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

Discussion in 'Australian & New Zealand Soaps' started by JingeBellsROG, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh poo. Just another 62 episodes and I'd have completed something. Not the entire series, granted, but up to the true end of an era.

    I have my Season Four, Five and Six signatures ready and everything. Now poor Babs is going to be stuck on that phone call forever.


    But I feel saddest of all for the people here who haven't yet had the chance to enjoy the greatness of S&D, beginning to end, and hope you find a way to do so.


    There's a Beryl-shaped hole in my life now.
     
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  2. Julia's Gun

    Julia's Gun Soap Chat Member

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    Ooh, I remember Sunset Beach - is that freely available? I remember Kathleen Noone, Sam Behrens, and that ship sinking Poseidon Adventure/Titanic style. Will this help me a little, Alexis? Please point me the right way...
     
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  3. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    The whole thing was up on YouTube. I am not sure if it's still there though. I got the whole series on iOffer though so I could watch at my own very languid pace.
     
  4. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who were watching S&D at a glacial pace like me, the first 170 episodes are still available online. It falls short of the complete season one, as it appears that the uploader mixed up the episode numbering (listing episode 170 as 174). However, the actual finale episode (174) is still on YouTube so it is still possible to watch the bulk of the first year if you haven't already finished it.
     
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  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Season 1 done!

    Purely in terms of her 'below stairs' status, while falling in love with the rich young man of the house, she reminded me a bit of Kirby from DYNASTY - only with every last bit of energy and enthusiasm and self-belief drained out of her. I do like Gail (or Gayle) though. She's the first female character, apart from Patricia and Charlie, who doesn't assume that doing the washing up was what she was put in the earth to do.

    He's the spit of Fred West.

    By my reckoning, their estrangement (over the graves) lasted around fifty episodes, about the same length of time Beryl left David for (following her miscarriage). It's a satisfyingly long period; you really feel like they've earned their reconciliation.

    Yes, I hadn't really noticed during previous watches, but Wayne's a bit of an idiot really. One expects the bad guy to have a bit of cunning about him, but he's been pretty incompetent so far. But I agree, his tantrums are funny. And I like his relationship with Patricia.

    Yes, he's very priestlike, but not in an interestingly tortured way. I keep wanting him to turn into Joshua Rush, but it hasn't happened yet. Actually, the scene where he and Gayle (or Gail) first have it off by a river when he's upset about Hal Mason's death did remind me of Cathy 'seducing' Joshua in similar surroundings. Up until that point, I'd assumed Paul was the sexual innocent (what with him being so religious) while Gayile had been having unhappy trailer park sex with spotty kids and old men all over Melbourne - but then it turned around: he became the experienced one and she the moony-eyed innocent.

    Haha! It's interesting that Lynne is the one member of the Palmer family who resents Beryl getting a job after she and David reconcile. Or it would be interesting if Lynne was interesting.

    It's an intriguing cliffhanger because it initially feels like a lie - like Anne Matheson telling Mack he's not Paige's father out of spite - but then the way David reacts, and the significance the rest of the episode gives to that reaction, makes you think, "Maybe she's telling the truth ..."

    When I wrote that, I had completely forgotten what happens to Hal in the end.

    Yes, he went from being Scott Eastman doing Abby/Patricia's bidding, to Jeff Munson sweeping a newly single Val/Beryl off her feet and showing her around the big city, to Dr Ackerman making a fatal gamble. But at the same time, he was always his own man with his own values. It sort of felt as though they made the character up as they went along, but in a good way.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. It's impressively unhurried. And I've got the sense that it wasn't immediately forgotten after the reconciliation. There's still a degree of awkward politeness, and when something does crop up where their viewpoints may differ, it taps into the history all over again. Even if it's unspoken, the tension is still there. Which makes the stakes feel that much higher. So in making things difficult for Gordon and Fiona, the writers have made things easier for themselves in terms of creating future conflict.


    Oh my.


    Love it. And I completely agree.



    Isn't it great when that happens?
     
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  7. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    The young Palmers were sort of at the mercy of their parents (both the Palmers and the Hardys) therefore Lynne wasn't in a position to make waves, and I think that's what made the disagreement a little bit more interesting.
     
  8. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My tears and sadness are over for a while and I've found myself in a position to watch on a little. And so....



    #488

    Perhaps it’s taking an enforced break, but the emotions on S&D seem suddenly more heightened, and the double dealings more ruthless. Voices are raised and threats are made. There’s blackmail and word play. Everyone has dirt on everyone else and they’re not afraid to use it… even if it’s just for bluff. Patricia; Karen; Roger. They all feel strictly big league. Everything is big, nowadays. Except Patricia’s hair, which is reassuringly short and spiky.

    And everyone is ruder. Orders are barked and everyone wants everything yesterday. Even Jill has barked back at Karen. Karen’s given Charlie a tongue lashing of Dee Morrell proportions. But never mind, because Charlie has Isabella: the cutest dog in the world.

    Wayne and Todd’s spat takes the prize for the nicest backdrop to a fight on the series. And a nice dramatic ending. It’s a testament to the pace of the current series that a scene which features a brawl, a relapse of a serious illness and a character deciding if they should rescue a drowning enemy wasn’t even the episode cliffhanger.

    In among it all, Karen’s discovery of Todd’s condition was surprisingly substantial. I previously commented that I wanted more humanity from her, and this delivered.

    Todd’s exit storyline has given the series some of its most poignant scenes. I normally find myself fighting this kind of storyline. They can feel emotionally manipulative - even by the standards of scripted drama. This example is no exception, but somehow the sadness of it seemed to fit well in giving it balance and heart. Some of it took suspension of disbelief - Irene in particular accepted Todd’s choices too quickly. But the story showed us new sides to characters. And it was pitched just right. A little moment where Todd asks Irene to take photos with Amanda (who doesn’t know he plans to leave for a Swiss euthanasia clinic within hours) and simply asks her to take a good one still resonates with me.

    Another ping pong bitch slap - and a pretty great one!! I can’t see a slap on this series now without mentally archiving it as a GIF.

    There’s a “cutting the bread roll” moment in #483 when Gordon pours Patricia’s beer into a glass while David takes his straight from the bottle.

    Oh yes - Patricia and David are kind of back together. Even though they’ve lived together for some time, that kiss seemed almost out of the blue. Thankfully, Patricia’s having to use all her guile to ensure she traps David. And she’s really laying it on thick. Convincing him he’s proposed to her while drunk was highly entertaining. This turn of events also means a bitter rivalry with Irene, which is no bad thing. Giving her the kind of “David’s never satisfied with his homebodies” speech she usually reserves for Beryl when Irene has just lost her son seemed particularly cruel. It’s good to see Irene is not without her own resources and is fighting back.
    Poor Irene. The greater part of me thinks she's far too good for David, but they get on so well I can't help rooting for her to get one over on Pat and grab a piece of C.B.

    In the O’Brien household, Jeff has relapsed into drinking and fallen into industrial espionage. Scenes of Mike trying to make it up to his son while Jeff gets guilts over betraying him are very effective. While Katie has jumped onto the interstate bandwagon. Although a regular occurrence in this series it feels curiously novel. I’m reminded of Diana Fairgate leaving Knots Landing for New York. She’s even got her own Chip in Wayne.

    Fiona has flown back onto the scene. Within three minutes Beryl was asking her to mind her own business. Plus ça change…

    Leanne is leaving Beryl’s. I must confess I’m going to miss her. As a character her journey was fairly surface, but Melissa Bickerton has a natural charisma that endeared Leanne to me. It’s pleasing to see on IMDb that she’s still getting regular work as an actress.

    Before leaving, Leanne did manage one feat that has pushed the main story along. Leanne revealed to Patricia that Beryl was pregnant. This gave Patricia the chance to distort the truth like never before by ensuring she broke the news to David on her terms, along with the the poker faced lie that Jim O’Brien is the father. Evil… thy name is Pat.
     
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  9. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    #503

    Patricia’s bipolar characteristics - her capacity to swing between uncensored emotional outbursts and inscrutability - are still very much a truth for her character. When character and plot combine, the whole is invariably greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, bold writers and good actors with a knowledge of the characters they’re creating equal lightning in a bottle.

    Past the halfway point, and hurtling towards a significant turning point for the series, these aspects are being utilised to create the best kind of intrigue.

    Patricia is in the centre of the series’ first major murder mystery. She had clashed with Luke as she did almost everyone. And she had the motive. Naturally, there are secrets and cover ups as she tells half truths and outright lies to those investigating the murder. That’s all in a day’s work for her.

    In addition to this, though, there’s an unwritten law being broken. When Patricia puts Charlie - her confidante and most fiercely loyal friend - in a difficult position on the spot by making Charlie her alibi it’s nothing less than we would expect. Left alone with Charlie, however, Patricia defies expectations by continuing to lie. She claims to know nothing about the scratches on Luke’s face - scratches that we watched her inflict on him. We haven’t seen her deceive Charlie on this level before. And Charlie is suspicious. It's writ large on her face as she watches Patricia deliver the line quoted above. And if she’s lying about those scratches… well, seeds of doubt are sown in our minds based on empirical evidence.

    This time round, the murder mystery is reminding me of Season Four of Knots. Enough characters have good motive to have attacked the victim. People are still interacting in a soapy way. Jim O'Brien and Beryl have a heart to heart about their feelings, in a lovely little scene. Then he tells her he's tired of the dynamics at home following Luke's death and he wants to get away. Then he goes to work trying to persuade Beryl to leave town with him for a break. This is significant and engaging in itself. Like Richard Avery abandoning his family, it could be entirely unrelated to the murder. But what if it's not? What if Beryl is Diana Fairgate to Jim's Chip? Reminiscent of a later Knots murder mystery - the death of Jill Bennett - there’s a feeling that anything goes in terms of suspects. There’s no free pass for regular players. Patricia's frequent co-conspirator - the person who knows her as well as anyone - doubting her innocence perhaps outdoes the ever judgemental Mack Mackenzie's verdict of Gary Ewing - "he did it" - as an all bets are off moment.

    #502 had a very “new season” feel to it, with characters learning the news and the shockwaves being felt.

    And it could have been. Murder aside, #501, was already very eventful indeed, what with the fallout from Luke ruining Patricia and the subsequent wedding ceremony and a suicide attempt. The episode just sparked.

    John and Angela were given reasons for not attending.
    It’s nice they’re still sharing things.

    It was a nice touch to explain their absence. Although with the way this series works I'd probably have not given it too much thought had they not drawn attention to it. I suppose it's a "damned if you do/damned if you don't" situation for the scriptwriters.

    In other news, Liz Smith has returned and helped Wayne try to drive Gordon and Barbara apart. She seems quite different to the intelligent woman that played Scrabble and gave Gordon gift wrapped books based on conversations they’d had. The experience this time round feels more plot-driven, a feeling enhanced by the series of contrived setups from Wayne to try to convince Gordon that Liz needs their help and must stay with them. Now she seems to have been kidnapped for real, but I’m finding it difficult to care. It’s rendered almost unnecessary in the thrilling stakes by the events surrounding Luke’s murder. A case of gilding the lily, perhaps. And it lacks the depth of character to make it feel significant or meaningful. It’s not all bad news, though. After all, Cornelia Frances is in the middle of it and always watchable. On one occasion, she had what I think is a S&D first when Barbara commented she was going Christmas shopping.

    Amanda - a character I was beginning to find surprisingly watchable - is in the midst of a madcap denial storyline where she’s so desperate to have Todd's baby she's had sex with Mitch in order to get pregnant. All the while convincing herself that the baby is Todd’s. The kindest things I can say are: (1) the writing isn't selling me on the story at all. And (2) delving into the darkest recesses of the human mind to reveal dissociative tendencies is not Alyce Platt’s strong suit.

    Katie O'Brien, meanwhile, has become a mini soap vixen: falling for bad boy Wayne and effortlessly blackmailing Karen Fox into doing her bidding. It’s akin to seeing a square peg thrust violently into a round hole.

    Leila Hayes continues to impress me. There have been two dynamite scenes in recent episode in which she has had little to no dialogue but has spoken a thousand words with her non-verbal communication. One of these is her discovery of Luke's body. I was left in no doubt of the unsettling horror of the moment from that shot where the camera lingered on her as her face registered and tried to process what she was seeing.

    The other scene followed Patricia's earlier misinformation that Jim was the father of Beryl's baby. For the purposes of conflict, David and Beryl needed miscommunication. Cue a scene in which David came to see Beryl, clumsily said what he'd heard and said he'd reconcile with her if he was the father, but that if Jim was responsible then it was Jim's problem and David wanted nothing to do with it. It's the kind of situation that's fairly workaday for soap. But it felt special and powerful. It was a location scene, taking place in Beryl's front garden as she's doing some weeding or something. I'd guess logistics render it difficult to make a location scene intimate, but this one certainly was. Beryl said nothing, but as David spoke she looked at him with what could be shock, disappointment, disgust, pity or sadness (I interpret it to be all five overlapping). Both actors were great in the scene, but Leila was especially wonderful, saying nothing for the entire scene until David had finished speaking. Before she opened her mouth, I knew exactly where Beryl stood.
     
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  10. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    #503

    I'm not sure with which episode I began watching S&D regularly during its original run in my ITV region. But the first specific scene I have memory of watching is the one in which Jeff was found after his suicide by gassing attempt. I remember finding Mike's comment that "this stuff isn't poisonous these days" quite informative.

    Maybe this was my first complete episode, or the one that got me hooked. But I know I was watching the series with some regularity by this point and I'd say most episodes from here will have that added element of nostalgia.
     
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  11. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Has the vacuum cleaner exploded yet? Such a classic, iconic scene!:D
     
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  12. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, I've got a few hundred episodes to go before I get to that delight, Willie.

    I'm still at the stage where vacuum cleaners are used to gobble up dust. Novel, eh?
     
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  13. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    #510

    Revisiting an era that I hold in such high regard is a risky venture. The current storylines are the stuff of legend for me: a favourite run that resides on a virtual pedestal somewhere in my memory banks, alongside the best of other soaps.

    As mentioned above, I'd just discovered the series when first watching these episodes and I've long surmised this has influenced the way I view them. My fascination with these episodes was reinforced by the novelisations, which I collected a short time after these episodes aired. Not having recorded the episodes, the books were my definitive "time capsule" of the series for many years, being read and re-read until the dialogue and descriptions resonated, forming imagery in my fertile young mind.

    I'd quite like this era to remain on its mental pedestal, untainted and unchallenged. But watching in a time, place and situation that is so very different from that first time presents the possibility that I'll be underwhelmed, if not disappointed.

    All the same, I'm happy to report that these episodes remain exciting and dynamic. There's a very special indefinable energy that has bewitched me all over again. Nostalgia is part of it, I'm sure. As different components that I associate with this era arrive - whether it's David's country home in Sunbury (at this stage. Warrandyte, as it's later established) or Dr. Ross Newman - I can feel an almost chemical change as I anticipate what's coming and enjoy what's happening.

    And there's been a lot happening. The ongoing murder mystery. A fire. Another death. The separation of a stable married couple. Drug addiction. A heart attack. A thrilling chase involving armed hitmen.

    The mind has a way of airbrushing. It has to be said that not every storyline is covered in glory. Amanda, Mitch and Andy - or any combination thereof - are so much white noise to me at the moment. Both Jill and Amanda are currently being pursued by a gormless little snot who resembles a young Mr Bean. He's Karen Fox's son, but she finds him tedious. One of the few things I have in common with her. Katie and Wayne are just... well, I've decided I don't really care for any of Wayne's pairings. Lots happens, but any woman he's involved with (Jill, Karen and Amanda to name a few) seems to become less interesting for as long as they're together. Katie was great as the big sister/older daughter with big dreams, but at the first hint of Sydney style drama she becomes shrieky and shrill. I suppose that's what teenage girls do, but watching it is not my idea of entertainment. When Wayne stopped the shouting with a firm slap to her face I felt relief.

    But onto the good stuff:

    I remember Jeff's death. It's a key event in a major arc. Of course I remember it. But I'm viewing it very differently this time. My memory is of the excitement it created by scuppering Patricia, but the aftermath has given the series some powerful moments. The adult O'Briens - Mike, Heather and Jim - have been three of the more consistently watchable characters, and this has proved that they remain so when going into high drama. It's far from the first time S&D has bereaved parents of their child. In fact I can't think of another series that has done it more. As recently as a month and a half ago, Irene's son died. But this is the first bereavement that's really affected me. Heather trying to hold it together on the phone when she's trying to reach Katie got me tearful, but Mike breaking down and crying onto Heather's shoulder really got to me. It's a rarity to see a blokey bloke cry in this way on TV and consequently felt taboo and groundbreaking... and almost voyeuristically intimate to me as a viewer.

    The already existing tension between Mike and Jim - Mike suspecting Jim of having killed Luke - has bubbled along nicely, adding layers to an already dark and complex story. What's more, even though this storyline has crossed over with some of the more melodramatic stuff with Patricia and whatnot, the O'Briens still feel tonally different. It's still like they're in their own series. But in the best possible way.

    There was a risk of gilding the lily a couple of times. Heather's addiction to sedatives* in the aftermath of Jeff's death, for instance, sounds like too much. But it worked not just because it made sense for where the character was, but also because it was tied in with her character's pre-history when Katie revealed to Mike that Heather had become dependent on them when separated from Mike. I'm still undecided as to whether or not Heather trying to shake the smug out of Patricia was overkill, but I think my main issue with the scene is it seemed a little half hearted. But that's possibly realistic given a throttling isn't an everyday occurrence (for Heather, anyway. It's probably water off a duck's back to Patricia) and Heather was doped up to her eyeballs.

    Patricia's reaction to Jeff's death was great. Saying the right things - most of the time - but we knew she was more concerned about what it meant for her than for the O'Brien family. It's characteristically narcissistic, and yet with the choices of clearing her name, imprisonment or assassination it also feels appropriate.

    The sinister Roger Carlyle storyline is a treat. It's so thrilling and strikes the perfect balance by being outrageous and making me believe it. Patricia managing to fight off and get away from two professional hitmen who had a gun to her head seems like it stretches credulity to its limits. But knowing the big picture even that makes perfect sense. Things are happening incredibly quickly now. No wonder I became addicted at this point before. Nobody would dare stop watching with these cliffhangers.

    Patricia now has that knee injury. Be still my heart.






    *This reminds me: there are so many Knotsy parallels at the moment. Heather's creative daughter running off to another state with a bad boy. Heather dealing with both this and the aftermath of a murder mystery in which her family and friends are suspects. Keeping going by becoming dependent on prescription medication. It's exactly where Karen Mackenzie was a year before this.
     
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  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    #522


    I’ve decided I quite like Alan. Or at least I like the actor playing him. But the casting seems off. The writing has Alan pursuing women, getting into fights and drops numerous references to him working out. But the actor is a likeable, ordinary, slight young man. He’d be perfect for the Jeff O’Brien lad next door type of character, but he’s not a great fit here wearing suits and shirts that look like he’s raided his Dad’s wardrobe. To be fair it was commented that he’s out of his league in the fight. But there still feels to be a strange lack of congruence between what’s on the page and what’s on the screen. Jill’s all over him and has never felt this way about anyone. Amanda has swooned over how similar he is to Todd. But the dynamic somehow comes off as big sisters to the brother their parents had later in life.

    Terry’s return was something of a damp squib. It’s always great to see him, but he had no real exit to speak of. And as before, I watched Fiona being all maternal and just felt really bad for Terry’s Woombai parents who weren’t even mentioned. even as part of his reasoning for wanting to move to Woombai. Fiona - who flies from one location to the next every other episode - had the nerve to complain about how far away Terry would be. Selfish woman.

    Katie is just dull as ditchwater at the moment. She’s become so vapid and it's all about angsty romances with no concern for her bereaved family for a number of episodes. No phone calls or mentions. Fiona even seemed surprised when she seemed sad at one point. And of course, she was sad about Wayne. Or Alan. I forget.

    Amanda has been carjacked at knifepoint by Mitch. It should be thrilling, Shouldn't it?

    Patricia being on the run and the threat, however, is as thrilling as I remember. Rowena Wallace has wowed me playing her as broken once again, and she’s found new shades within to make this as authentic and heartbreaking as her previous breakdowns. Perhaps more so.

    Drugged by Ross who is gaslighting her by stealing property, playing recordings of Margaret and even paying someone to dress up as Pat's dead sister. Everyone (including Patricia herself) thinking her fears are signs that she has lost her grip on reality. Patricia accusing the O’Briens of stealing her photo of Margaret, screaming at Heather and trying to attack Irene whom she believes is trying to poison her with the tonic she provided. It all feels truthful and as a viewer I can feel her world start to slip away and divides created between her and the other characters.

    A cracking moment for Heather who flew off the handle at Patricia and told her some home truths felt like a complete role reversal. But one that the writing had brought us to in a way that meant I fully believed it. Patricia looking vulnerable and Heather furious and determined. It lasted moments, but it felt like an exchange from which there would be no easy way back.

    I have no memory of Patricia and David’s actual wedding and it’s perhaps easy to see why, what with it taking place in the living room at David’s country home and in the middle of a particularly fast moving series of events and cliffhangers. Turns out it's one of the series' most beautiful moments.

    Objectively it could be deduced that the writers were forced to pack a lot of storyline into this final run of Season Three in order to bring it to a satisfactory close. But from a subjective viewpoint, I didn’t question it. Even Barbara and Irene being witnesses worked for me. There was a conversation around their decision to do so that was admittedly a little convenient and rushed. But it was enough to satisfy. And it was great to see them standing grimly in the background. I was reminded of Laura Avery rolling her eyes Gary and Abby tied the knot. Except Irene didn’t roll her eyes. She just looked pensively sad.

    Sadness was, indeed, the pervading element of the wedding. It’s perhaps the saddest onscreen union I’ve seen. There was no element of celebration. Instead the tone was decidedly funereal. David looked stoic. Barbara uncomfortable and gritting her teeth to get through it. And then there was Patricia. It’s perhaps the most pitifully frail I’ve seen her, with dark rings round her eyes and almost being propped up by David. It was like watching a dying woman.

    The thing that seemed saddest of all was that Patricia didn’t seem present. She was deep within herself * and it could be sensed that she felt like a burden to David before they’d even begun married life.

    There’s also an air of borderline farce that keeps it accessible and stops it being bogged down with earnestness. Charlie becoming involved while everyone else believes she and Patricia have fallen out has given it a heartwarming “buddy” tone. And the audience is in collusion with them, rooting for them to stay one step ahead of not just the henchmen and the law but also most of the other characters in the series who still half believe she is seriously mentally unwell. More characters becoming involved as discoveries are made feels exciting and fresh. David, Heather, Mike, Wayne and now even Irene are putting the pieces together. All coming from different angles. It’s delightfully Knotsian. Even all these years later. With each new development I can’t wait to find out what happens as a result. Even though I know.


    *Personally, I found the flashbacks a little intrusive. I'd have welcomed them earlier in the episode, but at this point I felt myself disconnecting from the poignancy a little and I didn't successfully get back to the level of emotion I felt before the flashback.
     
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  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Made it to Episode 200!

    D'oh! For some reason, seeing Rob pop up in the opening titles made me think it was Lynne who was on her way out. I actually don't mind Susan now that they've stopped giving her her own storylines. As I think Willie said, her being the calm, impartial sibling is a useful contrast when everyone else is freaking out over the latest disaster. And I had no recollection that she had any involvement with Wayne prior to her head transplant.

    Patricia's breakdown is very interesting. It's something that would never have happened to Abby - or even Alexis. (However irrational Alexis's behaviour, it would have run counter to all that "independent woman of today" shtick for DYNASTY to acknowledge it as such.) I think the first real suggestion of Patricia being unstable came during a really juicy confrontation with Rob, back when they were both still living at Dural. He gets drunk and really lays into her, she defends herself by saying she's always tried to do the right thing for her family, and he says something like, "You really believe that, don't you? I thought you were just a rotten bitch, but now I think you might actually have a screw loose!" There's something about those words coming from Rob, the guileless truth-teller, that gives them weight. Patricia reacts by doing that thing where her expression doesn't change, but you can see in her eyes that his words have hit a nerve. She knows he's right, that she's gone too far, but the die has been cast and she can't stop now and won't stop now, even though it'll probably all end in disaster.

    It's oddly fashionable for someone so no-nonsense and traditional.

    Funny how sensible, level-headed Barbara is forever surrounded by shallow sons, daughters and nieces. Her lack of maternal instinct towards her daughter is interesting. It isn't explained away or miraculously cured, it's just a part of who she is. Thinking about how similar she and DALLAS's Donna are - no-nonsense, fair-minded. but with an air of superiority that's just hardwired into their character - I wonder if it's not just coincidence that the only time I ever really disliked Donna was when they turned her into a moist-eyed earth mother during the Dream Season and all her inherent Barbaraishness evaporated. It felt as if she'd become someone else.

    Oh, I found Gayle surprisingly sweet in the end. And Millstone was great!

    Right from her first scene, there's just something about Margaret. Her character immediately feels textured, multi-layered. She starts off by insisting that she's not going to tell John about his father, that she's not going to see Patricia, that she's not going to get involved, etc., and then immediately proceeds to contradict herself on every front. So straight away we know she's unreliable, but somehow not in a ditzy, flaky way.

    By the way, reinventing John and Angela's back story so soon, giving them another long lost father, feels like a very audacious move. A bit like DALLAS turning Digger's Daughter into Hutch McKinney's. It almost reboots the series, in the same way that Patricia post-breakdown is kind of Patricia 2.0 whereby everyone gets lulled into a false sense of security, allowing her to start scheming all over again from scratch.

    Considering limp lettuce Kerry was at the centre of it, I think they did a pretty good job of making the custody battle interesting by playing on pre-existing relationship issues (Rob and Fiona, Angela and Paul). Even Kerry herself became sort of enjoyable once she got really self centered and started moaning about how Fiona and Paul weren't helping her enough.

    I kind of miss the happy go lucky Rob who first arrived in the series, but I guess a year in a soap is enough to suck all the life and hope out of a person.

    Martin is brilliantly cast - completely down to earth and normal (in that inimitable Aussie way) and utterly creepy, both at the same time. So far, he hasn't put a foot wrong, but I remember how he ends up -- in fact, one of my first S&D memories is of ***** kneeling over ******'s dead body and then picking up the murder weapon -- so it'll be fascinating to see how he gets from here to there.

    Martin's son Peter has just popped up and the two of them together are so believable as father and son taking the p*ss out of each other, but there's also that underlying tension straight from the start.

    Angela, needless to say, has immediately taken against Martin and has declared she'll never ever forgive him. It must be in Angela's contract that at all times there is someone she has taken against and will never ever forgive. Fiona, Patricia, Wayne, Paul, even Gordon ... she's hated them all forever and will never forgive them until she's moved onto the next one.

    Spunky Pru! She was fun!

    Lynne's just got her first fashion spread in a magazine, but no-one in the family really cares. Beryl's got the washing up to do and Dad Palmer's more interested in Plan C's new cat food. She's fuming! It all rings so true.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  16. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Congratulations, James!
    "And to hell with the consequences", one of her infamous cliff hanger exclamations, describes the Patricia when she feels she's being wronged or cornered.
    And her idea of being "wronged" is when other people refuse to succumb to her interference, dominance and trickery.
    There's definitely a pattern in her storylines: plotsy-plot, plot goes wrong, loose cannonery and chaos.
    I didn't think much of it at the time I watched those episodes, but it's cleverly used in a future storyline. I must say, the writers remember a lot, considering how many storylines and characters they've created for S&D.
    I thought her scenes when she gave Paul the evil eye were funny because Paul hates to be disliked, even more so because the fall-out was caused by a misinterpretation of the event.
    At least she doesn't have to think about it anymore.
     
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  17. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's funny you've said this, because in episodes I'm currently watching, the reverse has happened. A character I liked as the calm, impartial sibling has suddenly branched out and become involved in their own storylines. I was thoroughly enjoying them before, but now the character feels ruined.


    I too had forgotten this. Isn't it fascinating to watch their scenes with the benefit of understanding the bigger picture?


    It's had far-reaching consequences too. I'm watching episodes in the early 500s now and it's still being utilised to fantastic effect.

    You're quite right that this wouldn't have happened to Abby or Alexis. In fact something's happened* in recent episodes that's made me reflect on Patricia's mental health and the parallels with Sue Ellen.



    Like Willie, I hadn't consciously clocked this (or maybe I did and I've forgotten). But I've enjoyed this observation.


    This series has the best dogs. There are currently two absolute cuties in it who steal every scene.


    Isn't he just. There's something deep and unreadable about him that seems incredibly menacing. But at the same time I could understand that some would find his presence comforting.


    I love this relationship.


    Ha! You just have to love Angela's judgemental side.


    *More specifically, it was a word she used. Well, more like a sentence. Or a catchphrase, if you will. Which echoed something that Sue Ellen was known to say (albeit Patricia didn't use the American variant of said word)
     
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  18. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    #528

    Be still my heart. Perhaps I’ll change my mind while viewing later seasons this time, but I've long considered the Season Three finale to be the last word in Aussie cliffhangers (and one of the best soap cliffhangers full stop). It excites me every time I watch.

    In re-watches of this episode over the last decade or so, one key ingredient has been missing: a sense of journey. Appearing, as it does, on a compilation DVD, there’s a whole lot of surrounding soapy goodness missing and, while it’s easy to pick up and put most of the pieces together, there’s nothing to beat seeing first hand how X character gets from where they were at the beginning of the last season to where they are at the end of this one. It’s how soaps are designed to be watched, after all.

    The result of watching this as part of Classic Cliffhangers is that the business with Patricia and Ross Newman becomes almost the sole reason for watching and everything else just filler, apart from some nice little moments of “oh - I’d forgotten about so and so”. Don’t misunderstand: the Patricia/Ross dance in these episodes is the main attraction. But it’s so much more meaningful having followed their relationship from meeting up to this point.

    It’s made me reflect on how important the subtleties are. Even though it was mentioned in that finale how fond Barbara is of Ross, the significance of her estrangement from Gordon is not. With continuity it becomes so much more meaningful.

    Likewise, Irene’s big confession that she loves David really needs a build-up. The full impact of why David is so shocked can only be fully felt from seeing their platonic relationship up to this point.

    In the less is more stakes, it occurs to me is that Roger Carlyle is a far bigger menace away from the main players than he was interacting with them. Removed from the scene, as he is, with his power being demonstrated by the hold he has over characters like Ross, makes him suddenly a Very Important Character. And Ross is essentially Dr Ackerman, his gambling addiction and subsequent debts forcing him into a position of malleability. Dr Newman is a character I remember well (this episode seals the deal) and fondly. It still boggles my mind to think that it’s Sid James’s sitcom son.

    The triple jeopardy is such a good fit for this series. We've got Patricia about to be brutally slain; Fiona about to give her response to a proposal by a man we've just learnt is a killer (and we cut away mid-sentence. How exciting); and Wayne having apparently killed Mitch. And that's along with the ongoing cliffhangers, such as Babs and Gordon's estrangement. As I remember, the multiple end-of-season cliffhanger thing is something that S&D will continue to do well, so that's something to look forward to.

    That blackened screen at the close of the season felt very significant on my first viewing. And it still feels that way. It signals an ending. Not just to the season, but to what I consider the purest form of Sons and Daughters. Even more symbolic of this: there’s no mention of the twins’ birthdays in this finale. and thinking of all the original characters who were around a year ago that are now nowhere in sight.

    The way I’m feeling at this moment, I feel Season Three has been the best season yet. Perhaps it’s as perfect as S&D gets. The pace has sped up, but there’s still enough emphasis on character for the audience to be invested.

    S&D in its pure form is not quite over yet. But big things are around the corner.

    Season Four awaits. I’m looking forward to the thrills and twists, but also feel a little sad that the salad days are over.
     
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  19. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Sometimes you just need to pause between episodes to catch your breath. It's that combination of super-exciting storylines and emotional investment.
    And that's just watching the episodes. No wonder Rowena Wallace couldn't do it anymore.
    I think we get to see Charlie's house in season 4?
     
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  20. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    I watched that very cliffhanger only yesterday!

    Oh, now I'm intrigued. What was the word/sentence/catchphrase?
     
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