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Year by Year > 2000: Episodes 3446-3680

Network Ten airdates: 17/01/2000-08/12/2000

BBC 1 airdates: 21/02/2000-08/02/2001

UKTV Gold airdates: 20/04/2005-30/09/2005

Number of episodes: 235

Regular Cast: Harold Bishop, Madge Bishop, Lou Carpenter, Karl Kennedy, Susan Kennedy, Libby Kennedy, Toadfish Rebecchi, Louise Carpenter, Tad Reeves, Lance Wilkinson, Paul McClain, Drew Kirk, Joel Samuels, Teresa Bell, Felicity Scully, Joe Scully, Lyn Scully, Michelle Scully, Stephanie Scully

Joining Cast: Dione Bliss, Darcy Tyler

Departing Cast: Amy Greenwood, Bill Kennedy, Anne Wilkinson

Notable Guests: Brendan Bell, Rachel Bailey, Daniel Fitzgerald, Damon Gaffney, Merridy Jackson

This year saw the end of the teen gang that had begun in 1997 and a major mid-year cliffhanger which affected many characters. Unfortunately, these were two of the few notable events in a year that suffered quite a lot for having too many new characters and too little drama…

The beginning of the year saw the resolution of the multiple cliffhangers brought about at the Millennium party. Both Lolly and Drew were fine after being trapped in the fire at number 26, but Drew was less lucky after his proposal. Although both Libby and Drew’s parents believed she had already said yes, she was forced to admit that her answer was no, as she wasn’t yet ready for marriage.

After arriving on Susan's doorstep during the party, Tess made the decision to leave her violent husband, Brendan. Susan helped her pack her things up and find a place to stay – renting number 32 from Phil Martin. Despite Brendan’s attempts to show himself as a nice guy in front of Tess’ new friends, Susan didn’t believe his stories, and Brendan quickly found out where Tess was living and started stalking her. Anne, who was growing tired of living with the Greenwoods, also moved into number 32.

Elsewhere, Lance was blissfully unaware that Amy had been cheating on him with her colleague Damien. He did, however, become worried by her strange behaviour and a visit to Karl confirmed Amy’s worst fears – she was pregnant. After confiding this news in Anne, who believed the child was her brother’s, Amy decided to keep the baby. Anne was horrifed, however, to find out that Amy had been cheating and that the baby was Damien’s. As soon as Lance found out about the baby, he knew it couldn’t be his, as he and Amy hadn’t slept together.

Meanwhile, Bill and Anne, who had reunited at the party, found themselves facing a new obstacle when Bill was offered an internship by Greg Mast. It would mean moving up to north Queensland, bringing about separation for the couple. Anne knew that this could be an amazing opportunity for Bill and encouraged him to accept. However, they were both shocked when he found out he only had a couple of weeks before he would have to leave.

Tad was forced to cope with a burden of his own – finding out that he was adopted. After deciding not to share this news with anyone else, he began to display increasingly erratic behaviour, culminating in him passing out with alcoholic poisoning. While in hospital, he confided in Susan about his adoption and eventually decided he wanted to try and trace his real parents.

Toadie and Joel set themselves up for a fall when they met a couple of girls – and pretended to be a lawyer and a soccer player. The girls, Dione and Vanessa, managed to convince the boys that they were used to the high life and so Toadie and Joel took them to Lanzini’s. Unfortunately, they couldn’t pay the bill and ended up having to call on Lou to bail them out – in return for them working at the pub. Joel, meanwhile, had fallen for Dione and pestered her for a date. She eventually agreed, and a few weeks later, introduced him to her friend Carrie. Joel found himself caught between two beautiful women – not sure which of them he preferred.

The gang finally came to an end when three of its members left the street. First, Bill left town after a huge farewell gathering at Luna Park. Anne was left devastated by his departure. Only a couple of weeks later, Amy also moved on. After admitting the truth about the baby to Damien, he had proposed and she had accepted. Amy and Lance finally resolved things and Amy left for her fairytale wedding in Fiji. Anne realised that she couldn’t cope in Erinsborough without Bill and so put in for a transfer to an art college up in Dawber, near Bill. She decided not to tell him and so, when Greg asked Bill to go to the station for him to pick up some wood, Bill was shocked to find Anne there waiting for him. The couple were reunited for good, vowing to stay together forever.

Lance found it difficult to get over Amy – and sought comfort with his ex, Julia. She, however, realised it was a rebound thing and told him they couldn’t see each other. Meanwhile, Joel’s two-timing caught up with him and he realised that Dione was the one he wanted.

Harold made a sudden decision to buy the Erinsborough franchise of ‘Grease Monkeys’ a fast-food restaurant, while Madge was still away in Queensland. After enlisting the help of Tad, Paul and Flick, Harold was confident that he could make the business a success – despite the worst opening day ever. Lou also faced problems when he met Merridy Jackson, his daughter’s teacher. Lou and Merridy quickly fell out with each other, but it soon became evident that they were going to be more than just enemies as they started to fall for each other.

At the Scullys, problems between Joe and Felicity came to the fore. First, Flick began spreading rumours that her father was cruel to her at home, then she managed to get herself an older boyfriend, Sean. Joe also found himself in the middle of a land dispute as he tried to claim that Karl had got some of his land. When Joe found out about Sean, he hit the roof, leading to Flick running away. Joe eventually tracked her down at the station and the two called an uneasy truce. Joe also faced money worries – which he kept from his family, and was forced to take on extra work.

Tad and Paul began fighting over the same girl – Simone King. Tad attempted to track down his real parents, but was distraught to learn that his father was dead. He also learnt that he had been christened Paul. As Tad found out that Simone had been cheating on him with Paul, he also found his real mother, Rachel Bailey and they started to bond, though she refused to tell her family about him.

Meanwhile, Toadie and Lance both developed huge crushes on Steph and set out to win her over. After falling for a prank of Michelle's, they both bought her glass animal ornaments for her birthday. Steph managed to get Toadie off her case by being upfront with him, but it was more difficult with Lance. However, Steph let him down gently, but the friendships were strained for a while.

After Anne’s departure, Tess offered her spare room to Daniel, a work-mate with building work going on at his home. Tess was worried at how Brendan would react to her having a man living with her. Meanwhile, Drew proposed to Libby again, this time she accepted and plans began for their wedding. However, when a jealous Brendan returned to town and found out that Tess and Daniel were out clubbing together, he sped out of Ramsay Street and ended up colliding with Libby and Steph, who were on their way back from a weekend away. Steph escaped with minor injuries, while Libby ended up in a coma. Brendan seemed fine at first, but later died from undetected internal injuries.

When Libby finally woke up, she was informed that her injuries meant that she would be unlikely to be able to carry a baby to full term. A devastated Libby decided to break up with Drew, who fell into a depression at this news. Meanwhile, Lou’s budding relationship with Merridy ended when she announced she had accepted a job in Katherine.

Michelle found herself being bullied at school, and the main ringleader was Cecile Bliss, younger sister of Joel’s new girlfriend, Dione. After several weeks of being taunted, Michelle ended up accidentally breaking Cecile’s arm and being suspended. However, in the end, Michelle decided to stand up to her tormentors, and found that her stand won her a new best friend, in the form of Bianca Nugent. Meanwhile, Lyn's parents, Connie and Henry also arrived to stay with the Scullys, but quickly realised that they were in the way and left.

When Karl gave Glenda Ryan the news that she had been cleared of cancer, she was greatly relieved. But when she was later diagnosed with the illness, her irate husband, Maurie, vowed to sue Karl for the pain he had caused. Meanwhile, Harold was shocked when he saw a photofit on tv of a man wanted for armed robbery in Tasmania. The picture was the double of Harold and, because he’d been in Tasmania suffering from amnesia when the robbery had taken place, it seemed that he had no alibi. He was devastated to be picked out in a line-up. However, Madge returned from Queensland when she heard what was going on and they managed to find a woman named Wendy Baker, who recognised the photofit as Alfie Dougherty. When she told the police about a distinguishing mark that Harold didn’t have, Harold was cleared of the crime. Meanwhile, after weeks of worry, Karl was also cleared of any wrong-doing by the Medical Examination Board and the Ryans agreed to settle out of court.

Dione and Joel’s relationship had its fair share of ups and downs, with Joel, particularly, having difficulty with trust issues. After finding it difficult to stay just friends, they got back together and then his father, Bernie, arrived for a visit. Bernie was Joel’s hero, but it seemed that he was also a bit of a sleaze, as he came onto Dione, something which Joel at first refused to believe. Bernie was soon sent packing as it emerged that he’d been cheating on Joel’s mum for years. The relationship took a new turn when Joel and Dione started playing pranks on each other. She began by pretending to want to get married, but things got out of hand when Joel roped in his old mate Mal Kennedy. Mal called from England, pretending to be interested in Dione’s paintings. She was thrilled, until she found out it was all a joke, and she ended their relationship.

When Michelle and Bianca became intrigued by a ‘scary house’, they tried many different ways of getting to see who lived inside. After doing odd jobs for him, Michelle finally met the man, Damon Gaffney. He gave her a gold bracelet and helped her with her English projects, and the two became good friends. However, Michelle learnt from old newspaper cuttings that Damon had been guilty of accidentally killing his wife and daughter in a car crash, and ever since, the man haad become agoraphobic. After trying many things to get him out of the house, it all came to a head when Michelle was attacked by a vicious dog outside Damon’s house and he had to go outside to save her.

Lance decided to enter the student council elections, but his campaign faced problems when the mysterious Sandy Swimmer started running against him. It later turned out that Sandy was actually Toadie, and to make matters worse, Toadie won. Meanwhile, Lance began a relationship with Maurie Ryan’s daughter, Lisa, and on Dione’s advice, he pretended to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie. However, when Lisa suggested that they go sky-diving, Lance realised he had to tell her the truth – though it didn’t happen until they were in the plane!

With Libby and Drew separated, Steph realised that her feelings for Drew were getting stronger and, on a camping trip, she admitted the truth to him. Though they came close to getting together, Drew’s heart was still with Libby. Drew decided to leave town and return to Oakey, which prompted Libby to realise that she did love him, and it wasn’t worth throwing their relationship away. Just as Drew was about to sign over the garage, Libby stopped him and the couple were reunited, with the wedding back on. Steph was extremely hurt by this development and made plans to leave town and escape her feelings for Drew, though she later changed her mind.

Flick developed a new crush – on Pete Redman, the postman. Though he was much older than her, Tad and Paul encouraged her to pursue him, but she was humiliated when she found out he was married. Meanwhile, Tad had developed an interested in Djing, and managed to scored a regular gig at a club called Hemisfear.

Tess was pleased when Daniel moved back in with her, but their friendship was strained, as Tess realised she felt strongly for him. Meanwhile, Daniel confided that he fancied Steph, but she was still hung up on Drew. Meanwhile, Michelle won a competition to meet her favourite boyband, Boy4, after collecting chocolate bar wrappers. However, the reality for her was that they were only interested in the publicity and not in meeting her.

Lou decided that Lolly needed a nanny and so he employed Patsy Edis, who also moved in. Everyone liked Patsy and she seemed like the ideal addition to the household. However, Michelle was suspicious when Patsy was very rude to her and began voicing her concerns to Lou, who refused to listen. It became obvious that Patsy was casing the street and fortunately Michelle’s suspicions meant that she kept an eye open, as Patsy packed all of Lou’s stuff into a van one day and then set about stealing Tess’ belongings aswell. She was almost gone when Joe managed to stop her and Lou forgave Michelle for doubting her.

Tad received a visit from Stephen Bailey and was horrified to learn that his mother, Rachel, had drowned a couple of months ago. It also transpired that Tad’s half-brother, Tim, was seriously ill and required a bone marrow transplant. Tad agreed to this and was found to be a good match. By the end of the year, Tad was in hospital, having undergone the procedure and saved his brother.

Dione moved in with Tess and at first they seemed to get on well. However, it quickly went down-hill as Dione was very messy and flighty, leaving Tess feeling like an outcast in her own home. When Susan’s doctor nephew, Darcy Tyler, came to town to work at Erinsborough Hospital for a short time, he and Dione developed a close relationship. It later emerged that Darcy was going through a difficult phase with his long-term partner, Alice and Dione was worried about where she stood.

Lance met the woman of his dreams at a science fiction conference, in the shape of Allana Truman. However, things weren’t that simple, as Allana told Lance he would have to complete seven ‘labours’ to win her heart. These included tracking down an old science fiction TV star, convincing Libby that UFOs existed and retrieving a piece of the crashed satellite Miron. After he completed these, he and Allana spent the night together, and it seemed that Lance had finally found his soul-mate…

The Scullys faced several problems as the year ended. An intruder at number 26 turned out to be Joe’s brother Mick, who was having trouble finding work and had separated from his wife, Di. Fortunately, with help from Joe and Lyn, he found the courage to pick himself up and reunite with his wife. Meanwhile, Steph received a phonecall from her ex-boyfriend Woody, who was in prison, and he wanted to see her. Finally, Joe found his life at risk when he picked up a pregnant woman in his taxi. Driving through an area affected badly by bushfires, they became trapped and the woman, Tina, went into labour. Joe was forced to help her give birth and they were rescued. Tina and her husband were so grateful they made Joe godfather.

Meanwhile, Flick and Joel got dragged into one of Lance’s labours when he was forced to make a sci-fi film of his own. In his version of The Stepford Wives, Flick and Joel were forced to kiss, an experience which led to Flick developing a huge crush. As time went on, Joel started to feel the same way, especially when Dione moved in with Tess next-door and agreed to accompany Flick to the end of year Debutante Ball. Despite Joe trying to stop the relationship, the couple ended up kissing after spending the night at the Deb Ball after-party. Flick vowed that she would make Joel her boyfriend, regardless of what anyone else thought…

2000 Episode Summaries | 2000 Magic Moments | 2000 Opening Titles

Production Notes
• Early in the 2000 season, Mushroom Records ceased to provide additional music for the show. Their role was taken over by Sony Music Entertainment Australia and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia, both of whom continue to contribute to the show.
• From episode 3531, the beginning of the actual 2000 production block, Neighbours recorded in digital 16:9 widescreen for the first time. Consequently, that episode opened without an actual recap, instead using a newly written pre-credit scene between Paul and Tad.
• Episode 3531 saw the debut a new title sequence, designed by Ryan Renshaw. To read about the conception of this sequence, complete with Ryan's original storyboards, click here.
• Episode 3670 was scheduled and written as the 2000 finale, featuring Joe trapped in a bushfire. However, scheduling changes at Channel Ten meant that the broadcast finale didn't happen for another two weeks, with no real climax to the year as a result.

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