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Return to Eden

HANNA AND BARBERA venture into live action, but this appalling Antipodean Dynasty rip-off was no Banana Splits. Derided mini-series best known for REBECCA GILLING fighting an obviously rubber crocodile in a billabong. Show then got revived two years later as a much longer soap opera taking up the story seven years on. Original concept was camped up with a large dose of humour completely missed by its broadsheet critics who declared it a new low in TV drama. Every soap cliche in the book (plastic surgery, fake deaths, lovers discovering they’re siblings etc) tossed in as the plot got more outrageous by the week. The stars were the two villains: Jake, the original villain’s never previously mentioned brother (DANIEL ABINERI) and REBECCA GILLING’s treacherous friend now revealed as her half-sister Jilly,re-cast in a stroke of genius as the gorgeous PETA “Karen Travers from Prisoner” TOPPANO who played her as a spiteful child in a woman’s body.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    October 10, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    From the golden era of schlocky mini series( the mid eighties) that filled ITV on summer weekdays and provided an interesting alternative to a double helping of Wimbledon on the BBC. Return To Eden was Australia’s attempt to muscle in on what was normally American territory and was, like the bonkbusters from America, so bad it was good. A shame there wasn’t someone like Joan Collins around to play someone half her age.

    • Andrew Barton

      October 12, 2021 at 9:42 pm

      Watching the DVD of the early episodes of Chances, I’m surprised Denise Welch or Joan Collins were never tapped for the show given it had been sold to the UK. It needed someone like them to give it spice as it was so boring.

      At least Denise would not be seen as riding the Auf Wiedersehen Pet coattails (what with taking a role in Spender)if she had been in Chances. And Joan had the Dynasty angle.

      Back to Return to Eden – the mini series did well Down Under, but the weekly series did poorly. In fact so poorly it ended on a cliffhanger after one season, and forced the producers to have a tacked on ending for international markets.

      Hence why Dennis Harper has short hair due to Peter Cousens getting his hair cut as he didn’t expect to come back.

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