Neighbours revisits a dark chapter from Paul Robinson’s (Stefan Dennis) past on Monday (15th July) when the Erinsborough legend is reunited with evil son Robert Robinson (Adam Hunter), more than a decade after he was jailed for murder.
Paul is perplexed when Roxy Willis (Zima Anderson) starts asking awkward questions about the black sheep of the Robinson clan, who is incarcerated in a maximum security prison for multiple murder and trying to kill his own father.
The Lassiters boss soon learns from son Leo Tanaka (Tim Kano) that his doctor brother David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) is visiting the half-sibling he never knew, intending to make him the subject of a medical study examining the criminal mind. Paul dashes to the prison to stop the meeting, but there’s a huge surprise in store…
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What happens when Paul meets Robert again?
Paul bursts in as David is about to talk to Robert, facing him for the first time since he was locked up 12 years ago. Angered at the sight of the father he hates Rob retreats and refuses to see any more visitors, scuppering David’s trial. But there’s a bigger surprise in store when a 19-year-old girl called Harlow appears hoping to meet Robert – and reveals she is his daughter!
Disappointed her dad won’t see her, Harlow explains to Paul and David she is the product of a fling between Rob and a British backpacker called Prudence who met while she was travelling. Harlow has written to her father but never met him, and there’s no chance of that now thanks to Paul’s appearance.
Feeling bad, Paul invites her back to Erinsborough so she can explore her paternal family’s roots. Incidentally, Harlow is played by Jemma Donovan, real-life daughter of Neighbours legend Jason Donovan who played Paul’s little brother Scott Robinson back in the 1980s. The character’s mother will be played by future guest star Denise Van Outen.
What do we know about Paul’s son Robert?
Rascal Rob was one of the triplets – along with brother Cameron (also played by Hunter) and sister Elle – born to Paul and second wife Gail Robinson circa 1989 following IVF treatment undertaken when Gail was diagnosed as infertile. Viewers never saw the triplets as they were born off screen after pregnant Gail left Paul and moved to Tasmania.
The character was introduced as an adult in 2006, twisted with bitterness and resentment towards his feckless father who had abandoned his branch of the family and caused nothing but upset for mum Gail. Rob came to town on a mission to destroy Paul, planting a bomb on a plane intended to kill his dad – only he wasn’t on board and Ramsay Street residents David, Serena and Liljana Bishop got bumped off instead.
Robert caused a car crash that put identical twin Cameron in a coma, then posed as his nice-guy brother while infiltrating Paul’s life and creating general havoc over an eventful year in Erinsborough that also saw him target Elle and several other locals who got in his way.
When was Robert last in Neighbours?
The family feud spiralled into violence as Rob left Paul tied up in a collapsing mineshaft, then later shot his dad believing he had convinced Gail to remarry him. But the second ‘wedding’ was a set-up to lure Rob out of hiding and the police finally apprehended him, but when he faked an escape from jail he managed to get Cameron murdered in a case of mistaken identity, as neighbour Max Hoyland thought he was his bad boy brother on the loose and ran him over.
Robert was last seen on screen in 2007 at Max’s manslaughter trial where he showed his true colours revealing he was still hellbent on making Paul pay for the emotional damage he’d inflicted. He was led back to his cell and has languished behind bars ever since, barely spoken of until now…
Hunter did reprise the role for the amusing online fantasy spinoff Neighbours vs Time Travel in 2017 in which Paul viewed several alternative timelines after changing history, including a ‘what-if’ version of deranged Robert no longer jailed for life!
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