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Sons & Daughters Top Ten - Best Death

Discussion in 'Australian & New Zealand Soaps' started by Willie Oleson, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    It's pleasantly surprising to find that this will be a much more challenging round for me than the Actresses. I have a shortlist of seventeen so far, each with good reason to be top a five character.
     
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  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    The top three was a fluid situation. The characters all have different strengths and appeals and so it’s apples and oranges.







    1. Sean Scully
    I expected to be underwhelmed by loveable rogue Jim O’Brien. Sean Scully made sure I wasn’t. Jim’s conduct was at times cowardly, at times seedy. But all could be forgiven thanks to Sean’s wonderful on-screen chemistry with pretty much every actor with whom he shared the screen - not least Rowena Wallace. His grounded earthiness was a huge asset to the series, bringing a naturalism to the series and its inhabitants. The scene in which Jim and Patricia attend a sporting event with very different approaches remains a favourite for its prosaic relatability.





    2. Paul Sonkkila
    While the series had its share of characters with questionable behaviour, none of them was played with as much truth as Martin Healy. Paul played him with such intensity, but also with a gritty realism that made his actions and motives believable. Which made his ugly conduct seem uglier still. And he still managed to elicit my sympathy at times, which is no small thing.





    3. Brett Climo
    Peter Healy’s winning mixture of vulnerability, tortured angst and defiance was all the more meaningful thanks to Brett’s portrayal. The character went through the mill and Brett was present for every moment of it. He had a depth and nuance, and something behind the eyes that belied his youth. And it didn’t hurt that he looked great wet.





    4. Ken James
    Like his screen brother, Ken brought a welcome rugged simplicity to the series. Mike didn’t have to do very much to win me over. His presence was enough. The scene where Mike cried after Jeff’s death was one of the series’ most moving, I thought.





    5. Nick Tate
    James’s arrival looked like the classic long lost brother situation of a series past its prime. He’d come in, shake things up, leave and be forgotten. Or so it seemed. Somewhere along the way, the blokey quips gave way to genuine care, and his interactions brought out interesting colours in others. He was a standout for me in the scene with Alison after the plane crash in which there was a genuine intimate connection between two people. I can wish I’d seen more of almost all characters in this list: but perhaps Nick’s truncated run most of all. It seemed he left just as I got to know him.





    6. Danny Adcock
    Sometimes it’s enough for a character to be thoroughly unlikeable and to do some nasty things. Joe Parker embodies this. And, thanks to Danny Adcock, he did it all brilliantly.





    7. Bob Baines
    It’s understating it to say that Leo Walsh wasn’t a star attraction for the series’ finest storylines (even Leo’s most significant act happened off-screen). But again, how he was played made all the difference. I don’t believe I’ve watched Bob in anything else, but just a few clips of him in something like State Coroner (which I’ve discovered thanks to researching actors for this round) underline that his portrayal of Leo was an actor bringing something special and unique to a role.





    8. Andrew Clarke
    Terry was, I think, among our most-discussed characters during the great SoapChat S&D rewatch (which is still ongoing for some). He was fairly controversial right from the start, and the sort of character soap viewers aren’t traditionally allowed to like or feel empathy for. Andrew Clarke was a big part of the reason Terry was different, and a very memorable part of the S&D story.





    9. Grant Piro
    Tony Parker is another character I expected to underwhelm with their disposability. Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong about the cheeky little punk.





    10. Noel Hodda
    The only “opening titles” actor to make it into my Top Ten. Rob’s another one we discussed a fair bit, and I think it’s safe to say we like Rob. He was a classic “cards on the table” kind of Aussie, and his sometimes bewildered responses to the soapy dramas kept it real. Noel was always watchable.











    In and out:

    Michael Winchester
    Michael performed a minor miracle on the series for this viewer. He made Amanda watchable. For that alone he deserves to be here. His character’s journey is a memorable one. And that moment where he asked Irene to make the photo a good one moves me just thinking about it.


    Les Dayman

    Les gave Roger Carlyle the perfect amount of gravitas - and sleaze. I suspect other actors may have pulled back at some of those looks Roger gave to young Katie O’Brien. Les gave us Roger in all his salacious glory.








    Bubbling under:

    • Michael Long
    • John Larking
    • Brian Blain
    • Tony Ward
     
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  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    1. Brett Climo - it was so noticeable that he did so much better than the role required that I feel compelled to rate him as the best amongst the S&D actors.

    2. Tom Richards - for completely different reasons. I think he was so good that you didn't notice it. He played everyone's husband and it just always worked for me. Stand-out scene: when he described the events of the plane crash.

    3. Paul Sonkkila - because the way he played his role it could have been a character from a more sophisticated soap like Peyton Place or The Brothers.

    4. Sean Scully - he was perfect as the unreliable brother who counterbalanced his weaknesses with lots of joie de vivre. Not always likeable, but always sparkling. And I feel most of that sparkle came from the actor himself.

    5. Mark Ferguson - for all that passion and melodrama. And I absolutely love his voice.

    6. Andrew Clarke - Sons & Daughters did something really mind-boggling with this mammoth storyline, and I guess it didn't hurt that he looked like Andrew Clarke.
    But I found him very convincing in his role of the character who was usually falling behind (or blind) on whatever new twist or soap rule.

    7. Noel Hodda - he had to show a whole range of emotions and it always looked pure to me, including that Patricia bitch-slap.

    8. Peter Cousens - because he knew how to chew the scenery, which is what a Carlyle had to do.

    9. Michael Winchester - I think he made the best of his limited screen time as Irene's dying son.

    10. Grant Piro - one of the nicest surprises, but overall I think the young male actors fared a little better than their female counterparts.
     
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  4. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Another day or so to vote? James? :)
     
  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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    Oh gosh, sorry again! Off the top of my head, here goes:

    1. Peter Healy
    2. Martin Healy
    3. Rob Keegan
    4. Terry Hanson
    5. Todd Fisher
    6. John Palmer
    7. Paul Sheppard
    8. Jim O'Brien
    9. David Palmer
    10. Kevin Palmer
     
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  6. Banana Hammock

    Banana Hammock Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    1 John
    2 Terry
    3 Wayne
    4 David
    5 Stephen
    6 Kevin
    7 Gordon
    8 Glen
    9 Andrew
    10 Craig

    and though I missed the lady countdown, I woulda went for...

    1 Barbara
    2 Irene
    3 Beryl
    4 Jill
    5 Patricia
    6 Lynn
    7 Fiona
    8 Angela
    9 Leigh
    10 Debbie
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
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  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    For some reason, I see two lists together and I want to mentally do things with them. In this case I found myself pairing all the same numbers together (John and Barbara; Irene and Terry, etc). How cute that love's young dreams from the beginning and the end of the series end up together.
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Is that Andy Green?
     
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  9. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    So glad you joined us @Banana Hammock! Yay!! I love seeing Jill rank highly in your list. Hope you join in some more soon :)
     
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  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I'll throw everything in the tally-up machine tomorrow and then we'll see who-scores-what. Okido?
     
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  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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    Beaut!
     
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  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Jill, may I have the envelope, please? Thank you.

    The best male actors in the Australian soap opera Sons and Daughters are as follows:

    1. Brett Climo (38)
    2. Paul Sonkkila (34)
    3. Andrew Clarke (31) (he was in everyone's list!)
    4. Sean Scully (25)
    5. Peter Phelps / Tom Richards (21) (nice to see son and Pop sharing the same position)
    6. Ken James (16)
    7. Noel Hodda (13)
    8. Mark Ferguson (10) (do I hear a sigh of relief?)
    9. Michael Winchester / Ian Rawlings (8)
    10. Brian Blain / Nick Tate / Stephen Comey / Michael Long (6) (everything less than 10 points is usually a combination of choices)



    And now little old me is going to announce our next top 10 theme;

    The Underutilized Characters: all those characters who showed promise but couldn't deliver because they were overshadowed by other characters and storylines, or because they were written out too soon.
    I understand, if you change one thing you change everything and this is not about a whole coulda-shoulda rework, but there are definitely some scenes and characters I would have sacrificed - or at least limited - in order to let these underdogs shine.
     
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  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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    I'll get in early this time!

    1. Alan off of Wombai - he should have had his own spinoff.

    2/3. Terry's Fake Mum & Dad - they coulda shoulda made Fiona's life a lot more difficult

    5. Jeff O'Brien's dog

    6/7. Bunty and Thel - I'm not sure we ever saw them at all, except in flashback, and maybe making them onscreen regulars would have spoilt their mystique, but how about making them offscreen regulars? How about Bunty becoming Gordon's thirteenth wife, say, and having huge storylines, but somehow we never actually see her? ("Oh, you just missed her, she's gone shoplifting in town" or "Bunty's in the kitchen making tea. Oh no, a portable fan just exploded in her face!" sort of thing).

    8. Beryl's mum (or dad) - they were nice people.

    9. Pamela (as in Patricia's twin) - I can't remember much about her, but I know she didn't stick around very long which seems a waste.

    10. Roger Carlyle (he suddenly turned into just a voice at the end of the phone which was creepily effective but there might have been more sleazy fun if he'd stuck around)

    Honourable mention:

    A Welsh woman - I think she was just in one scene early on. I'm not sure, but I think she was a neighbour of Rosie's granddaughter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    What a dazzling top ten. And a very worthy winner (finally - all that Olympic training has paid off for Peter Healy).


    Oh, fun.


    Damn - I can't picture him. Now I feel unworthy of this thread.



    Genius!! Think of all the freeze frames they could have almost had.



    I think a Pat-alike is going to feature in my top ten. But not necessarily the same Pat-alike.




    Is this the same Welsh woman who lived next-door to Beth Newman? Or maybe I'm getting my Dural house-guests mixed up. Whoever she knew, I'm a big fan.
     
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  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    But not for poor Jeff O'Brien:( - but then again he was cheating, using crutches.[​IMG]
    I think one of them was involved with Plan B drama, and they both visited Fiona at least once (presumably undressing John with their eyes, which - again, presumably - didn't require a whole lot of effort).
     
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  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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    [​IMG]

    Alan Pascoe!

    Hmmm, that rings the vaguest of bells ...

    That's the one! I knew it was someone from the wrong side of the tracks.
     
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  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    1. Simon Armstrong #2
    Not the aristocratic Jeff Colby look-alike from the first season, but the recast who showed up in season...5?
    Like Alan Brandon he considered himself a God's gift to women, but the tall and thin readhead took it a step further with a career as a male prostitute. I liked him because he was so cocky and unsavoury and so unapologetic about it. And at the same time, because he wasn't the sexy macho-hunk he thought he was, it also made him somewhat sympathetic.
    I thought he was the most noticeable example in the "hey-where-did-he-go?" category.

    2. Dr. Michael Benson
    How frustrating that one of the most promising characters of the later seasons (and they sure needed some good ones) was so noticeably sidelined in favour of his boring brother Nick and that corny love triangle with the Patricia recast and the Patricia look-alike.

    3. Rob and Angela's neighbour with the chain-smokers voice.
    upload_2020-6-29_21-7-43.png
    The restaurant wasn't my favourite storyline, but if they were going to inject a bit of Coronation Street/Number 96 than this colourful character was definitely the way to go.
    Alas, she never came back.

    4. Alan Pascoe
    This vote is a no-brainer because I remember commenting on his role being too limited. Although I appreciate it that he never completely disappeared.

    5. Psychic Desmond Bourke
    His vague but painfully serious predictions were hilarious and after that storyline had finished he should have stayed on to narrate the episode recaps. "I feel...yes...something has happened…"

    6. Phyllis Hudson
    Personally I didn't mind Pamela's exit, it's just that the timing was completely wrong after Alison had tracked down her children - with the intention to steal them from sister dearest because her own children hated her!! Add the haughty stepmother to the mix and handbags at dawn wouldn't even begin to describe it.
    We only got to see what could have been.

    7. Miss Collins (the Pamela Lynch look-alike)
    Because she was the only interesting feature in Lynn's modelling career. If ever there was a time to develop a Models Inc spin-off (with Lisa Cook and model Neil), this was it.

    8. Victor Hardy
    I enjoyed his observations and judgmental comments, just wish I could have enjoyed them more often.

    9. Prue Armstrong
    Hmm, it's not that she was underutilized in that particular storyline, but I think she could have returned at some point e.g. as a foe for Leigh Palmer.

    10. Model Neil
    The star in David's model career storyline (cringe, barf).
    upload_2020-6-29_21-49-25.png
    He would turn out to be Matt Kennedy's long-lost brother with amnesia and they would have absolutely nothing to say to eachother, resulting in long and poignant scenes without dialogue.
     
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  18. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Ah, of course. I think it didn't register because people invariably seemed to use his full name*. Or did I imagine that as well? I swear there are several S&D parallel universes out there. Anything else would be a waste.

    *And of course there was the other Alan who got a name-check (but not a vote) from Willie.



    Oh well, I suppose it's not a spoiler if I don't say where in my list she'll go. Not that I even know. She may not make it at all.

    [​IMG]



    Oh yes. I'm glad you're getting in early with your lists as it's giving me inspiration.



    Of course, if he was genuine he'd be doing the "next on Sons and Daughters" bits (not that it had any, but I'm sure they could have worked some in to accommodate the storyline).
     
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  19. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Didn't she outstay her 40 minutes of welcome?:eek: Although I believe there was some kind of complication ready to be developed, but it didn't happen.
    I believed that he believed that he was genuine, but my crystal ball told me that he really sucked at being clairvoyant. That said, I found his anguished mumblings absolutely mesmerizing.
     
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  20. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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    I look forward to encountering him. You can't beat a Soap Land psychic.
     
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