Dream A Little Dream Of Me: Reflections on Matt Turner’s reappearance

Dream A Little Dream Of Me: Reflections on Matt Turner’s reappearance

I loved the character of Matt Turner, played by the lovely Josef Brown, and like many others, was gutted when the writers killed him off. Matt was struck by a speeding car as he pushed Brad Willis out of the way, following the pair’s argument. So it was with great delight that I discovered Matt was going to make a reappearance. I was alerted to it when Josef tweeted the digital spy article. Normally, I tend not to read that website as I prefer to have little prior knowledge of what’s coming up next, but I made an exception in this case.

I was not surprised to find out that it was a guest appearance only, or that it wasn’t some ‘witness protection’ storyline – after all, they’d already done that with Mark Brennan. But it didn’t stop me from looking forward to what I knew would be Lauren’s dream, and I wasn’t disappointed!

It’s about time Lauren did think about Matt, to be honest. She seemed to get over his death alarmingly fast, and although we knew that it was because she had probably never stopped loving Brad all those years ago, it felt at times that there was hardly a mention of the hunky family guy, the cop who, apart from a blip towards the end of his life, was honest, trustworthy and a great father and husband. Even if he was a little stubborn at times. We’re all flawed in some way.

The build up to Lauren’s dream began with Brad and Terese’s disastrous divorce party, which definitely didn’t go to plan: daughter Piper embarrassed half-sister Paige and her latest friend-with-benefits bloke, Tyler, wth a video of their close encounter. Oh, and then Brad topped the occasion’s cringeworthy rating by proposing to Lauren in his ex-wife’s garden. With said ex-wife looking on. Nice one Brad, only you could be so crass and insensitive.

Lauren, emotionally stunned by the proposal, went home for a nap on her sofa, and it was then that Matt appeared. He told her that he’d missed her. Well, many viewers have missed you too, Matt, with your soulful eyes and lovely smile. Possibly more than Lauren has, to be fair! The last time we saw Matt saying those words was as an apparition during the webisode zombies series. Only this time, Matt was decidedly more the Matt we’d known in life. The fact that he was wearing one of his homely checked shirts is my only complaint. I’d have much preferred to see him one more time in his police uniform, or, perhaps, topless. But I suppose I can’t have everything. Matt had a photo of Brad and Lauren in his hand. ‘So you and Brad …’ he said, in that softly-spoken way of his, ‘He lives here now?’ Nicely done, Neighbours. And good that we didn’t see Matt telling Lauren to move on when Lauren told him of Brad’s proposal. True, his dying words to Brad were to ‘look after Lauren’ but none of us suspected for a minute that he meant it like that. Not even with things the way they were between him and Lauren at the time.

Quite a few viewers besides me admitted to shedding a few tears during this dream scene, especially when Matt said that Brad wouldn’t ever love Lauren as much as he did. It’s a fair comment, given Brad’s history. I was also reminded of the time Matt, on discovering the truth about that kiss, confided that he always knew Lauren wouldn’t love him as much as he loved her. Oh Matt, you even speak truth beyond the grave. Well, beyond the mountain, as your ashes are scattered somewhere in Mount Isa.

I’d have liked to see Matt appear some more. Perhaps to Brad, after he learnt of Lauren’s dream. Brad has since been flouncing around being rather unreasonable, given that his marriage proposal, initially turned down, was so badly mistimed, and given that it’s highly likely anyone might dream of their deceased spouse when they’ve been gone such a short time – a spouse to whom Lauren was married for twenty years. I’d love to see Brad squirm a bit as Matt tells him that he is keeping an eye on him, making sure that he never hurts Lauren. Who knows, it might just make Brad think about his behaviour a bit more carefully.

Failing that, I could see Matt in a ghostly rôle, leaving clues around about unsolved crimes. Let’s face it, there does seem to be a lot of crime in Erinsborough, and by the time the over-deployed Mark Brennan works out whodunnit, the culprit is often ten crimes down the road. Matt could be a sort of spirit guide to police, a ghostly guardian angel of Ramsay Street. Yes, I know, I’m the one who’s dreaming now. But you know how the advert goes: If Carlsberg did dreams …

© Carol Ann Wood
August 2016


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