Home and Away kicks off a huge new storyline on UK screens this week as mysterious Heather Fraser joins Summer Bay.
Heather is introduced as Roo Stewart’s latest tutoring student, but there’s much more to this new arrival than meets the eye.
Who is Heather and why is she so interested in Roo’s friend Marilyn Chambers? Here’s the lowdown, with major spoilers from recent Australian-pace episodes.
Heather’s first scenes
Heather makes her first appearance in Thursday night’s first-look episode on 5STAR (September 29), which is repeated in Channel 5’s usual daytime slot on Friday .
After weeks of lacking direction in life, Roo Stewart has recently decided to offer a one-on-one tutoring service in the Bay. She made a good impression on her first student earlier this week, but the situation with her second is going to be rather more complicated…
New arrival Heather asks Roo for help with putting together an application for law school.
When Roo mentions how demanding legal studies can be, Heather reveals that she has a personal motivation for wanting to become a lawyer.
Heather confesses that she had had an affair with a married man while she was working as his housekeeper. She explains that, once she’d given birth, the man and his wife adopted the child and cut her off.
As Heather explains to Roo that she now wants to assist other women who find themselves in comparable situations, Roo is moved.
But it becomes obvious that Marilyn hasn’t told Roo the real reason for why she arrived in the Bay when Heather spots her working at the Diner and stealthily takes a picture of her.
Who is Heather?
Recent episodes on air in Australia have revealed that Heather is Marilyn’s long-lost daughter.
It turns out that the tale Heather shared with Roo isn’t factual, but is inspired by Marilyn’s own former predicament.
Back in the ’90s, Marilyn was working as a housekeeper and had an affair with her boss. During the relationship, she discovered that she was pregnant.
The kid – Heather – was born in 1995, but Marilyn broke under pressure from her lover and his wife to give the child up.
With Heather well aware that Marilyn is her mother, upcoming UK episodes see her start to subtly torment the Summer Bay favourite.
Heather makes several comments about Marilyn somehow seeming familiar to her, which Marilyn dismisses for as long as she can.
The actress who portrays Marilyn, Emily Symons, recently acknowledged the newly developed backstory that was added specifically for this plot.
She told New Zealand website Stuff: “At first, I was like, ‘Wow, when would that have happened?’. But when you go through the timeline, it actually does make sense.
“Gradually the layers are peeled away and you find out why she felt that she couldn’t share this information for all of her adult life. Ultimately, this is a story about shame and secrecy.”
What happens next?
The Heather story has been playing out on screen in Australia for the past few weeks – and viewers have quickly learned that she’s not to be trusted.
After two worrying events, Marilyn is eventually forced to confront Heather in the upcoming weeks. Heather taunts Marilyn by leaving a picture of a baby on her doorstep, alongside the message: “Guess who?”
Marilyn learns that the reference is to her own tragic past when Roo tells her friend about Heather’s purported backstory.
Heather’s game-playing grows during the course of the novel, as she frequently tries to cause trouble for Marilyn. This causes Marilyn’s friends to worry that she could have stopped taking her medication.
Marilyn ultimately acknowledges her connection to Heather in a private conversation with the newcomer, but she still insists on keeping it secret as she’s ashamed over her past.
This isn’t good enough for Heather, who continues to simmer with resentment and find new ways to cause trouble for Marilyn. Strap yourselves in for a bumpy ride…
Who plays Heather?
Sofia Nolan is playing the role of Heather and is currently credited on screen as a guest cast member.
Sofia’s previous screen credits include parts in TV series Drop Dead Weird and RFDS.
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