A PLACE TO CALL HOME (Australian Soap)

Discussion in 'Sundry Prime Time Soaps' started by Alexis, May 1, 2019.

  1. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    I came across a this a few times on tv here but usually mid episode and weeks and weeks apart and when I was too busy to actually sit down and watch. It started in 2013 I believe and is a period drama/soap set in Australia. The writer has said it was based on the style of Douglas Sirk films and that whole romantic vibe of said films. A different view to the mundaneness of our own modern lives.
    It looks lovely from what I have seen, choc full of gorgeous men and women in 1950s fashions and there was even a gay subplot in an episode or 2 I saw.
    I have been intrigued for a while and think this will be my next boxset purchase. For 6 seasons it's going for around £35. Which considering I paid £20 to murder my senses with season 5 of Melrose Place is a bargain!

    Has anyone watched any of this? I would be interested to hear thoughts on it. It seems on paper at least to be right up my street. It seems a bit Downton Abbey a bit Daytime Soap, and a bit Primetime Soap.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  2. JamesF

    JamesF Soap Chat Member

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    Oh my god I've been meaning to start a thread on this for weeks because I finished it recently.

    It's amazing and I couldn't believe there was no thread on it already. I was vaguely aware of it as a period drama on BBC in the afternoons and wrote it off as something for the ITV3/Viking River Cruise brigade but it's absolutely not (and turns out the BBC must have censored a hell of a lot of language and sex). It's a combo of Sirk/Downton/Far From Heaven/Falcon Crest/Gran Hotel and Sons and Daughters

    I'll avoid spoilers and I'd say there are several different layers to it but predominantly it is a high class soap opera and you can absolutely see the Bevan Lee connection and similarities in tone to early S&D. There are truly evil villains and huge clashes (verbal and physical) between strong (and strongly drawn) female characters who are unapologetic about the things they are pursuing. It's also very twisty with lots of cliffhangers that made me gasp; I'd probably say a handful of eps made me shed a tear too which again I wasn't expecting from an Aussie period drama.

    The other layer is the queer elements to it - whilst not the central story, there are a variety of LGBT characters and their stories are treated with sensitivity but honesty about what it was like to be queer in the 1950s; this includes the clash between living in a rural backwater and cosmopolitan Sydney.

    Finally it just looks beautiful. Gorgeous people in gorgeous clothes against gorgeous scenery.

    I absolutely could not recommend it highly enough and knowing some of the stuff you've posted about enjoying on here, I'd be really surprised if you didn't eat it up.
     
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  3. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    Thanks so much for that. I had thought I would love it but you have just confirmed that for me. I will be ordering it sometime next week and will probably start watching sometime after I finish this foolishness of Melrose Place season 5.
    I will stick my thoughts on it in this thread once I start watching. I just checked on Wikipedia and although it's 6 seasons long, most seasons are only 10 episodes so not too many to get through either.
     
  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Blimey, it looks and sounds proper good!
     
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  5. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Like yourself @Alexis I'd only caught the odd episode here and there and had been meaning to revisit it, so thanks for the reminder.

    As @JamesF mentioned, it's a Bevan Lee show. I listened to an interview with him recently where he talked about the show.
    Production wise, it had a rocky enough ride as it's original network (Seven) cancelled it after two seasons before it was picked up by Soho for another season. That channel closed down and it ended up on Showcase where it saw out it's final seasons. Bevan Lee also spoke about his upcoming show Between Two Worlds which he describes as a "supersoap" so I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out. It'll premiere on Australian TV sometime this year.
     
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  6. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    I had just been reading about Lee, where did you listen to the interview? I had just been trying to find some info on Between Two Worlds?
     
  7. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure it was here

    https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-x3rau-4971010

    You may need the Podbean app to listen though. He's vague enough about the exact details but IIRC the show has been in development for a while. There's actually a bit more info about it here.

    https://deadline.com/2019/04/hermoine-norris-between-two-worlds-1202596621/
     
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  8. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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  9. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    Between Two Words sounds absolutely fabulous from that little description. I really hope they do find away to do it.

    EDIT! It's started filming... Just found this online.
    https://tvtonight.com.au/2019/04/cameras-roll-on-between-two-worlds.html

    Filming is underway in Sydney on Seven’s next major drama series Between Two Worlds by writer Bevan Lee (A Place to Call Home, Packed to the Rafters, Winners & Losers).

    The high concept thriller will be led by UK actor, Hermione Norris (Cold Feet, Spooks, Luther).

    Also featuring are Philip Quast (Picnic at Hanging Rock, Hacksaw Ridge), Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home), Aaron Jeffery (Wentworth, Underbelly Files: Chopper) and newcomers Tom Dalzell, Melanie Jarnson and Megan Hajjar.

    Norris plays Cate Walford, whose relationship with vicious, business tycoon husband, Phillip, is on the ropes and sees a tempestuous home life trapped in a tangled web of lies and manipulation. Through a shocking twist of fate, this dark and murky world collides with the seemingly disparate and disconnected, warm and loving world of a widow and her footy star son and musical daughter. Destructive secrets are soon unearthed proving nothing is quite as it first might appear.

    Hermione Norris said: “I am always script-led in decision making and I found Bevan’s script full of well-drawn characters and a page turning narrative – it was a really entertaining read, and fun for me to consider something a little bit different. I think audiences will love the colour and vibrancy of this thrilling and complex narrative – many secrets to be revealed and rivalries to be exposed.”

    Seven’s Director of Content Distribution and Rights Therese Hegarty said “We are thrilled that the quality of Bevan Lee’s work has enabled us to attract a world class cast and crew to this project. Seven Studios has a history of creating programs that engage global audiences and we will continue to build out a local and global strategy.”

    It is due to screen later this year.

    Between Two Worlds is created and written by Bevan Lee (Place to Call Home), directed by Kriv Stenders, Lynn Hegarty, Caroline Bell-Booth, Beck Cole and Michael Hurst, executive producer is Julie McGauran, series producer is Chris Martin-Jones with co-producer Lesley Parker. The drama is a Seven Studios production for Seven Network.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  10. JamesF

    JamesF Soap Chat Member

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    Oh my god, never in my telly obsessed heart did I think I'd see Hermione Norris (whom I love) starring in what sounds essentially like a remake of Sons and Daughters. This sounds totally unmissable.

    Thanks for sharing this, I listened on a train journey and really enjoyed hearing the candour about Aussie TV politics and the unapologetic defence of melodrama. There was arrogance to Bevan in the interview that would ordinarily grate on me but I did actually come away with a positive impression of him.At the least, he sounds like he has very specific vision for his shows and wants to see that realised.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  11. Brian Kinney

    Brian Kinney Soap Chat Member

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    Aside from agreeing to the positive reviews I want to add you will love the ending - every story is resolved (and more). I've never seen a prime time soap that is so consistently written through all seasons (and despite the channel switching for Australian viewers - what I didn't know - the production values seem to be always on the same level). The acting ensemble is great and they have the right looking visuals for the 1950's (as I imagine them :) ). As much as I liked Downton Abbey I LOVED A Place to Call Home!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  12. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    I just got around to ordering it today. Looking forward to it arriving. Now I just need to finish Melrose Place. I think I will wait a while before doing season 6, even though I have the DVDs already.
     
  13. ChrisSumner

    ChrisSumner Soap Chat Active Member

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    I've started watching this on y'all's recommendation. I've only seen the first three episodes but I'm very interested. It's very well produced and holds up against the best US and UK productions. Especially for a period piece.
     
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  14. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    I'm gonna start watching tonight myself. Awfully excited about this!
     
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  15. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    One and half episodes in and oh my.... This is very, very good. It's a bit Downton with a bit of the classic Aussie soaps and you really can tell it's a Bevan Lee production. The way the show's world just keeps opening up and growing. All the relationships unfolding. Secrets being learned and hidden. Characters in shades of grey, not just black and white. One minute you are in a cosy quint 1950s Australian town the next minute it's brutal flash back to someone's half buried dark past.
    I just know I am really going to enjoy this.
     
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  16. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    So I ended up watching six episodes last night. It's that good! Then I got up early on my day off today to watch some more. It's just a great show that takes itself and it's world seriously. That's so refreshing, especially when I think of how disappointed I have been with a lot of US soapy shows, including the reboot of Dynasty and TNT's Dallas. There's no campy silliness or one liner queens. A Place To Call Home just hits exactly the right tone. In fact watching this has made me think how great a prequel series to Dynasty would have been.

    I don't want to give spoilers away as it's been so good so far and think everyone who has posted in this thread will absolutely love this show. Just stop what you are doing and go buy it now. Especially when it's at such a good price. It's a joy to watch, the look of it. The acting, the writing and production.
     
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  17. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    I am nearing the end of the first season! This show is brilliant, so achingly bittersweet. All the niceties of 1950s Australia and it's post war buzz, just a façade for all kinds of conflict and turmoil. Doomed from the outset relationships, unrequited loves, scars of the war and stories of survival and loss. The differences between social classes and standing. It can be very dark at times but there is this overall romantic theme running through it. None of the love stories are straight forward or easy, it's all very complicated and difficult for everyone. The period setting is really the only way that all this conflict and drama could be achieved. If this was show set today it would probably be 3 episodes long.

    I feel like James needs to be my boyfriend and go build a fence for me.

    Why isn't everyone watching this already? :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  18. Brian Kinney

    Brian Kinney Soap Chat Member

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    I'm really glad you're enjoying it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  19. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    Urrrgghhh. There is one character in this that I just cant believe is still alive and not in prison. He just needs beaten to death already.
     
  20. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    Wow... I finished the first season. That was so addictive and such a good watch. I actively had to get up and unplug the TV so I didn't just tear into season 2. The revelations just kept spilling out as the show worked towards the finale and there is a nice little cliff hanger in there too. One that I already have a theory about.
    I think I will start season some time next week, I don't want to go through it all too quickly.
     

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