Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Connections DW & TW Connections: Neighbours by DJ Forrest

DW & TW Connections:


By DJ Forrest

In 1985, the Australian soap opera, Neighbours hit our screens, introducing us to a wondrous cast and crew, some of which went on to make careers for themselves in America and beyond.  Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Jason Donovan, Dichen Lachman….and so on.

The soap if you haven’t already guessed chronicled the lives of the main character families in the street, namely the Robinsons and the Ramsay’s, merging the families much later with the marriage between heart throb Scott Robinson played by Jason Donovan and sexy female mechanic Charlene Mitchell played by Kylie Minogue, who was related to the Ramsay’s through Madge Bishop I think.  Hey, it was 30 years ago, sometimes I can forget what I had for supper!

There were lovable characters, the Rebecci’s, Stone Fish, Toad Fish and I’m sure there was one called Newt or Tadpole or something crazy, but we didn’t care, because these families broke up the seriousness that grew around a hotel complex that would split families down the middle over the years, and make one Robinson, a very rich man.  He was also one of the least favourite of all characters. 

We all have fond memories of the soap, and even though it’s still running, and more families enter the little street, full of happy smiling faces, many of whom I haven’t a clue of any more, it has introduced us to a lot of people who have been in other programmes even more memorable than the 30 year tenure of Neighbours.

In the early days of Doctor Who, a lot of the cast and indeed the crew were Australian which prompted the search through the 30 years of cast and crew on IMDB – and let me tell you, after 5 weeks of computer over heating, and resilient searching, my research is complete. 

So sit back and enjoy because we’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

Series Writing Credits 

Graeme Farmer wrote 3 episodes in 2009 – 2012.  Graeme was script editor for 5 episodes of K9, in the UK it was known as K9 Adventures – between 2009 – 2010.  A lot of the locations were in Australia.

Michael Mundell  wrote 1 episode of Neighbours in 1989.  In Doctor Who, he played Jasko in The Invasion of Time parts 3, 4 & 5 in 1978.

Series Cast 

Alan Dale played Jim Robinson for 919 episodes from 1985-2005.  He played Professor Aaron Copley in Torchwood: Reset 2008.

Kylie Minogue played Charlene Mitchell for 337 episodes from 1986-2009.  She played Astrid Peth in Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned in 2007. Kylie was uncredited for Journey's End in 2008 as Astrid Peth.  She appeared on Doctor Who Confidential as herself for Top Five Christmas Moments in 2008 and uncredited as Astrid Peth for the episode The Eleventh Doctor in 2009.

Peter O'Brien played Shane Ramsay for 263 episodes from 1985-1987.  In 2009, Peter played Ed Gold in Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars. In the same year he was also in Doctor Who Confidential as himself in the episode - Is There Life on Mars?  In The Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who in 2012 he appeared as Ed Gold but was uncredited for this.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte played Isabelle 'Izzy' Hoyland for 92 episodes from 2003-2014.. Although she wasn't in Doctor Who, the song 'Voodoo Child' sung by her band Rogue Traders was played on board the Valiant in The Sound of Drums episode in 2007.

Dichen Lachman played Katya Kinski for 88 episodes from 2005-2007.  In 2011 Dichen played Lyn Peterfield in Torchwood Miracle Day: Rendition.

John Lee played Leonard 'Len' Mangel in 10 episodes from 1988-1994.  He played Alydon in Doctor Who: The Daleks in 1964 parts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter’s Dad) played Mr. Pike for 1 episode, 1988.  He  played Dr Ryder in Doctor Who: The Planet of the Ood in 2008.

Emily Evans played Julia Perry for 1 episode in 2006.  She played Lizzie Lewis in Torchwood: Ghost Machine in 2006.

David Walliams played Lou Todd (uncredited) for 1 episode in 2007.  He played Gibbis in Doctor Who: The God Complex in 2011.

Stanley McGeagh played Phil Friendly for 1 episode in 1993.  He played Allen in Episode 3 of Doctor Who: Colony in Space, in 1971, and Castle Guard Drew in Episode 3 & 4 The Sea Devils 1972.

Peter Stewart played Ken Harper in 1 episode in 1987.  He played a Policeman in Episode 1 of Doctor Who: The War Machines in 1966.  In The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve episode Priest of Death he played a Parisian in Rue des Fosses St. Germain in 1966.  (this is sadly one of the missing episodes).  He was uncredited for both roles.

Ron Pinnell played a Shopkeeper for 1 episode in 1985.  He played Scientist Jim Elliot/Scientist and No. 5 in Episodes 1 - 3 of Doctor Who: The Moonbase in 1967.

Amazingly after 30 years there were only a small number of cast and crew, but even at that, it was worth researching, as there were some characters I’d forgotten about, and it was a nice ramble through 30 years of a well loved soap.


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