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Year by Year > 1985: Episodes 1-170

Seven Network airdates: 18/03/1985-08/11/1985

BBC 1 airdates: 27/10/1986-29/06/1987

UK Gold airdates: 02/11/1992-25/06/1993

Number of episodes: 170

Regular Cast: Danny Ramsay, Max Ramsay, Shane Ramsay, Des Clarke, Daphne Lawrence, Jim Robinson, Paul Robinson, Scott Robinson, Lucy Robinson, Helen Daniels

Joining Cast: Terry Inglis, Eileen Clarke

Departing Cast: Julie Robinson, Maria Ramsay, Terry Robinson

Notable Guests: Lorraine Kingham, Kim Taylor, Philip Martin, Charles Durham, Joan Langdon, Amy Medway, Bess Robinson, Douglas Blake

Early days of suburban intrigue and tension for the very first residents of Ramsay Street. Different faces, a different network, but essentially the same Neighbours we all grew to know and love...

Neighbours began with Danny Ramsay having a terrible nightmare about his brother, Shane being injured whilst diving. The next morning, Julie Robinson leaves Number 26 to go and spend some time with her friend Lorraine, the girl who is due to marry her boss Des Clarke the following morning. As the two girls settle down for the night, Julie's constant put downs of Des cause Lorraine to seriously re-think her decision. Whilst this is going on, Des is having the time of his life at his stag night, which is so rowdy and loud that it is keeping up the Robinsons and the Ramsays.

Grumpy Max Ramsay was so enraged that he ended up going around to 28, ending the party instantly. It was here where stripper Daphne Lawrence told Max to 'drop dead', as she stormed out of the house. The next morning, Des is jilted by his fiancé Lorraine. Elsewhere, Max Ramsay is busy coaching Shane in his diving, proud in the knowledge that he will one day be an Olympic diver. Shane, however, has set his priorities on a different target - Daphne. She returned to 28 to collect her watch, and then ended up moving in with Des, after he revealed to her that Lorraine had dumped him. Max isn't pleased that a stripper is living in his street.

Scott Robinson, meanwhile, is busy dating schoolgirl Kim Taylor, which her strict mother does not approve of. Scott and Kim decide to run away together to avoid their parents, but are soon tracked down. Although Scott agrees to go home, Kim runs away, becoming homeless in the city. She is tracked down by Scott and his brother, Paul, but continues to refuse to return to Erinsborough. Several weeks later, she contacts Scott asking him for money, which he is forced to borrow from Paul. Kim reveals to Scott that she’s pregnant and a guy named Brad wants to buy the baby from her. Desperate to get her out of the situation, Scott accompanies Kim to a family planning clinic but she is worried. In the end, Helen Daniels, Scott and Paul's grandmother, manages to track down Kim’s parents, who have since left the area and reunites Kim with her mother, Marcia and father, Neil.

Des is worried about what his neighbours will think of him living with a stripper. They all have no problem with it - except Max, of course. Danny's nightmares take on a terrifying reality when Shane is seriously injured. Following a hold-up at the bank, a car chase ensues between the police and the getaway car. Shane and Danny happen to be driving in the area and end up caught up in a crash which leaves Shane unable to continue with his diving. He is forced to find other work, and ends up working for snooty Linda Fielding as her driver. Their relationship is strained, until her husband, Ben, dies in hospital and she opens up to him about her feelings. She then announces that she’s selling up and leaving.

Jim Robinson also has a new love interest - Maria Ramsay's sister, Anna Rossi. Several of the locals disapprove of Anna and Jim’s relationship – not least his daughter, Julie, who attempts to sabotage things by also turning Lucy on her. Anna’s brother-in-law, Max, is unhappy too and before long, Anna decides to go back to Queensland. Jim persuades her to stay and before long, there is talk of marriage. However, as Julie’s vindictiveness gets worse, Jim asks her to move out, but Anna realises how much trouble she is causing and decides to return home. Julie later phones her to apologise and Anna reveals that she has recently married her boyfriend, Gino. Jim is devastated.

When Des' mother Eileen meets Daphne, she disapproves instantly, saying that her son shouldn't be living with a stripper, but now that Des is a free man, Julie is beginning to think that she may be able to rekindle their old romance. Unfortunately for her, Des isn’t interested any more.

At the Ramsay house, however, things are not so rosy. Maria tells her husband Max that Danny is not his son. Max decides that he can no longer live with her after this revelation and moves into a bedsit. Living there, he becomes embroiled in the problems of various other tenants, including one who has kidnapped his own baby daughter. Meanwhile, Maria tries to cope on her own, with support from Shane and Danny, who is unaware that it is his own parentage that is causing all of the problems. An old school friend of Jim and Max’s, Nick Burman, comes to Ramsay Street and tries to woo Maria. She agrees to go out with him, but feels terrible when Max finds out. Nick, an airline pilot, also has an effect on Paul Robinson, who decides to leave university and become an air steward. Whilst doing his training, Paul meets Gloria Slater and they start dating. Jim is horrified to realise that Gloria is the daughter of Charlie Slater, a man who stole his engineering designs at university and went on to make a fortune. However, Jim realises how lucky he is when it emerges that Charlie is abusive towards his family and they all walk out on him.

Max's plumbing business is becoming more work than he anticipated, so he lets Maria hire a new assistant over the phone called Terry Inglis. However, when Terry arrives for work, he is stunned to see that Terry is, in actual fact, a girl! Maria says that she didn't tell him because she didn't want him to judge. Max tries to make things are difficult as possible for Terry, but she proves that she is just as good at the job as any man would be. Max is even more shocked, however, when she starts taking a shine to his son Shane. The pair end up dating. Terry reveals that she’s been having problems with her ex-husband, Gordon, and that he was the man who robbed the bank, which resulted in the accident which ended Shane’s career. Shane is appalled, but agrees to help Terry when Gordon returns to the area, intent on keeping his ex-wife quiet. He tracks her down, hiding out at Max’s bedsit and threatens the pair of them, but Shane saves the day and Gordon is taken away to prison.

When alcoholic neighbour Carol Brown is mugged in the street, Danny Ramsay witnessed the incident and ran over to help. A tipsy Mrs Brown believed that Danny had been her mugger and, with no witnesses, Danny decided to run away, taking his best mate, Scott, in order to avoid the police. The boys managed to hitch a ride after their bikes became too difficult to manage, but then found themselves having their bikes and bags stolen. They were forced to find work from a Mrs Forbes on her farm, where they stayed for a few weeks until her behaviour grew very strange. They found out that her husband had died in hospital and the bank were threatening to take the farm away from her. In the end, they decided to phone home, while Mrs Forbes was taken to live in a home. Back in Ramsay Street, they learnt that Carol Brown had realised her error and dropped all of the charges. As her marriage crumbled, Carol agreed to get some help and eventually moved away. The Sutton family then move into number 30, but their lives are marred by tragedy when one of their children, Bernie, is run over and killed. Before long, they too have moved out of Ramsay Street.

When Philip Martin is hired at the bank as the new manager, Julie is instantly attracted to him. But she is later put off when she realises that he is married with children. He assures her that his marriage is non-existent and even convinces a suspicious Jim that he has genuine feelings for his daughter. Philip's wife Loretta learns that Julie has been seeing him, and in her drunken state, threatens Julie with a knife. It dawns on Philip that he must stop seeing Julie, if only for her own safety - he confides in Julie that Loretta is an alcoholic, and the couple agree to stop seeing each other.

Terry moves into number 28 with Des and Daphne, but Shane and Terry's relationship comes to an end, and on a whim, she dates Jim's eldest son, Paul. To everyone's surprise, Paul proposes and Terry accepts. As their wedding date draws closer, it becomes clear that Terry still has feelings for Shane, but she tries to put them out of her mind, especially when Shane starts dating Daphne. Meanwhile, Des has also found himself a new woman, Joan Langdon, and things seem to be working out. Des proposes and Joan is thrilled to accept. Daphne opts to move out at this point and starts looking after a house nearby. She gets a shock when a young girl, Rachel, is found living in the roof. Daphne manages to reunite Rachel with her father. Meanwhile, Des is jilted once again when Joan’s ex-husband, Geoff, comes back. Daphne decides to move back in with Des, with both of them unaware of their growing feelings for the other. Meanwhile, Daphne’s errant grandfather, Harry Henderson makes several trips to the street, but one trip changes Daphne’s life when he wins Wally Walters' coffee shop in a card game. He gives it to his favourite granddaughter and she opens for business.

Maria begins to see another man, Richard Morrison, much to Danny's disgust. Danny becomes more and more moody around Richard, who surprises Maria by asking her to move away to Hong Kong with him. She agrees, but struggles to break the news to Danny. When Danny refuses to leave with her, she realises that she has no choice but to stay. In the end, she begs Max to move back to Ramsay Street and look after his son. On the day of Paul and Terry’s wedding, Maria leaves behind her boys to make a fresh start with a new man.

Paul and Terry marry, and Jim's wedding present to them is number 30. They are grateful and move in straight away. However, on the day of the wedding, Des and Daphne receive a mysterious wreath and are convinced that it came from Terry’s ex, Gordon Miller. However, it seems that Terry has other dangerous connections when Charles Durham and his accomplice, Barbara, break into number 28 during the wedding, desperate to find a tape which contains incriminating confessions and could cause Charles to be killed. The tape ends up in the hands of Lucy Robinson, who accidentally destroys it.

Jim's mother Bess arrives, and gives some documents to Scott so he can write her memoirs. Danny is looking through them when he notices a letter from Bess’ doctor which says that Bess may not have long to live. Relations are strained between Jim and his mother and he finally breaks down and admits that he felt like she abandoned him as a child, in order to follow her career. As Bess is about to leave, Scott begs her to reveal the truth, but she refuses. It is only when her solicitor turns up at the Robinson house, accidentally telling Jim the truth, that mother and son are reunited and she is given a proper send-off as she leaves town.

Julie hears that Loretta has been killed in a car accident, and that Philip has been seriously injured, so she goes to visit him at the hospital, where she falls back in love with him again. Philip is paralysed from the car accident, and much to the Robinsons' shock, Julie leaves Erinsborough to look after him and his children.

An art collector, Douglas Blake, begins to take an interest in Helen's paintings when they are exhibited at the bank, and also develops a personal interest in Helen. He tells her that they should organise a proper exhibition and she is touched by this. As they plan things, they grow closer and, although he mysteriously pulls out of the exhibition plans at the last minute, they become engaged. Helen is delighted when Douglas tells her about a country cottage that he intends to by for them, but when he has financial problems, Jim agrees to give them a loan. Helen is horrified when, as the wedding day draws even closer, Jim breaks the news that Douglas was a conman and has disappeared with all of their money.

While Paul is away working, Terry is scared and asks Shane if he can come over to protect her. The following morning, Daphne is almost run over, when the driver mistakes her for Terry, as she was wearing her coat. By now everyone realises that Terry is in serious trouble. Terry goes to confront Charles, but, in a moment of panic, she shoots and kills him. Daphne later finds the body, getting blood on her skirt and she finds herself arrested for murder. Meanwhile, Paul suddenly pieces together the pieces of the puzzle and goes to confront his wife. Once again, she uses a gun, shooting Paul in the shoulder. Shortly after, Terry is caught and imprisoned as she tries to make a getaway.

As the year draws to a close, each of the three houses on Ramsay Street find their problems drawing to an end. Des and Daphne share a kiss and decide to give a relationship a try, with Daphne, ever the one for bucking tradition, proposing. Helen finds that some of her paintings have been selling and tells the family that the money will provide a fresh start for all of them. Danny learns the truth about Max not being his father, a revelation which makes him rethink his future in Ramsay Street. After a long chat between father and son, they come to a new understanding and Danny decides to stay.

1985 Episode Summaries | 1985 Magic Moments | 1985 Opening Titles

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Review by Billy