I am thrilled to announce that we now hold a summary for every single episode of Neighbours - all the way from Episode 0001 in 1985 to the present day.
Our regular summarisers will, of course, be completing 2022 in the coming weeks - and therefore, the archive as a whole. However, most of you will be aware that we've long had some gaps in the mid 90s.
Several of us have had a major push over the past 12 months, with accelerated efforts over the past 18 weeks, to ensure that these gaps were filled by the time the show finished.
I am very pleased to say that the final missing episode summary was uploaded today.
I have to admit, I sit here today, completely astonished that I am even writing this message.
This has been a long running project for the site - taking over 2 decades, and with hundreds of different participants over that time. I am deliberately not namechecking people below - because the key element to me about the archive is that it's a production of the entire community, showing what we can achieve when we all work together.
I've said over and over, it's not 'my' site; it's our site. It's the site that so many have had a hand in, whether it's been writing one or two episode summaries, or one or two thousand episode summaries (and I am not exaggerating with those numbers!) - whether someone capped an episode as a one-off back in 2003 or whether someone has capped a thousand episodes as a regular contributor for years.
It has been a cumulative effort from us all, and demonstrates what a community can do together.
It took several years for the archive to evolve. Our oldest 'original' summaries are from 1999 - and when the forum was finding its feet in 00/01, our Australian members would write up spoilers from the daily episodes, which our UK members devoured as we were a few months behind. Over time, these grew into more complex summaries - storyline by storyline.
There were also old episodes airing in the UK and in Australia at the time, and from time to time, members would return the favour by summarising historical episodes - episodes that we assumed would never see the light of day again.
Most of these early summaries are lost to time, just posted on the forum for people to read - but eventually, they transformed into the scene-by-scene breakdown that's more familiar, and we started to archive them separately from the forum. There were a couple of non-Neighbours websites that I frequented which also added screencaps, and I was very excited at the prospect of emulating this.
Both of these sites, alas, are long lost to time - which makes it all the more incredible to me that we have kept the archive going with such continued enthusiasm for so long.
The real turning point came in the early 00s, when we settled into a rhythm of the current episodes being summarised and the UKGold episodes being summarised simultaneously. I think there was something particularly exciting about seeing so many episodes being uploaded per week, and so many members put their hands in the air and offered to write a summary or two or ten themselves.
This collective effort meant that, a couple of years later, the 80s were worked through, followed by the majority of the 90s - and just as importantly, all whilst the back catalogue was being filled, our regular summarisers kept writing up the new episodes as they aired.
As this project has demonstrated to us all, two decades goes by very quickly, and it would've been easy to have lost an occasional episode along the way - but the determination and commitment shown by all involved has been incredible.
I know that a good number of those early summarisers are still involved in the site - and I think we're all quietly devastated that there aren't really any episodes left to write up, as it's something that's been a constant in our lives for so many years.
But most importantly, we all worked together as a team and we've created something wonderful - something that was beyond all of our wildest dreams when this first started. I know, secretly, we hoped it would be possible one day - but to actually achieve it feels surreal.
And although I said I wasn't going to namecheck(!), I really do have to mention @Sayaka- who has written all of the code behind the scenes, and who listens to, and attempts to implement, every off-the-wall idea that I come up with. Also, to @Grahamfor (amongst many other things) keeping the front page updated - and then to everyone else, from those with literally 1000s of summaries to their names (you know who you are, my friends) to those with just 1.
You have all been part of this - and I am so incredibly grateful for all of your efforts.
Of course, a project like this can always go a little bit further - so we'll be posting soon about how you can help us to add a little polish to the archive.
I am so proud of us as a community; I think this project really embodies the spirit of the show, and is a great fan legacy to leave as the show draws to a close.
From the bottom of my heart, I really do thank everyone who has been involved. I hope you all continue to find it a useful resource over the years to come.