With over 7,500 episodes clocked it, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that the majority of instalments of the Australian soap opera Neighbours have been consigned to history now. That, or someone somewhere has an enormous boxset sat in their garage, that they need a forklift to transport.
But of all the episodes, perhaps the oddest – and it’s not something we say lightly – is the one where Bouncer the dog had a very strange dream sequence.
To put this in some context, Bouncer the dog was a firm favourite, and a real competitor with Well ‘Ard and Ethel’s little Willy for the best ever soap opera pooch. He was, for the most part, owned by Mike (Guy Pearce), but then there was the heart-wrenching moment when the lovable Labrador retriever dumped Mike and went to live with Mrs Mangel instead. In all, he went through several owners, and was part of the show from 1987 to 1993.
Also, a true story: Bouncer was Bouncer’s real name.
For the moment we’re talking about though, Bouncer got himself a love interest. Sort of. He was drawn to Clarrie McLachlan’s dog, Rosie, and the writers presumably had run out of coffee that day, as they came up with a plan. They wrote into the show a dream sequence for Bouncer, that would see Bouncer fantasising in his sleep (steady) about getting married to Rosie.
Naturally, the clip is online. Here it is, from episode 1254 of the show….
The reaction to the clip was, er, a little mixed. Anne Charleston, wh played Madge, probably summed it up the best when she told Channel 5 that “the whole cast was mortified”, noting “it reduced it to a three year old’s programme”.
“It was very strange”, she added.
It really was…