Major Spoilers for Australia & UK: With Home and Away starting a new year of production a month ago, we take a look at some of the latest spoilers which have come out of Palm Beach in recent weeks.
Palm Beach is the real life home of Summer Bay, in the north of Sydney. With so many of the show’s outdoor scenes filmed on and around the famous beach, fans often spot exciting titbits months before they air. At this time of year, the show films approximately 6 months in advance, meaning these storylines should be hitting Australian screens around June and July.
The season already looks to be shaping up as a busy one for Ryder Jackson (Lukas Radovich). As previously reported, we already know that Ryder is set to find love with new arrival Chloe Anderson (Sam Barrett), the daughter of Ari Parata’s ex-girlfriend Mia (Anna Samson).
Having returned to Summer Bay with childhood friend Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), after meeting up with him during his recent trip to New Zealand, it’s not going to be long before she hooks up with Nik’s best mate, with the two having filmed scenes which saw them kissing whilst frolicking in the surf. The pair were also seen hanging out as a foursome with Nik and Bella (Courtney Miller).
But it also seems Ryder and Chloe could be teaming up for a new business venture.
Filming at Palm Beach last month saw what looked to be the grand opening of a Mexican food van outside the surf club. Named ‘La Cucaracha’ (which actually translates to ‘The Cockroach’ but is a traditional Spanish folk song), the cantina offers such treats as nachos, quesadillas, tacos and burritos.
Dressed in a smart jacket, Ryder appeared to take charge of proceedings by using a megaphone to make an announcement whilst stood on the surf club’s 4×4. Fellow Summer Bay resident Jasmine (Sam Frost) looks to be one of the van’s first customers, also dressed in her finery.
As Ryder works on drumming up business with some flyers, Chloe awaits customers wearing a fetching apron.
Viewers will know that Ryder is a TAFE student studying for a qualification in hospitality whilst working as a barman at Salt, and we can’t help but wonder whether offering food right outside the surf club could lead to some tension with boss Mackenzie (Emily Weir)—that is, if it isn’t a joint venture between the two.
However it would seem that Summer Bay’s latest culinary venue isn’t long for this world, as filming that’s taken place at Palm Beach this week appears to show that the van is destroyed in an explosion!
As Dean (Patrick Thompson) races to extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher, and police, ambulance and fire engines descend on the smouldering wreck, it became apparent that several Summer Bay residents were caught up in the blast—including Ryder, Jasmine, Bella (Courtney Miller) and Marilyn (Emily Symons).
One fan present at the filming took a selfie with Sam Frost, who was covering a head wound that had been applied by the make-up department.
It would seem that Jasmine escapes largely unscathed though, as further scenes filmed have seen Jasmine back out jogging, albeit with a small dressing on her head. Paparazzi photos show Jasmine forced to break up an argument between Nik and Ryder, with Nik punching Ryder to the ground as a shocked Chloe looked on.
Could the explosion have been due to Ryder’s carelessness and Nik is angry at him for putting Chloe in danger?
Or could there have been a more sinister reason for the blast… is Irene planning on introducing huevos rancheros to the diner menu and wanted to eliminate the competition?!
In other news, with Summer Bay now having vacancy for a local copper following the incarceration of Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin)—who pleaded guilty late last year to the murder of his stepfather Ross Nixon and was sentenced to 25 years in prison—it seems it won’t be long before the position is filled.
Whilst some fans had hoped this could perhaps pave the way for longtime sidekick Constable Ben Murray (John-Paul Jory) to finally get a promotion, it seems Murray may have to wait a bit longer.
NIDA graduate Nicholas Cartwright will be arriving on-screen later this year as a new police officer, who we can reveal is named Senior Constable Cash Newman.
The actor, who formerly served in Afghanistan and East Timor as part of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, was first spotted filming at Palm Beach in the second week of January— in scenes which saw Cash escorting Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor) out of the surf club.
Dean’s sister Mackenzie (Emily Weir) is forced to call him in after Dean causes some aggravation in Salt, and Cash warns Dean to pull his head in as he explains he isn’t there to play referee between squabbling siblings.
It is currently unknown as to whether Cash is a guest role or if he’ll be sticking around in Summer Bay long-term. He may want to tread carefully if he does take up residence though, as things haven’t ended well for Summer Bay’s regular coppers over the last decade or so!
Although the Yabbie Creek police force have often shown signs of incompetence and corruption, it could be said the real run of back luck started with Jack Holden (Paul O’Brien)—who was accidentally shot dead by colleague Angelo Rosetta (Luke Jacobz) back in the 2008 season finale.
Although Angelo confessed, he lived to serve another day when he was reinstated as part of the Marine Area Command investigating a people smuggling operation. Later made Sergeant at the station, he was again forced to resign when he let Hugo Austin (Bernard Curry), the mastermind behind the operation, flee custody with girlfriend Martha MacKenzie (Jodi Gordon). Angelo moved into the family business of opening a restaurant above the surf club before his eventual departure. Angelo’s police career still wasn’t finished there though, as we found last year when Angelo returned as the detective investigating Ross’ murder.
Next up was Sergeant Charlie Buckton (Esther Anderson), who died in the opening week of 2012 after being shot by Braxton enemy Jake Pirovic (Fletcher Humphrys).
Summer Bay went without its own resident police officer for a couple of years, before the arrival of Kat Chapman (Pia Miller). Although she escaped death by bullet, she was instead killed in a horror car crash in the 2017 season finale, which saw her attempting to flee Summer Bay with Robbo (Jake Ryan).
Another new face on the horizon is that of Bite Club and Between Two Worlds actor Marny Kennedy.
We can confirm that Marny will be playing a character named Rachel Young, who appears to have had some bad luck in recent times.
Having been seen filming at Palm Beach in January, Marny’s character shared a scene walking along the beach talking to Christian Green (Ditch Davey)—holding onto his arm whilst wearing a halo brace supporting her head.
This would indicate Rachel has suffered a very serious spinal injury, and whilst we’ve heard whispers of a skydiving accident, this is currently unconfirmed.
As Christian is a top neurosurgeon, it’s very likely that Rachel is one of his patients at Northern Districts Hospital, but no further details about the character or the length of Marny’s tenure on the show are currently known.
Rachel is also one of the many people caught up in the explosion of the food van, which was filmed a month later, and was witnessed to be left lying on her back in pain. Curiously she was not in a brace by this point. One theory is that filming of the explosion was delayed for logistical reasons, and it’s actually this which causes her spinal injury in the first place. Alternatively, could she already be recovering well and this provides a huge setback?
We await to see how these dramatic episodes will play out later in the year!