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Comment > Love Thy Neighbour: Darcy Tyler by Steve

Arriving in Erinsborough three years ago to work at the local hospital and visit his favourite Auntie, Susan Kennedy, nobody could have foreseen the ruthless and underhand villain that GP Darcy was about to become.

In the beginning, Darcy seemed destined for a 'will-they-won't-they' style romance with Dione Bliss, and little else. His first few months were spent torn between Dee and his partner of seven years, Alice Jamieson. Then, as suddenly as he had arrived, Darcy was gone again, back to the country, not even returning for his cousin Libby's wedding a few weeks later. However, as things finally fell apart with Alice and Karl coincidentally needed a locum, Darcy returned to make Erinsborough his home. He finally managed to get things together with Dee - but his true colours were about to come shining through - and this marked the beginning of him turning several characters' lives upside-down.

In the love stakes, Darcy's one true love was certainly Dee. This didn't stop him cheating on her with, and almost marrying, Tess Bell. She was one of the few people to realise what he was really like and to escape relatively unscathed, fleeing to England just before the wedding. Girlfriends came and went - Serena Lucas, who conned him and the surgery, Penny Watts, whose sister Sindi proved too tempting for the devilish doctor, and Chloe Lambert, the older woman with whom Darcy raised more than a few eyebrows. However, it all came back to Dee, as he plotted to steal her back from Toadie Rebecchi. The plan worked, for a while, but Darcy's other passion in life soon brought about his downfall...

Darcy was just as ruthless in his work life as he was in his love life. After working with his uncle Karl at the surgery for a while, Darcy began to plot to take it over. His plans were foiled as the buyer suddenly pulled out and he almost lost everything, until he saved Karl's life and was given a second chance. For a while, it seemed that Darcy had indeed learnt his lesson, as he managed to keep on the straight and narrow for quite a while. His life was turned upside-down with the revelation that Dee had been carrying his baby and suffered a miscarriage, but had chosen not to tell him. Later, he had another epiphany when he suffered a heart attack at the surgery. This made him realise how little he had really achieved in his life and how he was in danger of ending up completely alone. He began to patch things up with Dee and suddenly seemed more content with his life. However, his membership to the Aurora club saw a return of the Darcy of old. He soon got caught up in the poker games there, raising his stakes higher and higher to the point where he had debts that he simply couldn't afford to pay off.

Darcy's departure brought about one of the most exciting storylines of recent years. Desperate to pay off his debts, he first robbed the pub and then the home of his own relatives, the Kennedys. In the process, he knocked down and injured pregnant Lyn Scully and managed to inadvertently frame Ruby Dwyer for both robberies. What with him also plotting against Dee and Toadie, and Lyn's accident leading to Valda disappearing, the whole storyline had massive ramifications for almost everybody on the street. Once his wrong-doing had been discovered, there was only really one way out for the character, with the writers sending him to jail. Mark Raffety always managed to involve the audience enough so that even when he'd ruined everyone's lives, there was still a little sympathy for him. His behaviour was never truly explained, but the fleeting appearance of his mother, Carmel, in 2002 suggested that maybe he just wanted someone to love him and if nobody else would, he'd just have to love himself.

The announcement that Mark Raffety was leaving the show was a worrying one for many fans as Darcy was easily the most cunning and calculating character the show had seen for many years. Mark himself has said that he feels there could be a lot more drama milked out of the Darcy character if there's ever an opportunity for him to return. The fact that his departure has still left a lot of avenues open for the character to come back and wreak revenge, and also the fact that Darcy is related to one of the longer-serving families on the street suggests that we haven't heard the last from him.