> The 2016 Season Premiere
by Sue Hore, Directed
by Chris Adshead, Produced
by Jason Herbison
Channel Eleven: 04/01/16, Channel 5: 04/01/16
Paul being taken in for questioning by the police... Daniel telling Imogen that he can’t be with her if he can't trust her... Terese telling Paul that bank representatives are waiting downstairs and it dawning on Paul that he’s
lost everything... Daniel earning the wrath of Paul after he confesses his role in his uncle’s downfall... Paul being escorted off Lassiter's premises... Mark and Paige arguing over Michelle... Paige going off to meet Michelle even if Mark will disapprove...
Paige being kidnapped in the boot of a car... Toadie fearful of what might go wrong in the operation... Belinda warning that she won’t let Toadie get away with what he’s done... Sonya telling Steph her fears about Belinda after the threat...
Toadie seeing Belinda as his nurse moments before the anaesthetic sends him off to sleep...
At Erinsborough Hospital, it appears that Belinda wasn't a hallucination of Toadie’s mind before he went under; she is indeed assisting the surgeon Mr Lee in his operation as Sonya patiently waits for news.
Steph joins Sonya in the hospital waiting area, looking for news about Toadie. Steph reassures Sonya that Toadie will come through the operation but Sonya is wary; telling Steph that there are
more risks. Sonya spots Karl and he reassures her that the operation will take time but goes off to see if he can get an update for her. Steph volunteers to do a coffee run and as she leaves, Steph calls Belinda asking where she is and to call her back.
Amy enters the penthouse and is extremely puzzled to see the place being cleared out. Terese, who is supervising the removal of belongings, explains to a stunned Amy that he’s been evicted permanently.
At number 24, Daniel is on the phone to Amy, telling her that he doesn't know where Paul is either but assures her that he will surface when he’s ready. When he finishes the call,
Brad asks Daniel if he wants to talk - Daniel declines, and Brad comments that he can always talk it through with Imogen. Daniel then breaks the news to him that they've split up over a difference of opinion, which disappoints Brad. Brad asks how Imogen feels about it;
Daniel tells him that they are both ‘shattered’. Brad asks if he and Imogen can work it out, but Daniel states the situation is messy, complicated and there is no way around it. Brad tells Daniel that he’s sorry to hear about it and comments that Imogen has never
been happier than when dating him. Daniel heads to his room, and Mark comes home looking for Paige. Brad tells him that she went to meet a friend and is probably avoiding him while she cools down. Mark asks Brad if Paige told him about their fight. Brad confirms this
and adds: “No-one needs to be treated like a child.” Mark admits he didn't mean for her to feel that way, and he just wishes she’d listen! Brad points out that Paige has her own mind and does what she wants and it isn't worth trying to change her. “I don't want to change
her,” Mark says and adds that he’s simply looking out for her. Brad tells Mark that as soon as Paige has calmed down, she will get back to him. Slightly irritated with Brad’s response, Mark heads back out.
Back at Erinsborough Hospital, Sonya notices a photo welcoming a new member to the team – Nurse Belinda Bell! Sonya asks Stacey, the duty nurse, when Belinda started; Stacey explains that she can’t give out that information. Sonya then grabs some paperwork and sees
that she’s down to assist in Toadie’s operation and demands that Stacey goes to check on him. Stacey tries to calm Sonya down and reluctantly agrees to go and check on Toadie's operation.
Brad lets Imogen into number 24 as she comes by to drop off some of Daniel’s belongings - he tells her he knows they've split up. He gives his daughter a much-needed hug then decides to head
elsewhere when Daniel arrives back home. Imogen explains to Daniel that she was dropping off some of his things but wanted to check on him too. Daniel tells her that he’s not heard from Paul, after telling him about the hard drive. Imogen is surprised to hear that Daniel
confessed, especially as that was her reasoning for going to the police. Imogen reassures Daniel that she knows Paul will forgive him. He disagrees and states that he betrayed his uncle and will never win his trust back. Imogen seems to
think that since they both did what they did for the right reasons, they can get past it but despite Daniel admitting that he does still love her, it’s not enough.
At Harold’s, Lauren goes over to Brad with his coffee and asks how it’s going living at number 24. Brad tells Lauren that he's only staying there temporarily until he can find something more concrete, going on to say that Daniel and Imogen have split up. Mark enters,
looking for Paige, and Lauren explains she’s not turned up for her shift. Mark wants her to call Paige and while she does that, Brad reassures him that she'll simply be cooling down somewhere. When Lauren reports that the call went straight to voicemail, Mark goes
into worried mode and wants to know who the friend was that she was supposed to be meeting. Brad doesn't know but when he adds that it was someone Mark wouldn't approve of, he knows exactly who it was and tells them that she could be in serious trouble. After
Brad tells Mark where Paige was meeting the friend, he rushes out and Brad is about to go with him but Lauren jumps in first and asks him to mind the store while she goes with Mark.
Back at the hospital, Stacey returns and reassures Sonya that everything is okay but it’s not enough for Sonya - she wants Belinda out of the theatre and away from her husband.
“Are you going to do anything or not?!” Sonya demands and when she doesn't get the response she wants, she proceeds to rush past towards the operating theatre and literally barges in yelling at Belinda to “get away from my husband!” “Someone
get this woman out of here,” yells Dr Lee and between the nurse and Karl, they manhandle Sonya out of the theatre.
Karl gets Sonya into his office and asks what she was thinking; Sonya explains that she had to stop Belinda sabotaging Toadie’s surgery then proceeds to tell
him about Steph and Belinda’s relationship and the authorities finding out about it, with Belinda thinking that Toadie reported them. Sonya denies that it was either of them who blabbed and isn't backing down on what she did because she thought Toadie’s life was in
Susan and Paul are surprised to run into each other at the men’s shed; she asks what he's doing there. Paul says to Susan, “I am a man, this is a men shed, so the question is more what are you doing here.” Susan states that Karl has left his bike repair
kit and she came to collect it. Paul comments that Susan is a real ‘Stepford wife’. She ignores this comment and tells him that Amy is looking for him, so Paul asks to pass a message onto her to say he is fine. Susan asks if Paul has some ‘secret Swiss bank
account’ to bail him out. Paul quite bluntly tells Susan that if he did he wouldn’t be here talking to her. Susan agrees with this, and Paul proceeds to tell her: “And don't you dare tell me to look on the bright side! I have just lost everything – my properties, my
development, my hotel, everything I’ve ever wor... everything I’ve ever worked for. They're not just material things, they're who I am!” “Rubbish! Your family would back me up on that. They care about you; you should let them help you,” is Susan’s reply. Paul rejects
that because he’s not going to accept handouts and wants to know why Susan suddenly cares, he thought she’d enjoy seeing him like this! Susan says to Paul, “You’d think so, wouldn't you?!... Just give Amy a call”.
As they head towards Gower Drive, Lauren wants to know why Paige is getting mixed up with Dimato’s crew - Mark thinks it was to see what Michelle’s agenda was despite him telling her not to
get involved. He admits that he could have handled it better as they arrive at their destination. “It doesn't look like anyone's here,” Lauren says on seeing a deserted road but as they look around, Mark finds Paige’s bracelet on the ground. Lauren confirms it’s hers
and wants to know what has happened to her. “I don't know,” says Mark and as he looks around further, they discover some blood on the kerb.
Back at the hospital, Steph finally finds Belinda and after seeing her in hospital scrubs, asks if she’s working there now. Belinda confirms she is, as she decided to move to be closer to Steph. Steph warns her to get out before Sonya sees her and Belinda
replies that the warning is too late, as Sonya has already seen her because she was assigned to work on Toadie’s operation. Belinda explains she didn't know he was the patient until she was in the theatre and then proceeds to tell Steph about Sonya bursting in,
and her accusations and thinks that, coupled with what happened in Bendigo, is likely to be the end of her working career. Sonya exits from one of the rooms and when Belinda sees her, she quickly comments that she’d never do anything to hurt Toadie or any patient
for that matter! Belinda heads off and Steph knows that it looks bad but tries to reassure Sonya that she wouldn't hurt anyone. Sonya isn't listening to her pleas and thinks Belinda is capable of anything due to her obsession for Steph. “I don't believe it,” Steph
tries again but Sonya isn't interested in listening.
At The Waterhole, Imogen unloads to her mum and sister about Daniel turning his back. “Then he’s clearly an idiot,” is Piper's reaction, and she suggests that he didn't deserve her in the
first place. Terese can sense Piper is ready to rant so sends her to the bar
for more supplies to allow her to talk to Imogen alone. Terese thinks that maybe when things calm down, Daniel will see the good intentions that Imogen had. Imogen doesn't think so as things seemed very final and comments that Paul ruined everything for them. Terese
tells Imogen that all she can do is to take deep breaths and keep busy. Susan comes over and Imogen makes her excuses and leaves to help Piper, whilst Susan sits down and speaks to Terese. Susan suggests to Terese that before she heads home, she should swing past the
“Let me guess, Saint Susan sent you,” says Paul to Terese as she arrives at the men’s shed. “She’s worried about you,” is Terese’s response, adding that she and Amy are concerned for him
too. Paul tells Terese that he doesn't need mothering; he needs money and lots of it. She tells him to call his contacts, but Paul explains to Terese that he’s done that but they don't want to talk to him. “They've deserted you,” Terese wryly remarks and
suggests he’ll now have to work for a living like the rest of them - or sign up for the dole! He isn't impressed with that last comment, stating that his reputation would be ruined! “Well, more ruined than it already is!” is Terese’s response. Paul asks
Terese if she has any more pearls of wisdom, and she sarcastically tells Paul that he could stand on a street corner and sing for his supper! Paul tells her that her comments are not funny and he now knows what it feels like to be a loser. Terese tells Paul that when
she is feeling low, she just reminds herself that things could be worse. He says, “I have set up shop in a tin shed for goodness sakes! I don't have anywhere else to go!” Terese offers him her spare room and comments that since he’s lived there before,
it will just be like coming home. “Let me help you, Paul,” Terese says and adds that it isn't like he’s got any other offers. “Why don't you rub it in!” he says, so Terese states that it will just be a short-term solution until he gets back on his feet.
At the hospital, Karl does the debrief to Sonya instead of Dr Lee. He tells her that the operation took longer due to medical complications but they got the bullet out. He then chastises Sonya for bursting in on the surgery especially as Belinda was
apparently doing well and because of that, it caused new challenges such as the operation taking longer which may have repercussions later on. Sonya says to Karl, “Are you saying that I made things worse?” “We’ll just have to wait and see,” he explains.
As the police examine the Gower Drive area, Brad arrives and his first job is to calm Lauren down and to reassure her that Paige is tough and things will be okay. Mark comes over to tell
them that they aren't sure it is Paige’s blood but the evidence suggests that she may have been taken away in a vehicle and adds that they're hunting for Michelle too. Brad and Mark then start bickering over why nothing was said about Michelle being back until Lauren
yells at them to stop, and reminds them that their priority should be to find Paige alive and well.
On the driveway of number 24, Daniel confirms to Amy that he’s not heard from Paul and isn't likely to any time soon. Amy can't believe the mess her dad has got himself into and just as
she’s said that, they spot Paul in Terese’s car pulling up outside number 22. “Here we are. Home sweet home,” says Terese as they exit the car, and Amy walks over to seek confirmation of what she’s heard from everyone else about her dad. Paul describes it as a ‘minor
setback’ and that he'll be back on top before they know it. Imogen and Piper exit the house just in time to hear Terese say that Paul will be staying at number 22 until he finds his feet, and Imogen is not at all happy to hear that news! Terese goes over to tell her
to calm down but Piper backs her sister up and says that Terese should have talked to them first. Terese says, “Listen, Paul is my friend and I'm going to help him.” Terese then adds “welcome home” and indicates for Paul to head inside. Just as
he’s about to enter the front door, Terese asks him how it feels. “Like I never left!” is his reply, as he looks around.
Featured Regular Characters: Karl Kennedy, Susan Kennedy, Toadfish Rebecchi, Sonya Rebecchi, Steph Scully, Paul Robinson, Daniel Robinson, Amy Williams, Brad Willis, Terese Willis,
Imogen Willis, Piper Willis, Lauren Turner, Mark Brennan
Guest Cast: Nikki Shiels as Belinda Bell,
Vimbai Nenzou as Stacey Harding, Marty Rhone as Dr Lee
• This episode marks the first time that Australia and the UK are broadcasting the same episode on the same day
• The episode features a new format with recap, new scene, opening credits. Of the new format, Jason Herbison told us in a 2016 interview: "It came out of some audience research.
The format works very successfully on some of our European sister soaps and we felt it could work for Neighbours. Like any change, we are fine tuning it. We certainly feel that it works best when it's sharp and hooky. I think we all agree it's not quite there yet."
• This is the first episode to use 2016 Opening Titles - Version One