Neighbours Returns For A New Chapter

Neighbours Returns For A New Chapter

Fourteen months ago Australia said goodbye to its favourite neighbourhood, and tonight we return for a new chapter of Ramsay Street drama.

When Neighbours was confirmed as ending last March, there was a tidal wave of surprised and saddened fans. Although petitions were signed, there was nothing that could be done before the final scenes were filmed in June and the final episode went to air in July.

Erinsborough was farewelled with lots of nostalgia as past and present residents came together to celebrate the wedding of Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Melanie (Lucinda Cowden). The 80s favourites Jane (Annie Jones) and Mike (Guy Pearce) were also reunited in episodes that were the perfect blend of comedy and drama to close out an 8903 episode history that spanned 37 years.

It was a satisfying albeit sad farewell, and although there was hope that the show would be revived one day in the future, no one was expecting that news to come in November. In true soap opera fashion, Neighbours was brought back to life for its third chapter thanks to a partnership with Amazon.

The core four – Ryan Moloney, Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy), Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy), and OG resident Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson) – returned to filming in April alongside returnees Tim Kano (Leo Tanaka), Georgie Stone (Mackenzie Hargreaves), Rebekah Elmaloglou (Terese Willis), Annie Jones, Lucinda Cowden, Candice Leask (Wendy Rodwell), Emerald Chan (Sadie Rodwell), and Lloyd Will (Andrew Rodwell).

There’s been excitement and trepidation ever since, and now after what feels like forever, the long-awaited return is upon us.

When Neighbours kick-off for its third act, two years have passed since the final street party and while some things have changed, everything is still as familiar as ever. Karl and Susan, who are embarking on a new phase in her life, are now joined by Holly (Lucinda Armstrong Hall), Karl’s daughter with Izzy Hoyland. Paul is still overseeing Lassiter’s where there’s a mysterious new face in Reece Sinclair (Mischa Barton), who is hooking up Byron Stone (now played by Xavier Molynrux).

There’s fresh arrivals too with the Varga-Murphy family, featuring wives Remi (Naomi Rukavina) and Cara (Sara West) and their teenage sons Dex (Marley Williams) and JJ (Riley Bryant), whose stay in Ramsay Street is supposedly short-term. But someone’s on a mission and while they aren’t front-and-centre from the get-go, it’s only a matter of time before we see what secrets the new family is hiding.

The premiere episode follows two major storylines that everyone has been looking forward to. The first is Jane and Mike’s relationship and how it has developed over the two-year time jump. With Guy Pearce’s schedule, it remains to be seen how this arc will develop, but props to the team for making it work and giving the fans what they want. The other is the much-anticipated wedding with a “jaw-dropping twist”. While I can’t spoil anything about the big event, I can confirm that my jaw did actually drop.

The first two episodes watched for this review, are penned by Neighbours writing royalty Jason Herbison and Sarah Mayberry and offer enough of a taste to get you hooked once again on Australia’s favourite suburban soap opera. There are new faces among the loveable favourites and it’ll be interesting to see how everyone’s story develops as we get reacquainted with the old and get to know the new.

And with a two-year time-jump to get caught up on, there’s no end to drama coming up in Erinsborough.

Neighbours is still Neighbours, and it’s great to be back in the cul-de-sac full of unmissable drama. Fans old and new won’t want to miss this highly-anticipated return.

5 Stars

Neighbours premieres Monday, 18 September at 4:30pm on 10 & 10Play, and 6:30 pm on 10Peach.


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