> Mark Brennan: A Case For The Defence
Allow me to argue the case for Mark Brennan, if you will. I admit that
Si has made some valid points regarding him, many of which I have said myself in the past, but one thing I have learnt as a Neighbours viewer is that
even the characters you normally just don't care for have moments that you can enjoy.
Whilst I don't hate (or love) Brennan myself (as I don't care enough about him either way), I do hate the hype surrounding him. Mostly when a character returns for a guest stint after their departure it's usually because they were
universally loved or were a villain who caused trouble for the Erinsborough residents. With Brennan, his return seems to have come from the hype created online and who can blame Neighbours for cashing in on the free publicity
generated by the thousands of forum posts, Facebook comments and Tweets about him.
If you look at Detective Brennan's first stint, he had a role in the 'Who Pushed PR?' debacle and a romance with Kate which came to blows over her false alibi for Rebecca. The problem with a character with such a strong moral
compass is that unless that character has a strong enough personality with quirks or is involved in comic situations, as with Harold Bishop, then they will never be anything more than average, and in a show like Neighbours, sitting
on the fence isn't going to get you anything but splinters - and sadly if it weren't for Brennan's looks, would anyone remember him more than Policeman No. 1?
Thankfully this is Neighbours and the writers know that nuances not only provide humour but
make even the dullest of characters interesting and so we have learnt that Mark is a neat freak and a Doctor Who fan. However, whilst in his return stints we've seen Mark obsess over Danni's tidiness as a housemate and found of
that Mark went under the alias of Matt Smith when in Witness Protection, more could be made of these whilst still occasionally playing the hunk card, provided Scott McGregor commits fully to the humour of the scene, maybe by seeing
a shirtless Mark wearing marigolds and a feather duster or attending a sci fi convention at the Community Centre dressed as Tom Baker's Doctor.
Where Mark has worked best this time around is actually when he has been away from Kate. Both characters have actually seemed to suffer when together and neither come across favourably. In contrast, the scenes between Mark and
Chris at the garage have often been humorous and there seems potential for more comedy, aside from the laughable news that Mark has qualified as a mechanic in his time away, despite Chris still being an apprentice in much the same
time period. Personally, I think Chris joining his co-workers at Number 24 could offer further opportunity for comedy, with Danni and Chris admiring the view as Mark does the housework, as Libby and Steph did with Ty a few years
ago or Mark driven to despair by their messiness, or simple things such as him putting a coaster under their drink in the course of an otherwise normal scene.
If Brennan does stick around, I'd like to see him move on from Kate and for the writers to focus on his development as a character. As we saw with
Brennan's original replacement, Rhys Lawson, just because a character is deemed 'hot' that doesn't mean they have to leave you feeling cold towards them. I think what the show needs now is a new 'Number 30' - and Number 24 offers
that, the sharehouse with a pool for the young, attractive residents that provides comedy amongst the usual relationship drama and just maybe Mark Brennan, with his quirks, could be a part of that.