|Portrayed by||Dichen Lachman|
|First appearance||12 December 2005|
|Last appearance||7 February 2007|
|Introduced by||Ric Pellizzeri|
|Other names||Katherine Sangmu|
Katya Sarah Kinski is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Dichen Lachman. She made her first on-screen appearance on 12 December 2005. Katya arrived shortly before her father Alex died and she reunited with her younger siblings. She departed on 7 February 2007.
Character creation and casting
In 2009, Lachman revealed that she would consider a return to Neighbours if she was asked. She said "It's a place that's home to me so I'd definitely consider it if they wanted to. There's always a place in my heart for Neighbours."
Network Ten describe Katya as being "introspective and self-sufficient" after her siblings were born. She had been given a "sheltered life" and became a "naturally curious teenager" wanting to explore the world. They state that Katya was close to her mother and dealt with her death by going off the rail because she felt so much anger and hurt inside. Katya has an extremely dark past and she often shows signs of "self-destructive behaviour".
On her arrival, Katya was described as "feisty" by TV Week and Lachman said Katya is "very complicated and full of contradictions, she may have quite a dark past." Lachman later explained that Katya ran away from home when she was sixteen and that there is a lot of "animosity" between Katya and her father. When her younger siblings, Rachel (Caitlin Stasey) and Zeke (Matthew Werkmeister), ask Katya to return with them to see their dying father, Katya is "too angry to think about trying to mend bridges." However, she later turns up in Ramsay Street and Karl Kennedy urges her to make up with Alex (Andrew Clarke). Lachman also states that Katya and Alex "have been estranged for several years" and that she "holds a lot of resentment towards her father" because he kicked her out following her mother's death. Upon seeing Alex again Dichman states that "It's not easy for her to do – it's very painful. Katya is retrained the first time she sees Alex, but eventually her anger spills out, and she has a huge argument with him. Katya says what she's wanted to say for years. She brands Katya's final moments with Alex as a time of "great joy and great pain." In March 2007, Lachman said she enjoyed playing the "more fun side" of her character, opposed to the bitchy persona, which she said was "fatiguing" and a challenge.
Katya had been thrown out of the family home by her father Alex at age sixteen, shortly after the passing of her mother, because she was coping with her grief by lashing out at the people around her. During the five years she was gone, she qualified as a nurse and had landed a job at the Stanning Rehabilitation Clinic. She had changed her first name to Catherine, and adopted her mother's maiden name of Sangmu. Katya's father had a Belarus background and her mother Francesca was from Tibet.
Katya's siblings, Rachel and Zeke had tracked down Katya through an advert in the Big Issue, and managed to convince a reluctant Katya to return home to try to make amends with her father. When she did arrive at Susan Kinski's (Jackie Woodburne) house, she immediately disliked her, and not having Alex's last moments to herself so she could let him know she forgave him made the rift grow even bigger. After Alex died, Zeke was mute, and Susan decided to take him to Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher), her former husband. When Katya learned of the past relationship between Susan and Karl, her reaction was not one of understanding.
Soon after this, Katya initiated court proceedings so she could have custody of Rachel and Zeke, but Susan soon gave up the children to Katya because she realised the children needed each other. But Katya proved a poor guardian, as she was strict at first but then she tried to be cool and let the kids stay up late, which affected their education. Susan noticed this and when she called round she found that Katya wasn't there and Rachel was having a party. But then she found Zeke unconscious on the sofa and realised that there was alcohol there. After this Katya realised that she wasn't doing a good enough job and they all moved in with Susan, where Katya and Susan bonded.
Katya dated Robert Robinson (Adam Hunter), under the impression that he was his twin brother, Cameron Robinson (also played by Hunter) and was heartbroken upon learning of his deception. Robert was planning on pushing Katya off a cliff, but she ended up falling off. Robert saved her life by pulling her up. She fell deeply for him until he framed his comatose brother for his crimes, and Robert returned to being himself while his innocent brother was sent to jail. Believing Cameron innocent, she, Izzy (Natalie Bassingthwaighte) and Gail (Fiona Corke) chased after him and Paul (Stefan Dennis) on a camping trip, outing Robert and saving Paul.
But she was kidnapped by him later on, and after trying to fool him into being on her side, she was found by Toadie Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) and Susan tied up in a camper van after she hung her jumper out of the window. Ned Parker (Daniel O'Connor) began to grow close to Carmella Cammeniti (Natalie Blair), they became more than friends and she told him they were spending too much time together and wanted time out. He then grew close to Katya, but when Carmella found out, she and Katya began to fight over Ned, with Katya pulling out all the stops. Eventually, Katya won.
However, Guy Sykes (Fletcher Humphrys) visited Erinsborough unannounced and blackmails Katya into giving him money so that her secrets remained untold, and to do this she had to return to her previous habit of stealing cars. She attacked Ned, who attempted to stop her one night, but he was not aware that the person was Katya until after she was admitted to hospital later. Katya took Guy to the woods under false pretences; Guy was led to believe that he was going to be paid the money that he harassed Katya for, but she instead took a gun from her handbag. In a struggle, Katya was accidentally shot. Guy left her and took the bag Katya was carrying, which he later discovered had green paper and few real banknotes in it.
Katya was later found and taken to Erinsborough Hospital in a coma, and remained in a low response state. Guy got to know the Kinskis, but was also searching for the money and waiting for Katya to regain consciousness so that she could tell him where it was. He made frequent visits to Katya in hospital, and she often moved her eyelids or her hand when he spoke to her. She remained in a low response state until two weeks later, when Guy prepared to shock her with a defibrillator to "encourage" her to fully regain consciousness. He was stopped by Zeke, and Katya then rose up and shocked Guy with the paddle still mounted to the unit.
Katya was sent to prison, but released on bail in time to spend Christmas with her family. However, at the end of 2006, Guy showed up with a gun and took Katya, Toadie, Stephanie Scully (Carla Bonner), Charlie Hoyland (Aaron Aulsebrook-Walker) and Zeke hostage. During an intense struggle between Guy and Toadie, Toadie was shot. Katya decides to leave Ramsay Street after receiving a suspended sentence for her crimes. She accepts the position as a medic to the Adelaide Crows football team and leaves to start over in Adelaide. It was later announced that she is dating Paul McClain, a former Ramsay Street resident.
Upon Katya's introduction, a writer for Daily Record said she had a "hard heart". When Katya and Toadie shared a kiss, Doug Anderson from The Sydney Morning Herald thought it was "the start of something vile." The Sunday Mercury's Roz Laws thought that Katya was foolish to try and break Guy's hold over. A Daily Record reporter called Katya "disturbed" and quipped "Being bashed by Max's bumper obviously had an odd effect on her, because before long she thinks she's fallen in love with him."
- Swift, Lynn; Jones, Helen (9 March 2010). "Neighbours Made Me Famous!". ATV Network. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- Rowe, Darren (16 October 2009). "Lachman would consider 'Neighbours' return". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- "Katya Kinski". Neighbours.com. Network Ten. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- Brygel, Jackie; McHalick, Aletha (24–30 December 2005). "Who's Moving In?". TV Week (ACP Magazines): 19.
- Brygel, Jackie (10–16 December 2005). "Shock arrival". TV Week (ACP Magazines): 10.
- Herbison, Jason (4 March 2006). "A fight to the death". Inside Soap (Hachette Filipacchi UK): 21.
- Martin, Will (6 March 2007). "Dichen Lachman (Neighbours' Katya Kinski) Interview". Last Broadcast. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- "Soaps this week: Farewells for Alex; Neighbours". Daily Record. 4 March 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2014.(subscription required)
- Anderson, Doug (21 June 2006). "The touched fetlock, old boy, but Oprah shows no restraint". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Laws, Roz (11 February 2007). "TV & Soaps: Katya victim in her plan; Neighbours". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 16 June 2014.(subscription required)
- "Soap stories: Driving us mad; Neighbours". Daily Record. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2014.(subscription required)
- Character profile at the Official AU Neighbours website