Ahh Neighbors, how could we possibly forget such a seminal piece of Australian TV history?
The epic story following the beloved residents of Ramsay Street is the longest-running drama series in Australian television history, responsible for launching the careers of Aussie superstars the likes of Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Holly Valance and Jason Donovan – not to mention shaping the family values of three generations.
Neighbours is so omnipresent in Australian pop culture that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t an instant hit. That’s right, when it started on Channel Seven back in 1985, the show did so poorly it was axed after just four months.
Meanwhile, Channel Ten saw there was potential and picked it up immediately. They had to rebuild all the production sets after Channel Seven famously destroyed the originals, making things that little bit harder for their rivals to resume filming.
Almost two years later, more than twenty million UK viewers were glued to their TVs for Scott and Charlene’s wedding. 34 seasons later, the show is one of the most successful Australian media exports of all time – and one of the most well-known around the world.
What’s not so widely known is that in 1991, Grundy (the show’s original production company), Excalibur and the BBC partnered to release a video game based on the hit soap opera.
This 8-bit masterpiece was a high-octane thriller in which you played none other than mighty Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan) racing down iconic Ramsay Street with your skateboard against four other characters from the show.
There are also courses set at Lassiter’s (where the pub and cafe are) and Erinsborough High School.
Mike (Guy Pearce) also rides a skateboard, Charlene (Minogue) rides a go-kart, Matt Robinson (Ashley Paske) rocks a motorcycle and Henry (Craig McLachlan) rides a…lawnmower.
While racing down Ramsay Street and other iconic settings, you have to face such hazards as aimless dogs, emus, kangaroos and reckless vehicles blazing across their path. Oh, and of course, players collected “Grundy” diamonds along the way.
All I’m saying is: this is mankind’s greatest achievement.