Michelle Scully

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Michelle Scully
Michelle Scully.jpg
Neighbours character
Portrayed by Kate Keltie
Duration 1999–2004
First appearance 20 October 1999
Last appearance 23 April 2004
Introduced by Stanley Walsh (1999)
Ric Pellizerri (2004)
Book appearances Sisters in the City
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Student at Erinsborough High (1999–2003)
Home New York City

Michelle Scully is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Kate Keltie. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 20 October 1999 when she and her family moved into Ramsay Street. Michelle departed in 2003, but made a brief return in 2004.

Creation and casting[edit]

In October 1999, the Scully family, consisting of parents, Lyn (Janet Andrewartha) and Joe (Shane Connor) and siblings Stephanie (Carla Bonner), Felicity (Holly Valance) and Michelle were introduced to Neighbours.[1][2] They were the first new family to move into Ramsay Street since Ruth Wilkinson (Ailsa Piper) and her children arrived in 1996.[2] The actors began filming their first scenes twelve weeks prior to their on screen debuts.[2] Kate Keltie was thirteen when she was cast as youngest daughter, Michelle.[3] Michelle was said to be twelve years old and "occasionally petulant but always lovable."[3]

In November 2002, it was announced that Keltie was to leave Neighbours at the end of the year to go back to school.[4] Keltie's decision to leave the show came close to the departure of her on-screen sister, Holly Valance (Felicity Scully).[4] Keltie originally chose to leave in August, but later agreed to stay on till the end of year.[4] Of her departure, she said "I'd like to move on and do other things because Neighbours has been such a big part of my life for the past three years. I definitely don't want to be typecast. A lot of people do stay because of the security of it, but I want to find other work."[4] Michelle departed on 14 May 2003.[5]

Development[edit]

Speaking to Alison James of Soaplife, Keltie called Michelle a spoilt little princess, who can twist her parents round her finger.[6] The actress said Michelle looks like butter would not melt, but this is far from the truth.[6] Describing her character further, Keltie said "She's actually wild and thinks she can get away with anything. She also has a mad imagination which means she tells very convincing fibs."[6] The BBC's profile for Michelle said she was "very mature, very clever, and very determined."[7] She felt heavily burdened being the youngest member of the Scully family and hated it when Stephanie and Felicity fought, as she is "a sensitive soul."[7] Michelle is the apple of her father's eye, which makes her the one who can hurt him most.[7] The BBC added Michelle has "a definite desire to see the world - not that cold feet don't affect her sometimes - and a definite desire to change the world."[7]

Shortly after her arrival, Michelle meets Paul McClain (Jansen Spencer) and develops a crush on him.[6] Paul fancies Felicity and thinks Michelle is annoying.[6] Michelle does not let that put her off and she tries blackmailing him into taking her out. She also develops a sudden interest in music, which is one of Paul's hobbies.[6]

Storylines[edit]

Michelle moves to Erinsborough with her family. She complains that she is unwell to get out of moving boxes and furniture. Michelle takes a shine to neighbour Paul McClain, who is interested in her older sister, Felicity. When food goes missing from the Scully house, Michelle's father, Joe, discovers she is hoarding for the Y2K bug. Joe assures her that he will not let any harm come to the family. On Millennium Eve, Michelle babysits five-year-old, Louise Carpenter (Jiordan Anna Tolli), but grows impatient that she is missing the celebrations out in the street and briefly leaves Louise unattended. Louise, unable to find Michelle, discovers some firecrackers and matches on the table and starts a fire in the Scully house. Drew Kirk (Dan Paris) notices the house is on fire and rescues Louise. Michelle regrets leaving Louise alone.

When Michelle begins Year 8 at Erinsborough High, she is bullied by Cecile Bliss (Molly McCaffrey) and her friends. Michelle talks about to Joe and he tells her to stand up for herself, but this backfires when Michelle pushes Cecile one day, causing her to fall and break her arm, resulting in suspension for Michelle. Soon after this, Michelle begins a friendship with Bianca Nugent (Jane Harber). After spotting a seemingly abandoned house, Michelle investigates and agrees to help the mystery occupant. When Michelle tries to find out who it is, she is immediately spooked when Damon Gaffney (Richard Morgan) confronts her. Upon learning that Damon became a recluse after his wife and daughter died, Michelle tries her best to help him but is accused of meddling. When Michelle is scared by a dog, Damon comes to her aid. Damon then decides to receive counselling for his agoraphobia.

When Patsy Edis (Anne Maloney) begins babysitting for Lou, Michelle is immediately suspicious and warns him about her, but he is dismissive. Michelle's suspicions are proved correct, after Patsy is caught burgling Lou's and several other houses in the street. Michelle takes an interest in the environment and other green issues. This leads to an incident where Michelle and several others are arrested during an animal rights protest march. Michelle starts dating Zack Shaw (Owen Lee). When Zack transfers to Erinsborough High, he is not keen to be seen around Michelle as he is several years older than she is. The couple later split up when Zack spreads rumours about Michelle being easy. She takes revenge by breaking into the school with Elly Conway (Kendell Nunn) and writing "Zack is gay" on the blackboard, disgusting Elly, who believes Michelle is not much better for stooping to Zack's level.

When Connor O'Neill (Patrick Harvey), a friend of Michelle's brother Jack (Jay Bunyan) moves in with the Scullys there is an obvious attraction between the two. Michelle's parents become concerned about the age gap. After Michelle is hospitalised following a mishap with floor cleaner, while making mocktails, Connor is forced to admit he is illiterate. Michelle agrees to help him, but Connor decides against it and gets help from Libby Kennedy (Kym Valentine) instead. Michelle becomes concerned when Connor begins spending a lot of time hanging around with Nina Tucker (Delta Goodrem). Connor tells Michelle there is nothing going on, but Nina clearly is attracted to Connor. When she is blackmailed by Tahnee Coppin (Anna Jennings-Edquist), Michelle and Nina take revenge on her when she tries to claim credit for Nina's song "Born to Try".

Michelle receives news that she is accepted into the exchange programme, but on the day she is supposed to leave for New York, the insurance falls through. Sometime later, Michelle and Connor's relationship is put to the test when Jim Baynes (David Cormick), one of Joe's workmates calls immigration on Connor. After trying to flee, immigration agree to be lenient with Connor, citing his illiteracy. Joe throws Connor out of the house and he moves into Number 30. Michelle later gets a second chance with the exchange programme after Tahnee is expelled from it and leaves for New York after an emotional farewell with Connor. Joe visits Michelle soon after.

A year later, Michelle returns to Erinsborough and finds Connor in the arms of Carmella Cammenitti (Natalie Blair). Connor breaks up with Carmella, which results in her slapping Michelle. After an initially shaky reunion and the revelation of Connor's one night stand with Jack's ex-girlfriend Lori Lee (Michelle Ang), Michelle decides that she is going to leave New York and resume her life in Erinsborough with Connor. After the couple spend the night together at Lassiter's, they get a shock in the hotel lobby when they see Lori and she is holding her and Connor's daughter Madeleine (Madison Lu). Connor pledges his loyalty to Michelle, but when Lori reveals Connor practically offered to marry her the previous year if she did not go through with the abortion, Michelle breaks up with Connor. She says goodbye to her family and returns to the States.

Other appearances[edit]

In 2005, four novellas based on characters from Neighbours were released.[8] The books were available to buy at some Australia Post outlets and on the internet.[8] Michelle and her sister, Felicity were the focus of one of the books entitled Sisters in the City.[8] It explains what happened after they both left Erinsborough and went to New York together.[8] Of the books, a spokeswoman said "It's different to what happens in the show; it's more like a fantasy of what happens, might have happened, in the show, they would take about an hour to read if you're a quick reader".[8]

Reception[edit]

A writer for the BBC's Neighbours website said Michelle's most notable moment was "Keeping her relationship with Connor a secret."[9] Jim Schembri of The Age paid tribute to Michelle and praised her departure, saying "Our beloved Michelle Scully (Kate Keltie) is off to New York to continue her education. There's been a party, a final I-still-love-you scene with former flame Connor (Patrick Harvey) and the inevitable don't-cry-mum moment. It's beautiful, touching and all done with the type of small-screen melodramatic pathos that the makers of Neighbours now do so well and so effortlessly that one wonders if they've developed some special software to write it (and I say that with love, guys, so please don't sue)."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matessi, Peter (15 April 2004). "Ramsay St, USA". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Enker, Debi (10 February 2000). "Rumblings in Erinsborough". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Schembri, Jim (10 February 2000). "Girls next door". The Age (Fairfax Media). p. 10. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Schembri, Jim (7 November 2002). "Showbiz tips from a veteran". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Schembri, Jim (8 May 2003). "We'll remember Michelle. Will her Neighbours?". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f James, Alison (March 2000). "Girl Power!". Soaplife (What's on TV) (8): 40–41. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Character: Michelle Scully". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 October 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Cubby, Ben (26 September 2005). "The plot thins". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Character: Michelle Scully". BBC. Archived from the original on 3 October 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 

External links[edit]