This is the final episode of the pioneering Kiwi soap. TV One’s Hearte family saga achieved enormous popularity during its eight year run, and provided a training ground for a generation of screen talent. But by 1982 Close to Home’s characters were aging or departed, and the show faced competition from American youth-focused fare (eg Fame, The Six Million Dollar Man). With this 818th episode it was time for moving house, nostalgic re-caps, for The Seekers’ ‘Carnival is Over’ to score the opening credits, and for Tom (John Bach) to stub out his last ciggie and write the ending.
One of my earliest memories as a small boy was standing on the hills above Paekakariki with my grandfather, looking towards Kapiti and the Cook Strait. I suppose it was inevitable that I should end the story here: the old man and his grandson braced against the wind. Should I give it a dramatic twist? A terrible earthquake? Nah ...– Tom Hearte (John Bach)