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The Sydney Morning Herald


Author: Robin Oliver
Date: 04/02/1991
Words: 360
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 13
THINGS are looking good down at Summer Bay. Not that the rapid-fire intermingling of a half dozen stories - some wet, some plain soppy - is any busier than it has ever been, but the filming and the general appearance of this program are very attractive.

Home and Away is essentially young persons' fare; it's a confident stake in the market at this time of the evening, when news and current affairs, all the go elsewhere, ensures a captive audience. Particularly now that the ABC has given silly old Gadget the flick.

The filming and direction are clean, and there is a bold use of close-ups. Is it just coincidence that Seven, which produces Home and Away in-house, is a partner in drama with JNP, the makers of A Country Practice? Both programs have developed a similar briskness and look, a sort of network style.

Home and Away is in its fourth year and though a number of faces have changed, seven actors remain from the original cast. Nicolle Dickson (Bobby), Sharyn Hodgson (Carly), Kate Ritchie (Sally) and Greg Benson (Matt) have all grown into maturity with the program, while Norman Coburn (Donald Fisher) and the terrific partnership of Ray Meagher (Alf) and Judy Nunn (Ailsa) have provided continuing strengths. One original character, Pippa, is now played by Debra Lawrance .

Tonight, Bobby faces a setback with determination, Pippa gets ready for her long-awaited date with a nervous Michael (Dennis Coard) and speechmaker Alf looks set for trouble. Pure soap - but well-written and, if you like, just plain nice.

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