> We Hardly Knew Ye by
‘Good neighbours become good friends’, the song says. Sadly, not every Neighbour got to become a good friend to us viewers, purely because they didn’t hang around for as long as we’d have liked. We take a look at the Ramsay Street residents who were just gone too soon…
The first major character to depart the show, Maria was at the centre of one of the biggest storylines of Neighbours’ first season. The revelation that her younger son, Danny, wasn’t her husband Max’s child led to Maria’s departure, and what we thought was the demise of the Ramsay marriage. But as great a plot as it was, there was so much more that could have been done with it, not to mention Maria herself. There was an awful lot going on behind those beautiful but sad eyes – sadly, viewers never got to find out what.
He gave us some of the greatest comedy moments in Neighbours history, but the doctor turned Gorilla-gram turned doctor had a serious side that we loved too. So it was a travesty that when Clive left Ramsay Street, he didn’t even get a proper goodbye scene. A shock return a few years later delighted viewers, but sadly it was only to set a up spin-off series that never happened – meaning Clive sloped off unnoticed for a second time. We reckon it’s time for a comeback; could it be third time lucky? How great would it be to watch Oz’s funniest physician go into battle with former love rival Paul Robinson again? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Izzy had fallen for a kindly doctor…
While some long-lost relative storylines fall flat, the arrival of Des Clarke’s half-sister Sally Wells worked well – after all, Des’s mum Eileen had done enough bad-mouthing of his dad to prepared him, and us, for a few skeletons in the closet. But what really helped was that Sally was a very likeable character, turning up just in time to help Des through the loss of his beloved Daphne, winning Henry Ramsay’s heart, and even gaining Eileen’s seal of approval. But just as we’d learnt to love Sally, she was off to Europe with little ceremony, barely meriting another mention. What a waste.
Guy CarpenterDoes Lou even remember he has a son? One of the most interesting things about Guy was his relationship with his dad, but they barely got any screen time together. While the pair finally patched up their differences about ten years back, Lou never so much as mentions Guy – surely there’s more to explore there. After all, if David Bishop can go away for fourteen years and re-appear with a 16 year-old daughter, who knows what Guy has managed to achieve since leaving Erinsborough. While we’re at it, whatever happened to Lou’s long-lost Vietnamese daughter Mai Ling?
Cheryl Stark and her brood of kids certainly livened up an otherwise quiet Ramsay Street in the mid nineties, but while Darren was robbing banks and Danni was grabbing boys, the eldest of the Stark siblings only managed a quick cameo. Maybe we’d have seen more of Janine if Cheryl hadn’t been killed off, but with Brett and Danni leaving soon their mum’s death, surely Janine would have provided some much needed family for gran Marlene?
The Hancock family
This short-lived Ramsay Street family have proved to be the Marmite of Neighbours, their axing after just a year dividing fans everywhere. Were the Hancocks a mistake best dispatched without ceremony, or a missed opportunity that Grundy gave up on too soon? Whatever your view, with a wicked ex-wife and an unseen son lurking in the background, no one can deny there were still storyline possibilities for the clan, and it’s ironic that they were shipped out just as Maggie finally got a decent plot in the shape of her fling with Toadie.
Who’d have thought a mild-mannered female vicar would be the subject of one of the biggest ever campaigns to save a character? Two years on, fans are still clamouring for Rosie’s return – after all, there’s so much more to be done with her. Most of all, we need to see chalk and cheese mother and daughter Rosie and Izzy on screen together. Why did Rosie never even mention her younger child? (Okay, it was probably because the scriptwriters hadn’t invented her yet, but we’d love to see how they get around it.) Rosie’s return could provide some much needed romantic action for either Harold or Lou too.
Viewers might have only clapped eyes on her once or twice, but Prue was as much a part of Lassiters as the lake for many a year. No matter what the task or crisis, as soon as Gail said ‘I’ll get Prue onto it’, we knew all would soon be well. But what was behind Prue’s slavish devotion to the hotel? A secret crush on Paul? Or did she have a workshy bogan husband hiding in the background needing her financial support? Maybe Prue should’ve let David Bishop have a second date after all…
Okay, we’re just getting silly now. Sorry.