Home & Away was the racy cousin of Neighbours. It gave us the Australia we wanted to see - ie, it had beach scenes. Curiously nobody seemed to wear sunglasses.
It doesn't have a stand out memorable few years like Scott & Charlene in Neighbours but early Home & Away was consistently quite good. For an Australian soap. It always dealt with more issues than Neighbours and was slightly grittier. Pippa and Tom were the foster parents and the show revolved around their foster kids and the other 'lost' children of Summer Bay who just needed a bit of love. None were as lost as Bobby (above) who turned out to be... Flathead's daughter! Scandal!
Great characters of H&A include Alf ("the flamin' mongrol"), Bobby, Emma (a young Danni Minogue), Marilyn, Flathead, Martin and Lance, Sally (so tragic) and my personal favourite - Morag.
It's also famed for its young lovers storylines. Angel and Shane were the first of these but I always found them utterly tedious. It launched the career of several actors and there must be something to those Aussie soaps because they really do turn out some stars. Isla Fisher (I always quite liked her), Vinnie (can't think of his name - him from True Blood), Danni Minogue (although they could have kept her) and I am sure loads more.
Check out these credits (sappiest theme song - ever, surely?) Look how young Sally is!