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The Sydney Morning Herald

TV previews

Author: Robin Oliver
Date: 29/10/2001
Words: 631
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 20
Home and Away

Seven, 7pm

UP The test of any good soap is if you can return out of the blue and almost immediately be drawn into the story, even if you haven't the foggiest what has been happening.

I hadn't visited Summer Bay for a while. Then I heard the Wallabies, always determined travellers, were putting in an appearance in tonight's episode and this sounded happy enough and so it proves. But that is just promotional; what counts are the ongoing storylines.

Ashley's drug addiction and the efforts of her friends to help her is a good example and Dani's decision to do something about the wider problem and organise a drugs forum may sound a little preachy but it is providing this veteran soap with useful twists.

Never afraid to tackle personal disaster with the potential to end it in gloom, Home and Away ensures guest characters such as Ashley (Zoe Ella) have a dreadful time of it.

But not Dani (Tammin Sursok). She's a go-getter and she has been relying on Alf good old Alf (Ray Meagher) to live up to a boastful promise and get some Wallabies along for the party.

Except Alf doesn't have such contacts and is wriggling out of his embarrassment (which is an in-joke, because actor Meagher is a rugby man and is friends with the players).

Of course, this will be settled at the last moment, but as you settle back to enjoy the spectacle of Summer Bay going ga-ga over George Smith, Nathan Grey, Ben Darwin, Phil Waugh and skipper George Gregan signing autographs and playing touch football, it's time to consider what is up with Jim (Shane Porteous), who has come back from retirement to teach. So what is the story between him and Irene and why is that sourpuss Nick (Chris Egan) so upset? It may be only slight drama but it looks good and has moments of intrigue, and it's great to see Porteous (A Country Practice) back in harness and stirring the possum.

The Lone Gunmen

Seven, 10.30pm

DOWN Defending the defenceless by means of mysterious do-good agencies with high-tech resources and low-cut blouses (those guards are so gullible) is an old ploy.

This episode of Chris Carter's The Lone Gunmen would fall into the same old baloney trap were it not for an eye-catching opening sequence which has one Elvis Presley shooting another until the victim expires. If this is the confirmation you have long been seeking, I must warn you at least one of these Elvises is a fake. The scene, a cruise ship somewhere in the Pacific, is so phoney it looks more like a fish tank in Vancouver.

Our Street: Phillip Street

ABC, 9.30pm

UP Clues on the preview tapes suggest Jenny Brockie's thoughtful series about ordinary people living their own lives was made some time ago, assembled in February last year, put on hold and then slapped with a 2001 copyright line to make it look more recent.

Why the delay? Brockie's excursion into Phillip Street in Darwin's Fanny Bay district is an absolutely delightful piece that deserved prompt screening.

Phillip Street was built as an aircraft taxiing area during the war, with the main runway adjoining. Some of the houses that sprang up afterwards withstood the great Christmas cyclone of '74 and have attracted as fine a crop of diverse residents as one could find.

You are in for several surprises, none more so than Edgar the Latvian loner who collects things anything and lives contentedly on his own in gruesome conditions that to him are most precious. Please watch. It's gorgeous, though the bulldozers make it rather sad.

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