It’s shaping up to be a decidedly dark Christmas in the soaps, what with Coronation Street‘s armed siege, cuckolded Phil Mitchell’s revenge in EastEnders and the build-up to Graham Foster’s murder in Emmerdale, and the misery spreads down under to Neighbours who are unleashing their most violent festive storyline to date.
Serial killer Robert Robinson, disturbed son of the legendary Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis), agrees to be tested as a kidney donor for dying brother David Tanaka. The incarcerated murderer is the family’s final hope, and his involvement sets off a chain of events that culminate in a knife-wielding siege situation on Christmas Day at the Kennedys’ which puts several lives in danger.
No wonder Paul is reluctant to ask for his son’s help, as Dennis divulges…
“Paul knows Robert isn’t getting tested because it’s the right thing to do, there is going to be a catch – quid pro quo. He hates the thought of being beholden to Robert.
“The family meets with Robert to discuss it and there is a lot of tension,” continues the star. “It’s a life or death situation so the siblings are able to put everything aside. Nobody wants to focus on the worst case scenario, but Paul knows David’s life is in the balance here and has to cling to whatever it takes to save him – even if it means giving Robert the upper hand.”
Calculating Robert has obviously seen The Silence of the Lambs a few times, as he stages a daring escape while he’s under armed guard in the outside world.
“When Robert is at the hospital for the tests to confirm if he is a donor, he ducks out when the guards and nurses are distracted and takes off in an ambulance.
“Robert ends up on Ramsay Street and takes Finn Kelly and pregnant Elly Conway hostage at knife point. She goes into labour and Robert won’t let her go to the hospital…”
A nightmare unfolds in the usually-sleepy suburban street, but we can confirm Elly and the baby survive. As to Robert’s fate beyond the festive instalment, Dennis hints there is more drama on the horizon.
“Paul and Robert have a horrible history, there are many issues to sort through and no doubt more secrets to be revealed. He ends up being transferred to a prison closer to Erinsborough, so don’t be surprised if we see him again. Paul is also worried for Robert’s daughter Harlow, and doesn’t want her pulled into his son’s web of lies. Robert is a classic manipulator…”
This is only the second time Neighbours has broadcast over the Christmas period in its 35-year history, following Channel 5’s 2017 deal to co-fund the show and keep it on air all-year round instead of following Australian TV’s usual format of continuing dramas taking an annual schedule break during the festive season.
Last year’s first ever Christmas Day edition brought Jim Robinson (Alan Dale) back from the dead in a ghostly hallucination when Paul crashed his car, so the pressure is on for the scary siege to deliver…
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