Duncan Stewart (Home and Away)

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Duncan Stewart
Portrayed by Allana Ellis (1989)
Lewis Devaney (1990-98)
Brendan McKensy (1998-2005)
Duration 1989-2001, 2004, 2005
First appearance 14 June 1989
Last appearance 13 July 2005
Introduced by Des Monaghan (1989)
Julie McGuaran (2004, 2005)
Classification Former;regular
Profile
Home New York

Duncan Stewart is a fictional character on the Australian soap opera Home and Away, the son of Alf and Ailsa. The character was portrayed at first by actress Allana Ellis in 1989 and was born in the episode airing on 14 June 1989. Actor Lewis Devaney portrayed Duncan from 1990 to 1998. Brendan McKensy assumed the role in 1998 and remained in it until 2001. McKensy reprised his role as Duncan 2004 and 2005 and made his last appearance on 13 July 2005.

Casting[edit]

McKensy returned for the serial's 4000th episode, based around Alf Stewart's (Ray Meagher) 60th birthday, broadcast in Australia on July 8 2005.[1]

Storylines[edit]

Duncan is born to Alf and Ailsa (Judy Nunn). After his aunt Celia (Fiona Spence) dresses him in the Stewart family's traditional christening gown, he suffers an allergic reaction to it and is hospitalized. Duncan recovers but Ailsa experiences post-natal depression and nearly smothers him at one point. Ailsa soon begins to bond with him. As Duncan grows older, he befriends Christopher Fletcher (Shaun Wood) and has several surrogate siblings in the form of Blake (Les Hill) and Karen Dean (Belinda Jarrett), Simon Fitzgerald (Richard Norton), Sarah Thompson (Laura Vasquez), Curtis Reed (Shane Ammann) and Aaron Welles (Ritchie Gudgeon), teenagers whom his parents foster.

While following some of the local teenagers who are hanging out in some wasteland, Duncan suffers a fall and injures himself. He is hospitalized for several months and when he returns home, his personality drastically changes. When Duncan starts high school his behaviour gets worse as he frequently causes trouble. One incident includes the making of a homemade bomb with his friend Jack, who burns himself in the process. Alf experiences a shock when the bomb goes off and injures his arm. The Stewarts attend counselling mediated by Natalie Nash (Antoinette Byron).

On a car journey with Ailsa, Duncan drops a tape and tries to retrieve it. Ailsa loses control of the car and it crashes into a lake. Duncan is able to free himself and calls for help. Travis Nash (Nic Testoni) is on the scene and rescues Ailsa, but she remains comatose for several weeks. Duncan blames himself for the accident. The doctors inform Alf and Duncan that Ailsa may never wake up and Alf decides to turn the machine off but Duncan notices Ailsa make a slight movement and tells the doctors not to turn the machine off.

When homeless teen Mitch McColl (Cameron Welsh) saves Duncan’s life, he is grateful and offers him food from the Stewart house. Alf finds out and soon he and Ailsa agree to let Mitch live with them and Mitch and Duncan form a sibling-like bond. Nick Smith (Chris Egan) settles in Summer Bay with his family and he and Duncan quickly become friends and get into various scrapes. The Sutherland family arrive and Duncan and Nick are attracted to the two youngest daughters, Jade (Kate Garven) and Kirsty (Christie Hayes) and begin dating them respectively.

Ailsa dies of a heart attack in late 2000 and Duncan’s behaviour worsens and his relationship with Alf sours. Duncan’s friends soon lose patience with him and soon Jade dumps him. Duncan spirals further out of control when he learns that Jade is seeing David Barclay and sets a bomb up in his letterbox which backfires badly. After Duncan steals from the Diner and destroys Nick’s games console, Alf is at his wits’ end. Duncan’s aunt Morag Bellingham (Cornelia Frances) returns to town and sees how unhappy he is and Duncan later tells her he wants to move to the city with her. Alf is reluctant to let Duncan go but relents in the end and he leaves with Morag.

Duncan returns to Summer Bay three years later on the night of Robbie Hunter (Jason Smith) and Hayley Smith's (Bec Cartwright) combined 17th and 21st birthday party. His presence proves an irritation for his first cousin once removed Seb Miller (Mitch Firth) who is now dating Jade. Duncan is later revealed to have a drug habit and begins hanging around with Jade and they get high on bulbs. At the party, Duncan steals Robbie’s car keys and involves Jade on a drag race. Seb tries to put a stop to it and jumps on the bonnet but a drug-addled Duncan keeps driving. Jade and Seb are left injured and Duncan is unscathed. Duncan is then arrested but with the legal representation of Morag, he avoids all charges.

Once Jade and Seb leave the Bay after the accident., Alf and Morag try to get Duncan to settle back in and send him back to Summer Bay High, where he is unpopular. He antagonizes Robbie and Kim Hyde (Chris Hemsworth) and begins harassing Tasha Andrews (Isabel Lucas) when he learns that her biological mother was the late Angie Russell (Laurie Foell). After pulling a gun on Kim and Robbie, Duncan leaves to join his half-sister, Roo (Justine Clarke; Georgie Parker) in New York. Duncan later contacts Alf with the news that Roo has been involved in a car crash and is in a critical condition. Alf later flies out to join them.

The following year, Duncan returns to Summer Bay for Alf's 60th birthday party along with a number of other relatives. He is reluctant to approach Donald Fisher (Norman Coburn), his former uncle and Seb's grandfather. Duncan then apologizes for all the grief he had caused Seb. During the party, Duncan tries to get closer to Alf but feels ignored and leaves the party early, taking a bottle of wine with him. After the party, Chloe Richards (Kristy Wright) is killed in a car crash and Duncan is accused by Alf when he resurfaces several days later. Detective Peter Baker (Nicholas Bishop) tells Duncan the paint taken from his car does not match the one found on Chloe’s. Although Alf is relieved Duncan is hurt and angry. After a talk with Alf, Duncan reveals that Roo’s accident helped him put things into perspective and he has changed as person. Duncan returns to the States after repairing his relationship with his father. In April 2009, Alf mentions that Duncan is getting married and flies overseas for a week to attend the wedding.

Reception[edit]

For his portrayal of Duncan, McKensy was nominated for Best Young Actor at the 1999 Inside Soap Awards. [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home and Away celebrates 4000 episodes with a special episode to air on Friday". The Gold Coast Bulletin - TV Guide (News Ltd). 30 June 2005. p. 6. 
  2. ^ "Vote in the 1999 Inside Soap Awards". Inside Soap (Hachette Filipacchi UK) (134): 34–5. 21 August-3 September 1999.