also been spotted filming at Palm Beach numerous times. So far, the majority of his scenes seem to have been with Sam Frost (Jasmine), hinting that there could be a blossoming romance between the pair.
Will he be what Jasmine needs to begin to get over Robbo?
And that’s it for now. All of this is still very much speculation, but we won’t have long to wait before we find out how much of it is correct.
Last year, Home and Away’s final episode aired in Australia on 27th November. If this year follows a similar trajectory then we may have just one month left of the 2020 season before the show takes its annual summer break.
What are you most looking forward to in the final few weeks of the season, and in 2021? Let us know in the comments below.
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