Welcome to Summer Bay. This is how it all began. The Home and Away pilot episode is the feature length episode, later re-edited to a tele-movie which kicked off this iconic Australian TV soap opera.The 90 minute episode, (3 episode together) which spent 3 years in production, aired in Australia on 17th January, 1988 on the Seven Network and focused on the Fletcher family moving to the coastal town of Summer Bay from Sydney, "The City" as it is known by the Summer Bay residents.
I have now created stub article for every H&A episode from this episode to date. Now I just have to add summaries. So lets start with The Pilot, some almost 7000 episodes ago. (NOTE: the full feature length tele movie was released for fans to DVD on Home And Away: Romances  )
"Frankie!! Frankie!!" - First ever lines spoken in the show. This line was spoken in the flashback scene in 1978 when Frank Morgan was 8 years old.
Tom Fletcher, and his wife of 10 years Pippa Fletcher decide to move to Summer Bay from their city house. Tom has been made redundant. Tom celebrates his 40th birthday. They have now fostered Frank, (who appeared in the flashback to 1978 aged 8). Tom is then told of his redundancy by his boss. Later on the family relocate to the seaside town of Summer Bay, where they meet longtime caravan park residents Neville and Floss McPhee. Neville is allowing a mystery young woman to squat in one of the caravans. The Fletcher's have 5 rowdy but troubled foster children. They do not go down too well with Donald Fisher who wants to see local derro Bobby Simpson jailed, and Bobby is the young woman who is being allowed to squat in the caravan. Don would even have a few lies told to put Bobby away. Don and Tom argue and Don says he can make their life hell if he wants to. Bobby wreaks havoc and is berated by Ailsa. Bobby is feisty to social worker Tarquin Pearce. This makes the Fletcher's, decide to foster Bobby as foster child number 6. Bobby and Carly shake hands.
- Tom Fletcher - Roger Oakley
- Pippa Fletcher - Vanessa Downing
- Frank Morgan - Alex Papps (note" The Character of Frank Morgan was played by Brad Pilato in flash back, credited as "Young Frank"
- Sally Keating - Kate Ritchie
- Neville McPhee - Frank Lloyd
- Floss McPhee - Sheila Kennelly
- Alf Stewart - Ray Meagher
- Ailsa Stewart - Judy Nunn
- Donald Fisher - Norman Coburn
- Carly Morris - Sharyn Hodgson
- Bobby Simpson - Nicolle Dickson
- Lance Smart - Peter Vroom
- Martin Dibble - Craig Thompson
- Lynn Davenport - Helena Bozich
- Matt Wilson - Greg Benson
- Steven Matheson - Adam Willits
- Bob Barnett - Rob Baxter
- Policeman - Bruce Venables
- Tom's boss - John Douglas
- Mr Jarvis - John Stone
- Tarquin Pearce - John O'Brien
- Bill - Monroe Reimers
- Mervin Baldivis - Peter Boswell
- Miss Purvis - Kay Eklund
- Doris Peters - Gwen Plumb
Writer Bevan Lee
Producer John Holmes
Exec producer Alan Bateman
Prev Ep None
Next Ep Episode 1 (18 January 1988)
- First appearances of Tom Fletcher, Pippa Fletcher, Sally Keating, Lynn Davenport, Steven Matheson, Carly Morris, Bobby Simpson, Matt Wilson, Frank Morgan, Lance Smart, Martin Dibble, Alf Stewart, Donald Fisher, Ailsa Hogan, Floss McPhee, Neville McPhee and Bob Barnett.
- The characters featured in the opening credits were: Tom, Pippa, Steven, Frank, Carly, Lynn, Sally, Ailsa, Alf, Neville and Floss.
- In early 1985, preparations were made for a new show about a fostering family and this idea is what this pilot eventually became when it was ready for filming in June 1987. Alan Bateman, the shows creator liked to spend time getting a show to develop. He spent over 2 years researching case histories of foster children and returned several times to the town where he got the idea from, getting info from locals about the foster home and how they felt.
- This episode was filmed in July 1987, 6 months before airing on Australian screens. Carol Willesse originally filmed scenes for the pilot episode as Pippa Fletcher but could not commit to the show full time so left and Vanessa Downing was given the role.
- This episode was released on VHS and dubbed: Home and Away: The Movie.
- The scenes in the city were filmed in the Sydney inner suburbs of Rozelle. 84 Evans Street to be exact.