McLeod’s Daughters

Former McLeod’s daughters cast members have been named as the new presenters of ABC’s Play School.

Rachael Coopes and Jonny Pasvolsky will join the long-running children’s series from July, beginning with a series of episodes to celebrate the 45th birthday of the show.

“This is my dream job,” Rachael Coopes said in a statement.

“I’m very grateful for the chance to be a part of Play School and hope I can inspire young kids to dream and use their imagination, just like the show did for me.”

The pair will follow in the footsteps of a number of actors who have hosted the show, including Brooke Satchwell, Georgie Parker, John Waters and Andrew McFarlane.

Source: The Age

Saturday, January 31 at 10.30pm

The girls deal with the cattle running amok, eventually bringing them back under control, but not before Monique and Ben effortlessly save Regan when she falls amidst the crush of beasts, making Jaz feel inadequate and very much the loser in any unspoken competition with Monique for Ben’s affections. Jaz feels even more shown up for not noticing the dead limb on the tree where they camped and believes she has no hope of competing with the familiarity and ease of Ben’s relationship with Monique. Yet it is precisely the predictability of the relationship which makes Ben realise he is looking for something more. Life with Monique may be comfortable and without any surprises but Ben finds himself yearning for fireworks, and sees those with Jaz. He eventually must break the difficult truth to Monique that he has outgrown her, and chooses passion over obligation.

Grace fixes a broken fence with Marcus, who tells her he still hasn’t come to terms with her involvement in sending Ingrid away. Grace senses the beginning of the end. Marcus and Grace head to a nearby town to get supplies, and when Grace accepts that Marcus will never love him like Ingrid, she takes advantage of a pit stop and rings Russ to get Ingrid’s address. She engineers a meeting between Marcus and Ingrid, leaving them alone to sort out their misunderstandings. They reunite, and although her heart is breaking, Grace knows she has done the right thing.

The others look for cattle missing after the herd has been rounded up once more , and Stevie soon discovers they are in the possession of Farmer Bruce Creighton, who claims them as payment for all the damage he endures as a result of endless drovers travelling past his property.

Stevie has taken the stampede and the loss of cattle badly, and is feeling the absence of Alex’s presence. She has lost her fire, something noticed by Moira. Moira suggests that Stevie should think of what Alex would do in the circumstances. Stevie has a think about it, and decides she’s not going to take it lying down. She tells the others they’re going to get their cattle back.

Patrick and Tayler act as a decoy couple in distress, distracting Creighton while Moira works on the farmer’s cattle truck with which to steal their stock back. During their charade as husband and wife, Tayler hits on the plan that will keep them both happy – going to Africa to work with Dave can fulfil both their career ambitions. Moira has had flashes suggesting an accident and refuses to compromise the repair, not wanting to risk their lives. While she works the others load the stolen cattle on board, and just when Creighton gets wise to Patrick and Tayler’s ruse, Moira gets the engine working and they all speed away. Jaz performs an act of bravery to stop Creighton in his tracks, thus redeeming herself. It’s a race to get to the cattle train in time but when they miss it, Stevie and the girls race on horseback across country and at the last minute manage to stop the cattle train. The farm is saved.

Back at home, they are greeted by Meg and Jodi, who have arrived for Xander’s first birthday party. Jodi is happily pregnant, and wants to live on Drovers Run.

Moira gets another flash at the farm gate, as Regan and Grace tie balloons for Xander’s birthday party. She drives off and saves Phil, coming to see her, from the jaws of certain death, and they are happily reunited.

Patrick and Tayler make up, as do Ben and Jaz. Stevie goes to Alex’s grave and tells him she’s going to be okay from now on. Charlotte finds one of Stevie’s missing rings. Walking with Charlotte and her son, Stevie has a vision of the future where both are grown up and still working Killarney and Drovers Run. She comes out of her vision, content with what life will bring.

Saturday, January 31 at 9.30pm

It’s six months since our last episode. High summer is looming and the ongoing drought has forced drastic action. All the sheep are being mustered and shorn to sell off so the remaining stored feed can help keep the cattle going through the next months. We see Stevie at her best – thinking quickly on her feet, acting boldly. It will be all hands on deck in a massive team effort, reminiscent of the spirit of community that is classic McLeod’s. Regan is helping out, having arrived early for Xander’s birthday and secretly hoping for a job on Drovers. But Stevie is nursing a secret; the financial situation is even more dire than she’s told the others. The whole future of Drovers rests on this plan.

Stevie’s secret is revealed halfway through the shear when – to avoid mutiny – Stevie confesses all. Drovers is in terrible financial trouble. Stevie hasn’t been drawing herself a wage for the last six months, opting not to pay herself, in order to avoid having to sack one of the girls. The revelation threatens to blow Stevie and Grace apart. Grace is angry and hurt that Stevie didn’t tell them what was going on and questions Stevie’s loyalty as the only non-McLeod. Stevie is stung that her loyalty to Drovers would be questioned. It’s Jaz and Regan who point out the big picture: If they don’t fix this, there won’t be a Drovers to fight over. Not for them, and not for future generations. They resolve to put their differences aside and find some way to get through this together.

With the help of Killarney, the shearing is completed. But just as a relieved Stevie thinks they’re out of the woods, the silo holding all of their grain stocks catches fire. Suddenly the grain that was supposed to help get the cattle through the next few months is gone. Worse, for Stevie, she loses her wedding rings, her talisman that Alex is guiding her. Stevie loses hope and confidence. She refuses to take responsibility any more for decisions about Drovers. The farm is now in terrible trouble. With so much money owed, the local truckies won’t even take their cattle to the big sales, and when Marcus tries to intercede, Killarney’s cattle are banned from transport as well. Together, the others come up with the only possible solution. They will drove all the cattle – Drovers and Killarney – to a pick-up point where an interstate road train can take them to the cattle sales.

So Drovers and Killarney go on the road with a thousand head of cattle and 3 days to make their deadline. But things go desperately wrong the first night, when something frightens the cattle and they stampede out of the camp and are gone.

Amid bonding over (aka arguments over) Xander’s treehouse, Ben and Jaz have been getting closer. After an interrupted near-kiss, it’s time to put their cards on the table. With Patrick urging Ben on, and the girls encouraging Jaz, they finally organise a date for the following night. But questions from Regan concerning the status of Ben’s ex girlfriend prompt Ben to make contact with her. Much as Ben wants to pursue a future with Jaz, he knows he has to resolve his past with Monique.

He calls off the date, while he sorts things out. Jaz is furious with Regan for interfering, but worse is to come when Monique turns up and joins them on the drove. Stevie is appalled to discover the woman Ben was pining for is her childhood nemesis, but confronting Ben about it only makes him dig his heels in. He promised to marry her if she sorted things out. Jaz is resigned to losing Ben. How can she compete with someone who has this great an emotional hold over Ben, and does she even want to?

Six months later, Grace and Marcus are in a relationship. Both are blissfully happy, only Grace has slight (barely acknowledged) misgivings: Are they really a romantic couple, or are they more matey? And does Marcus still think of Ingrid?

Grace’s fears are put to the test when she runs into Ingrid in Bundawindi. Marcus has taken Grace there for a surprise. Goaded by the girls, Grace is secretly hoping he’s buying her a ring. When the present is a ute, Grace can’t help being a touch disappointed. It’s perfect and it’s just what she needs … but it’s a gift between mates, not lovers. And when she bumps into Ingrid and realises Ingrid still has feelings for Marcus she has to wonder whether – if he saw her again – Marcus would still have feelings for Ingrid. Ingrid insists Grace not tell Marcus she’s seen her, but over the long night of the shear, Grace finally confesses to Marcus. After a bumpy first reaction, Marcus tells Grace she is the only one for him, and he doesn’t even want to see Ingrid ever again. Grace is relieved, until – in the spirit of having no secrets between them – she also tells him she was the one who prompted Ingrid to leave in the first place. Marcus is furious. And their future is now extremely uncertain.

Tayler nervously awaits her SACE results, knowing that whilst in the final few months of her studies, she really put the boot in and studied hard, she doesn’t know whether it has been enough to get her the marks she needs. Patrick has been promoted to overseer of Wilgul, and they have a whole plan for their future which hinges on her getting in to the local Ag. college. When she finally gets her online marks she is shocked to find she has scored very highly, enough to be accepted into veterinary science in the city next year. Tayler is ecstatic, but as the commotion dies down, the seriousness of this life-changing decision hits them. Patrick can’t overseer Wilgul from the city, and Tayler can’t study from Wilgul. The future seems to be taking them in different directions.

Saturday, January 24 at 11.00pm

Ingrid is seriously rattled when she realises that her work as a vet will bring her in direct contact with Paul, her estranged husband, who is in the area investigating a cattle-stealing ring. Paul is charming and apologetic, but Ingrid doesn’t trust his motives.

Paul, meanwhile, pursues Marcus on a deserted back road. Is he intent on harming him? Marcus is forced to pull over, and Paul reveals that Marcus has a punctured tyre – he has saved Marcus from a possible accident. Marcus doesn’t know what to think, and suggests to Ingrid that Paul may have changed his spots, but Ingrid doesn’t believe it for a second. Her suspicions are confirmed when she discovers that Paul knows that she and Marcus are lovers. Fearing for Marcus’ life, Ingrid and Grace race to find him. When a car appears in front of them that looks like Paul’s, also headed to Killarney, Ingrid gives chase and runs the car off the road. But it is not Paul, and Ingrid is mortified when confronted by a complete stranger who was sure she was trying to kill him.

When Ingrid and Grace finally reach Marcus he is unharmed. Ingrid tells Marcus that Paul knows about their relationship, and that Marcus is in danger. Marcus assures her that he can take care of himself.

Ingrid again finds herself at a crime scene with Paul, and feeling anxious, she okays a mob of stolen Drovers cattle to be returned, without giving them a thorough check. One of the cattle dies en route, and Ingrid must face the fact that she has made the worst blunder of her professional life. What has Paul reduced her to? Marcus, furious with Paul, confronts him. An argument ensues and Marcus decks Paul. Marcus is carted off in the back of the cop car to be charged with assaulting police.

Paul follows Ingrid to Drovers – he tells Ingrid he’s planning on sticking around, and she tells him she wants a divorce. Stevie throws Paul off the property, and he leaves, still determined that he and Ingrid can sort things out. That night Ingrid wakes to find Paul in her room, proof that he can get to her anywhere, anytime. But the girls aren’t convinced – they think stress might be messing with her mind. Ingrid despairs of ever being free of Paul.

The next morning Ingrid is missing and, fearing the worst, our people track her down to a remote location, where they discover to their surprise, that she is the one holding Paul at gunpoint. Paul attempts to disarm Ingrid and she panics and shoots him, wounding him. Stevie convinces Ingrid to give him the gun and she collapses in a heap. Mortified at her actions, Ingrid has to face the difficult truth that everyone has a limit. But when Paul covers for her, she wonders what he and she will do next.

Phil returns from a couple of days away with romance on his mind. Moira doesn’t know how to tell him that she doesn’t want to have his baby. When she finally does, he is crushed. She wants their relationship to continue, but Phil seems unable to get past his desire to be a father.

Tayler and Patrick get their first school marks back – Patrick scores an A-plus, and Tayler, devastated, hides the fact that she failed.

Feeling desperate about her next assignment, she resorts to cheating. Patrick discovers what she has done and confronts her. She is furious with him for snooping behind her back. She confesses that she feels like a failure, and finds the fact that he is a natural student very difficult to deal with. Patrick reassures Tayler of his love for her. Tayler decides to confess to the school and try again.

Saturday, January 24 at 10.00pm

Grace and Stevie are surprised when Jaz rides up on Annie to help move some cattle. Annie’s a show-jumper – it’s not as if he can suddenly transform herself into a working horse. But Jaz is confident she can retrain Annie. She’s been working on her aversion to hay bails and demonstrates that she can keep her under control. Grace and Stevie agree to give Annie a go, but as soon as they start moving the cattle Annie gets spooked and drives two cows into a steep ditch, seriously injuring them. Stevie has to point out to Jaz they Annie is a liability to Drovers and that she needs to use the brumby they have trained for stock work. They can’t afford to lose any more stuff ups. A devastated Jaz takes exiled Annie to the back paddock to retire her but it’s too much for Jaz, she can’t leave Annie out there. So she decides that she will secretly work on Annie to get to the bottom of why she is spooked. Ben helps her along the way. But after a big fall, Jaz decides that it’s not fair on her or Annie to continue with the work. But Ben works with Jaz to discover that it’s cloth fluttering in the breeze that has been triggering Annie’s skittishness. Armed with this knowledge, Jaz realises that although she wants Annie to be with her, she is a jumper and not a stock horse and that they can live their lives separately. If you love something, set it free.

Grace, meanwhile, finds herself training some city police in stock identification. In the process, Grace learns that some of their newly arrived cattle have dodgy identification tags. Rather than tell the police, Grace decides to get to the bottom of this herself. She confronts the farmer who sold Drovers the cattle, only to find that one of the policemen has followed her and luckily is on hand to arrest the irate farmer. The stolen cattle racket foiled, Paul, the charming and handsome detective, drops back to Drovers to take Grace’s statement. But Paul, it seems, turns out to be Ingrid’s abusive husband. He must have tracked her down. Ingrid hides out in the shearer’s quarters. But finally Ingrid is forced to confront Paul. He agrees to leave Drovers, but clearly Ingrid hasn’t seen the last of him.

Moira is recovering from her recent miscarriage. Her relationship with Phil has been thrown into an awkward limbo where neither is speaking about their loss. Moira feels guilty that she lost the baby because she wasn’t ready to be a mother again and Phil is trying to be stoic for Moira’s sake. But when Moira finds a list of baby names in Phil’s handwriting in the bin she is sure that he blames her for losing the baby. Misunderstandings escalate and Moira asks Phil to move out. It’s only when Moira and Phil finally start to talk to each other that the healing begins. Together they bury a small box containing the list of baby names and the baby booties.

Saturday, January 17 at 10.30pm

Stevie is shocked to discover that the whole town thinks that she and Marcus are dating.

When Ted Franklin, the boss of Fisher Meats, pulls out of a lucrative deal with Drovers, Stevie is shocked to discover it is because Ted believes she is having a relationship with Marcus. Via Beth Martin, Stevie discovers the rumour has spread all over Gungellan because of a photo of them dancing at the ball which has appeared in the local paper. Stevie is furious, especially when Marcus makes matters worse when he ends up in a fight with Ned Ford after Ned comments on the rumour. Stevie is angry and upset that everything seems to be out of control – it brings back painful memories of the impact that small town gossip had on her when she was pregnant with Rose. She and Marcus fight over how to handle things – she wants them to spend less time together, while he wants to carry on as before.

Drover’s are forced to drove the cattle to the far paddock, the only paddock left with feed, until they wait for the sales, which means having to drove overnight. Stevie leaves Xander with Moira but calls constantly from the drive to check on her son. Late at night, unable to sleep for worry, Stevie calls again- and gets no answer. Panicking she drives home to discover the house empty. But Moira and Phil soon arrive – having taken Xander for a drive to get him to sleep. It’s all too much for Stevie and she breaks down. If it wasn’t for the rumours none of this would be happening.

The next day the Drovers women come across some town gossip that allows Stevie to get revenge on Ted Franklin and the other hypocrites of Gungellan. She realises that she needs to walk tall, and do what she wants, not bow to pressure from others.

Grace has her own problems having been kissed Father Dan the week before. Grace runs into Dan in the street, having not heard from him since the ball. It’s an awkward encounter on both sides. Dan apologises, and suggests that they keep their distance from each other, which Grace wholeheartedly agrees with. The next day they are both called out to an SES job where they find themselves in a confined area. It’s hard to deny their chemistry but they control themselves, that is, until Grace finds out that Dan asked especially for Grace to work with him on the job. She’s angry, and feels used. Dan comes to see her, full of contrition. He confesses that he’s unable to control his feelings about her, and so will be transferring to Fisher. He can’t be near her, it’s too difficult. Grace confesses to Jaz that she has mixed feelings about Dan’s exit.

Moira and Phil survive a night looking after baby Xander, in fact Phil proves himself to be a natural. They decide to buy some land of their own, planning their future together. But then tragedy strikes when Moira miscarries.

Outraged by the gossip about Stevie, Tayler decides to fight fire with fire and dig up some dirt on Ted Franklin. She gets a little more than she bargains for when she uncovers a secret about Patrick; it looks like he’s applying for a job in Western Australia.

Saturday, January 17 at 9.30pm

Jaz and Prince Mischa are set for a fairy tale ending until Grace stands in their way.

Stevie settles down to read some fairy stories to Xander, as the rest of Drovers Run plays host to a charity ball. The first story is ‘The Frog Prince’, which Stevie links to Jaz and Mischa. We return to the start of the day, when Jaz’s horse bolts and has to be recaptured. It has injured itself, and Mischa presses for an aggressive treatment with drugs. He’s confident the drugs will be out of the animal’s system in time for competition in Europe. Grace finds his confidence odd, but when she questions Jaz about it the sisters argue. Jaz admits they are going to bribe a witness to lie at Jaz’s hearing. Grace is horrified, but Jaz will not listen. Grace goes to Mischa and tells him they must abandon their plan, or she will expose them. Grace and Jaz fall out. Talking to Dan, and then Stevie, Grace realises she is jealous of Jaz. By the time they are dancing at the ball, Grace approaches a hostile Jaz and says she will not report her, but warns her to look at what she’s doing. This plants a seed of doubt, and Jaz realises she must ask some awkward questions. Mischa slips up and reveals too much – Jaz suddenly realises it was Mischa who doped her horse in the first place. Mischa confesses – though he was doing it for the right reasons – and Jaz tells him they cannot have a future together. Indeed, she realises her entire equestrian career is truly over.

Stevie starts reading ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. Tayler is clad in a red hoody today as she tells Patrick she is heading off to Drovers to work with her new study-buddy Wolfgang. Ben can’t believe Patrick is calm about this, and meanwhile Marcus further inflames Patrick’s paranoia. We meet Wolfgang and he does seem nice, but Patrick bursts in on the couple, ready to break things up, but all is innocent. Tayler is furious with Patrick for not trusting her and kicks him out. Tayler invites Wolfgang to the ball, and Tayler is happy to dance with him. Patrick is in the doghouse. But later Wolfgang lures Tayler up to the homestead, and his intentions are not at all honourable. This time Tayler decks him, just as Patrick is coming to the rescue again. Patrick can’t win though – Tayler can look after herself, and Patrick needs to back off.

Stevie reads Rapunzel to Xander. Returning to the morning, Stevie is puzzled by Moira’s reluctance to see Phil at the moment. Moira confesses – she is pregnant. She is confused about her situation… not sure if she is ready to go through with motherhood again. And she doubts Phil will be happy either. She asks Phil some questions about the two of them and where they are headed. Phil assures her the future is all about the two of them – nobody else. This reinforces Moira’s fears, but when she has a bout of pain and panics about losing the baby she realizes how keen she is to have it after all. At the ball she tells Phil she is pregnant. Phil appears to do a bolt. But he was just rushing off to get the engagement ring he bought weeks ago. Now seems the right time to propose. But how will Moira answer?

Grace feels ill as the ball looms, but the others tell her she is doing fine and to have a good time. Father Dan is discombobulated when he sees Grace in a borrowed dress from Jaz. She looks disturbingly good. Dan avoids Grace for the rest of the night, until she traps him in the drive. Dan suddenly gives into temptation, and finds himself kissing her in a moment of weakness. She’s a very fine swan indeed!

Stevie has told Ben she does not want to go to the ball, and may even have convinced herself. She is cleaning out the fireplace when Marcus sweeps in with a borrowed dress. Stevie SHALL go to the ball, and she has a nice time dancing with Marcus, feeling for a moment as though Alex has returned to her.

Thursday, January 8 at 10.30pm

Jaz is shocked when Prince Misha, her royal ex-boyfriend, turns up on Drovers with a plan to win her back and save her showjumping career.

After finding Annie, her showjumping horse from Europe, grazing in the windmill paddock, Jaz is surprised to discover she has been personally delivered by Misha, her friend from Europe who happens to be a wealthy prince. The others are stunned to discover he is also Jaz’s ex-boyfriend, and they went out for two years. Jaz is thrilled to see her beloved horse, and riding Annie again reminds her of exactly what she is missing with her career, but she has no evidence to prove her innocence before the hearing in Europe. Misha says there are other problems with Annie – she’s making no progress, and won’t jump. Misha sets up a jumping circuit in the back paddock and Jaz tests the horse. She seems to have gone backwards. Jaz agrees to re-train Annie, if she can. However, Misha’s enthusiasm convinces her that he’s only protecting the sponsor’s interests. She loves him and thought he did too, but now she thinks it really is over. Stevie, driven by loneliness, says not to throw her love away on a hunch, but Grace says don’t let any man use you. Misha impresses Jaz with his sweet-talking while buying a ram. Jaz finally admits to herself that she still loves him. He drops a bombshell. He can make the charges against Jaz go away – but it involves paying a false ‘culprit’ to take the fall. Jaz is appalled that Misha would even suggest anything so dishonest, whereas Misha points out he’s only proposing Jaz defend herself against the people who set her up. She says she’ll help Annie, but after she’s done Misha should go back to Europe. Grace tells Misha to leave Jaz alone. As a result, Misha presents Jaz with a letter of resignation to prove his feelings for her. After discovering the ram has an existing injury, Jaz and Grace go and swap it for another ram at the owner’s farm, without permission. Misha is surprised – Jaz is willing to steal for the farm, but not willing to do anything to save her career? Jaz has success with Annie and steers her over three jump. Buoyed by the idea she can get her competing again, Jaz decides to go back to Europe with Misha and fight the case against her, even if it means lying. The news of her leaving devastates Grace.

A drinks night is organised to celebrate Misha’s arrival, but Stevie opts to stay at home alone with Xander instead of going to the pub where the pool comp’ is being held. Marcus arrives with Alex’s beer-brewing kit, claiming Ingrid is off on an emergency call-out and he’s got nothing to do. Stevie is relieved to have a mate to hang out with. They have a great evening together, finishing with a quiet moment when Stevie reveals how she feels sometimes about her parallel life; the life she and Alex should be living together and winning pool comps. Ingrid later lets slip there was no call-out. Stevie thinks Marcus only spent time with her out of pity. She confronts him, but Marcus admits how much he misses having his brother at his side.

Moira volunteers to fix a hole in a fence but Phil takes over when she starts feeling unwell. He admits enjoying his time with her, and suggests they go travelling Australia together. Unable to shake her queasiness, Moira is reminded of the last time she felt like this. She takes a test and discovers she’s pregnant.

Wednesday, January 7 at 10.30pm

Ben and Marcus are forced to settle their differences and act as a team when they rescue a stolen dog.

Ben’s ex girlfriend Monique is playing on his mind. He tries to contact her with no luck, and resigns himself to another day in the district without her. Meanwhile,

Marcus has been looking for a new overseer for weeks. Clashing constantly with Ben, neither of them can accept that Ben is right for the job. Marcus isn’t offering and Ben wouldn’t take it – or so they say.

With the district yard dog trials approaching, Ben is unexpectedly befriended by a border collie dog. Marcus, however, is unaware of this, and unwittingly denies any knowledge about the dog to its irate owner, the burly, heavily tattooed Trevor. When Marcus finds out, he insists they take the highly trained dog back. But when Ben steals the dog back, believing it’s being abused, Marcus is furious – Ben has got them into even more trouble.

Ingrid discovers that the dog is stolen. Ben promises to call the police, and hides the dog on Drovers. Curious as to why Ben is so fond of the dog, Stevie presses him until she finds out he used to have a dog just like it – who belonged to his ex girlfriend Monique. Stevie offers advice of the heart, which Jaz overhears. Ben tries to call Monique but still can’t track her down.

Meanwhile, Trevor threatens Killarney, Ben making it worse but baiting the irate man. When Marcus discovers six dead sheep – all shot by Trevor – Ben is forced to reconsider his actions.

Marcus hatches a plan to remedy the situation – if he gives the dog back, then his sheep will be safe and Trevor will be in possession of the stolen dog when the real owner is tracked down, thereby getting him charged with theft. But Ben misinterprets Marcus’s actions, and the pair find themselves in jail awaiting questioning when Trevoe plays innocent, claiming he has bought the dog fair and square. Waiting in the cell, Ben realises there’s more to Marcus than meets the eye. Trevor seems to prove he owns the dog legally and the men are released with a warning to stay away.

When Ben reacts badly to this news and nearly gets himself arrested again, Marcus intervenes – on the proviso that Ben tells him the truth about this dog. Ben confesses about Monique to Marcus.

The next day, Trevor competes the dog at the yard trials – and wins. Luckily Ingrid comes through with the good news – the dog’s real owner has been tracked down. Trevor tries to escape, but Ben and Marcus band together to stop him. They start a brawl, tag team effort – but are saved from Trevor’s wrath when his wife pulls him away. Later, mates now, Marcus and Ben come to a subtle agreement – Ben wants the job and Marcus wants to give it to him. Ben will stay on Killarney permanently. Tayler is going to enter Noisy in the yard dog trials held tomorrow on Drovers. Patrick helps prepare her, but Tayler’s so determined to win the competition, she’s stressed and is having trouble reading the mob of sheep. Noisy in turn is distracted, but Tayler worries that there may be something wrong with her. Moira learns that Tayler is planning to make a name for herself at these dog trials.

Tayler asks Ingrid to check Noisy over. To her shock, they discover Noisy is pregnant to Turbo. Patrick worries that this additional stress will send Tayler over the edge to the point where she shouldn’t compete. Tayler is stressing Noisy and herself out.

However Tayler tells him in no uncertain terms that Noisy is her dog, and she’ll decide if they’ll compete. Hurt, Patrick refuses to help Tayler with the training anymore. Feeling guilty, Tayler seeks advice from Jaz, who helps her realise she was being unfair to Patrick.

Heading to Killarney, Tayler apologises to Patrick, but the couple end up arguing again over Noisy competing – leading to Tayler blurting out that she’s sick of them always doing things together. She wants to be thought of as Tayler, not part of Patrick and Tayler. Tayler realises her mistake in saying it, but it’s too late – Patrick is deeply hurt.

The next day at the dog trial, Tayler tries to apologise and explain but Patrick doesn’t want to hear it. He does however give her advice on reading a mob of sheep – for Noisy’s sake. Tayler competes very well in the trial, coming in second place – but when Trevor is disqualified, she wins the trophy. Tayler thanks Patrick for his help and explains her subtext to him. She’s been feeling lost, like nobody special and thought this dog trial would help fill that gap, help her be someone. Patrick says she’s always been someone special to him. They kiss and makeup. Feeling useless on the farm and needing to prove herself, Jaz offers to drench the goats. Grace is reluctant but agrees to give her sister the chance. Having trouble getting the goats to stay in the yards for drenching, Jaz hits on the idea of putting them in the tennis court instead. After much trial and error, Jaz decides to bribe them with rose clippings from Killarney’s garden. Mission accomplished, Jaz feels satisfied and proud of her work. The next morning, Grace discovers some of the goats are sick. Ingrid confirms a case of poisoning and Jaz realises it must have been the rose clippings. She comes clean, ashamed. Grace learns Jaz’s subtext – since her fall from the world of showjumping, Jaz has felt useless, talentless, and lost. Jaz wants so badly to fit into Drovers but constantly messes up. The sisters bond, with Jaz promising to ask for help next time.

Feeling lonely without Alex, Stevie realises that she’s boring the other women with the gory details of raising a baby. Feeling that it will help assuage her loneliness to be around other parents in her situation, Stevie joins a mother’s club. She has a great time, talking endlessly about babies. However when the other mothers have to return to their husbands, Stevie is left lonely and disappointed. When Stevie suggests making mother’s group more exciting, by taking day trips, having picnics etc, she is gently told that the other women prefer mothers group the way it is. Stevie admits to Moira that mother’s group isn’t for her – it’s not the company of other mums she’s craving, it’s Alex. She misses him, and laments not being able to share Xander’s baby-hood with hi

Saturday January 3, 9.30pm

Jaz is taken aback when Lily reveals her dad Frank is talking about proposing to her. Jaz thought she’d put the kiss with Frank to bed – it happened in the heat of the moment – but now knows she was wrong. The Drovers girls advise Jaz to nip this in the bud fast before it gets out of hand and Lily gets hurt. Meanwhile, Frank’s hopes for a stable family life take a pounding when he learns that his ex-wife has a new job in Queensland and intends to take Lily with her. Jaz tries to keep Frank calm and focused. He says it’s people like Minister for Lands Tim Ayres, the man who revoked his water licences, who cause all these problems. He is crushed – how can he tell Lily? Grace comes across a depressed Frank. Misreading it for sorrow over the loss of Jaz, Grace tells Frank about her sister’s proven inability to judge how men react to her generosity and interest. They always misjudge it for love, and it always ends badly. Frank realises Jaz isn’t interested in him and is heart broken. Jaz finds out about Grace’s error and gets angry. She goes looking for Frank, but he and Lily are gone. Frank and Lily’s sudden disappearance alarms the Drovers’ girls. Tayler and Grace suspect that Frank may be doing a runner with Lily. When Frank returns and explains that he has simply dropped Lily off in town there is major relief all round. Jaz apologises for Grace, and Frank reveals he’s going to see Nicole, to work things out. But she overhears him threatening Nicole over the phone. She tells him to calm down, but he is strangely calm and positive. He says goodbye.

Ben discovers explosives have been stolen from Killarney. At Drovers, he seeks help from Jaz and Grace in finding Frank who may have seen someone on the farm. But Jaz discovers, after pressing redial on the cottage phone, that Frank was threatening Minister Ayres, not his ex wife. Did he steal the explosives? A tense cross-country search and a series of near misses brings everyone to the bridge at the proposed dam site where Ayres is about to deliver a speech. Frank steps forward and reveals he has planted a bomb under the bridge and threatens to set it off if the minister doesn’t listen to him. In the crowd, Neil Thompson has a heart attack. As Stevie and Dan try to save him, Jaz tries to talk Frank down. Sure he can delay the dam’s construction, he decides to blow up the bridge, just as Grace and Marcus find the bomb. There’s a mighty explosion, but thanks to Grace and Marcus no-one is killed or injured. Even Neil survives the heart attack. Frank is arrested and Ben comforts Jaz.

Marcus is still searching through Bryce’s old papers in a last ditch attempt to dig up some dirt on Ayres. He and Grace go through every one of the archive boxes, but nothing comes to light. Stevie and Marcus invite themselves into the Minister’s car and press upon him the dangers of the dam as they visit potential dam sites. Fobbed off by the Minister’s right arm, Scott Johnson, the tour is cut shot – but not before Scott shows his knowledge of the local area. After Phil incorrectly (or so he’s told by Scott) recognises Scott as being related to the local Talington clan, Marcus revisits the archives and confirms that Scott stands to gain from a trust fund set up by his step-father if the dam goes ahead. Seeking to avoid the scandal that would accompany this revelation, Ayres backs away from the dam proposal. Drovers and the district are saved.