The cast and crew of Home and Away have taken to Instagram to showcase the behind-the-scenes work involved in creating the huge scenes which aired in tonight’s Australian episodes.
The three-part episode saw Heather Frazer (Sofia Nolan), the secret daughter of Marilyn Chambers (Emily Symons), take a number of Summer Bay residents hostage as she aimed to get revenge on Marilyn, who she believes abandoned her as a baby.
Heather is the result of Marilyn’s affair with a married man named Tim, who was her boss when she was working as a housekeeper whilst backpacking in 1995.
Tim and his wife convinced Marilyn to give them the baby, who they adopted as their own, and it now transpires that Heather’s adopted mother always resented Heather and made her life miserable.
27 years later and Heather has tracked her birth mother – Marilyn – down to Summer Bay. However, rather than trying to form a connection with her mum, she wanted to exact revenge on her, a desire which culminated in tonight’s dramatic episodes.
The tension has been building for weeks. Although Marilyn and Heather have acknowledged each other as mother and daughter, Marilyn has wanted Heather’s true identity to stay between them, worried that her friends would never forgive her for keeping such a big secret for almost three decades.
This only angered Heather more, and she has become increasingly frustrated by just how loved Marilyn is in Summer Bay, and how her friends will forgive her for just about anything.
Marilyn even took the blame for slashing John’s (Shane Withington) tyres, something Heather did after John began to get suspicious of her, and Heather was infuriated when that wasn’t even enough for Maz’s friends to turn on her.
In Wednesday’s episode, which will air in the UK in November, Heather returned to Summer Bay where she invited Marilyn to a remote country house, telling her that she wanted to make amends with her and her friends.
She suggested to Maz that they host a brunch and invite her closest friends as a way of showing how sorry she was, and to get their forgiveness.
However, she had a dastardly plan.
She knocked Marilyn out with a heavy metal candlestick, then, when Alf (Ray Meagher), Leah (Ada Nicodemou), Roo (Georgie Parker) and Irene (Lynne McGranger) arrived at the manor house, she incapacitated them by offering them drinks laced with sleeping pills, before tying them up in the dining room.
Marilyn was forced to watch on from a different room, where Heather had tied her up with a TV in front of her, so she could witness her friends’ suffering from afar.
It was Alf who suffered the most, as the poisoned drink enflamed his heart condition. His chest became tight and his breathing labored, and his friends tried desperately to get Heather to release him so he could get to hospital.
Even after Marilyn revealed the truth about Heather to her loved ones, Heather decided not to release her captives, deciding that Alf’s suffering would finally vindicate her.
The scenes were filmed at Iandra Castle, a large homestead 30km north of Young, in the Central West region of New South Wales. The complex consists of the homestead itself, stables, surrounding gardens and parkland, and a chapel and cemetery, but it was the grand homestead and its balcony which were the main focus of the tense hostage situation.
The cast headed to the location – a 5-hour drive from the soap’s usual home at Sydney’s Palm Beach – back in May of this year.
A number of the cast took to Instagram shortly before Thursday’s episodes aired in Australia, posting photos from the shoot.
Nicholas Cartwright (@_nicholas_cartwright_), who plays Cash, posted:
“Had a blast shooting tonights ep of @homeandaway on location at Landra [sic] Castle. See what all the fuss is about tonight on 7 at 7pm. Good luck Marilyn!”
Cash played a big part in the rescue as he and Rose (Kirsty Marillier) raced through the house in search of the trapped residents.
He was also forced to try to talk Heather down as she climbed onto the ledge of one of the homestead’s balconies, before she lost her footing and fell.
Georgie Parker (@georgieparker) posted:
“Shot in beautiful Young, tonight’s episode was a challenging, fun, exhausting experience, and we all loved it. Catch it if you can, because ;@emilysymons_ and @sofianolan GO for it 🧡 #iandracastle“
The photos show Emily Symons and Ray Meagher relaxing between takes, as well as Ray taking a photo of Lynne McGranger and Ada Nicodemou.
Lynne McGranger (@lynnemcgranger) posted:
“Oh what a fabulous time we had shooting this week’s episodes in glorious Young. #iandracastle @adanicodemou @emilysymons_ @georgieparker @sofianolan @dannyracodirector #RayMeagher @homeandaway ( and of course @_nicholas_cartwright_ @kirstymarillier @lukevanos and our fearless leader @lucyaddario and all our amazing crew 💪🏽👍🏽🥰🙏😘)”
Lynne’s photos include her and Ada in front of the ‘Welcome to Young’ sign, and the cast between takes in the dining room, with Heather’s lavish spread in the foreground.
Greg Stone, who heads up Home and Away‘s art department, also uploaded a number of backstage photos of the cast and crew filming the shocking scenes.
Posting a number of stories, we get to see the scenes from behind the camera, as a crew member holds a clapperboard before the scene where Marilyn awakens to find herself tied to a chair, and shots being framed with a crew member standing in for Marilyn.
Matthew Grossman stands in for Marilyn as they frame the shots.
Emily Symons takes her place on her chair as they run through the scene, with a script still in her hands and a bottle of water under her chair.
Tagged in one of the photos is Danny Raco, who previously played Alex Poulos, Leah’s brother. Danny now works as a director on the show, and directed the shoot at Iandra Castle.
One of the photos also shows Sofia Nolan clutching a hot water bottle, reflecting the fact that filming the Summer Bay drama isn’t always as warm as it appears on-screen.
Tagged in the behind-the-scenes stories were crew members including Matthew Grossman (@matthewtgrossman), Marcus Hides (@marcusdop), Bruce Murray (@mastergrips), Danie Sims (@sup.darnell_), director Danny Raco (@dannyracodirector), Lyndsey Hartshorn (@lennynoogs), studio dresser Megan Norris (@megannorris_creative), and camera assistant Danny O’Sullivan (@234dos).
Lucy Addario, Home and Away‘s Series Producer, also uploaded some behind-the-scenes photos to the platform, one of which shows Ray Meagher on a stretcher as his character Alf prepares to be bundled into the back of an ambulance.
The drama looks set to continue well into next week, as, despite her loved ones knowing she wasn’t at fault, Marilyn runs away to escape her shame. Will her friends be able to track her down?
Also in the episodes, Dean and Ziggy had their 12-week scan, where they were shocked to discover that Ziggy was in fact already 18 weeks pregnant.
“Looks like we’ll be seeing the grommet a lot sooner than we thought,” Ziggy exclaimed, as they both beamed with happiness.