Drama finds new place to call home
LAVISH post-war drama A Place to Call Home has found just that on pay TV.
The beloved series returns to the small screen nearly two years after Channel 7 shocked fans by taking it off the air after just two seasons.
The series, created by Bevan Lee (Packed to the Rafters), follows the lives of the wealthy Bligh family and other residents of Inverness, NSW.
Foxtel couldn't ignore the remarkable response from fans, including rallies held by clubs across the country, and commissioned another two seasons, still produced by Seven, for its SoHo Channel.
The main cast and much of the crew held out for the show's return, ensuring a seamless transition.
The first order of business was to film an alternate ending to season two, or, as the cast calls it, the real ending.
"Everyone felt so short-changed by the (original) get-out ending, including us," Noni Hazelhurst tells APN.
"People quite rightly revolted. They knew the story wasn't finished, and fortunately it hasn't."
Hazelhurst plays Bligh matriarch Elizabeth who, in the new cliff-hanger ending to season two, comes to an emotional epiphany about how her overly protective behaviour had been affecting her family.
She leaves the family estate in the hands of her son George to find a new purpose in life.
"She's got some soul searching to do," Hazelhurst says.
"She's fulfilled a role and now that that role is no longer required she does have to redefine herself and work out where she can be useful because she's very much of generation that wants to be of service.
"She's at rock bottom in a way, and after moments like that you can emerge from the ashes triumphant or go further down."
But George's shooting, the circumstances around which are still unclear, is sure to put a hold on her plans.
"What would it mean for any mother? You'd come rushing back wouldn't you?" she says.
Meanwhile newlyweds Anna (Abby Earl) and Gino (Aldo Mignone) are unaware of the dramas at home as they enjoy their honeymoon in Sydney.
The third season won't be full of wedded bliss for the young couple.
The series will continue to examine the shifting social norms of the time, such as Anna's brother James' sexuality.
"I think the issues of the time are still what drive the whole series, which is why people appreciate it on an intellectual level," Earl says.
"Sometimes you watch the show and think wow we've changed drastically and other times you think we haven't come very far at all.
"Even though it is really beautiful and romantic and nostalgic, a period piece like this is about evaluating our history. People say to me 'it's great to see Australia 1953', not America or Britain. What's our story?"
A Place To Call Home season three debuts tonight at 8.30pm on Foxtel's SoHo channel.