Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Dustin, Matt and Luke

Men steal the show

FRANK McLeod [sic] may have left Drovers Run to his daughters, but these days it's the blokes who are stealing the show. As the award-winning Channel 9 drama returns for its seventh season on Wednesday, executive producer Karl Zwicky reveals it will be a bumper year with highlights including:

RENEWED romance between Stevie Hall (Simmone Jade Mackinnon) and Alex Ryan (Aaron Jeffery) with "moves in the direction" of a wedding.

THE show's 200th episode, which will screen around October.

KATE Manfredi's (Michala Banas) return from Africa.

VISITS from familiar faces such as Meg Fountain (Sonia Todd) and Stevie's daughter, Rose Hall-Smith (Basia A'hern).

ROMANCE for Moira Doyle (Doris Younane) with "evil" Phil Rakich (Peter Hardy).

THE arrival of Regan McLeod's (Zoe Naylor) estranged sister, Grace (Abi Tucker).

Meanwhile, the boys are in the thick of the action with Dustin Clare, Luke Jacobz and newcomer Matt Passmore leading the charge alongside Jeffery, who Zwicky says is "100 per cent" staying with the show, although he'll have a sabbatical in the middle of series eight, which is now filming.

Clare, who plays "horse whisperer" Riley Ward, said while the show was really still for women and the plot lines tended towards the female cast, "the males are becoming more significant now".

"We even get to do scenes with just men in them," he joked.

But Wednesday's episode is no laughing matter, with Riley's jealous side emerging as Rob Shelton (Jonny Pasvolsky) now using his real name of Matt Bosnich returns, free of the witness protection program and eager to win Jodi Fountain (Rachael Carpani) back.

"His relationship with Jodi is important," Clare said.

"It's a quiet attraction, not for public show, and I enjoy that.

"Riley is very protective of her and anyone vulnerable, and he is verywary of Rob coming back. He can see Jodi is torn and is being hurt, and it's then he discovers how strong his feelings for her are."

Clare said the battle for her affections would run for eight episodes but was coy about who would emerge victorious.

Jacobz, who plays Patrick Brewer, said the increasing prominence of men made the show more diverse.

"The daughters are always going to be the predominant characters, but you can't have a life without the other sex and the relationships," he said. "And people love to know what's going on at Drovers Run."

He called Patrick "a loose cannon people still aren't sure if he's going to stick around and it's nice to keep them guessing".

Certainly, Patrick has had his fair share of heartache, sacrificing his own feelings last season to let Kate find happiness with his brother.

Fortunately, there's light on the horizon, with Zwicky revealing he'll "start to form a bit of a relationship" with troubled Tayler Geddes (Gillian Alexy).

Passmore who's dating Carpani reflected on his character of Marcus Turner being the "second bite at McLeod's for me".

"I first appeared there as a character interested in Bridie," he said. "They were probing to see if it would continue but, when she decided to leave, there was nowhere for my character to go."

This time around, he's a footballer turned accountant who comes to audit Killarney.

"He was a bad boy, which cost him his AFL career, and his dad bailed him out," he said.

"But I come from Brisbane, from King Wally (Lewis) country, so I hope they're not expecting me to make a comeback!"

Passmore said they were "investing a lot in my character".

"He's wearing a suit and looks like a city boy he even drives an Astra convertible a red one. When I spin the wheels a bit, I have to make my own muffler noise." As for onscreen romance, he's keeping coy.

"Marcus is quite interested in women in general, and Drovers Run has some great women, so someone may catch his eye," Passmore teased.

Ah yes, the women. Despite the emergence of the blokes, the women still rule centrestage.

"The flavour of the show has always been about women working on the land and will always be centred on Drovers Run and the women who work on Drovers and that's never going to change," Zwicky said.

McLeod's Daughters is on Channel 9 on Wednesday at 7.30pm

By Matt Byrne, Lisa Chant
February 04, 2007
The Sunday Mail (SA)