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Guessing games

Author: Rachel Browne
Date: 19/11/2000
Words: 889
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: Television
Page: 6
What will the producers of your favourite show do to lure you back next year? Rachel Browne reports.

WHO WAS blown to smithereens when the bomb went off on Number 96? Who got toasted when the Wentworth Detention Centre went up in flames on Prisoner?

It's these sort of questions which scriptwriters love to pose as a series reaches its climax for the year, the final week of ratings.

The unanswered questions, lives at risk, relationships in turmoil and shock revelations provide something for viewers to chew their fingernails over until ratings - and the favourite shows - return next year.

We rate the suspension value of this week's cliffhangers.

All Saints Tuesday, Channel 7, 8.30pm

Storyline: Christmas is nigh and so is Rose Stevens's baby. As Rose (Joy Smithers) goes into labour, she demands her husband Dr Mitch Stevens (Erik Thomson) reveal why he broke up with Terri Sullivan (Georgie Parker). The tension between Bron (Libby Tanner) and Ben (Brian Vriends) escalates with the amount of time they spend together in the ambulance. Dr Luke Forlano (Martin Lynes) treats a patient who has tangled with the O'Connell criminal clan and discovers his brother may also be in danger.

Shock revelations: The real reason why Terri and Mitch broke up. Bron's new career plan.

Burning questions: Will Terri and Mitch get back together? Will Rose, who already suffers from bi-polar disorder, completely freak out if this occurs? What will become of Luke's jailbird brother if he doesn't attend the O'Connell family barbecue? Will Ben and Bron be able to sort out their differences and allow true love to prevail?

Lives in the balance: None, really, apart from Luke's brother if he does not attend the O'Connells' party.

Blue Heelers Wednesday, Channel 7, 8.30pm

Storyline: The Heelers investigate a series of burglaries which appear to be connected to the Mount Thomas community centre. Sergeant Tom Croydon (John Wood) is notified of plans to transfer wheelchair-bound Constable Jack Lawson (Rupert Reid) to St Davids, a situation which pleases neither Jack nor his colleagues.

Shock revelations: Jack grapples with the question of having the bullet in his spine removed, which will either result in him regaining the use of his legs or being less mobile than he is now.

Burning questions: Could there be a romance developing between Jack and Tess (Caroline Craig)? Will Jack ever walk again? And will he be able to stay at Mount Thomas?

Lives in the balance: Surprisingly, none.

Home And Away Weekdays, Channel 7, 7pm

Storyline: After treading on a blood-filled syringe while walking along the beach a few weeks ago, Leah (Ada Nicodemou) finally learns the results of her HIV test. Shauna (Kylie Watson) is due to go into hospital for her operation. Also in for a health scare is Ailsa (Judy Nunn) who suffers faintness and shortness of breath working at the diner.

Shock revelations: Will (Zac Drayson) is horrified to discover that Shelley (Paula Forrest) knows he's had his way with her daughter Dani (Tammin Sursok). Does this mean he'll no longer be a welcome dinner guest at the Sutherland house?

Burning questions: Will Ailsa survive to make another milkshake? How will Alf (Ray Meagher) and Duncan (Brendan McKensy) cope if she doesn't? And what of Leah's blood test?

Lives in the balance: At least two.

Neighbours Weekdays, Channel 10, 6.30pm

Storyline: Felicity Scully (Holly Valance) secures the services of Human Nature for the deb ball and at the same time succeeds in turning Dione (Madeleine West) into the green-eyed monster by getting a little too friendly with Joel (Daniel Macpherson). But the big cliffhanger is in the final episode when taxi driver Joe Scully (Shane Feeney-Connor) picks up a heavily pregnant passenger and proceeds to drive directly into the nearest bushfire.

Shock revelations: That the lads from Human Nature thought they could get away with trying to act. Sure, they can sing in tune but their collective acting skills make the average tree look animated.

Burning questions: Will Joel and Felicity get together? Can Joe Scully deliver his passenger's baby and survive the raging bushfire? Can this dialogue get any worse?

Lives in the balance: Only Joe Scully and his passenger.

Stingers Tuesday, Channel 9, 8.30pm

Storyline: The undercover unit investigates an armed robbery which occurred five years ago with the aim of getting charming old-timer Ben Jones (Bruce Myles) to talk about the theft on tape. Of course, things do not always go as planned.

Shock revelations: Undercover cop Peter Church (Peter Phelps) is drawn to a woman who offers him a vaguely normal life. Well, as normal as things can get for a man who adopts a different persona for every crime he investigates.

Burning questions: Will Church finally find true love in this crazy mixed-up world?

Lives in the balance: Just about everybody's at one point or another.

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