Neighbours has been missing from our screens for 14 months after its shock axe from Channel 5, but following its return to Amazon – fans have been left confused by the two year jump ahead.
The show's return episode was aired on Monday 18 September, and jumped ahead in time from the "final ever" episode of the soap, which aired in July 2022. In one of the early scenes in the new episode, Susan Kennedy references the changes during a conversation with Harold Bishop, who has returned to Ramsay Street.
The last time Harold was in town was for the wedding of Toadie Rebecchi and Melanie Pearson, which happened in the final episode. And in the latest episode, Susan points out that a lot has changed in the last two years since he was in town.
The change in time has confused the viewers at home, with one person tweeting: "I might be really stupid but it's set 2 years on from the finale which irl was only a year ago right so is it Sept 2024 on Ramsey Street? I'm confused."
Another said: "Kinda confused but I kinda love it. Feel like I’ve missed a few months and catching up #Neighbours."
Soaps don't tend to play with time in this way, but bosses at the show revealed to OK! it was a decision made "very early on."
In a chat with OK! and other members of the media, Jason Herbison, the Neighbours' executive producer said: "[The time jump] was decided very early on, when we were having talks with Amazon.
"We knew there was going to be a transmission gap, so life for the audience would have gone on, and time would have passed for them too.
"It just felt like a one-off opportunity. In serial dramas, there aren't a lot of things you can do for the first time."
He added: "Of course, other soaps have done time jumps, but in our case, we were actually going to have been off-air as well. We felt that it was a great opportunity – and two years felt like a really nice timeline."
Susan Kennedy actress Jackie Woodburne spoke to Digital Spy about the time gap and what fans can expect.
She told them: "What's interesting is that in every house, there are these small domestic stories going on against a much bigger backdrop of just amazing stories.
"There's a two-year time jump – and you might find out what happened during that time further on down the line. The stories are just phenomenal. It's fantastic."
While Tim Kano, who plays Leo Tanaka, has also told them that he is "happy" about the jump.
He said: "There are some new faces and some old faces, and I'm really happy about how we've jumped in time, so there's been an evolution in the characters, their arcs, and their relationships."
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