Jim Robinson (Neighbours)
Alan Dale as Jim Robinson
|Portrayed by||Alan Dale|
|First appearance||18 March 1985|
|Last appearance||29 April 1993|
|Created by||Reg Watson|
|Introduced by||Reg Watson|
James "Jim" Robinson is a fictional character from the Australian Network Ten soap opera Neighbours, played by Alan Dale. He made his first on-screen appearance on 18 March 1985, which was the show's first episode. Jim was the patriarch of the Robinson family. Dale departed the show in 1993 after falling out with the producers over pay. Jim died on-screen of a heart attack on 29 April 1993.
The role of Jim Robinson was originally given to Robin Harrison, but when contract negotiations broke down between him and Neighbours, the role was given to former The Young Doctors actor Alan Dale. Scenes starring Harrison had to be reshot. The character of Jim earned Dale acclaim across the world, including the United Kingdom. Dale found his role on Neighbours "exciting" and it enabled him to provide for his sons. He stayed for eight years before Jim was killed off.
Dale left the series when he fell out with the producers over the pay he and the rest of the cast received. In an interview with the Metro newspaper, Dale called his time working for Grundy "the worst experience", he added "They practically forced us to be miserable. It paid me enough to get my boys through their teenage years, but I wasn’t happy and we parted on bad terms." Dale also said that the Neighbours producers 'stitched' him up on his last day of filming. Jim died of a heart attack and Dale said "they left me lying on the floor all day. They enjoyed themselves". Dale struggled to find work in Australia after Neighbours because he was typecast as Jim.
Jim is described as a man having it all: wealth, children and having a way with women. Jim is cited to have changed after his wife's death, from the serial's inception Jim was often seen as having a reserved sadness within him, he has also been perceived as "stuffy and proper". Although he had a way with women, during his time in the serial he did not have that many relationships. Dale complained about this stating that he thought Jim's celibacy was too unrealistic because of his wealthy and good looking status. He has also been described as always being there for his children and would do anything to help them. The role of Jim has also been described as being "vital" and like an "anchor" to Neighbours. Jim dedicated his time to ensuring that his four children have the best in life. He was an understanding and caring father with a "great sense of fun".
Jim Robinson was the son of James and Bess Robinson (June Salter). James was killed during the Second World War and Bess began travelling around the world leaving Jim with various relatives. Jim began a relationship with Anne Daniels, while studying Engineering at university. The couple married and moved to Ramsay Street, and Anne gave birth to their son Paul (Stefan Dennis). Jim's boss Roger Bannon propositioned Anne, she turned him down, but he raped her and she became pregnant. Jim agreed to raise the child, a girl called Julie (Vikki Blanche; Julie Mullins), as his own. Anne gave birth to another son, Scott (Darius Perkins; Jason Donovan). While Jim was away in the Vietnam War, he slept with Maureen Donnelly and she later gave birth to a son, Glen (Richard Huggett). Anne died after giving birth to Lucy (Kylie Flinker; Sasha Close; Melissa Bell) and her mother, Helen (Anne Haddy) moved in with Jim.
Jim has a brief relationship with Anna Rossi (Roslyn Gentle), before he begins a relationship with Zoë Davis (Ally Fowler). Zoe becomes pregnant, but she miscarries and later leaves Erinsborough. Jim then dates Ruth Wilson (Stephanie Daniel) and she is welcomed into the family, before she leaves for London. Jim comes into conflict with his youngest son, Scott, when he announces that he is going to marry Charlene Mitchell (Kylie Minogue). Jim eventually gives the couple his blessing. Jim has a love for cars and he buys an old motor racing car. He later buys fifty percent of Rob Lewis' (Ernie Bourne) garage, and after Rob's death, Jim buys the rest of the business. His cousin, Hilary (Anne Scott-Pendlebury) introduces him to Beverly Marshall (Shaunna O'Grady) and they later marry.
Beverly's niece and nephew, Katie (Sally Jensen) and Todd Landers (Kristian Schmid) come to stay and Todd becomes like a son to Jim. Beverly wants children despite Jim's reluctance. After two miscarriages and a failed adoption, the couple separate and Beverly leaves. Jim is shocked when his son Glen arrives as he was unaware of his existence. Jim welcomes Glen into the family. Todd dies after being knocked down by a van, devastating Jim. Jim has a massive heart attack following a bike race and needs bypass surgery. Pam Willis (Sue Jones), a nurse at Erinsborough Hospital, helps Jim recover and they begin to develop feelings for each other, but she later reunites with her husband.
Annalise Hartman's (Kimberley Davies) mother, Fiona (Suzanne Dudley), sets her sights on Jim knowing he is wealthy and Jim ignores the warnings from his family that Fiona is a gold digger. Helen and Julie try to warn Jim that Fiona is only after his money, but Jim refuses to listen. The stress of all the feuding takes its toll on Jim and he suffers another heart attack. He collapses on the kitchen floor and dies. Instead of phoning for an ambulance, Fiona transfers his money to her account and lets his sister-in-law Rosemary Daniels (Joy Chambers) discover his body.
In 2007, Amazon.co.uk reported that they had sold more DVDs of films and television shows featuring Dale than any featuring other ex-Neighbours cast members. Dale has sold over twice as much as Kylie Minogue (Charlene Robinson). The Times named Jim's death as one of their top 15 most memorable Neighbours moments and The Independent named his death as one of the 10 best soap exits.
Ruth Deller of website Lowculture gave Jim a 4 and a half out of 5 for his contribution to Neighbours, in a feature called "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". During a review of Neighbours' 20th anniversary episode, television critic Charlie Brooker expressed his disappointment that Jim did not make an appearance, he said "It's a shame they didn't go the whole hog and include updates from those characters who left Erinsborough in a coffin. I'd have loved to see, say, Jim Robinson bellowing a few lines from heaven (never spoke without shouting, that man)".
In 2010 to celebrate Neighbours' 25th anniversary, BSkyB, a British satellite broadcasting company, profiled 25 characters of which they believed were the most memorable in the series history. Jim is in the list and describing him they state: "Jim lives on in the collective memory thanks to people declaring whenever Alan Dale is on TV, 'look, Jim Robinson is on Torchwood/24/Ugly Betty, LOL.' Push them harder, and they'll probably just about remember Jim dying of a heart attack in the chintz-tastic Robinson home in 1993. Such is the fate of a family man who didn't really have memorable storylines outside of his four walls, but he did bequeath a set of Soapland's finest, most gently mental children, including villainous 'business' man Paul, occasional stripper Lucy, technically-not-his-daughter Julie, and technically-not-his-monobrow Todd Landers".
In her book "Soap opera", Dorothy Hobson describes Jim as breaking the stereotype of the time because Jim owned a successful business and branded him a "successful role model for a single father running a home."
- Oram, James (1988). Neighbours: behind the scenes. Angus & Robertson. p. 108. ISBN 0-207-16075-9. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
- "Alan Dale: In My Own Words". The Sunday Telegraph Magazine. 1 June 2008. p. 013.
- Dessau, Bruce (8 March 2008). "Alan Dale: the Journey from Neighbours to King of Spamalot". The Times (News International). Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- Williams, Andrew. "Neighbours star slams US sausage". Metro (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- Monroe, Josephine (1996). Neighbours: the first 10 years. Michael Joseph LTD (Penguin Group). p. 41. ISBN 0-7181-4212-8.
- Deller, Ruth (23 July 2009). "A guide to recognising your Ramsays and Robinsons". Low Culture. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Amazon.co.uk: Dale's Sales Thrash ex-Neighbours Stars". Amazon.co.uk. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- Teeman, Tim and Jackson, James (5 February 2008). "The top 15 most memorable Neighbours moments". The Times (News International). Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "The 10 best soap exits". The Independent (Independent News & Media). 23 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Brooker, Charlie (15 October 2005). "Everybody needs good Neighbours". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 31 May 2010.
- "Neighbours: 25 Top Characters". Sky Digital (BSkyB). 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Hobson, Dorothy (2003). Soap opera. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 16. ISBN 0-7456-2655-6.