Stephanie McIntosh as Sky Mangel (2007)
|Portrayed by||Miranda Fryer (1989–91)
Stephanie McIntosh (2003–15)
|Duration||1989–91, 2003–07, 2015|
|First appearance||1 February 1989|
|Last appearance||20 March 2015|
|Created by||Ray Kolle|
|Introduced by||Don Battye (1989)
Ric Pellizerri (2003)
Jason Herbison (2015)
|Occupation||Student at Erinsborough High (2003–05)
Cartoon writer (2004–05)
Student at Eden Hills University (2006–07)
Sky Mangel (also Bishop) is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 1 February 1989. The character was originally played by Miranda Fryer until 1991. When Sky was reintroduced on 13 August 2003, Stephanie McIntosh took over the role. She departed on 3 August 2007. McIntosh reprised her role as part of the show's 30th anniversary celebrations and Sky appeared via Skype on 20 March 2015.
Miranda Fryer was cast in the role of an infant Sky after being spotted in a supermarket. When the character was brought back in 2003, Stephanie McIntosh was cast in the role. McIntosh told Heather Gallagher from The Age that she had completed a term of Year 12 when she was offered the part of Sky. She made the decision to leave school because the role was "just too good to refuse." McIntosh made her first screen appearance as Sky on 13 August 2003.
McIntosh described Sky as being "a lot of fun, intrigued about life and very positive." She said that Sky was "pretty out there", more than herself, but could not ask for a better character to portray. The actress also thought that a lot of viewers could relate to Sky, who had endured the tragedy of her mother's death and bullying at school. McIntosh added "She's shown you can stand up for yourself and that's OK." For the role, McIntosh, who is a natural blonde, had to cut her hair short and dye it black and blue. The actress told Gallagher that she hated Sky's hair and it made things difficult for her in real-life, saying "A couple of times I walked into a shop and people watched me, waiting to see if I was going to steal anything." Sky's hairstyle later became long and blonde, which McIntosh revealed had come from her, but it was also in keeping with the character's evolution.
In 2004, Lana Crawford (Bridget Neval) was introduced to Neighbours. She was the soap's first ever openly lesbian character. Sky was seen by viewers becoming friends with Lana and they later shared Neighbours' first on-screen lesbian kiss.
After the kiss was shown in the G-rated timeslot, the storyline was attacked by radio callers and conservative groups for "making homosexuality look cool". Peter Stokes, chief executive of Christian group Salt Shakers said "It just saddens me that we give our young people the message that these relationships are OK". Ric Pellizzeri, Neighbours' executive producer, said the show was reflecting reality by becoming more contemporary. He said "We are not condoning or promoting homosexuality...ultimately, we're telling a story about tolerance". Pellizzeri also added that the kiss was as far as the show would go, but it would not be "dissuaded from telling stories about homosexuality".
On 24 December 2006, Fiona Byrne from the Herald Sun reported that McIntosh was to leave Neighbours. McIntosh told the show's producers that she wanted to move on when her contract expired in early 2007. She decided to leave the show to concentrate on her musical career. McIntosh commented that she was sad about leaving, but added "I kind of feel it's been a really great four years, but I'm ready for new challenges." She asked producers to give Sky a happy ending, instead of killing her off, saying "I think Sky's been through enough." McIntosh did not rule out a return to Neighbours. McIntosh's departure coincided with Kyal Marsh's (who played Boyd Hoyland) and their characters left together. Sky, her daughter and Boyd left Erinsborough for Port Douglas. Marsh commented "I think Boyd does have a lot of regret that things didn't work out on a romantic level between him and Sky. But in the end, there's a mutual understanding between them - and they'll always have that bond."
When Sky is two-years-old, her mother Kerry (Linda Hartley-Clark) takes her to Erinsborough to meet her grandfather, Harold Bishop (Ian Smith). Kerry had been estranged from her father for a number of years. Harold is shocked to see Kerry and Sky, but is happy to have a granddaughter. He invites Kerry and Sky to move in with him and his wife Madge (Anne Charleston).
A few months after moving into Ramsay Street, Kerry marries Joe Mangel (Mark Little) and Sky gains a brother, Toby (Finn Greentree-Keane; Ben Guerens), when Joe and Kerry officially adopt each other's children. During a picnic with Harold and Kerry, Sky is bitten by a Redback spider. She is rushed to hospital and recovers. A few months later, Madge is knocked unconscious while she is looking after Sky, and a chip pan catches fire. Sky and Madge are saved by the family's pet dog, Bouncer, who answers the telephone and barks for help. A pregnant Kerry is killed by a stray bullet while protesting against duck hunters. Sky is too young to know exactly what happened to her mother.
Shortly after Kerry's death, Sky's father Eric Jensen (John Ley) shows up wanting custody of Sky. Joe fights Eric for Sky, but the court awards custody to Eric. Joe takes Sky and Toby, but realises that he cannot live his life on the run and returns Sky to Eric. Eric later allows Sky to live with Joe. Sky gains a mother figure in the form of Joe's new wife, Melanie Pearson (Lucinda Cowden). Joe, Melanie and Sky move to the countryside. Joe and Melanie later divorce.
After Joe gets engaged to his pregnant girlfriend, Sky has difficulty coping with the new additions to the family. She decides to visit Harold. Harold initially mistakes Sky for a burglar, after she lets herself in through his back door. He barely recognises her as she is now a teenager. However, once Sky reveals her true identity, Harold invites her to stay. He grows concerned when he believes Sky has been smoking cannabis, but Sky assures him it was only incense. Sky is hurt that Harold suspects her of taking drugs. Harold introduces Sky to Boyd Hoyland (Kyal Marsh) and they become good friends. Sky has a hard time settling in at Erinsborough High School as her blue hair and dress sense make her stand out. Erin Perry (Talia Zucker) bullies Sky about her appearance. Erin and her friends later knock over a portable toilet that Sky is in at the school formal. Sky and Boyd's friendship causes embarrassment for him at school and he denies he is friends with her. Sky is hurt, but Boyd later kisses her in front of their peers. Sky and Boyd eventually lose their virginity to each other.
Sky's uncle David (Kevin Harrington), his wife Liljana (Marcella Russo) and their daughter Serena (Lara Sacher) move in with Sky and Harold, while their new house is being built. Sky tries to stop Serena sneaking out to a night club, but ends up going with her. Sky and Serena argue and Sky is followed by a guy who makes advances towards her. Sky runs home and is caught and grounded by Harold, while Serena watches. Sky comes face to face with John Swan (David Murray), the duck hunter who shot her mother. She follows him to the wetlands to confront him. David goes with her and she attacks John. John explains that he does not hunt anymore and returns to the wetlands to remember Kerry. Sky decides to change her image and reverts to her blonde hair. Sky fights with new student Lana Crawford and they are placed in detention together. Sky and Lana gradually get to know each other better and they become friends. During a sleepover, Lana, having read too much into Sky's friendly feelings for her, kisses Sky. Sky is shocked and Lana runs away. Lana later admits to Sky that she is a lesbian.
Sky and Lana create a cartoon strip together and sell it to an underground gay magazine. When Lana tells her she is leaving, Sky impulsively kisses her. Boyd finds out about the kiss and breaks up with Sky. They get back together with the help of Serena. Lana leaves for Canada, but stays in touch with Sky. Sky and Boyd's relationship breaks down when Sky finds out that Boyd kissed Serena. Sky then begins dating Dylan Timmins (Damien Bodie). Sky and Dylan work together to stop corporate giant Affirmacon from turning Erinsborough into a giant shopping mall. Sky joins Dylan, David, Liljana and Serena in a joy flight to celebrate twenty years of Lassiter's. While the plane is crossing the Bass Strait, a bomb goes off and the plane goes down. Sky and Dylan survive, but David, Liljana and Serena are killed. Sky attends art classes at Eden Hills University and is attracted to her teacher, Jean-Pierre Valasco (Steven Cabral). She has sex with him and when Dylan finds out, he ends their relationship.
A depressed Sky has a one-night stand with Stingray Timmins (Ben Nicholas). Shortly after, she discovers that she is pregnant. Sky realises that the baby could be Stingray's. Sky asks Dylan if they can get back together and he tells his girlfriend, Elle Robinson (Pippa Black), that he is thinking of reconciling with Sky. Elle then fakes an illness, so Dylan stays with her until he discovers the truth. Sky makes herself ill with worry about the baby's paternity. Dylan proposes to Sky and she accepts. She later faints and tells Dylan the truth about the baby, causing Dylan to end their engagement. Dylan then gets back together with Elle. While Sky is in hospital, she shares a room with Teresa Cammeniti (Hannah Greenwood), who plots to steal her baby. Sky gives birth to a daughter, who she names Kerry after her mother. Teresa sets fire to the hospital and while Sky is moved to another wing, Kerry goes missing. It soon emerges that Stingray took Kerry and passed out because he was drunk. Dylan finds them and he takes Kerry, but Elle returns her to Sky anonymously.
A DNA test later proves Dylan is Kerry's father. Sky begins a relationship with Stingray and when Kerry is diagnosed with leukaemia, Stingray donates his bone marrow to her. Sky has visions that Stingray is going to die and she organises a commitment ceremony for them. Stingray later dies from an aneurysm. Sky starts seeing spiritualist, Terrence Chesterton (Scott Johnson), but when she suspects he is scamming her, she tells him a fictional story about Stingray. Terrence responds as if it really happened and Sky confronts him. When he grabs her, she hits him over the head with a sugar dispenser. He falls unconscious and Sky runs off. Terrence's partner Charlotte Stone (Rachel Gordon) kills him, framing Sky. Sky is jailed for murder, but is freed after Boyd tricks Charlotte into confessing. Sky meets the recipient of Stingray's heart, Caleb Maloney (Nick Russell) and grows close to him. She decides to move to Port Douglas, so that Kerry can be closer to Dylan and Boyd decides to go with her. Harold later mentions that Sky is pregnant and she gives birth to a son, Scotty.
In 2015, a pregnant Sky contacts Harold via Skype to ask if he will move to Port Douglas to help her out with her children and provide support. After Sky mentions Madge came to her in a dream, Harold agrees to give up his nomadic lifestyle for her.
For her portrayal of Sky, McIntosh received a nomination for Most Popular New Female Talent at the 2004 Logie Awards. The following year, Boyd and Sky were nominated for Best Couple at the Inside Soap Awards. In 2006, she received the Fave Female Hottie award at the Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards.
Upon Sky's return, Robin Oliver from The Sydney Morning Herald quipped "Watching Neighbours since way back? You may recall Sky, the cheeky young daughter of the greenie martyr Kerry Bishop (who was killed during a duck hunt). Sky is now a rebellious teen (Stephanie McIntosh) and drops in on her grandfather, Harold (Ian Smith), and Lou (Tom Oliver)." Larissa Dubecki from The Age praised McIntosh and said "I also love that her alter ego Sky accessorises her 1980s-wear with miscellaneous bits of material, wears coloured hair extensions in her knotty blonde locks and is a bit of a proto-feminist in the Erinsborough High yard, the kind of forthright suburban bogan with a heart of gold who is destined to break the heart of new bad boy Dylan." Dubecki thought Sky was the "perfect antidote" to Delta Goodrem and added that "the fabulous Sky" would probably get to the bottom of Paul's latest plot.
A BBC Online writer stated that Sky's most notable moment was "Coming face to face with John Swan – the man who killed her mother." Describing Sky, a writer for media company Virgin Media said "As Harold's eccentric granddaughter, Sky Mangel spent her time on Ramsay Street dating Boyd Hoyland, becoming an artist and having a baby with Stingray Timmins. Phew." In a separate feature, Sky's 2003 return to the show was placed at number Ten on Virgin's "Soap Comebacks" list. In 2007, readers from the Herald Sun placed Lana and Sky's kiss at number nine on thee list of Neighbours Top Ten moments. A reporter said "It's rare that Neighbours attracts the attention of the shock jocks around the country, but that's what happened when Sky Bishop, played by Stephanie McIntosh, gave Lana, played by Bridge Neval, a kiss. Sky was exploring her sexuality and the scene was one of the most talked about ever in the press. Lana left Erinsborough and Sky has gone on to be an unmarried mum".
In 2010, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Neighbours, a reporter for Sky profiled 25 characters of which they believed were the most memorable in the show's history. Sky was included on the list and the reporter commented "Sky was a classic soap child who left for a few years and came back far more attractive. It's little wonder that she became the focus of a teen brigade including Dylan, Stingray, Boyd and Serena, not to mention that brief lesbian period with Lana. With her beloved Grandpa Harold on hand to dispense advice when she variously lost her family, got pregnant, and lost the father of her baby, Stingray, she brought sunny confidence to her regular visits to the funeral home". To celebrate Neighbours' 6000th episode in August 2010, TV Week put together a list of the top 25 Neighbours characters. Sky was included in the list and a writer for the magazine commented "With a teenage pregnancy, a penchant for activism and a same-sex affair, Sky was never boring".
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