So Neighbours turns 30 in 2015, which means that, right now, the producers will be concocting their plans. Therefore, it seems to me that the time is ripe for a wishlist.
Also I hadn’t blogged in ages, so it’s as good an excuse as any.
1. Get everyone back. And I mean everyone.
Look, I don’t care if Charlene and Billy have already ruled themselves out, or if Mike is busy trying to be a singing film star or if Donna’s shagging Leonardo Di Caprio or Janae and Aidan are busy in some US drama thing. THEY MUST ALL COME BACK. I even want rubbish pointless characters like the Lims and Ned and Sienna back. EVERYONE.
2. Including the dead characters.
Well, the Bishops and Dee were lost at sea, as was Harold, and he didn’t die, so neither did they. As for those we saw expire, well, there’s going to be some sort of Neighbours zombie web-series, which means they can ALL return. And who wouldn’t want to see Cheryl Stark back from the dead eating Karl’s brains in revenge?
Plus, you know, the characters can be referenced in the show (‘Remember when Daphne ran the coffee shop?’ ‘Remember when Kate got shot in this bandstand?’ EASY). Plus the actors can do documentaries and shit.
3. And have a tribute to the dead cast (and crew).
Those bits always make everyone cry at the Oscars and BAFTAS so it’s a WINNER.
4. Host the best convention ever.
Doctor Who had a convention in London for its 50th with some of the old docs, companions, producers and monsters. Bah. Neighbours can do better – it should do a convention ON ACTUAL RAMSAY STREET. And involve a street barbie with those weird pavolva cake things they always have in the credits and a game of cricket. I would pay the earth to go to that.
5. That EastEnders crossover we all want to see.
The happiest street in the world meets the most miserable street in the world. The always sunny Erinsborough and the always bleak Walford. Both soaps are 30. The time is right for a crossover. (Also, that time Corrie and EastEnders crossed over was awesome.)
6. Re-release the theme tune and spam it to number one. Also: Suddenly.
Barry Crocker at number one and Angry Anderson at number two is the chart we have all dreamed of. The dedicated could aim for an all-Erinsborough top 40 with Craig McLachlan, Jason Donovan, Rogue Traders, Holly Vallance, Natalie Imbruglia, Stefan Dennis, a fuckton of Kylie and that thing Madge and Harold did.
7. Make the anniversary date a worldwide holiday.
So that we can all not only ‘do the double’, but, with 5+1 and Five* we can now do the PENTUPLE. JOY.
8. Get everyone to do ‘wacky’ love your neighbour things.
Just a friendly wave each morning or a little understanding. These things make the perfect blend.
9. Merch. All the merch.
There is not enough of it, and everyone on AoN would agree that it’s ESSENTIAL. That time they did a ‘win money and a T-SHIRT’ thing on one of their premium line things, everyone went mad for it. Also you owe us after the 20th when only Australia got any merchandise. I mean they had STAMPS. We need Neighbours stamps.
10. Including action figures.
Paul with detachable leg! Harold with his tuba! Donna with her shrugalero!
Karl and Susan with the blue box! (Let’s not. Brain bleach). If cult and sci-fi franchises can milk figures out of guest characters who appear in one scene, we are surely long overdue a set of poseable Neighbours.
11. Montages. Many montages.
Everyone loves a montage.
12. Someone turns 30!
It wouldn’t be Neighbours without some cheesy age-related thing. There must be some characters hovering around the 30 mark? Brennan and Naomi would be the obvious ones but anyone will do.
13. Number 30 gets lots of storylines!
Just to give the writers an excuse to put 30 in every script for a full year.
14. A Neighbours pop concert extravaganza
If the Queen has one for her birthday, then Ramsay Street definitely needs a gig where local legends like Sophie Ramsay, Ty and Rachel, Red Cotton, Nina Tucker and whatever that band Scott and Charlene had were called can come back and pack out The Waterhole.
15. A Neighbours themed Royal Variety Performance.
Because nothing in the history of variety has ever topped this, it’s time to revisit it.
16. All-Neighbours Strictly (or DWTS Australia or Celeb BB or whatever)
Strictly missed out last year on an all-Who cast, thinking the likes of Fiona Fullerton and Abbey Clancy would be more famous. The fools. This year they have got Mark bloody Wright, so they’re definitely in need of star power. An all Ramsay Street cast would do it. And Brendan and Natalie exploding from the Antipodean invasion would be a joy. (Or, you know, an all Neighbours DWTS Australia, Celeb BB… I’m not fussy)
17. A more inclusive Ramsay Street
With the arrival of Nate Kinski and Space Bitch, the show is getting slightly more ethnically diverse, but it could still do with looking a bit less white. In addition, part of Neighbours’ history has always been families, but apart from little Nell, there aren’t any characters under 16. The young’uns may often be annoying, but they’re still sorely missed.
18. Doctor Who does Ramsay Street
Aussie Who fans have been crying out for the show to do an episode there for EVER. And this would be the perfect opportunity. As Peggy Mitchell turned up in the Cybermen episode a few years ago, and DIMENSIONS IN TIME, the Doctor is not afraid of visiting fictional characters. And his time machine might also be a way of bringing dead characters back to life! Let’s all hope Madge’s death isn’t a fixed point in time.
19. Worthy BBC Four drama about the soap’s origins
It was good enough for Coronation Street’s 50th and at least the Beeb actually used to show Neighbours.
20. A proper enormous celebration documentary. Or several.
This goes without saying. And C5 aren’t afraid of milking things, so they could do a bunch of Neibs-themed list shows as well to pad out their schedule inbetween Celebrity Big Brother series.
21. A town-twinning event
How awesome would it be for some no-mark British town to be twinned with Erinsborough after some sort of competition? Much more awesome than that long-forgotten twinning storyline they attempted in the show the other year, that’s how awesome. Plus it’d be an excuse to get Rebecca back on the show.
22. The return of the Brush Script logo
The current one is OK but hardly iconic.
23. The return of the Barry Crocker theme tune.
See point 22.
24. Other show naming references
Last year Hollyoaks introduced a bunch of characters named after Doctor Who companions in honour of the 50th. Neighbours deserves similar respect, so I look forward to seeing Charlene Carter, Madge McQueen and Bouncer Barlow in other soaps in the near future.
25. Erin’s Borough
Erin Boag is sadly missed since she left SCD. So time to send her to Australia for this fly on the wall doco… Look, 30 is a lot of things to think of!
26. Dreadfully cheap and cheerful The Real Neighbours type documentaries on Five
See also point 20.
27. A slightly fanwanky academic symposium
I missed the Who one, but I would be ALL OVER this. I know Neibs has more than its fair share of acafans, so the time is ripe for this. Preferably in conjunction with point 4.
28. When Horses Attack!
A serious documentary featuring the bereaved families of Drew Kirk and Bridget Parker and the injury survivor Lauren Turner as they recount the HORRORS of horse attacks (which are not only a common cause of death and maiming in Neibs, they’re also genuinely a big killer in Australia. See, Neibs raises serious public issues).
29. Multi-Doctor special
What every fan wants in an anniversary is a multi-doctor special. So what better than Karl, Beverly 1 and 2, Clive and the rest all joining forces to combat, I dunno, a horse pandemic or something.