31 March 2010

Neighbours: Helen Daniels, Frank Darcy And The Bungle Bungles

Frank Darcy, artist, played by Wyn Roberts, who arrived in Erinsborough from the Bungle Bungles in 1988. The actor's name is detailed as "Wynne Roberts" or "Wynn Roberts" elsewhere on the web, but the Neighbours closing credits of 1988 list him as Wyn.

My recent posts on the Australian soap Neighbours, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, prompted this anonymous comment:

I remember Helen Daniels, the Bungle Bungles and Frank Darcy too. He had an eye patch!

And since this comment I have recieved quite a large number of e-mails from others who remember Frank Darcy and the Bungle Bungles.

Have I any pictures of Mr Darcy?

I've uploaded a few screen caps here.

And what was the story about Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy) and Mr Darcy and The Bungle Bungles?

The Bungle Bungles are a prehistoric mountain range, shaped like "beehive domes" and discovered by chance by an Australian film crew flying over the area in 1983.

Australian - and then international - fame awaited them. In 1987, the Bungle Bungles or Purnululu National Park was established.

And here we leave the world of reality and enter the realm of soap fiction.

Helen Daniels, that well-known artist of Erinsborough, holidayed in the Bungle Bungles in 1987, and there she met fellow artist Frank Darcy.

Frank Darcy and Helen Daniels - brief happiness.

Frank was every inch the rugged bush man, but he and the urbane and sophisticated Helen were attracted to each other, and in 1988 he visited her in Erinsborough. Helen had organised an exhibition of his paintings, and was wildly enthusiastic about them.

Frank was unhappy at the prospect of his art work being exhibited, not desiring publicity and fame.

However, he went along with things for Helen, and the two became romantically involved.

Frank was unhappy in the city, and asked Helen to return to the Bungle Bungles with him.

But Helen could not face the prospect of uprooting and leaving her family in Ramsay Street behind.

And so the couple said a sad farewell.

Helen's involvement with the Bungle Bungles introduced many soap fans in Neighbours-watching countries to the fact that they existed, and several on-line mentions of the Bungle Bungles include the fact that Helen was there back in the 1980s.

Still on the subject of Neighbours, Francis writes:

I was surprised that the lyrics of the Neighbours theme tune include: "With a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend". I always heard it as "perfect plan" and it still sounds like that when I hear the original '80s theme tune. "Perfect blend" makes me think of coffee!

I was confused by that too, Francis, as I always thought it was "perfect plan" in the '80s. If anybody has any information on this (were the lyrics changed later, or is it just my hearing?!), I'd be glad to hear from them.


Bob D said...

In the 1980s, "perfect plan" is sung, I've just replayed and replayed and replayed an 80's episode's end credits. "Perfect blend" was a 1990s innovation. Not a very good one.

Jon said...

It's always been "perfect blend". Barry Crocker just doesn't enunciate clearly. "Plan" doesn't rhyme with "friend". =)

Maria said...

"... with a little understanding, you can find the perfect plan.

Neighbours should be there for one another - that's when good Neighbours become good friends..."

Be it "blend" or "plan", neither scans so as to rhyme with "friends" in the lyrics.

I've watched hundreds of 1980's episodes recently and it's PLAN that Barry Crocker sings.

David said...

Ask yourself the question: Why would they change the lyrics from "plan" to "blend"? There is no reason to, so why would they bother (do you think they paid Jackie Trent another fee to change that one word? Because no other lyricists have been credited on the song). As Jon pointed out, it's down to Barry's enunciation. The lack of clarity made people assume it was "plan". But when you think about what Neighbours is about, a perfect blend of people/families living in harmony makes sense, a perfect plan doesn't. What's a "plan" got to do with people living next door to each other? They're not scheming or plotting together.
All that said, like Francis, the line has always reminded me of coffee!

Anonymous said...

I don't blend with my neighbours either, David. But if there are difficulties, I do try to formulate a PLAN with them so that we can get on. With a little understanding, of course!