Saturday, 28 May 2011

Sons and Daughters, love and laughter, tears of sadness and happiness

Sons and Daughters was a Logie Award winning Australian Soap Opera created by Reg Watson and produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation. It screened on the Seven Network in an early evening timeslot running from 18 January 1982 until 19 August 1987. The series commenced in Melbourne with the first three episodes screened in a 90 minute format on Monday, 18 January 1982 at 19:00. A repeat run on the Seven Network in Australia ran in October 2006 but ended in March 2007; however, beginning from July 2008, it has started up again, picking up where it left off every Thursday night at around midnight. Additionally, the Seven Network's digital channel 7TWO has begun airing the series from the very beginning starting Wednesday, 4 November 2009 every weekday at 08:30, and is currently up to airing Season 3. A DVD marking the 25th Anniversary of Sons and Daughters was released in October 2006.

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Series One - Episode One

Sydney, 1962: David Palmer and his girlfriend, Patricia, turn up at a boarding house run by landlady Fiona Thompson. Patricia is heavily pregnant and gives birth in her room within the boarding house. After the birth has taken place, Fiona asks David what he wanted - a boy or a girl? He says he doesn't mind. Fiona tells him he has one of each - twins.

Patricia is not happy, though. After a week, she decides to leave David, and she takes her baby daughter with her. She leaves her son for David to look after. David decides to call him John.

Melbourne, 1982: David Palmer is now married to Beryl, and they have two children of their own - Kevin and Susan - and John is living with them. Susan is about to marry her fiance, Bill, and is trying on her wedding dress, which she shows to David. John decides to invite the whole of Victoria to the wedding, by climbing a mast and attaching a huge banner to it. However, he is caught by the police, and his antics appear on television. Kevin is also arrested, after being caught in a telephone box calling the TV station, and using different voices to say how much he enjoyed John's antics! Beryl is disappointed that both lads got into so much trouble.

When John goes to bed that night, he has a dream in which he is standing in a field, watching a beautiful girl riding a horse.

The next morning, Beryl wakes John up and tells him that he'll lose his job if he doesn't get to work soon. At work at the 'Selmar Warehouse Import-Export', he has an altercation with Bill, who is annoyed at the way John acted the previous night. The two of them knock over a load of boxes, and are caught by Sam Selmar, who tells them to get their act together, or they'll face the sack.

The initial premise for the show was a Romeo and Juliet style storyline which revolved around working-class John Palmer from Melbourne and spoilt rich girl Angela Hamilton from Sydney. They met by chance when John was on the run from the police for a murder he did not commit and they fell in love not realising that they were actually long lost twins, separated at birth 20 years earlier. Early episodes saw the pair discover the truth about their relationship and showed the problems and strains this put on their own relationships and those of their immediate families, the Hamiltons and the Palmers. Whilst on the run John was protected in Sydney by Fiona Thompson, an ex prostitute and now boarding house owner who had raised John when he was a young boy. With a new identity and now going by the name of Scott Edwards, John attempted to rebuild a new life along with Fiona's help and that of neighbour Jill Taylor.

For the Palmers life was going from bad to worse, newly wed Susan received the shock revelation that husband Bill was responsible for the murder her brother had been arrested for and young lovers Kevin and Lynn found their life turned upside down when she became pregnant despite their families best efforts to keep them apart. David and John's relationship continued to deteriorate and when David and Patricia met up again after 20 years old passions were reignited leaving Beryl fighting for her marriage.

For the Hamiltons financial worries were the least of their worries, Wayne Hamilton was involved in a near fatal car crash after his father, Gordon, kicked him out of the Dural home upon discovering he planned to buy and demolish the family's country residence at Woombai and Patricia announced to Gordon that their marriage was over and they would leave separate lives. Patricia developed into the main focus of the show with many storylines revolving around her, hence the introduction of her best friend and confident Charlie Bartlett.

End of season cliffhanger (Episode 174): At John & Angela's 21st Birthday party at the Palmer house David tries to stop Patricia from gate crashing only to be met with an unexpected admission, she has been lying all the time and David isn't the twins' father after all.

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