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

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
Karen doesn't really care about Patricia, she cares about money. She talks money and she talks business.
It would have been so easy to create a Patricia-clone, but she really is her own unique character, and a very entertaining one at that.
Yes. I enjoyed Karen a lot more than expected this time round.


The very first mention of Bob is accompanied with a sinister score, not that he needed it because there's nothing but madness in his eyes.
Mitch is a funny old character. There's so much conflict and antagonism going on and yet for his entire run he remains almost entirely forgettable for me.


The David/Patricia romance is being recycled, and the only way to achieve that is to make David look as gullible as possible, almost like a Stepford robot without any real thoughts or feelings.
I'd rather watch him being unreasonable and making bad decisions, like his affair with Margaret, than not acting/reacting at all.
Absolutely.


instead of kidnapping the baby from Beryl's womb, she hijacks the news of the pregnancy! Oh it's just so nasty!
Isn't that a great moment? Because it's almost the truth, but with a special Patricia twist.


Before that, the story also hinted at the possibility of Irene becoming David's new woman, and I think it would have been a very different but also very interesting drama.
I'd have been interested to see this one as they're a pair well met in many ways. To be fair, though, I also enjoy the "unrequited love" angle. And it's unique to see David involved in a platonic relationship with a women.


The pacing of Todd's illness/demise seems just right since it gives all characters involved the chance to show what they're really made of, without creating a never-ending snotfest.
Not surprisingly, there's a disagreement between Irene and Karen & Nat regarding Todd's decisions, and it kind of plays out like one of those adoptive vs. biological parents drama, and you're not sure whom to root for.
When asked for her least favourite storyline in the series, Judy Nunn said:

Saying goodbye to my son who was going off to die in a clinic in Switzerland. I found it difficult to believe that I wouldn't have gone with him. Most untruthful, but then his contract was up and mine wasn't
I love the pragmatism of the last sentence, and think Judy shares Irene's "roll up your sleeves and get on with the job" approach towards the next challenge.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
Well, if it's good enough for Laura Sumner then it's good enough for Todd Fisher.
Very true. And once again S&D's storyline foreshadowed Knots by a few years. There are numerous examples of this, it seems.


But that doesn't change the fact that Nat & Karen were there, and she wasn't.
Yes. Untruthful it may be, but it's also tantalisingly bittersweet and messy.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
Not relating to anything other than my idle curiosity around actors in the series, I came across this 2016 obituary for Chris Bainbridge actor Tim Bacon.

Another example of a successful and well-rounded luminary who was involved with the series. Shame he died so young.


 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
#673

Funny the little bits of dialogue that get stuck in the old noggin. One that’s always stuck in my mind is Beryl’s throwaway comment to Charlie in #656 about the chocolates she’s brought: “They look like calorie pies to me, Charlie”.

In among the bigger plots there is a whole lot of tedium at the moment, with much screen time given to new, young characters. Fiona’s new ward Hung has created a little conflict with Chris, but is probably the most passive figures on the series to date. Everyone acts around him and he watches with detached interest. New Wave Tracy (who I actually kind of like) and her New Wave evil friend Judge are involved in a godawful robbery plot with useless Brett Palmer Unforgivably, this storyline has eaten massively into the screen time of perhaps half a dozen episodes, including the all important sepia freezes. And it climaxed with the series’ most lacklustre siege.

Even worse, one of the series’ most important characters has now been murdered by these inconsequential characters. Poor Isabella (but at least we have Isabella II: The Sequel).

Brett has also knocked up ditchwater slattern Donna but she’s dumped him for Tim Palmer because… reasons. I’m finding it difficult to care. Perhaps I’m not trying hard enough. Brett moved on to Leigh for a couple of episodes. But in an exciting plot-driven “twist” Leigh is now with Adam.

Adam, by the way, is to policing what Irene is to medicine. Any incident that occurs he shows up. And he’s hopeless. Despite his recent suspension he will happily let suspects get away with criminal offences if they’re members of the main cast.

The biggest question in my mind is: what the hell is going on with casting. As Willie observed, there’s always been something of a gap between the older and younger members of the cast in terms of acting standards. That gap has become a chasm. Made worse by the fact that many scenes feature new, young cast members exclusively. It’s wannabe Neighbours territory, and not a good fit at all for this series.

Perhaps the series’ identity crisis is best summed up by the character of Mary Reynolds. Presumably cast as a result of Dame Edna’s connections in the industry, Tessa Humphries is just a horrible, horrible actress. Mary is written as a naïve country girl, but played as a gormless halfwit with a perpetual thousand yard stare, like the long lost soapy sister of Jennifer Saunders’ Girls On Top character.

The problem here isn’t that Mary is a dull character - there have been plenty of these floating round Dural over the years. The problem is that as Patricia’s long lost daughter it feels as though she’s supposed to be a Very Important Character. Shortly after her arrival, Mary was given three consecutive sepia freeze frames. And yet she remains an endurance test. Humphries is at least consistent: she would go on be the worst thing in Families - the Anglo-Aussie version of S&D - as the vampy bitch.

Beryl is now dating Mario Rod whose energy levels only climb above unconscious when vigorously slurping his tea (a slurp possibly worse than even John and David Palmer's. And he makes glottal “aaaaah” sounds after each slurp). Oh - and Rod, too, was given a freeze frame at the end of his very first scene. How irreverent.

In other casting news, I've stumbled onto a mystery in the series. The identity of the actor who plays Roy Keane (Irene’s “comical” patient-with-a-crush who kept finding excuses to see her, only to be sent away when he was genuinely ill). I couldn’t spot a credit for him in the titles (albeit I only consciously made the effort to see his name in one episode). And even the Sons and Daughters website curiously seems to omit this fully named character who had a speaking role in several episodes, even though its cast list includes every character no matter how inconspicuous they may be (including around 30 different characters named “Nurse”). He looks uncannily like an older Arnold Feather. Could it have been a surprise cameo from Jeff Arnold I wonder?

One new arrival shows more promise. Gordon’s long lost brother James - the Aussie Ben Carrington - has returned to claim what’s his. He’s making Barbara, Gordon and Wayne very nervous, which is a good thing.

There’s currently a whole lot of drama over Woombai which is up for sale. First with Roger Carlyle and now James.

The initial auction for Woombai gave us the dramatic diva-ish return of Fiona, though I have mixed feelings about it. She kind of needs to be there for the history, but at the same time I think the series was doing fine without her. The Hung storyline has seen Pat McDonald emoting “sincerity” left, right and centre which tends to come across to me as fake and sometimes even a little creepy. I found it that way with John, and it’s been reinforced with every example since.

Mary aside, the Ghost Of Bitches Past continues to give value for money. Patricia interacting with characters with former friends and enemies while they have no idea of her true identity has given a fresh new twist to things.

Yes - there is a little suspension of disbelief required. For me, it’s not the physical differences that can’t be explained by plastic surgery. Belinda Giblin is too good for that, and has convinced me she’s Patricia (albeit one that exhibits slightly different facets to those we’ve previously seen). My biggest struggle is that very few people have come close to working out that this pushy woman who is suddenly everywhere and keen as mustard to prove Patricia’s innocence is actually Patricia. But when the results are this fun, I’m happy to look past that.

One person sharp enough to work it out was Roger Carlyle, whose return was most welcome. The history helped as it tapped into character among the plot-driven wackiness. Seeing Roger expose Alison’s secret and threaten her further brought some added excitement. The following murder mystery, while not as compelling as it initially seemed, at least had a killer that was believable and not too obvious.

Alison’s palpable relief on seeing that the the photo of Patricia’s new face didn’t match her own was a great moment. And just the phrase “David has married in Rio” adds a shot of exotic glamour into the series.

The writers were absolutely correct to mine this idea for the resulting sturm und drang. We’ve seen photos of young Rowena Wallace. Charlie’s found out who Alison is, and in doing so has become part of the conspiracy shared up to this point with the audience alone. It feels right. Alison needs a confidante. There was a great scene between them which tapped into Patricia’s old ruthlessness as Alison gave Charlie some unnecessarily brutal (and one-sided) facts simply to get her on side:
Charlie, let me tell you a few home truths about the Hamitons. Barbara can’t stand you. She barely tolerates the sight of you. Oh, she smiles at your face. And then she does a hatchet job the minute you’re out of the room. Gordon runs for cover the minute he knows you’re heading in his direction. Don’t tell me what great friends the Hamiltons are. To them you’re a joke.
Rowena Wallace’s Pat might have blurted out the above line to Charlie in a moment of emotion and then felt bad. But Giblin’s Alison delivered it calmly and with calculation, her arms folded. And there's no sign that she found it difficult. In some ways it’s out of character for Patricia to treat Charlie this way. Almost untruthful. But Patricia has a history of alienating those closest to her. No matter who gets hurt, the end justifies the means. Alison is starting from scratch and using all the tools at her disposal. And anyone is fair game. It’s a justification, perhaps - as much mine as hers. But when the scene is such a winner, it’s one I’m happy to make.
 

Victoriafan3

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Messages
780
Reaction score
1,721
Location
New zealand
Member Since
About 2005
Oh welcome to 1985 S&D Mel. I can see you are enjoying most of the new characters just as much as I did ;-) stick with it kid. They all mercifully leave by 1986 and then it’s a good show again. Settled, more focused with watchable characters. It’s never the same of course and the plots go sillier and camper, but it is a lot lot easier to watch than 1985. I laughed at your writing. You have such a spot on way with words ;-) S&D was on the cover of TV Soap in Aug or Sep 85 with a ‘whodunit’. Half the cast is implicated and most of them you wished did it so they leave and go to jail lol
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,877
Reaction score
16,071
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
Lee Ann is (was) one of my favourites of the younger characters. She didn't have a very interesting role but there was something pleasant, swiftly an energetic about her performance.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,877
Reaction score
16,071
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
508

It's peculiar and exciting that one of the soapiest threats should come from Beryl Palmer, of all characters.
She combines her defeat with revenge when she tells Patricia that David will never stop wondering if the child might be his after all.
And that's even worse than knowing he's the father.
I felt it had the potential of a half-season-long intrigue and to be honest I was a bit annoyed when Jim O'Brien decided to tell David the truth.

Still, most characters are in the dark about something and at the same time they know a little too much about something else. It's a ping-pong of threats and blackmails, and sometimes I had to remind myself of who-knows-what.

It probably has something to do with the binge-watching that I notice that not every plotline is followed through, or at least not in an organic way.
One of my favourite cliffhangers is the one when Fiona realizes that Amanda is pregnant with Mitch's child.
Well of course I thought it was strange that she was still doing the pregnancy tests, after all, how long does it take to conceive.
But I had no idea that she was subconsciously using Mitch that way, I thought she was being obstinate just for the heck of it.
The story has written "crazy Fallon" all over it, but with that loose cannon Mitch as the father, Todd's new will and Karen's involvement it looked like it was going to be a nutty-exciting story.
5 episodes later it's all over: everybody knows everything, the money goes to charity and psycho-Mitch has become a patient and understanding person.
It's possible that they'll pick it up at a later time, but at this point it feels like much ado about nothing.

The last time Gordon saw Liz Smith he told her to call him if she needed anything. And that's what she does when she's being harassed by an unhappy customer.
At the same time, Barbara tries to convince Gordon to kick Wayne out of the house, and Wayne thinks this is the last straw.
His interfering stepmother has to go, and he's going to use Liz to destroy the Hamilton marriage.
We get to see Liz and Gordon doing the same thing all over again while Wayne is playing some very obvious tricks in order to keep Liz at Dural, with an hilarious mistaken identity accident to "top it off".
Now, the good part of this story is that they get Barbara walking on eggshells. She has to make a good impression if she doesn't want to lose Gordon, and the only way to do that is to accept and support Liz.
There's the fake-apology, the fake-smiles, the fake-chats, she even serves Liz a drink - for the actress it is a role within a role, and I'm a sucker for this kind of double pretence.
Eventually, Liz disappears in her own apartment, only to resurface in a phone box.

Luke makes enemies, trims his haircut (boo! hiss!) and becomes the victim in a whodunnit.
What makes Beryl horrific discovery even more upsetting is that the lifeless Luke has his eyes wide open, quite unusual for tv murder victims.

Jeff reads his suicide note out loud, and there's no difference between this and his interaction with other characters. It's so frustrating to see this meaty storyline being played by the show's weakest link.
But then he dies, I don't care but I do care about Mike and Heather and it's good to see that there's still room for some genuine, heart-wrenching drama.
The phone call between Heather and Fiona is kind of unforgettable once you've seen it.
Katie makes it all about her, and Wayne has to hysterical-bitch-slap her. Too bad I can't archive them anymore, there's been some good ones.

Karen, still searching for capital to keep the company! afloat, contacts a certain Alan(Allan?Allen?) Brandon. He comes across as a Robin Elliott/Tony Parker hybrid, and in a scene-cliffhanger he reveals himself to Jill as Karen's son. So...Karen is also Irene!
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
Lee Ann is (was) one of my favourites of the younger characters. She didn't have a very interesting role but there was something pleasant, swiftly an energetic about her performance.
Her first stint on the show was terrific.


Still, most characters are in the dark about something and at the same time they know a little too much about something else. It's a ping-pong of threats and blackmails, and sometimes I had to remind myself of who-knows-what.
Get used to it, Willie.


the good part of this story is that they get Barbara walking on eggshells. She has to make a good impression if she doesn't want to lose Gordon, and the only way to do that is to accept and support Liz.
There's the fake-apology, the fake-smiles, the fake-chats, she even serves Liz a drink - for the actress it is a role within a role, and I'm a sucker for this kind of double pretence.
Same here.


What makes Beryl horrific discovery even more upsetting is that the lifeless Luke has his eyes wide open, quite unusual for tv murder victims.
I've already raved about why I loved this scene this time round, but I possibly didn't mention the staring dead eyes, which always add a Christie-esque tone to the proceedings.

I'm trying to think of some people who've died with eyes open, and the two that come to mind are two Robertses: Chip and Renee. Oh, and just this week I've watched another S&D murder victim found in the same condition.


But then he dies, I don't care
Ooh - harsh.

but I do care about Mike and Heather and it's good to see that there's still room for some genuine, heart-wrenching drama.
Absolutely. Like I said earlier, it broke my heart when Mike cried.


Katie makes it all about her, and Wayne has to hysterical-bitch-slap her.
From here on in, I'm afraid I have no stomach for Katie. At all.


Too bad I can't archive them anymore, there's been some good ones.
And more still to come!!
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
Oh welcome to 1985 S&D Mel. I can see you are enjoying most of the new characters just as much as I did ;-) stick with it kid.
Thanks VF3. I have a soft spot for 1985 as it was the first full season I watched first time round. But I think my memories have been airbrushed with nostalgia and I'd forgotten how much filler there is.


They all mercifully leave by 1986 and then it’s a good show again. Settled, more focused with watchable characters. It’s never the same of course and the plots go sillier and camper, but it is a lot lot easier to watch than 1985.
This I'm looking forward to seeing. My memory of the series is that it got incrementally worse with each year beyond Season Three, but my memory is also very hazy. Fingers crossed I'll enjoy 1986.


I laughed at your writing. You have such a spot on way with words ;-)
Oh - thanks!!


S&D was on the cover of TV Soap in Aug or Sep 85 with a ‘whodunit’. Half the cast is implicated and most of them you wished did it so they leave and go to jail lol
Oh gosh. I can't think which one this would be. Is it the one I've just watched? Or another one? I'll probably kick myself when I remember it.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
#680

After being adrift for a bit, the series suddenly feels little more anchored. Some of the plots are on the trivial side, but these are proving worth their weight in gold as they give breathing space for character

Charlie donning a blonde wig and Deirdre Barlow specs to work incognito* in a restaurant is pure silliness, but it feels like a good fit for Charlie. She has her reasons for doing so, and she’s gone about it in a very Charlie kind of way. When she started to chat to Terence Donovan after messing up his order and ended up pulling up a chair to enjoy a glass of wine with him I laughed out loud at the pure Charlie-ness of it.

Doris is basically Patsy Rowlands in Carry On Loving, isn’t she? The faithful ooooold housekeeper infatuated with her employer and determined to sabotage his romance with Hattie Palmer.

I always eat in the kitchen (sorry love)
I’m enjoying her a great deal. Because she has a motive. A fairly straightforward one, yes. But Carole Skinner’s performance adds depth.

Rod’s daughter, too, is enhancing the storyline (sorry VF3 - I know you’re not a fan of Annie Jones). Up to now she’s seemed quite conflicted in her feelings towards Beryl and this feels truthful for a teenage daughter. Whereas Doris's motives are clear, I’ve found Jess particularly hard to read in scenes with Beryl, which is satisfying. Her eyes and words say she’s genuine but then she almost immediately colludes with Doris to screw Beryl over and lies to Rod's face. Said collusion has potential to take her into one dimensional territory, so we’ll see if she remains watchable.

Leigh has also won me over. Scenes between she and Beryl in particular have been fascinating. It seems incredible that Beryl would even allow Leigh into the same space as her. And it’s equally far fetched that she’d end up in a relationship with the police officer who took her in. But somehow that hasn’t felt like an issue with the writing and acting (I’m still not a fan of Lisa Crittenden’s cartoony lip biting acting when she’s trying to emote concern, but I can overlook her shortcomings when she’s interacting with stronger actors). If anything, the background of these relationships is bringing layers of meaning to current scenes. The genuine warmth Beryl exhibits towards Leigh feels like it’s been hard won and so is more meaningful. And now Leigh’s just gone over the cliff, courtesy of the gorgeous Tahiti Blue Triumph Stag that Charlie bought for Adam. These are scenes I remember vividly as exciting me back in the late Eighties.

The return of Colonel Bainbridge (albeit recast), while it’s never going to be a classic, has surprised me with how grey it’s painted. We’re getting to see his and Chris’s side, and now Fiona and Andy are coming across as intolerant bullies (Andy in particular is coming across as a complete nob at the moment, barging his way into rooms, puffing out his little chest and glaring at people), even though we saw the initial story from their side. The result is far more fascinating than I’d expected, and it’s even moved me with the poor Colonel and Chris being turfed out and forced walk the streets when Chris had just wanted to give his poor, broken down Dad a little birthday moment.

Meanwhile, back at Woombai, James is proving a gem. He’s pushing all Barbara’s buttons and her nostrils have gone into overflare. And his bonding with Gordon and little snippets of their childhood being discussed are broadening the series’ palette and painting a beautifully truthful picture that negates any cliches in the never-before-mentioned, long-lost relative storyline.



*This has shades of actress Sheila Kennelly wearing a blonde wig to appear in Number 96 out of fear it would jeopardise her serious acting career if she was recognised in a soap.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,877
Reaction score
16,071
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
Her first stint on the show was terrific.
It's funny because when they introduced this character I thought I misheard the name "Leigh" as "Lee-Ann".
And when you look at those first scenes it really has that foster care-goes-horribly-wrong scenario written all over it.
I thought she was going to be that wolf in sheep's clothing kind of girl, hence my assumption that she was Leigh in a pretty hair wig (to complete my "bad wolf" parable).
From here on in, I'm afraid I have no stomach for Katie. At all.
Maybe the Palmer kids have been "there" too, but they made sure we liked them from the very beginning, so they'd always get the benefit of the doubt.
The O'Brien kids were sneaky rats from the get-go and this made it harder for me to care for them as a family unit. Jeff and Katie couldn't afford to be disappointing, if that makes sense.

But Katie has gorgeous hair (always a big plus in SoapLand) and I really liked her as the younger and sexier woman in the Katie-Wayne-Karen triangle.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
It's funny because when they introduced this character I thought I misheard the name "Leigh" as "Lee-Ann".
And when you look at those first scenes it really has that foster care-goes-horribly-wrong scenario written all over it.
I was struck by the similarities in their name considering Leigh essentially replaced Leanne as the troubled teen(ish) moving in with Beryl. It almost seemed that they'd decided to go in a more extreme direction and couldn't quite get away with it with original Leanne (who quickly turned out to be really nice) so they decided to recast and change the character just enough. I'm probably way off, but there are definite similarities.


Maybe the Palmer kids have been "there" too, but they made sure we liked them from the very beginning, so they'd always get the benefit of the doubt.
Yes. It was a very different experience.


The O'Brien kids were sneaky rats from the get-go and this made it harder for me to care for them as a family unit. Jeff and Katie couldn't afford to be disappointing, if that makes sense.

But Katie has gorgeous hair (always a big plus in SoapLand) and I really liked her as the younger and sexier woman in the Katie-Wayne-Karen triangle.
That makes complete sense.

I really liked Katie as part of that family unit. Her relationship with her parents and brother in many ways helped glue things together. I feel that the writers rushed Katie's self-actualisation. She was far more interesting when she had hopes of her career blossoming and moving away from the family home than when it actually happened. Which was overnight.

I also feel she became a much more self-centred and thoughtless character as soon as she moved away from home, but it seems more like sloppy writing than by design. There were so many times in the post-fire episodes where Katie empathised with someone who was experiencing grief or trauma I thought she was about to finally acknowledge the impact of the tragic loss of her brother. But no... she knew what true pain was because of being dumped by a boyfriend. It trivialised her, I think. She became so shallow. Maybe that's the downside of gorgeous hair.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,877
Reaction score
16,071
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
I also feel she became a much more self-centred and thoughtless character as soon as she moved away from home, but it seems more like sloppy writing than by design
I agree, it doesn't feel like an intentional character development e.g. being corrupted by the greed and ambition of Sinful Sydney's world of high-finance and high-fashion.
Her involvement with Roger Carlyle initially suggested it was going to be that juicy storyline, but then she decided she hated him too so it didn't go anywhere (apart from the contract).

She's not very likeable, but also not entertainingly unlikeable.
Having said that, the O'Briens' "white trash" scene when she brought Wayne to Melbourne was absolutely fantastic.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
I agree, it doesn't feel like an intentional character development e.g. being corrupted by the greed and ambition of Sinful Sydney's world of high-finance and high-fashion.
Which is strange really, because it's a theme that would have fitted perfectly into the tone of the series. We'd seen that corruption to various degrees with other Melburnians who have made the move to Sydney: John and his rich-but-nasty new family; Lynn and the modelling world; Beryl and Hal Mason (not exactly a corruption, but certainly an invitation to the wild side for her character). Exploring similar themes with Katie would seem like the natural thing to do. We got the corruption, but no sense of journey or exploration. It was like flicking a switch.


the O'Briens' "white trash" scene when she brought Wayne to Melbourne was absolutely fantastic.
It certainly was. And a reminder that the O'Briens could have been worth their weight in gold if properly used.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,938
Reaction score
9,548
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
#687

Beryl’s reunion with Robert was very touching with the piano ballad version of the S&D theme playing . Something I really liked about the scene was that Robert, in Heather’s arms, reached out for Beryl and when handed over simply hugged her. It was like two pieces of a puzzle coming together. With children being so unpredictable, it seems to be a magical piece of soapy serendipity.

This little moment went some small way to redeeming what has been a story that - while thrilling on paper - has frequently been executed in a way that is lacking. Hollow almost.

Leila Hayes and Rona Coleman have given dynamite performances. With Robert’s return has come a fascinating dance between the two women supporting one another as friends and a sense of competition, with each seeing the other as a threat to their status as Mum (and accurately. There will be a loser and the loss will be huge). There’s been a satisfyingly real intransigence which prevents each from seeing the other’s point of view, and casts each - Beryl in particular - in an unflattering light.

Ken James’s absence has been especially profound. I’m OK with the O’Briens moving to Queensland. And with Mike having a fall, leading to a blood clot on the brain, hospitalisation and death. And it’s appropriate that some of this should take place offscreen. Frankly, some of it would just be too ghoulish to watch. Especially considering Mike’s fate completes the hat-trick of every O’Brien male being cruelly killed off in the space of a season.

But Beryl’s decision to allow Robert to stay with Heather a little longer crucially hinged on her visit to see Mike, in hospital, dying and unaware fo the situation. Not showing this visit could only ever feel like a major cheat to the audience. And it was. Diluting the storyline at what should have been its emotional height.

It’s one of several production choices (perhaps limitations enforced by circumstance) that have stopped the Beryl’s Baby saga from being as powerful as promised.

That none of the original Palmer children have shown any indication of having knowledge of their new sibling - much less an inclination to meet him - is a further sign of how far removed the series in general, and the Palmer household in particular, has become from its original heart.

On the practical side, Robert being tucked away with the perpetually invisible O'Briens all this time has at least circumnavigated (cleverly perhaps) many months’ scenes of Beryl nursing and feeding a screaming infant and allowed her instead to be more actively involved in dramatic storylines. Too bad Season Four Beryl’s non-baby dramas have mostly involved New Wave naughtiness and l’amour de la moustache.
 

Victoriafan3

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Messages
780
Reaction score
1,721
Location
New zealand
Member Since
About 2005
Wholeheartedly agree Mel. Once again your superb words hit the nail in the head. Best just to focus on how outstanding Leila and Roma were. Top notch. And very sweet (and thank goodness!) return of Robert. Bittersweet indeed

Who killed RC? was the whodunit on the cover.

By the end of 85 the only two who we wish hadn’t got the chop were Judy Nunn and Cornelia. I remember an article about it at the time and Cornelia was surprised and hurt which I found sad :-(

But at least they found home & away and Gordon found happiness with, to me, the ideal wife for him. Though I loved Barbara with him aswell - don’t get me wrong - Just the tie in of marrying Gordon to the opposite spouse he started with who actually would be loyal and loving too, I really liked that :)
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,877
Reaction score
16,071
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
520

The countdown to Patricia 1.0's exit has begun, and maybe it's because I'm eager to start with the new season but somehow I find it all a bit exhausting.
It just feels like one nervous breakdown too many.

Carlyle's goons manage to locate and kidnap Patricia, and they take her into the woods to execute her Adriana "Soprano" style.
This is a very exciting sequence, but suddenly the goons turn into the incompetent Jasper & Horace from 101 Dalmatians, which gives Patricia the opportunity to escape.
With the help of a driver she flees from her execution scene.

The driver happens to be a doctor, Ross Newman, who looks like a 1970s schlager singer with a sinister vocal fry.
He tells David that he has his flat and practice in the same building.
David thinks that's convenient, and I'm sure the set designers agree with him.
To me, it all sounds particularly unusual, and there's the tantalizing idea of her escaping the wrath of Roger Carlyle, only to become involved with an even more dangerous person.
Bad karma, indeed.
Well, it sort of is that idea, except that Ross is working for Carlyle in order to pay off his gambling debts, and that makes him kinda ordinary and a little less creepy.
And then lots of stuff and trickery has to be arranged to make her look hysterical and to convince everybody that she has to be committed to a sanatorium.
Patricia escapes again (disguised as Heather, ha-ha) and she ends up in Charlie's house. A brand new S&D set is born!

Another thing, Ross wears his jacket over one shoulder, how I hate that 80s fashion catalogue pose!

Karen's son Alan turns out to be a mini-Wayne, an obnoxious heir to the Brandon fortune, which is why Karen contacted him in the first place.
He's sort of hanging out with Jill but also very interested in Amanda, much to Mitch's chagrin.
Thankfully, Mitch is getting his bad temper back, but I also found his breakdown in front of his ex-Sergeant, Barney Adams, very interesting to watch.
I wouldn't say I felt sympathy, but it does illustrate what a hopeless person he is - and Karen Fox is going to take advantage of that.

And then it's getting really interesting and twisty again.
All that stuff with the fake jewelry was deligthfully confusing, and now it looks like someone else is going to pay for Karen's old crime!
In a moment of rage, Mitch destroys Karen's living room, but because it's just a cardboard set he can't be too violent. It's very funny to see this big guy acting a Dynasty catfight with the furniture.
Ruined your painting, ha! Throwing papers on the floor, ha!
It made me cackle like Barbara Hamilton when she and Andy were chasing the chickens.

The-crime-that-didn't-happen-overwrites-the-crime-that-did-happen also means that Katie (and Roger) have lost their blackmail ammunition against Karen.
It was only then when I realized that Karen wanted those replicas to disappear.
They didn't disappear, but they were (not!) replaced with other replicas. It's a twist of Agatha Christie-esque proportions!
 
Top