John Palmer's life went from bad to worse when he had to go on the run for a murder he didn't commit, and then fell in love with a woman who turned out to be the twin sister he never knew he had. The revelation opened up a whole can of worms, and forced two families, the wealthy Hamiltons and the homely Palmers, to confront events from the past that affected them all.Sons and Daughters began as the saga of two families linked by events that had happened twenty years earlier.
At that time, young David Palmer and his pregnant girlfriend, Patricia Dunne, had found themselves at Fiona Thompson's Sydney boarding house. After giving birth to twins, a boy and a girl, Patricia promptly ran out on David and their son, taking baby Angela with her.
Fiona was then left literally holding the baby, while David also took off to "get on his feet". He returned to collect John some years later, now married and with another young family of his own.
While David had married kaftan-wearing, Pavlova-baking Beryl, Patricia did much better for herself, marrying businessman Gordon Hamilton, and becoming something of a high society lady.
Life could have ticked along nicely for all of them, had John not been accused of killing his boss (John's future brother-in-law was the real culprit). He ran back to "Aunt Fiona", and within a few episodes had met his mother and sister (none of them realising the connection), decided Patricia was a rich bitch (correct) and fallen in love with his sister, Angela (whoops!). Of course, the truth eventually came out, John's name was cleared, and the scene was set for the action of the next year or two. Having been a spoilt little rich girl all her life, Angela moved in with the Palmers, and soon learned to appreciate her step-family, and the delights of their cream and beige décor. John, on the other hand, got a bit big headed and ended up driving fancy cars and dating petulant society girl Pru Armstrong.
Reunited after twenty years, David and Patricia realised they still had feelings for one another and embarked on a torrid affair, while Saint Beryl vowed to fight for her man. Meanwhile, their kids had their own problems. Susan's husband went to prison for murder, after John's name had been cleared, while brother Kevin got the girl next door pregnant and had to marry her.
Still determined to "keep it in the family", Angela fell for and married her step-uncle. Their marriage survived miscarriage, adultery, amnesia, surrogacy, and a stint running a coffee shop before the couple bowed out of the show. During this time, Jill Taylor, an ex-prostitute friend of Fiona's, ping-ponged between John Palmer and Angela's wicked half-brother Wayne - for some time she seemed to be permanently engaged to one or the other of them. But, her past continued to be a stumbling block, and prevented her from ever marrying either of them.
Eventually, she married an IRA member so that he could stay in the country, thought he had died, only for him to turn up at the altar at her next wedding, had another boyfriend die at the hands of his nurse in a mercy killing, became a prostitute again, got raped, had her baby dangled from a window by a mad woman, and finally left town with the rapist father of her daughter (who also turned out to be Fiona's long presumed dead son).
One of the biggest shocks in the show came during the twins' twenty first birthday party, when Patricia announced to David that he was not their real father.
She had been pregnant when she had met him and, sizing him up as the mug he was, had decided to pass them off as his. This led to a host of new characters being introduced into the story, including Martin Healy, the twins' real father. Much hand-wringing, and evil plotting by Patricia ensued, before Martin started to wish he had never got involved with his loopy family and shot himself. Not one to miss an opportunity, Patricia destroyed his suicide note, and watched David go to jail for his "murder".
David was eventually cleared, and for the next couple of years the adult characters played a complicated game of "musical partners" with each others' siblings. Gordon and Patricia divorced, and shortly after Gordon married old friend Barbara Armstrong, Patricia wed Barb's brother, Stephen Morrell. David and Beryl also split, and David was due to tie the knot with Patricia's sister, Margaret, but she died during surgery after sustaining injuries in a freak accident.
More about Sons and Daughters...
More on Sons and Daughters:
Sons and Daughters memories
Sons and Daughters cast
Sons and Daughters documentary
Sons and Daughters cast interviews:
Alyce Platt (Amanda)
Oriana Panozzo (Susan) - audio
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