Home and Away in 2021 – A Year in Review

As Australian viewers bid farewell to Home and Away for the rest of the year, we take a look back at the year that was.

Fans of Australia’s most popular drama were treated to a gift this week. Whilst the network has steered away from bumper final weeks in the past few years, viewers were treated to eight episodes in the last week of the year. These episodes culminated in a season finale that has left viewers questioning what the future holds for numerous favourites…

That said, you can find out more about what will happen in 2022 here!

What viewers may not realise is that this year delivered the most episodes in a season of Home and Away in its 34-year history. With a whopping 240 episodes, the series delivered like never before.

Not only in story and in production, but also in ratings. This year saw the ratings soar, with more than 1 million Australian viewers viewing the series both as it was broadcast and on BVOD (broadcaster video on demand).

The series continues to kick goals in every arena it plays, and, as Home and Away heads into its 35th season, there’s no doubt this trend will roll over into the new year.


Onscreen

With a record number of episodes, it was no surprise that this year gave audiences a plethora of “magic moments”; episodes that standout when remembering the year that was.

  • 7476 – The season premiere (Aus 1st February, UK 22nd February)
  • 7478 – Heath’s return (Aus 3rd February, UK 24th February)
  • 7480 – Christian proposes to Tori (Aus 8th February, UK 26th February)
  • 7483 – Colby’s farewell and Chloe’s arrival (Aus 11th February, UK 3rd March)
  • 7485 – Mia’s arrival (Aus 11th February, UK 5th March)
  • 7505 – Mackenzie learns she’s pregnant (Aus 9th March, UK 2nd April)
  • 7511 – Ari’s hit and run (Aus 16th March, UK 13th April)
  • 7526 – Mackenzie’s miscarriage (Aus 5th April, UK 4th May)
  • 7532 – Willow’s farewell (Aus 14th April, UK 12th May)
  • 7537 – Christian’s near death experience (Aus 20th April, UK 19th May)
  • 7584 – Cash’s arrival (Aus 14th June, UK 23rd July)
  • 7585 – Susie’s body is found and Mia learns she’s pregnant (Aus 15th June, UK 26th July)
  • 7590 – The La Cucaracha van explosion (Aus 21st June, UK 2nd August)
  • 7595 – Rachel’s death (Aus 24th June, UK 9th August)
  • 7619 – The 2021 Olympic Cliffhanger, Dean’s car crash (Aus 22nd July, UK 10th September)
  • 7621 – Logan’s arrival (Aus 10th August, UK 14th September)
  • 7622 – Christian proposes to Tori… again! (Aus 11th August, UK 15th September)
  • 7631 – Felicity’s arrival (Aus 19th August, UK 28th September)
  • 7648 – Theo’s arrival (Aus 9th September, UK 21st October)
  • 7662 – Christian and Tori’s wedding and farewell (Aus 11th August, UK 15th September)
  • 7670 – The gas attack (Aus 6th October, UK Season Finale 22nd November)
  • 7714 – Ari proposes to Mia (Aus 25th November)
  • 7715 – Chloe kills Matthew (Aus 25th November)
  • 7715 – Theo buries Ryder alive (Aus Season Finale 25th November)

Events

2021 got off to a roaring start, with Colby (Tim Franklin) hospitalised after his fellow inmates learned he was a cop. He left not long after, saying goodbye to Dean (Patrick O’Connor) and Bella (Courtney Miller) in hospital. It was later revealed he’d killed a fellow inmate, a way to show them that he wasn’t to be messed with.

After fleeing town following Colby’s trial, Willow (Sarah Roberts) returned to Summer Bay for a few weeks before leaving for Queensland, in hope of a fresh start with former love Alex (Zoe Ventoura).

Bella was left heartbroken following Colby’s incarceration, but faced further hurt when Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) found himself falling victim to the vapid industry that is modelling. After she grew close to a photographer and he slept with his boss, the pair ended things.

Ari’s (Rob Kipa-Williams) world was turned upside down when his ex, Mia (Anna Samson), arrived in Summer Bay. He was forced to choose between her and girlfriend Mackenzie (Emily Weir), and in the end chose Mia.

After Ari was injured in a hit and run, it was revealed that Mackenzie was pregnant. She ultimately lost the baby, but Ari and Mia were quick to try for a child of their own. Mia eventually fell pregnant, which elated the couple, but their happiness was short lived.

Unfortunately, Mia and Nikau, along with Dean, were involved in a horror car crash in the Olympic Season Finale. Mia survived with minor injuries but tragically lost the baby, while Nikau was in a coma for weeks, and it took Dean months to recover.

Following the crash, Nikau and Bella reconciled, as did Dean and Ziggy, bringing an end to Ziggy’s relationship with Tane (Ethan Browne).

Leah (Ada Nicodemou) and Justin’s (James Stewart) quest to purchase a house brought Susie McAllister (Bridie Carter) to town. The vixen charmed John (Shane Withington) and the pair quickly moved in together. She even pushed John to run against Alf as Surf Club president, which led to him being elected.

However, when Irene (Lynne McGranger) became suspicious and started digging, it was revealed Susie was a conwoman, and, after receiving Justin and Leah’s $90,000 house deposit, she skipped town. All the while, Justin was struggling to get control of his painkiller addiction which threatened to tear the couple apart.

Months later, Susie’s body was found in the waters off Summer Bay. Although John, Justin and Leah were all suspects, it eventually emerged that Susie died at the hands of Stephen (Bren Foster), another victim of Susie’s who Leah had befriended online. Eventually, the money was returned to them. As a way of apologising, John purchased the land the garage was on, but it led to plenty of conflict between him and Justin as business and friendship collided.

As the year drew to a close, Leah’s nephew Theo (Matt Evans) moved to Summer Bay to get away from his father, Dimitri.

Elsewhere, Tori (Penny McNamee) was loved up with colleague Christian (Ditch Davey), who was quick to propose to her. However, after he was almost murdered by Lewis (Luke Arnold), a former colleague and the husband of a patient of his who died, he found a new lease on life by saving a woman who was in a parachuting accident.

He called off their engagement to look after Rachel (Marny Kennedy), but when she died, he realised he couldn’t live without Tori and the pair reconciled. After tying the knot, they left for a new life in London with baby Grace.

As the Stewarts grappled with Kieran’s (Rick Donald) presence in their life, Martha (Belinda Giblin) began to slip into a psychosis. When she began to see visions of Kieran, she was admitted to hospital, but when he returned for real soon after, it pushed her over the edge and she moved to a facility for psychiatric treatment.

After Kieran was released from custody, he got in touch with Roo (Georgie Parker), who tried to protect Martha from him. Despite Alf’s (Ray Meagher) hesitation, Martha and Roo eventually welcomed Kieran into their lives, albeit tentatively. When it got too much having Kieran and Alf under the same house, he moved into Martha’s house in Merimbula and began to renovate it whilst working in a bakery.

Following an ill-fated romance with Ziggy (Sophie Dillman), Tane (Ethan Browne) found himself in bed with newcomer Felicity Newman (Jacqui Purvis), who turned out to be the sister of new local cop Cash (Nicholas Cartwright). However, when he began to receive roses after calling things off with his new fling, he thought Felicity was stalking him.

Meanwhile, Martha decided to use a fundraiser for mental health support to showcase a body of art. The event went well, but Tane’s real stalker launched a gas attack, which resulted in multiple lives being changed forever.

Tane struggled in the wake and was kidnapped by his stalker—revealed to be Anne (Megan Smart), Felicity’s friend who wanted revenge because he wasn’t interested in with her. It wasn’t long before he and Felicity were found, and the pair were able to finally move forward.

Meanwhile, Marilyn’s (Emily Simons) entire personality changed thanks to the organophosphate poisoning, while Martha’s kidney began to fail. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before Roo learnt that she was a compatible donor and offered one of her kidneys to her mother.

Ryder (Lukas Radovich) and Chloe’s (Sam Barrett) successful business venture in the La Cucaracha, a Mexican food truck, resulted in a professional rivalry between them and former boss Mackenzie. Unfortunately, due to a faulty gas line, the food van went up in flames and the pair resorted to using the Diner after hours to make their food.

When loans began to weigh them down, Ryder and Theo turned to online pranks to make a quick buck. However, as the year draws to a close, will their new venture claim Ryder’s life?

The drama for the young gang didn’t stop there, with Chloe’s father Matthew (James Sweeny) having arrived in town not long ago. Not long after Mia revealed the truth of Chloe’s conception—she was conceived when Matthew sexually assaulted Mia after a party—a scuffle resulted in Chloe accidentally killing her biological father.

How will things pan out as Chloe struggles to cope following the shock revelation and now manslaughter?


What’s to come in 2022?

We’ve got a full 2022 Preview article, as we look ahead to what next year has in store in Summer Bay.

Read more…


Congratulations!

It would be remiss for us to let 2021 go past without making note of three special milestones hit by the three executives behind Australia’s most popular series.

H&A Executives: Julie McGauran, Lucy Addario, Louise Bowes

Executive Producer and Network Head of Drama, Julie McGauran, celebrates her 21st anniversary of joining the shores of Summer Bay.

Julie began in post-production as Associate Producer and worked her way up to Series Producer within a year, with her first episode as Producer airing 1st April 2002. She helmed the series through its biggest technological advancements and its highest rating period, before leaving in 2006 to join Southern Star. There, she co-created and produced several dramas including Out of the Blue, Rescue Special Ops and Wild Boys.

She returned to the Seven Network in 2012, where she now celebrates ten years in her role.


Lucy Addario joined the series after having worked for several years in post-production of All Saints. Prior to that, she replaced Julie as Producer Jo Porter’s assistant in 2000.

Like Julie, she started on Home and Away in post-production, and was promoted to the role of Series Producer after two years, around the same time as Julie’s return to the Network. Lucy has steered the series through multiple production upgrades and has even written three episodes for the series. As such, Lucy also celebrates 10 years in her role (and 22 years with the network!)


Script Executive Louise Bowes celebrates 10 years since taking the helm of the script department.

After a stint in 2004, Lou oversaw the final five years of All Saints before moving into a network consultancy role for two years. It was in this role that she was brought in to assist, and ultimately run, the script department. In 2014, Lou was promoted to Network Script Executive, going on to look after Seven’s other dramas including The Secret Daughter and Wanted. In 2017, she returned to the sunny shores of Summer Bay.

Over her time in charge, Lou has overseen the creation of over 1700 episodes (623 hours) and introduced a staggering 40 regular characters.

H&A Executives: Louise Bowes, Julie McGauran and Lucy Addario. ©Lucy Addario

Home and Away returns in 2022.

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