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The Sydney Morning Herald


Author: Dominic Buchanan
Date: 10/01/1994
Words: 399
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 9
THE pastel hues are still there. The mandatory couple of scenes down on the beach are still in evidence, replete with Spunk 1 and Hunk 2 wearing the latest fashions and bum-hugging briefs. But in this, the first episode of the new series this year, there is the smell of death at Summer Bay.

Successful soaps and their successful soap writers bait their hooks wisely. Conflict. Betrayal. The essentials of universal drama. Characters are introduced regularly and although they may be required to exhibit only one emotion or characteristic for the duration of their contract, audiences will invest their time and emotional faculties following the cabal of scheme and intrigue.

But, at this coastal resort, intrigue is low on the totem pole. In tonight's episode, Alf finds himself in trouble with the police when he tries to save Sarah's honour. Gasp. Angel is devasted when Shane judges her over her past. A-hah. They'll be drawing raffles next. Oops. You guessed it.

Thrills are also a little hard to come by in this craven little haven. For once this is a problem that cannot be placed at the feet of the actors. Though some look as if they suffer from sleep apnoea. You can almost hear them drop to the floor as the scene changes.

No. Someone has to go. Maybe a writer or four.

Doesn't actually matter who. The once-detestable, but now sage and wizened oracle Mr Fletcher would be a start. Any one of the annoying little grommets with the ridiculous names.

Just as long as it isn't Alf. This guy is great. He is so ocker. He could make Ian Chappell sound like a tourist. I half expect him to let out a belch and go the Larry Dooley with his shorts.

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