Most fans agreed with that Neighbours had a fitting end when the heartwarming final episode aired last month, but getting to that point wasn’t easy for the show’s writers and story writers.
Channel 5 announced its decision to cancel the show in February, leaving the soap team with just four months to map out and film the finale.
As you’d expect with any long-running drama, there were plans for huge storylines beyond that point that unfortunately had to be shelved – as we’ve heard in recent interviews from some of our Neighbours favorites.
Here we round up 10 storylines that fell by the wayside or were removed entirely.
1. Karl and Susan’s money worries
The beginning of the year featured a devastating setback for the Kennedys when Karl foolishly invested his savings in Montana Marcel’s new start-up company. The money was lost when Montana was arrested, and Susan became furious with Karl.
At the time, many fans suspected that this storyline was specifically written to set up the final weeks of Neighbours and a possible departure for Karl and Susan.
The opposite proved to be true, as the story – which would have gone on longer – was largely forgotten once the nostalgia of the last few months kicked in.
2. David’s shock departure
Before the ax fell on Neighbours, Takaya Honda had decided that 2022 would be his last year in the role of David Tanaka. This was not announced to fans, and plans for him to be written out were eventually shelved when the show was cancelled.
David’s dramatic final months in Erinsborough, which included the death of Gareth Bateman and being sent to prison, were all originally intended to lead up to his departure from the show.
In a recent chat with Digital spyexplained Takaya, “The story would have gone on longer and it would have been different. They’ve had to change things to shorten it, but hopefully it still has the same impact.
“Even if it’s shortened — and I only have a vague idea of what they had planned if it continued — I don’t think the audience will feel robbed that the story has ended.
“There was still so much room, within the time we had on screen, to tell the story fully and in an enjoyable way. It was nothing short of an exciting roller coaster ride.”
3. Mackenzie’s happy ending
Georgie Stone, who played Mackenzie Hargreaves, also narrated Digital spy that 2022 would likely have been her last year on the show regardless of whether it continued or not.
Reflecting on how Neighbours shocking news leaked before the cast were told, Georgie explained: “It’s no fun finding out you’re losing your job via social media.
“I think I was going to leave at some point this year anyway, but I was sad that there wouldn’t be future generations of young actors who get to have this experience on the show.”
The show’s team had tentative plans to give Mackenzie a hopeful new chapter after the tragic death of her husband Hendrix Greyson. With Hendrix dying just weeks before Neighbours ended, there was no time to explore this on screen.
Script producer Shane Isheev tweeted in June: “[Hendrix’s death] was scheduled before we knew the show was over because we were about to lose the actor. And the lovely Georgie also wanted Mack to have the FULL soap experience.
“Trust me, had we continued, we had plans for Mack to find love again and have her happily ever after.”
4. Byron as usual
Jane Harris’ son Byron Stone appeared on screen in early July, but left before the finale. Neighbours was axed after Joe Klocek had been cast in the role, so he would have played the character anyway.
The original plan would have seen Byron move into Ramsay Street as a regular character, with some major storylines planned for him.
Shane Isheev narrated Digital spy: “He’s a character that we would have gotten a lot of mileage out of, and he would have stuck around for the long haul.”
5. Victor’s arrival shakes Jane’s life
It would have been a busy year for Jane’s family, as Isheev also confirmed that plans were in the works for Nicolette and Byron’s father Victor to join Erinsborough.
There was no time to explore this story before Neighbours ended, so the plot had to be scrapped.
Charlotte Chimes, who played Nicolette Stone, later recounted Digital spy: “It’s a shame some things I knew came up for [Nicolette] Not happening now, as I would have loved to have been able to enjoy these stories.
“Nicolette’s father was coming and we didn’t have time for that. That was one thing I was really looking forward to — exploring the Jane and Nicolette dynamic and how the father would affect that.”
In a separate chat with Chatterbox radioexplained Isheev: “We even know who we wanted to play that role. Vic would have come in and been a bit of a charmer. I think, if Clive and Jane had got together, he probably would have tempted Jane away from Clive Maybe put the moves on Wendy and charming Vera.
“Karl and Susan lost all the money with the Montana story. He would have hung on to it and maybe even made things worse for them.”
6. The slow road to Paul and Terese’s reunion
Let’s face it, it Neighbours the team was always to reunite Paul and Terese before the show ended. However, some fans questioned the execution of the move, coming so soon after Paul had planned to destroy Teresa’s professional reputation after the split.
In his post-final chat with Digital spyexecutive producer Jason Herbison confirmed that there would have been a much slower build-up to the “Praise” reunion if the show had continued.
Herbison explained: “In a perfect world we would have taken longer to reunite them. But with Paul I think it’s a case of better the devil you know.
“Terese hasn’t always walked a straight line and they are each other’s equals. I’m glad I reunited them and I don’t think Paul will ever change. But as Terese wrote on her note, she accepts it. It doesn’t mean not that she won’t end up tearing up the note!”
7. An extra Rodwell
Neighbours bosses had plans for at least one extra member of the Rodwells when they first developed the family.
But with limited screen time available to give the clan when Neighbours was discontinued, this character was removed from the script and the team chose to introduce only one child to Andrew and Wendy.
Candice Leask, who played Wendy, recently shared Digital spy: “Initially it was meant to be a younger son. So when we had an end date, they decided they were just going to have Sadie as a daughter.”
8. Wendy’s past revealed
Wendy caused a stir with her eager ways of rejoicing when she first moved to Ramsay Street. However, there were reasons in Wendy’s backstory to explain this attitude, which viewers never learned about.
Candice Leask told us: “Wendy’s story was going to develop and unravel. They were going to explore why she was the way she was. It would have been cool to find out why she wanted everyone to like her. I think she was full of angst when she went to talk to people.”
9. More drama for Terese and Estelle
Teresa’s mother Estelle was another character introduced at the eleventh hour for a limited run, but original plans for the show’s future would have seen her role in a different storyline.
Shane Isheev narrated Digital spy: “We didn’t want to miss seeing any of those faces pop up, so that’s why we still have Byron, and we still have Estelle — just so we can see them.
“We had another really big story for Terese and Estelle that unfortunately we can’t tell now.”
10. Erinsborough earthquake
Shane Isheev has also confirmed that David’s prison storyline was originally going to feature some familiar faces from the show’s past, including 2016 villain Jacka Hills and fan favorite Darcy Tyler.
He told Chatterbox radio: “One of the original ideas I had for sending David to prison was for him to meet some of the previous villains in the series.
“We were working on potentially doing an earthquake, which would have resulted in a huge mass breakout in the prison. There was also an opportunity to refurbish some of the sets in Erinsborough.
“I wanted to do a mass prison breakout, where iconic villains from Neighbours previously band together and wreak havoc on the show.”
Neighbours has now come to an end, but catch-up episodes are available via My 5 (UK) and 10 Play (Australia).
read more Neighbours coverage on our dedicated website