Home and Away legend Ray Meagher hinted that there was a great deal of friction between his character Alf Stewart and the newcomer Kieran Baldivis.
This week’s episodes on Channel 5 see Alf face a tough time as Kieran – the exiled son of his wife Martha – arrives in the Bay to make amends.
Martha broke ties with Kieran (Rick Donald) years ago, when his battle with alcoholism spiraled out of control. Now that Kieran appears to be a changed character, he wants another chance.
Ray explained: “Alf is a discerning man, and over the years he has seen many fascinating characters coming in and out of the Bay, but Kieran’s appearance is particularly meaningful.
“Alf keeps his mind on him and wants to know about Kieran’s history – his whole past – and the more he finds out, the less confident he is that Kieran’s presence in the Bay is welcome.
“Alf is profoundly concerned about his wife, his family and his culture, and he will do everything in his power to protect the lives of those he loves.
“That now extends to Kieran, but what is best for Kieran may not be what Kieran believes it to be. To say it causes some tension would be an understatement.”
Asked if this could lead to a wedge between Alf and Martha, Ray answered, “When you have a husband who wants to protect his wife, and a mother who wants to protect her son, both fighting equally as hard to ensure their family unit remains intact, the fork in the road has to appear at some point. But I think Alf and Martha are strong enough to get through anything.”
Next week’s episodes on Channel 5 reveal that Kieran is secretly drinking again. It seems that history is doomed to repeat itself, particularly when Kieran is misbehaved in some of his private interactions with Alf and Roo.
Ray continued, “Kieran is a complicated person whose addiction has affected his poor conduct over the years. Kieran is a decent man deep down, but drinking has driven him to make some really bad decisions.
“Alf doesn’t stand for bad conduct, particularly when it comes to people’s safety. He has a huge heart and will help everyone in a difficult time, but when Kieran refuses to confront his demons, the battle lines are drawn to defend Martha and Roo.”