Neighbours has had a much-needed makeover in the past couple of weeks. The show has lost a number of regular cast members this year so having two new faces, plus a couple of returning ones, has breathed a little bit of life back into Ramsay Street.
So far this year Tyler has been sent to prison, Paige, Jack and their comically large baby left the street, and now Jimmy has bid a tearful farewell to Erinsborough. It’s looking increasingly likely that Steph is on her way to Sydney too, so it really is about time Erinsborough got a few new residents. Chloe Brennan and her neckerchief joined the regular cast this spring, and we were recently introduced to a new character, as well as the surprise return of an old villain.
First up is the improbably named Cassius, played by Joe Davidson, who seems to be a semi-naked gardener by trade, and is already getting massively perved on by the shameless ladies of Ramsay Street. I’m personally wondering if he might be distantly related to the Brennan brothers, because he has the same trouble keeping his clothes on as they do. But really, Sheila and Dipi need to pull themselves together and leave the poor guy to do his weeding in peace.
Another new face is Elly’s sister Bea, played by Bonnie Anderson. The casting agents have done a great job finding an actress who really looks like Elly’s sister. I don’t remember Elly or Susan ever mentioning Bea before, but she showed up out of the blue and has reluctantly started to try to repair her rather strained relationship with Elly, which is something that Elly seems to be far more keen on than Bea does.
Bea has also brought a familiar face with her, in the form of Evil Finn, who had a rip-roaring time during his last stint on the street. Amongst some of his escapades were trying to overthrow Susan as the school principal, switching Susan and Piper’s medication to make Susan sick, and trying to groom Xanthe in order sneak her off to Hong Kong, all while having a brain aneurysm which eventually put him in hospital with a big comedy bandage on his head. Who knows what he’ll get up to this time, but at the time of writing this, it’s been revealed that he’s in a wheelchair following a physical attack which occurred when he came to Bea’s rescue. It’s at his insistence that Bea has come to Erinsborough, and Finn is the one who is encouraging her to rekindle her relationship with her sister. He also happens to be Elly’s ex-boyfriend, who she hit with a car once, so it’s not going to be awkward at all when Elly finds out he’s shacked up with Bea.
Another returning character we can expect to see again soon is another of Elly’s exes, Ned Willis. Terese and Piper are currently rattling around their house by themselves, so having another Willis around will at least put one of their spare bedrooms to use. Last time we left Ned he’d gone to start a job on the Gold Coast, which is a place that people rarely return from, so he’s bucking the trend there. His stepmum isn’t around for him to outrageously flirt with this time, so he’s going to have to find a new hobby.
Last but not least we have finally waved goodbye to the awkward green screen titles, which is not something that any of us are going to miss. The new titles make use of the outdoor sets and look infinitely less cringeworthy than the previous green screen nightmare. I’m still peeved Clancy the dog isn’t a named character though…