Australian ‘soaps’ have always had a strong following in the UK. The first Aussie soap to hit UK television screens was Bellbird back in 1972 and this rural drama paved the way for rating winners such as The Young Doctors, The Sullivans, Sons and Daughters, Richmond Hill, The Flying Doctors, Prisoner: Cell Block H, Skyways, A Country Practice, Neighbours and Home and Away which all proved to be hugely popular with British audiences.
Despite the ever-growing number of television channels fans of classic Aussie soaps have been largely overlooked in recent years. Despite regular calls from fans to have these shows repeated all we seem to get are the same old British and American re-runs.
Fortunately, Amazon Prime Video in the UK have now come to the rescue and are running several classic serials from Down Under.
All episodes of Echo Point are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.
Alan Coleman directed Crossroads in the UK and produced The Young Doctors in Australia; you can now revisit his episodes of Echo Point. He’s pictured here on location with the ATV series The Jensen Code.
All 130 episodes of Echo Point have been added to the service. Produced in 1995, the show aired in several ITV regions and also had a run on Trouble TV over here. Romance is on the cards for schoolgirl Edwina Amadio (Jessica Napier) who falls for the charms of the older Zac Brennan (Martin Henderson). Zac is a man who is well known to the local cop shop and when Edwina falls pregnant, she must decide whether to go through with an abortion.
The shady Daniel Blake (Phillip Gordon) had left the beachside suburb of Echo Point many years previously after being accused of murdering his wealthy parents and when he blows back into town to claim his inheritance the local gossip-mongers have a field day. Schoolgirl Belinda O’Connor (Rose Byrne) will be shocked to her very core when she discovers the identity of her real father, and coffee shop owner Trish Loman (Victoria Nicholls) is getting sick and tired of her philandering husband Neville (Sean Scully). Meanwhile, bunny boiler Shelley Radcliffe (Louise Crawford) spells trouble for every man she sets her sights on, and the widowed garden centre owner Gordon Amadio (Alan Lovell) will find his love life in tatters when he’s jilted at the altar.
Familiar faces appearing in this show include Rowena Wallace from Sons & Daughters and Jeremy Chance from Class of 74. Alan Coleman, who previously directed Crossroads in the UK, directed several blocks of Echo Point.
Out of the Blue is back on Prime Video.
The first 400 episodes of Home & Away are now streaming in the UK.
Prime Video has also dusted down all 130 episodes of Out of the Blue which was commissioned by the BBC after they lost the rights to screen Neighbours, following its original UK run Channel 5 repeated the show but it has not been seen over here since. Set in the stunning beachside suburb of Manly, the show revolves around a group of thirty-something friends who get together for a school reunion. The evening ends in tragedy when one of the group is murdered and a long police investigation follows to identify the culprit. Familiar faces cropping up in the action include Chris King from The Young Doctors, Jacinta Stapleton from Neighbours, Toni Pearen from E Street, and Shane Withington from A Country Practice.
The first 400 episodes of Home & Away can also be seen on Prime Video. Go back to the very start of the show when Tom and Pippa Fletcher (Roger Oakley and Vanessa Downing) moved to the sleepy beachside town of Summer Bay with their foster kids to take over the run-down caravan park. In these episodes schoolgirl Carly Morris (Sharyn Hodgson) is raped whilst hitchhiking, she ends up becoming an alcoholic and falls for the charms of her teacher (played by Peter Bensley) who unfortunately is also battling the bottle.
Gwen Plumb guest stars in the pilot episode of Home & Away. She’s best known for playing Ada Simmonds in The Young Doctors, UK based fans would love to see the show repeated.
Prime Video has come to the rescue of classic Aussie soap fans – the new destination for UK based fans of Australian soap operas.
The Summer Bay Nutter causes havoc as he tries to uphold the moral standards of the district, scheming high court judge Morag Bellingham (Cornelia Frances) causes no end of trouble for her brother Alf (Ray Meagher), and Ailsa Stewart (Judy Nunn) struggles to come to terms with motherhood. Meanwhile, the conniving Roo Stewart (Justine Clark) tries to trap Frank Morgan (Alex Papps) into marriage by claiming he fathered her unborn child, one of the residents will perish in a shop fire and another local will plunge to his death from the top of a cliff. You’ll have to tune in to find out more but keep your eyes peeled for appearances by Gwen Plumb from The Young Doctors, Tom Richards and Stephen Comey from Sons & Daughters, and Denise Roberts from G.P.
Hopefully, more classic Aussie soaps will be added to Prime Video in the near future as so many of these shows are long overdue a re-run but in the meantime, you’ll find lots of other television series from Down Under on the service including Heartbreak High, All Saints, Water Rats, Blue Heelers, and McLeod’s Daughters which follows two sisters who inherit a vast cattle station and decided to try and run it together.
Head to Amazon Prime Video (UK) to revisit these classic Aussie serials along with a huge selection of Australian mini-series, television drama productions and feature films.