Ryan Lee (Home and Away)
|Home and Away character|
|Portrayed by||Alistair MacDougall|
|First appearance||22 August 1991|
|Last appearance||27 November 1992|
|Introduced by||Des Monaghan|
Ryan Lee is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Home and Away, played by Alistair MacDougall. He made his first screen appearance on 22 August 1991.
MacDougall was a model before he took the role of Ryan in Home and Away. It was his first television role. When he auditioned for the part casting directors were "so impressed" that they did not consider his lack of experience and offered him a two-year contract. However, MacDougall only stayed with the soap for a year. When the actor departed in late 1992, he told Josephine Monroe from Inside Soap that because he loved playing Ryan, he would go back for a cameo appearance as long as the scriptwriters made his character bad. He added "I would have stayed longer before if the scripts had been good enough."
MacDougall described Ryan as a rich, good time guy "who happens to be a bastard!" He explained that Ryan was not very nice, calling him "egotistical, self-centred, and wordly so he knows how to pull off a few scams and set things up to advantage." Ryan does not mind seeing other people suffer if they are in his way. An Inside Soap reporter commented that MacDougall and Ryan "are poles apart".
Ryan began a relationship with Lucinda Croft (Dee Smart), while they both lived in Perth. The couple became "very serious" about each other, but they eventually broke up and Lucinda moved to Summer Bay. In The Official Home and Away Annual John Kercher explained that Ryan arrives in Summer Bay to "win back the affections" of Lucinda. But Ryan did not expect to find her dating Nick Parrish (Bruce Roberts). Kercher described Ryan as "very charming" with "extremely manipulative" tendencies. So when Lucinda's brother David (Guy Pearce) dies he uses it as an "opportunity" to comfort her, while hoping that it will lead to the reconciliation of their relationship. Ryan almost wins Lucinda back, but at the last minute Nick put up posters all over town saying how much he loved her and she decided to stay with him. Ryan left the Bay and began to come up with another way to win her back.
Upon Ryan's return to Summer Bay, "a hot tempered love triangle" between him, Lucinda and Nick began. MacDougall stated "It's a strange situation. Lou doesn't know where her loyalties lie or her feelings. I'd feel sorry for anyone in that position." The actor explained that Ryan is very optimistic and he sets up "little scams" to further himself in everyone's eyes. However, what he really wants to do is get Lucinda to admit that she feels something for him. Lucinda starts to show a bit more interest in Ryan, so viewers got to see what it must have been like between them before they split up. MacDougall said "There's constant tension between them and when you see them together on screen, you can't help thinking, 'Oh no, what's going to happen now?" The actor told an Inside Soap writer that Ryan takes great joy in seeing Nick squirm and he has no problem with trying to split him and Lucinda up. Nick becomes protective of Lucinda as he knows what Ryan is like.
MacDougall commented that the cast worked hard in building up the love triangle and just when it looked like it was heading towards "a brilliant climax", he believed the scriptwriters had started to rest on their laurels. He did not think they did all they could to make the story work and he started to worry about the decline in the standards of the scripts. The actor told Monroe "I went to see the head scriptwriter and said 'Look, what's going on? What's going to happen?' He said they were running out of bad things for Ryan to do, so he goes through a strange metamorphosis and the plot just draws on for too long."
A writer for Home and Away – Official Collector's Edition stated that "old flames from way back Lucinda and Ryan created sparks". They added that Lucinda had a "big decision" to make in choosing between Ryan and Nick. But ultimately she decides to leave both of them and Summer Bay too.
Ryan is a former flame of Lucinda whose brother David who attended the same University and played on the same Rugby team as him. Following David's death, Ryan arrives in Summer Bay to win Lou back and is almost successful in getting her to return home to Perth with him until local police officer Nick tells Lou how he feels about her. Ryan leaves defeated but returns several months later. There is still tension between him and Nick over Lou but this subsides when Ryan begins a relationship with Marilyn Chambers (Emily Symons). This turns out to be a smokescreen to mask Ryan's true feelings for Lou. He and Lou begin seeing each other in secret until Marilyn witnesses them kissing and tells Nick.
Nick's younger brother, Shane (Dieter Brummer) begins a harassment campaign against Ryan by vanadalizing his caravan and stealing Ryan's car and dumping it in the sea. Ryan leaves but returns for a short while and helps support Sophie Simpson (Rebekah Elmaloglou), the mother of David's daughter Tamara (Emily & Chloe Hutton). Sophie develops feelings for Ryan but he does not reciprocate and leaves again.
An Inside Soap writer branded Ryan a "rich, ratbag", while another called him "the bad boy of Summer Bay". Alex Cramb from the same publication opined that the "tortured love triangle" between Ryan, Lou and Nick offered some "fantastic action". A reporter for the official Home and Away magazine commented that Ryan was "gorgeous, but wicked". MacDougall revealed that during his time on Home and Away he used to be fearful of walking down the streets, in case viewers thought he was "a complete bastard" like Ryan. A columnist from Shout said that MacDougall is "best known as Ryan the rascal in Home and Away".
- "Home and Away's heartbreaker". Inside Soap. Attic Futura (UK) Ltd (2): 10–11. November 1992.
- Kercher 1993, p.43.
- Dwyer, Carmel (26 November 1993). "Spotlight". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Monroe, Josephine (May 1993). "It's so good being a bad boy!". Inside Soap. Attic Futura (UK) Ltd (9): 12–13.
- Black 2009, p.20.
- Black 2009, p.27.
- "Goodbye Lou!". Inside Soap. Attic Futura (UK) Ltd (10): 19. June 1993.
- Cramb, Alex (January 1993). "Dee's dodgy departure". Inside Soap. Attic Futura (UK) Ltd (1): 37.
- "Where are they now?". Home and Away: The Official Magazine. Phoenix Press Ltd (3): 4. June 1993.
- "Soap gossip - Alistair goes west". Shout. D. C. Thomson & Co. (31): 42. 6–19 August 1993.
- Kercher, John (1993). The Official Home and Away Annual. Grandreams Ltd. ISBN 0-86227-954-2.
- Andrea, Black, ed. (28 January 2009). Home and Away – Official Collector’s Edition. Pacific Magazines (1). Missing or empty