A light-hearted reference to characters filling in for Sheila Canning has surfaced on Neighbours.
Sheila (Colette Mann) mysteriously left the show last month, and fans have been on the lookout for any hints of last-minute writing and storyline alterations since then.
When a character from Soapland quits abruptly, other recognizable figures from the show step in to fill the void in already-written sequences.
This minimizes storyline disturbance and allows episodes to proceed substantially as planned.
Fans have hypothesized over the last few weeks that some unexpected personalities have been “playing Sheila” in key situations.
Roxy Willis (Zima Anderson) was recently observed intervening in Levi Canning’s (Richie Morris) life in a Sheila-style strategy by arranging for his employer to give him more job commitments.
Roxy hoped to keep Levi from assisting Freya Wozniak (Phoebe Roberts) in her search for her boyfriend Gareth Bateman, who had gone missing.
Terese Willis (Rebekah Elmaloglou) was recently heard expressing reservations about Roxy and Kyle Canning’s (Chris Milligan) IVF plans. While Sheila used to have a lot of say in her family’s lives, Terese is considerably less involved.
Vera Punt (Sally-Anne Upton), who has a Sheila-like presence on film, has unexpectedly started appearing in more episodes.
Ned Willis (Ben Hall) and Harlow Robinson (Jemma Donovan) took a sudden interest in Levi’s love life in Monday’s episode on Channel 5.
When Ned and Harlow ran into each other at the beach, they noticed Levi was getting closer to Freya again, and they couldn’t stop themselves from chattering about it.
Later on, Levi called out Ned for being just like Sheila with his behavior.
Levi quipped: “Hey, Ned. Or should I call you Gran?”
Ned asked: “Why’s that?”
Levi replied: “I don’t know – you seem to be playing her role these days. Gossiping about me and Freya.”
Levi’s objections were acknowledged by Ned, but he argued that he and Harlow were simply watching out for him.
Was this a witty inside joke by the writers?
In February, Sheila’s final scenes aired, in which she was seen responding to the news that Roxy had broken into Freya’s house.
She eventually went off-camera from Erinsborough to Los Angeles to help her daughter Naomi, whose lover had died.