Our Top 5 Neighbours Moments Ever

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In celebration of Neighbours’ 30th Anniversary we decided to put together a list of our Top 5 Neighbours moments of all time. Considering neither of us were alive in 1985, we can only really remember about 20 years’ worth so you’ll have to forgive some early omissions (sorry Scott and Charlene) as our focus is on those iconic moments from the nineties and noughties. There were lots of moments that narrowly missed out in our Top 5 (ranked by year, not by merit) but we hope you enjoy our choices!

Susan slaps Karl (Episode 3110, 1998) – [watch clip]

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Ask any Neighbours fan, casual or die hard, to name their top five most memorable moments of the last 30 years and we’re certain 99% of them will describe one powerful Neighbours scene, universally known to all as ‘The Slap’. Few soap scenes gain such a legacy, such a memorable tag that two words are enough to let any other fan know exactly what they’re referring. The build up was fantastic, as Karl exchanged a kiss with Sarah Beaumont in the 1997 finale – a simple kiss that led to one of Karl and Susan’s most iconic stories and arguably the story that truly put the Kennedy family on the map and cemented their role as legends in the making. As Susan discovered Karl’s deceit, she was overcome with emotion and Jackie Woodburne sold it to hell and back, Despite the fact that Karl and Susan had only been on a few years, Jackie and Alan succeeded in making a really believable pairing and to see it ripped apart was fantastic TV. As Susan tore her husband apart, her anger erupted in a vicious slap that was destined to go down in the Neighbours’ history books. Vicious and raw, you felt like you were really experiencing Susan’s fury. A scene often imitated by many a soap but never bettered, ‘The Slap’ will always remain an unforgettable memory in the history of the show.

The Lassiters’ Fire (Episode 4630, 2004) – [watch clip]

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The 2004 Neighbours finale certainly was an explosive one! Not only did it see the whole of the Lassiters complex burn to the ground, losing the iconic Coffee Shop and Lou’s Place pub, but it also saw the return of legendary Paul Robinson – in a roll neck sweater murdering Gus Cleary no less! It was one of the most dramatic stunts that Neighbours have ever done and sad for us and the characters to watch their livelihoods and favourite places turn to ash – especially moving for poor Lou and Harold. The tension didn’t just end there as the Ramsay Street residents knew Stuart and Sindi were still inside the burning building. Both of them were fine, of course, except for Stuart’s brief, obligatory blindness plot. It was an amazing way to end 2004, leading to another gripping year of Neighbours. We also love that ten years on this plot was revisited when Gus Cleary’s brother murdered Paul’s niece Kate in revenge for the death of Gus all those years ago.

Karl finally learns of Izzy’s lies (Episode 4772, 2005)

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Right in the middle of the fantastic 20th Anniversary week, Neighbours pulled out such a satisfying moment in the Izzy and Karl saga that it had to make our Top 5. Izzy and Karl’s relationship had been a real slow burn and watching the Kennedys divorce was heart breaking for viewers, but while Karl played happy families with his precious, devious “Isabelle” we all knew she was playing him for a fool. Desperate to cling onto Karl after he found out her miscarried baby wasn’t his, she lied saying that Guy Cleary had raped her and Karl – being the lovestruck idiot he was – believed her! This classic moment we’ve picked came just after Karl overheard Izzy telling her brother Max that she’d lied to Karl – claiming she had no choice. Karl overheard everything and Izzy was left to chase him outside and was humiliated on the Lassiters complex in front of everyone. A truly satisfy climax to a long running story with Izzy, an incredible soap bitch, finally getting the comeuppance she deserved.

The plane crash (Episodes 4836 – 4838, 2005) – [watch clip]

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Now, it’s no secret that Neighbours’ 2005-2007 era isn’t looked back on for its great storytelling. By the show’s own admission, it was a period where plot was often placed before character and big, bombastic plots replaced character-led story. In many ways, the plane crash signalled this change in direction and while we could talk for days about the mistake of killing off the Bishops and lack of proper aftermath, it would be wrong to lump the plane crash in with what came after. Technically, it was an incredible feat and something yet to be matched. Given the show’s small budget, to stage a plane crash was a fantastic achievement and what was even better, was that we could overlook any budgetary constraints due to some wonderful directing. The eerie silence as the plane veered towards Bass Strait, the outpouring of emotions and ‘I love you’s’ were exchanged, Izzy choosing Karl over Paul, Susan promising Alex that Karl would protect Zeke and Rachel – all brilliant. We can remember our hearts in our mouths as rivals Izzy and Susan found each other in the water, and Izzy’s haunting screams when Susan disappeared. The choral music, the grief from those left behind and Janelle’s vision of Dylan were all highlights but for our money, the most moving moment was the realisation that Serena was overcome by the waves and slipped away, never to be found. While we believe David and Lil were gone too soon, Serena’s exit remains one of Neighbours’ most powerful.

Stingray Timmins dies (Episode 5174 – 5175, 2007)

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Finally, in our Top 5 Neighbours moments we’ve chosen a really poignant and moving episode which we’ll always remember – the tragic death of Scott “Stingray” Timmins. Stingray was a hugely popular Neighbours character who, with his bogan family, brought chaos, laughter and catchphrases (caketaker!) to Ramsay Street. In many ways, this made his death even sadder. Viewers had just seen Stingray be a donor for his niece Kerry (and the operation had been a success for all involved) and there were celebrations all round for Janelle’s “39th” birthday, but as Stingray sat down and fell quiet, his family and friends mistakenly believed him to be asleep. As family and friends partied around him obliviously, Stingray had died from a brain aneurysm. Heartbreaking! In a wonderful touch, the next episode showed a video message Stingray had recorded for Kerry, talking her through each and every family member. We all, the Timmins family included, watched through tears. To this day we still think it’s a real shame Stingray was killed off, but if there is a silver lining is that we got to see him again in the incredible Neighbours Vs Zombies spin off!

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Neighbours 2014: Top Ten Best Bits

It’s been a great year for Neighbours, so much so we wanted to celebrate the best bits of the year. We think 2014 was the year Neighbours really cemented itself as a soap in great shape. 2015 looks set to be even better, but let’s take a look back at our favourite bits of this year.

10 – Neighbours Tornado!

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When Neighbours announced a tornado storyline, a lot of fans were unsurprisingly worried. How would this ever be managed on the small budget on the show? The answer is quite well indeed! Set aside what felt like hours of Amber whining, what we got was a slick, well shot story. Cleverly making use of Power Road and great design effects, it was brilliant to see the roof torn off Amber’s car as the tornado waged destruction on Grease Monkeys. More impressive however was the aftermath. That incredible shot of Ramsay Street, the morning after, wrecked and a shell of its usual self had a brilliant visual impact and the attention to detail was stunning. Even better was the fact that the tornado served as a catalyst for the reveal of the kiss – one of the biggest plots of the year – making it clear that Neighbours could nail both style and substance.

9 – Kyle and Georgia’s Wedding

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Who doesn’t love a good wedding? They’re a soap staple and this year it was the turn of Kyle and Georgia to get hitched. Sure it wasn’t without its disasters – like Georgia ending up stranded before the wedding – but all in all it was a cute and refreshingly happy day. We’ve not been too fond of plots where these two have struggled with problems in their relationship but keeping them together and in fun plots seems to have worked well for them. Plus we’ll never forget their hilarious attempts at role play to keep the spark after their honeymoon. Really funny stuff. We know there will be Canning drama ahead but we hope they keep the new Mr and Mrs Canning happy together.

8 – Kate Ramsay Shot Dead

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How do you solve a problem like Kate Ramsay? Apparently you shoot her in the back. Kate had been one of the more divisive characters in the show with some loving her but others were long tired of her various romantic pursuits and victim status. When it was announced that Ashleigh Brewer would be bowing out of the she and Scott McGregor would be returning for a guest stint, a happy ending was a foregone conclusion surely? Except it didn’t happen. In a shock twist, Kate was gunned down by Victor Cleary, as vengeance for Paul killing his brother Gus ten years prior. Such exits are not what we expect from the traditionally “safe” Neighbours but that rareness is what made it work. Surprising, exciting and emotive, we have to praise the show for pulling the rug from below us and giving Kate the iconic exit no one expected.

7 – Coward Punch

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Chris being knocked out by a drunken punch by Josh got a bit preachy at times but it was a well written story that seemed to divide viewers. While we were a bit fed up to see Chris in hospital again, it was impossible not to feel his plight as he struggled to cope following his head injury. We were pleasantly surprised at how sympathetic Josh came across too and his pained regret meant we were relieved at his lesser sentence. James Mason and Harley Bonner did a fantastic job with this morally grey issue so it was an easy highlight of the year.

6 – The Josh and Naomi Affair

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This time last year Josh was up there with our most disliked characters. Then a magical thing happened: the Jamber love story ended and Josh became likeable. Then, quicker than it takes to strip in a lift, Josh indulged a little no-strings hook up with newcomer and amazing older woman Naomi. We were totally hooked. They were funny, flirty and sexy and they actually seemed pretty great for one another. We enjoyed every second. Of course it wasn’t to last and we were sad to see it finish, especially because the inevitable prospect of losing Josh to Amber’s charisma black hole is something we dread when he’s now one of our favourites.

5 – The Book of Secrets

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The saucy Fifty Shades tribute started out as a simple throwaway comedy plot which grew and grew into a hilarious long running comedy plot involving so many characters and in-jokes. Easily one of the greatest things Neighbours did this year and it just seemed somehow so wrong yet so right that Karl would be the one behind the kinky tale. Not only did it give us great Kennedy moments, it left many of the residents flustered including our favourite Sheila who begun having saucy dreams about Lou and then Paul! It’s the type of comedy Neighbours is so good at and we hope this isn’t the end for The Book of Secrets!

4 – The Kennedys

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In 2014 the show celebrated twenty years of the Kennedy family and what a celebration it was! Karl and Susan recovered from a very quiet 2013 by coming to fore once more with a great mix of everyday drama and classic, inimitable Kennedy comedy. Jackie and Alan were as ever in their element and it was fantastic to see the spotlight shine on them once more. Not only this but we were overjoyed to see returns from Zeke, Mal and in particular, Libby and Ben made overdue and welcome returns. And as the year ended, Karl and Susan in true Kennedy form took in a new stray in the form of troubled Nate. The pinnacle of the anniversary came in the form of a special episode, filled to the brim with flashbacks and references to the past. It was a touching look back at the characters’ amazing history and an absolute joy to watch.

3 – Brad and Terese’s marriage woes

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The arrival of Paige Smith had a massive impact on the show and characters but no more so than the effect she had on Terese and Brad’s marriage. What once seemed like one of the most stable marriages in the street slowly but surely began to break down in a series of lies, hurt, mistakes and arguments – and understandably so! Brad’s betrayal caused Terese’s deeply hidden insecurities to bubble to the surface and it wasn’t long before they pair’s relationship grew toxic and bitter. By year’s end, we loved hearing that their relationship was born from an affair and getting some much needed backstory on the family. In addition, Terese has quickly become one of the show’s most fascinating characters and been a real star throughout 2014.

2 – Rebecchi struggles

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It was a big, big year for the Rebecchi family this year as they waved goodbye to Callum and faced their biggest hurdle in the form of minxy Naomi Canning. What we loved most however was that this wasn’t a cliché affair story – far from it. The reason we really loved the Rebecchis this year was the fact that it brought some of the best character-driven writing the show has seen in a long time. Eve and Ryan delivered as always and cemented their place as one of the show’s most iconic couples. Sonya’s addictions and backstory have a constant impact on every move she makes and it’s been incredible to witness the contributed exploration of such a complex character. Toadie’s loyalty to his wife was both moving, and much welcome in the modern day soap era of affairs and betrayal. Time and again we got powerful, raw and superbly performed scenes and we can only hope 2015 remains as strong for this fantastic family.

1 – Paige Smith Revealed as Lauren and Brad’s Child

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One of the most engaging and interesting stories this year had to be Paige Smith’s arrival and subsequent reveal as Lauren and Brad’s long lost daughter. It was a story that rocked both families before she even appeared on screen and her reveal set a chain of events that totally transformed the Turner and Willis families. Not only were the reveal scenes beautifully played and gripping, but Olympia Valance has made a fantastic addition to the cast. Paige is gutsy and headstrong and we love her interactions with her new siblings. We hope to see more of the same great material for Paige in 2015.

Scene of the Week – 13-17 Oct 2014

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Selecting a scene of the week easing easy but in such a momentous week of the Kennedys, we simply had to award them for the touching scene at the end of Friday’s episode. Surrounded by the mainstays of the show and their eldest son, the Kennedys toasted to their twenty years in Ramsay street. Touching, effective and with just the right amount of cheese, it was a fitting tribute to the good friends and good Neighbours that Karl and Susan are. As the camera panned to the iconic portrait with the three beloved Kennedy children (keep Libby and Mal full-time please!) and finally to the wall of signatures, we were reminded of the multitude of characters who found their ways into the hearts of Karl, Susan and the viewers over the past twenty years. Some memorable (Stingray, Rachel, Zeke) some half forgotten (Sunny, Elly, Taj) but all of them playing a role in the legacy of Karl and Susan. A great scene, a great extended family.