Happy 2018 everyone! By the time you read this of course it’ll probably be closer to 2019, but as I write this on the 11th of January, Neighbours has just recently returned to our screens. If you followed my previous posts, you’ll know I started watching the show again after being excited about the Dee returning storyline. That story and its repercussions dominated much of 2017 and in the final episode of the year, as Toadie and Sonia renewed their marriage vows, someone watched from the shadows – is it fake Dee, or could it actually be real Dee? Elsewhere we’ve had dead old Scottish guys, uncomfortable prancing cupids, kidnapped babies, and Elly struggling to keep her clitoris in check. Yes, it’s just another ordinary week on Ramsey Street! Rumours and confirmations that a number of key figures will be leaving this year, so expect some new faces too – that dreaded curse of ‘what do we do with the teens once they finish school’ continues. Lets take a look back at some golden oldies.
Todd Landers – Kristian Schmid – 1988 – 1992
Significant Others: Katie Landers. Hope Gottlieb. Beverly Marshall. Phoebe Bright.
Todd and his sister Katie were among the first ‘orphans’ on the street, taken in by other relatives in Erinsborough due to issues at home. In all honesty I don’t remember much about Todd, except for somehow convincing myself when I was younger that he was played by Christian Slater – no idea why. My greatest memory of him is of course his death – being hit by a van when trying to catch up to Phoebe as she was on her way to have an abortion. I remember this being one of the first switcheroos I’d experienced, as he woke up in hospital, apparently fine, then died moments later. Neighbours would pull the same stunt with my beloved Cody a few years later.
Where Are They Now:
In the dirt, though he did return as a ghost shortly after dying. We’re still waiting for Hope, his daughter, to make an appearance, though she did of course return for Neighbours Vs Zombies. Schmid has maintained his acting career, appearing in The Tomorrow People, Sea Patrol, and can currently be seen in Home And Away.
Lori Lee – Michelle Ang – 2002 – 2004
Significant Others: Jack Scully. Connor O’Neill. Michelle Scully. Taj Coppin. Nina Tucker. Madeleine Lee. The Kennedys.
Oh man, I loved Lori Lee. She was one of my favourite smaller characters of the time and of course I had a bit of a crush. She first appeared as Jack Scully’s girlfriend, but it was her one night stand with Connor which brought their daughter into the world. The enduring question from all of this is how the hell Connor had relationships with so many hot women. My biggest memory of her is of course her slipping at the pool.
Where Are They Now:
Lori left with Maddie in 2004, with Connor keeping in touch. When Connor returned to the show in 2012 he let us know that Lori had recently been married and that he was going to move closer to her to spend more time with Maddie. It seems unlikely she’ll return after 14 years, but the time is ripe for Maddie to make an appearance now as a new regular teen. I may have literally screamed when I saw that Michelle Ang joined Fear The Walking Dead – spoiler alert – she only appeared in a couple of episodes and wasn’t shown being killed – she could yet make a return there, or even better on The Walking Dead itself. She’s appeared in some other notable movies and shows too – The Taking Of Deborah Logan, Top Of The Lake for example.
Joe Mangel – Mark Little – 1988 – 1991 (2005)
Significant Others: The Mangels. Kerry Bishop. Melanie Pearson.
Joe Mangel for me was the prototype Australian man. When I was young if someone asked me to think of someone from Australia, I thought of Crocodile Dundee and Joe Mangel. While they’re both drenched in cliche, it doesn’t make their characters any less true. Joe was a beer-drinking, easy going bloke’s bloke but still had a soft hart. Joe was involved in one of the show’s most famous moments when his wife Kerry was shot and killed but I mostly remember him for his relationship with the ever-laughing Melanie.
Where Are They Now:
Joe left the show with Melanie and Sky, leaving son Toby behind for some reason, only to return to Australia and re-connect. By the time Joe came back for the 20th Anniversary show, he and Melanie had divorced. Joe was one of a handful of characters who returned for multiple episodes in 2005, sparking a potential relationship with Lyn Scully before leaving again. I’m not sure if he has been mentioned again in the years since, but it seems likely given his ties to the street. Mark Little has stated he doesn’t want to come back to the show and outside of Neighbours he has remained popular in Britain, appearing on The Big Breakfast, The Wright Stuff, and multiple pantos. He did narrate the 30th Anniversary documentary, so maybe he has softened his stance and could return.
Sky Mangel – Stephanie McIntosh (Miranda Fryer) – 1998 – 1991, 2003 – 2007 (2015)
Significant Others: Joe Mangel. Harold Bishop. Serena Bishop. Boyd Hoyland. Dylan Timmons. Stingray. Lana Crawford.
I don’t remember much about Sky from first time around, but when she returned she quickly became a fan favourite. She had an independent and rebellious streak which set he at odds with her Grandfather Harold, but they quickly fell into a cozy relationship. Speaking of relationships, she had a few during the time on her street, including the first same-sex kiss in the show, shared with Lana Crawford. Sky continued an on-off relationship with Boyd, but eventually has a baby with Dylan (though there was some uncertainty over whether Dylan or Stingray was the daddy). She eventually moves away to Port Douglas and in her brief 2015 return she convinces Harold to come join her.
Where Are They Now:
Presumably still in Port Douglas with her children and Harold. I’m not sure if Dylan is there too… or Boyd. There’s every opportunity she could return, and all the more likely one of the Bishops will return given it’s been a few years since we’ve had one on the street. Sky could come back with her kids, or one of the kids could come back now they’d be in their early teens. McIntosh has not appearing in much since leaving the show – a couple of interesting little known films and her own reality show, as well as releasing a moderately successful album.
Let us know in the comments what your memories of these Neighbours icons are and who you would like to see returning to Ramsey Street!