|Interestingly (and in contrast to that certain other Aussie soap), Home and Away never introuduced a complete or "biological" (mum, dad and their own kids) family unit with all the members arriving at the same time until the Nashes arrived in 1998, ten years into the series. Do you think it is important for Home and Away to have a central family or does it work better just introducing individual "waifs and strays" type characters? It must be a lot of hard work to create four or five new characters all at once and hope that the viewers like them. Do you have any inside insight to share on these thoughts?
Asked by Jeremai
In 17 years you have to do all variations on a theme to keep going and not become repetitive. We've had the full range of family units - from traditional to totally untraditional. I think they've all worked. We're now going in to another phase with Beth as a single mother trying to do the right thing by her kids. I think (especially as
Clarissa is such a wonderful actress) that this will bring some great stories with it. It's one of the reasons I wrote Rhys out, so we could get a new style of family dynamic in to the show for freshness and variety in the storytelling. There's some fun stuff coming up towards the end of the year where the kids are horrified to think that
Hyde has romantic designs on their mother and set out to foil them. I think all the fans are going to enjoy this new phase in Beth's life, once she is over the pain of losing Rhys. And as to creating new characters - it's always a risk. Some work, some don't. You just have to jump in to the void, do your best and hope to hell your best is good enough.