The spotlight was firmly on Mackenzie Hargreaves (Georgie Stone) in today’s Neighbours as her diary entries were read out by her friends and family, with her permission, and they shed light on what it was like for the transgender character as she was growing up.
Mackenzie was meant to read them herself at the writers’ festival but following the discovery that her estranged father, Grant (Paul Mercurio), is only in town to sort out a legal problem, she was devastated at what she felt was another rejection and withdrew.
But, feeling that it is important her journey is shared, she allowed her friends and family to read them for her.
The emotional episode, another triumph for the soap that continues to make positive, progressive strides, was co-written by Georgie Stone herself, alongside series boss, Jason Herbison. “I wrote the diary entries and edited them with Jason,” said Stone while talking exclusively with RadioTimes.com, adding that she was “really thrilled to be asked to write them because Jason wanted them to be as authentic as possible”.
The diary entries took viewers on a brief journey through key points in Mackenzie’s life, giving us an at times heartbreaking look at what she went through upon realising she identified as a girl and at the years that followed. Stone herself played a huge part in what stages of her life we heard about. “I chose the years for each event and personal moment for Mackenzie, I was very involved”.
While the episode is one that viewers are sure to shed a tear at, it also ended with Mackenzie and Grant showing signs of a happy father-daughter relationship when Grant read an excerpt that made him realise how badly he had treated his child.
As for whether this turning point will stick, Stone is optimistic. “It is a process. He hasn’t become a completely different person, but I think what has changed is that he is trying to be the best father he can possibly be and Mackenzie can see that – and she appreciates his efforts.”