Sons And Daughters (Seven, 1982-1987)
Here’s a look back at yet another soap that comes from Down Under, and this one was popular throughout the 80s. Was it created by Reg Watson? Why, of course it was! Sons And Daughters was destined to be a little more glamorous than most other TV soaps around at the time, it was shown in a primetime slot and was essentially an attempt to create an Australian equivalent of Dallas (but on a much smaller budget).
The opening sequence is rather memorable, as it featured sepia-tinted close-ups of the miserable-looking cast, accompanied by the theme song that was performed by Kerri Biddell And Mick Leyton, which was also released as a single in the UK, it entered the chart in April 1984 and reached No. 68. It definitely had a go at trying to stand out more than the average soap.
The show originally focused around two feuding families, the Hamiltons, who lived in Sydney, and the Palmers, who lived in Melbourne. This was the first soap to be set in both cities, and there were plenty of scenes on location. Some of them then discover that they are related to each other, and this is where the excitement really begins, as the secrets begin to unravel and everyone’s lives become increasingly entangled.
As the episodes proceed, there are plenty of cliffhangers (which were always taken to the extreme for the final episode in the series), there were eventually plenty of other families who took part, and just about every far-fetched plot was used (a lot of shock secret relatives!). Again, lot of of the cast members went on to appear in lots of other soaps.
There were 972 episodes of Sons And Daughters, again ratings had began to slump by the end as all of the ideas were exhausted, and it ran for just short of six years. It was shown on ITV in an afternoon slot, usually before CITV, seemingly when they had run out of episodes of The Young Doctors, but it did gain a decent-sized following. Each region showed it at its own pace, but on Thames it ran from 1983-1990. It was also repeated on UK Gold from 1992-1996.
It was then repeated on Channel 5 from 1998, and after a short while it was usually shown around 5am, which some might consider was the best place for it. Their aim was to duplicate the success of Prisoner: Cell Block H which had been shown in that slot and done well. However, even in that timeslot it still got higher ratings than their home-grown soap Family Affairs (only kidding!). It also won an award or two, and the highlights have bee released on DVD.