Ryan McLachlan Richard Norton
Ryan McLachlan 1990-1991
Lived: 30 Ramsay Street
Parents: Russell and Petra McLachlan
Family Tree: McLachlan
Occupation: Student, Daphne's Coffee Shop Assistant, Soldier
Born into an affluent background in Erinsborough, Ryan McLachlan and his younger sister Tiffany always got what they wanted from their wealthy parents Russell and Petra growing up. While Tiffany, or Lochy as she was known, revelled in the lavish lifestyle, Ryan always strived to be treated by his peers as just another regular teenager. So when he got fed up of life at the posh all-boys private school he had been sent to, Ryan did all he could to get kicked out. He was finally expelled and his parents were left with no choice but to send him to Erinsborough High.
Soon after, his parents moved to New Guinea and Ryan moved in with his stern, but slightly off kilter aunt Dorothy Burke on Ramsay Street. Although he was slightly uncomfortable with the fact that Dorothy was also the new principal at Erinsborough High and initially received some stick from his fellow students, Ryan quickly settled in with his Auntie Dot and became good friends with local teens Sharon Davies, Matt Robinson and Todd Landers.
Due to his blonde good looks and surfer physique, Ryan had no trouble attracting the ladies. Indeed, Sharon had a crush on him when he first started at Erinsborough High, but Ryan was oblivious to her interest and put his foot in it when he asked Sharon to ask Katherine, her best friend, if she would be his partner for the school dance. Even Candice Hopkins, the temp who was filling in for Melanie Pearson as secretary at the Robinson Corporation fell for Ryan and made him a very happy man when she agreed to a date with him.
Ryan's friendship with Matt hit a rocky patch when Gemma Ramsay moved into the street and both lads fell for her. But it took a long time for either to make their move and the re-appearance of Ryan's snobby old flame Annabelle Deacon threw a spanner in the works. Things came to a head when Ryan held a party at No.30 while Dorothy was away on an archaeological dig and his grandfather, Clarrie, who was caring for him in Dorothy's absence was out at dinner. Mixing his new friends from Erinsborough with his more upper class private school buddies proved difficult, especially when the private school guys introduced alcohol to the event. Gemma also mistakenly thought Ryan and Annabelle were an item when she saw Ryan with his arm around her shoulder out by the pool. And when one of Ryan's ex-school chums, Roland, came on to Gemma, Matt stepped in and saved the day – earning a kiss from Gemma at the end of the night. But Gemma still seemed to be attracted to Ryan and grew increasingly jealous of the time he was spending with Annabelle, eventually leading to her agreeing to go out with Matt. Ryan’s relationship with Annabelle fizzled out after a while, and he turned his attentions to Tania Walsh, but throughout, he held a torch for Gemma.
Tania, meanwhile, exerted a bad influence over Ryan, convincing him to wag school on one occasion so they could spend the day at the beach. But their romantic afternoon was disrupted by Lochy, who had sneaked along by hiding in the back of Joe Mangel’s ute as he gave Ryan and Tania a lift. Lochy managed to convince Tania to call her school and pretend to be her mother so they would think she was off sick for the day, and once that was done, Ryan told Lochy to get lost so he could be alone with Tania. But when the couple went looking for her some time later, they discovered her in difficulty in the water, having gone out on Ryan’s surfboard. Ryan pulled her to safety, and Lochy regained consciousness when some lifeguards gave her CPR. Ryan bore the brunt of everyone’s anger when they returned home, and Tania got such a hard time from her father over the incident that she was forced to call off the relationship with Ryan.
When Ryan discovered a letter from Dorothy’s husband Colin with words cut out of the paper it was written on, he realised this was how prison officers control their inmates letters, and began to suspect that his 'late' uncle was actually in jail. When he confronted Dorothy, she admitted that Colin was alive and well, but made Ryan promise not to tell anyone else. When Colin was released from jail, however, the whole town got to meet him and Dorothy gave the marriage another chance. But Ryan was on hand to comfort his aunt when Colin was exposed as cheating on Dorothy with Rosemary Daniels.
Desperate to raise enough cash for a car, Ryan took on some part time work at the Coffee Shop, where he built up a friendly working relationship with the brash Gloria Lewis. However, Ryan was so anxious to get behind the wheel that he couldn't resist trying Dorothy’s car out for size one afternoon and ended up crashing, damaging the front of the vehicle. In order to pay for the damage, Ryan was forced to hold a jumble sale on Ramsay Street, along with his cohorts Josh Anderson and Melissa Jarrett.
After passing his HSC, Ryan decided to become a postman but gave up after bored housewife Virginia Wenham tried to seduce him – only for Ryan to be thrown out of the house following the unexpected arrival of her angry husband. Ryan then decided to become a policeman, but after talking to Jim Robinson about the Vietnam War, he realised he had a yearning for the army. Although his friends and family were taken by surprise by his decision, Ryan duly signed up and left Ramsay Street to report for duty as a cadet in the Australian army.
Episode 1394: Ryan's Departure