Offspring cast reflects on show’s ‘explosive’ return
QUIRKY family drama Offspring returned to our screens tonight after a two-year hiatus and producers wasted no time revealing the "explosive" tragedy viewers were told would strike the Proudman clan.
Within minutes of the show's season six premiere characters received the sad news that Darcy Proudman (John Waters) has suffered a heart attack while on a cruise.
The death of the Proudman patriarch was the catalyst for the reunion of siblings Nina (Asher Keddie) and Jimmy (Richard Davies) with older sister Billie (Kat Stewart), who rushed home from the UK where she had been on tour with her muso husband Mick (Eddie Perfect).
"I love John Waters; we all do," Kat Stewart told APN.
"So there's that element of just not being able to hang out with him on set anymore.
"But after the initial shock it does feel like a good way to springboard the story.
"I think it's a strong way to start the season with all those things that are so Offspring: heart and truth and humour."
Then at the funeral the Proudmans are rocked by more news that Darcy's estate lawyer Will is in fact his son with former neighbour and Geraldine's close friend Margery.
Producer Imogen Banks said the show's writers and producers needed to start with the two-punch "bombshell" to give the show a reason for returning after the neatly-wrapped season five finale.
"You don't want the wheels spinning," she said.
"There's always (got to be) evolution. You don't want to get stagnant; you don't want to start taking characters for granted or treading water.
"Offspring is one of those shows where you're deeply involved with the minutia of the decisions they're making and the emotional upheaval."
Expect to see a lot more of newcomer TJ Power as Will gets to know his crazy half-siblings.
"It doesn't feel like a stretch to think Darcy would have another love child," Stewart said.
"TJ is fantastic. He just brings something new but also fits into the world so well. He's really funny and charming and smart and tall; it's distracting (laughs). He's a lovely person to have around."
Will's sudden arrival doesn't sit well with one of the Proudman siblings. As Darcy's only adult son, Jimmy becomes protective of his older sisters and mum.
"There's a bit of tension from Jimmy towards Will; he's trying to figure out who he is," Richard Davies said.
"It's one thing to say you're a Proudman but to fit into the clan is another thing.
"Will looks like a Proudman but I think Jimmy's a little bit suspicious at first. It's also like a bit of an uppercut for Jimmy; he's always known where he fits in and this season he's questioning a lot of that."
Nina and Leo's (Patrick Brammall) relationship will also be explored more next week.
Tonight's episode revealed they are no longer a couple, with Leo breaking the news that he is seeing someone, but there's a lingering awkwardness between the two co-workers which Leo referred to as "how we are and have been".
Nina also lashed out at Leo and blamed him for missing a call from Darcy minutes before his death.
"My father was dying and I was listening to you talk about your new girlfriend," she said.
Offspring continues next Wednesday at 8.40pm on Channel 10.