Sons & Daughters Watching/rewatching/discussing The Aussie Hit Show

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
I had hoped this would not happen before episode 600 or so! New characters can be very hit or miss, I guess they just tried a little bit of everything.
I don't mind the occasional dud or miscast, as long as they don't get too much screen time.
Apart from one new arrival who I know is in it for the long haul, I don't remember the others at all (even though the S&D website tells me that one of the faces I'm blanking on will be around for the best part of 200 episodes). It gives me hope that the screen time will be minimal as we go along and normal service will be resumed imminently.


As far as talent is concerned, there seems to be a different standard for the older and younger cast members. Sometimes it feels as if the youngsters were plucked from local-supermarket-obscurity.
True. I think they work anyway when they're well-integrated and strike a good balance of interacting with the more experienced actors. John, Angela, Jill, Kevin, Peter Healy and Tony spring to mind as characters who've had some cracking scenes with the old pros.
 

Victoriafan3

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Spoiler JROG look away

Mel thank you. I’d forgotten one of them died off screen and I had forgotten one of them was even on the credits. She was not ever one of the best characters from the 1985 lost it’s way year

I mean how many long lost, never previously mentioned relatives can you have?

Golly if you are feeling like that now. 1985 is an entire endurance test. Abigail and Belinda Giblin are good but most of the many many new characters are an utter waste of space mercifully written out by the end of the year

1986 however through to the end it finds its feet again but in a little more ott way, never quite the same as it’s glory days of 82-83 though. Still well worth a watch though, you don’t wanna miss Mark Conroy in Speedo’s :)
 
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Richard Channing

Telly Talk Star
I'm on episode 194 now so already a bit of a way into the second season but I've been meaning to write a few thoughts on the cliffhanger at the end of season one. Firstly, I'll say that David didn't come out of this second fling with Patrica looking too good. He pretty much let her walk all over him, talking him into selling the house etc. He was really only with her because he felt he needed to be with someone, and since Beryl had dumped him Pat would have to do. And then he quite unceremoniously dumps her when Beryl takes him back. Not saying we should all feel sorry for Patrica, but he came across as a bit weak and lame through it all.

I enjoyed the cliffhanger, and although at first I wasn't sure I liked the idea of David not being the twin's father, as it turns out it actually opens a lot more doors than it closes. Seeing how things progress from there I think it was quite a clever move. So far I've met Martin Healy and am looking forward to meeting his sons.

I enjoyed Patricia's breakdown, even if I was quite concerned she may commit suicide once she had Susan looking after her for a few weeks.

I have to say some of Beryl's clothes leave me baffled. I've never seen anything like some of the tops she wears. She has these weird hippy batwing numbers that I can't imagine anyone, especially and early 80's suburban housewife, wearing. And the new top she bought to go on a date with Hal was nothing short of bizarre. What a mysterious enigma you are Beryl.
 
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Richard Channing

Telly Talk Star
I am enjoying your signatures @Mel O'Drama, they leave me wondering who the characters I haven't met yet are going to turn out to be. And this face brought me back nearly 40 years to when S&D was on and I may have seen an episode here or there. I think I may have had a bit of crush on him. Let's see if I still do when he shows up.

sd.JPG
 

Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
I have to say some of Beryl's clothes leave me baffled
It looks a bit like Russian folklore, I think? It's astonishing to think that these were available in Australia, or maybe she ordered them from a catalogue.

Fiona's wearing a lot of those batwing sleeves outfits, but at least those wear fashionable at that time.
 

Richard Channing

Telly Talk Star
It looks a bit like Russian folklore, I think? It's astonishing to think that these were available in Australia, or maybe she ordered them from a catalogue.
Yeah, that's a good comparison. Maybe she makes them? I don't know, it's all so weird.

Fiona's wearing a lot of those batwing sleeves outfits, but at least those wear fashionable at that time.
Yes, and they're also ideal for hiding bingo wings.
 

Victoriafan3

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Oh Luke. Peter Cousins before RTE as Stephanie’s son Dennis. He unintentionally causes absolute havoc for Pat the Rat
 

Victoriafan3

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Spoiler avert some eyes ;-)

Yes there were two Carlisle murders and half the cast was implicated in the second whodunnit

It’s almost like a different show by this point to the fabulous one we are watching now
 
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Victoriafan3

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
For me in 1985 it was more the new characters, more so than sillier stories. Way way too many and apart from two or three of them, didn’t care about any of them, no history or connection with them. It floundered very badly losing Rowena and Kim. That with no twins, no Rosie cause she joined Neighbours (and married Gordon on Neighbours lol) and only two Palmers left, it really lost its way. Like I said by 1986 it had culled out the new characters and was back on track but the viewers had switched off. Such a shame.

Coronation St and Neighbours can keep going because it’s a street, people move in and out of. Dallas and S&D were about two core families. Once those core cast members quit, there’s only so many cousin Jamie’s one can cope with or believe. So it limits the shelf life of what was once such a splendid series.

I just started watching again a few weeks ago on you tube. Getting through 2-3 episodes a night (occasionally 4). It really was good right the start. I especially loved Jill in 1983 but I’m now seeing how sweet, lovely and funny she was in 1982 aswell.

I’m amazed how much I remember from when I saw it in NZ tv in 1986 but I’ve also forgotten stuff too. The mind and recall is a funny thing
;-)
 
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Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
I'm on episode 194 now so already a bit of a way into the second season
You're into classic S&D territory now, RC.


David didn't come out of this second fling with Patrica looking too good. He pretty much let her walk all over him, talking him into selling the house etc. He was really only with her because he felt he needed to be with someone, and since Beryl had dumped him Pat would have to do. And then he quite unceremoniously dumps her when Beryl takes him back.
I agree. He's completely dictated to by his libido.


I enjoyed the cliffhanger, and although at first I wasn't sure I liked the idea of David not being the twin's father, as it turns out it actually opens a lot more doors than it closes.
Yes. It's a real game changer and reminds me of when Dallas did something similar a couple of seasons in. It makes complete sense that Pat would have a secret like this.


I enjoyed Patricia's breakdown, even if I was quite concerned she may commit suicide once she had Susan looking after her for a few weeks.
That'd drive anyone over the edge.


I have to say some of Beryl's clothes leave me baffled. I've never seen anything like some of the tops she wears. She has these weird hippy batwing numbers that I can't imagine anyone, especially and early 80's suburban housewife, wearing. And the new top she bought to go on a date with Hal was nothing short of bizarre. What a mysterious enigma you are Beryl.
It looks a bit like Russian folklore, I think? It's astonishing to think that these were available in Australia, or maybe she ordered them from a catalogue.
Maybe she makes them?
Yes, and they're also ideal for hiding bingo wings.

:D
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
I am enjoying your signatures @Mel O'Drama, they leave me wondering who the characters I haven't met yet are going to turn out to be.
Thanks for the kind words. That's high praise indeed. Believe it or not, there are a couple of faces in the current siggy I have yet to meet. There are reasons for them being there, but :censer:


And this face brought me back nearly 40 years to when S&D was on and I may have seen an episode here or there. I think I may have had a bit of crush on him. Let's see if I still do when he shows up.
He was in it around the time I first properly discovered the series and I too had something of a crush. Great minds think alike. :cool1
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Coronation St and Neighbours can keep going because it’s a street, people move in and out of. Dallas and S&D were about two core families. Once those core cast members quit, there’s only so many cousin Jamie’s one can cope with or believe. So it limits the shelf life of what was once such a splendid series.
I know what you mean, but I do wonder if it would have been a different story for S&D if they'd already had a very long running soap like Neighbours. They'd never had a Corrie or a Crossroads. At the time S&D was made, six to eight seasons was the norm for every successful soap there, and I do think this was at the back of the mind of the creative team while working on the series.

Home and Away is a series that essentially started out telling the story of two families (strictly speaking, there was one central family - the Fletchers - but the Stewarts were getting almost as much action from the start). The initial fostering premise seemed to future-proof it a little in allowing for a revolving door of younger characters, but they dropped the ball with that fairly quickly.

From what I've seen, these days it's about a far more disparate group of people who happen to hang out at the same places. But it's still running and still successful. It does make me think that with a little planning, S&D could have run and run.

But then I think it may not have been as great as it was if they had been concerned about it continuing for decades. Perhaps the mindset of having a limited shelf life allowed the writers to go all out with the OTT fun factor and just throw everything in there. Personally speaking I'd take six seasons of compressed greatness over three decades of alternating between the great and the humdrum.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
As an aside I had a S&D dream last night. With how much I'm watching I'm surprised it hasn't happened more.

From what I remember, I was watching an episode with my Dad who was less than interested. It was a season premiere, continuing from a big cliffhanger, and while it wasn't representative of any of the actual storylines, there were a couple of similarities. It featured mostly characters from the middle years involved in some kind of siege.
Alison Carr was supposed to make her debut by walking into the situation, but she was already there, so Irene Fisher took her place. Leigh Palmer was there too. She'd probably organised it or something.
There was lots of location work. It mostly took place on a sunny harbourside. At one point some characters were on a small boat (or minibus) and I was watching as though on another boat (or minibus) running alongside, from which the scene was being filmed. At one point I saw a cameraman clearly reflected in the window and wondered if I should let them know, but I decided they knew what they were doing and left them to it.
 

James from London

Telly Talk Winner
Clocked up another thirty or so episodes this week, but I'm still lagging behind in the early sixties ...

Take Patricia being wolf whistled at by an employee and sacking him on the spot. From a 2019 perspective, the responses of witnesses and people hearing the news - including John, Rosie and David - seem very unusual indeed. Without exception, they've seen her as overreacting to admittedly inappropriate behaviour. Some would seem to go further and view her as just plain hard.

The writing, up to a point, is simply showing Patricia's behaviour to be part of who she is. With the arc taken suggesting her response to the wolf whistle was partly informed by a form of sexual frustration over David's presence. Even Patricia herself admitted to John that she'd overreacted.

Needless to say, this would be unthinkable today. Rosie would not be allowed to say that "you couldn't meet a nicer young bloke" than the culprit. Not unless it was a way to show denial (which it doesn't appear to be). John would not be allowed to tell Patricia that he thought she was wrong. Not unless it was part of a journey to his wokedom. And Patricia would most certainly not be permitted to admit that she'd overreacted.

The characters in Sons And Daughters may be a little too relaxed about things. But there's also a sanity to the situation. The freedom to learn from a bad judgement. And the freedom to move on without further overreaction. And from where I sit it's refreshing.
That's such an interesting scene, or scenes, in retrospect, isn't it? It still doesn't feel like an entirely black and white situation. I guess for Patricia, it's the first time she's had to assert herself, at least on screen, outside of her own domestic or social circle, the first time she has to prove herself as an "independent woman of the 80s", no longer just a brittle society queen of the 70s. And, unfair or not, sacking the whistler works. It puts the men in their place. As far as we're aware, she receives no more hassle from them.

I love the ripple effect of David and Patricia's affair, all the scheming to keep it a secret from The Twins.
John & Angela may not be the show's romantic couple but they are some kind of wholesome, almost divine entity - and it's very important that nothing's going to upset them (or the Sons & Daughters universe may cease to exist).
Stevie's death looks massively underplayed compared to that.
Nick (a few hours after Stevie had died): "he was the only good thing that's ever happened to me".
Angela: "Oh come on!"
Of course, the death of one's child is universally considered the #1 worst thing that could happen to someone, it would be very hard if not impossible to do it right without upstaging everything else that's going on.
The story was never really about them, I guess that's the purpose of these "interim" characters.
the most boring storyline to date.
I didn't mind Sick Kid Stevie's story this time around, probably cos I knew it wasn't going to last forever. It is an oddity though -- the first storyline that isn't directly connected to the central Hamilton/Palmer saga. I'm wondering what overall purpose it served -- perhaps to show Angela in a more mature, selfless light for a little while, or to give dead-eyed Susan the chance to think about somebody other than herself for five seconds. But killing off a toddler does seem to be quite a drastic way to do it. And then it's funny how quickly Mick is meant to get over it. Five minutes after the kid's died, Susan seems surprised he hasn't given any thought to funeral arrangements, while Beryl reckons he just needs a good cry to "get it out of his system".

There's an exciting arm-wrestling scene between him and John, and the kid supports his father.
"Come on, dad. Come on. Come on, dad. Come on. Come on, dad. Come on. Come on, dad. Come on". I think that was very scripted.
I thought that line would go on forever!

The Patricia/David affair is full of surprises -- how cautious Patricia is about getting involved in the first place, how she waits until Gordon has asked her for a divorce, how she resists and resists until the sight of David drenched in his red speedos pushes her over the edge ... It's the opposite of Abby pursuing Gary, even though Beryl has the same sense of foreboding beforehand as Val did. And then when Beryl finally sees them together, it's so underplayed next to Val walking in on Gary and Abby. It doesn't even warrant an End of Part 1 cliffhanger, let alone a season finale one. And when Beryl confronts Patricia about what she has seen, it's she who has the upper hand in the scene. There's no "I could have him anytime I want him" style gloating from Patricia. And proximity plays a part: Gary, Abby and Val were all living on top of each other in the cul-de-sac goldfish bowl, while there's all that distance -- Sydney, Melbourne, Woombai -- between the characters on S&D. It's funny to think that the two country mouse/blonde vixen/hapless bloke triangles would have been going on at more or less the same time back in '82.
 
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Willie Oleson

SoapLand Battles Moderator
I agree. He's completely dictated to by his libido
Chauvinism was a recurring theme in the 80s soaps, and often used as an excuse to create conflict. The writers often pretended to treat those storylines with sufficient impartiality (female characters were allowed to point out the flaws) but the romantic aspect of soap dictated that that very chauvinism was an admirable trait in disguise.
When Beryl says "I'd rather have a coward safe at home than a hero in jail", it cleverly manipulates the viewer in thinking the opposite.
And that's how Bobby became the hero when he (eventually) allowed Pam to go on a trip to Paris with Liz Craig, eventhough this shouldn't have been an issue to begin with.
Believe it or not, there are a couple of faces in the current siggy I have yet to meet
Please tell me that Luke Carlyle hasn't arrived already, because that's the beginning of the end of you-know-who.
It does make me think that with a little planning, S&D could have run and run.
I think I prefer the limited versions, but then again, we didn't know when or if our favourite soaps would end when we started watching them.
I'm wondering what overall purpose it served -- perhaps to show Angela in a more mature, selfless light for a little while
Probably, but maybe also as an excuse to have her move back to Sydney because there's a new drama waiting in the wings.
or to give dead-eyed Susan the chance to think about somebody other than herself for five seconds
It seems I'm the only one who liked the selfish, nonconformist Palmer character, the one who refused to support every decision made by the family.
I liked her decision to wait for Bill despite the fact that it doesn't look very exciting on-screen (but that's because being single is considered a crime in SoapLand).
I thought that line would go on forever!
Let's hope what we saw wasn't an edited version.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
for Patricia, it's the first time she's had to assert herself, at least on screen, outside of her own domestic or social circle, the first time she has to prove herself as an "independent woman of the 80s", no longer just a brittle society queen of the 70s.
Ooh. Yes!


It is an oddity though -- the first storyline that isn't directly connected to the central Hamilton/Palmer saga.
As the series goes on, I have more and more issue when characters have only tenuous connections with others. I just can't get past them being something of an outsider and so less important. Those first two or three hundred episodes have spoilt me.


And then it's funny how quickly Mick is meant to get over it. Five minutes after the kid's died, Susan seems surprised he hasn't given any thought to funeral arrangements, while Beryl reckons he just needs a good cry to "get it out of his system".
It felt like a little impatience from the writers as much as the characters. It's strange to think these same writers were spinning complex webs at the same time in other storylines.


It's funny to think that the two country mouse/blonde vixen/hapless bloke triangles would have been going on at more or less the same time back in '82.
Gosh. Even though I'm sure I've noticed the similarity with the series' key triangle, I hadn't made that connection about the timing at all. Nor about the shared characteristics. How exciting.


Chauvinism was a recurring theme in the 80s soaps, and often used as an excuse to create conflict. The writers often pretended to treat those storylines with sufficient impartiality (female characters were allowed to point out the flaws) but the romantic aspect of soap dictated that that very chauvinism was an admirable trait in disguise.
Yes, I'm sure you're right.


Please tell me that Luke Carlyle hasn't arrived already, because that's the beginning of the end of you-know-who.
He hasn't. It's just that he had to be included in my Season Three siggy for exactly the reason you've mentioned.
 
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