Home and Away. I fear to think where I’d be today without it. There can be no doubt that no other work of art has influenced my life as much as it has – in college I even based my daily schedule around it:
13:00 – Arise from my slumber, Coco Pops
13:25 – Watch the afternoon episode
13.55 – 18:30 – Ponder the hidden meanings and possible metaphors of what I’ve just watched.
18.30 – 19.00 – Watch the evening episode, make notes
19.00 – 13.00 – Go to bed
Every so often on the show there was these crazy, off the wall episodes that were more like action films than soap opera. You know the ones – they were the kind of episodes that in the aftermath, Alf Stewart would be out heading up the relief operation in his green overalls, and at least 30 people would be in hospital. Here are 5 of the best of those.
5 – Roman Reigns
This episode had it all. Eliot was one of these characters that Summer Bay seems to have about 5 of every year: a mysterious figure from someone’s past seeking revenge. Anyways Roman and Eliot had a game of cat and mouse in the forest, which included trip wire explosions, being dangled over a cliff, bows and arrows and sexy kidnapped daughters. Just another normal day out in Australia I suppose.
4 – Alf Stewart: Beyond ThunderDome
It seemed like a normal day in Summer Bay back in 1999 when Don Fisher asked his good friend Alf Stewart to deliver an urgent truckload of didgeridoo’s to the stricken folk of Wagga Wagga. What Alf forgot of course, is that approximately 1 mile from the coast in Australia is what they call the Outback: A lawless place where lives are less valuable than a jerry can of petrol. Inevitably, soon after he started his journey, Alf was attacked by the gangs of hooligans that inhabit all non-Summer Bay parts of Australia, but he’s a tough old Viduka, and eventually killed them all with his shotgun and relieved the small desert community in his souped up Transit van.
Ever since he returned he was never the same, it still haunts him to this day. Sometimes he’ll stare off into the distance, and mutter to himself ‘I am the nightrider. I’m a fuel injected suicide machine. I am the rocker. I am the roller. I am the out of controller‘, before shedding a single tear.
3 – The River Boys
Ah the River Boys! In the inevitably cycle of things in Summer Bay, they’ve softened up a bit in the past few years, but when they first arrived it was amazing, there was no crime they wouldn’t do: money laundering, robbery, extortion, drug dealing, loitering, not cleaning up their dog’s excrements, urinating in public without a permit, stealing the local bishop’s bishop hat and thus delaying a christening, numerous crimes against fashion, cheating in Knifey Spooney, walking on the grass where they weren’t supposed to, setting up an opium den in Leah’s garage, putting recyclable glasses in with the normal garbage.
2 – World Rally Coleen-Ship
It seemed for years that sex kitten Coleen Smart was only in the show for comic relief. That all changed in 2006 though, when the organisers of Rally Australia, which was been held in Yabbie Creek, were short a driver. Coleen stepped in at short notice, and promptly won the race, despite, or perhaps because of, killing two of the other drivers with her comical and erratic driving. It was all fantastic fun until she was stripped of the title for (i) having failed her provisional driving test 37 times (ii) being legally blind and (iii) being off her head on bath salts.
1 – When VJ Got Replaced
This wasn’t an action episode as such but Christ on a bike, has there even been a more annoying character in anything ever than this twerp who played VJ? He wasted the best years of Leah’s life. Unforgivable.
Mercifully, after about 8 years, for the good of the show, he was replaced, and the world celebrated. While I don’t hope that something bad happens to this chap, as that would be prickish, I certainly do hope that something mildly irritating happens to him. Like, he’s making an egg sandwich and doesn’t realise that the eggs he’s using are gone off.