Noni Hazlehurst reveals what her character Elizabeth has been up to in between seasons four and five of A Place To Call Home.
Noni Hazlehurst reveals what her character Elizabeth has been up to in between seasons four and five of A Place To Call Home. Nick Wilson

A new place for Lizzie?

FANS will find their favourite characters at very difference places in their lives when A Place To Call Home returns to our screens.  

The fifth season of the popular period drama is set four years after the finale of season four.  

A marriage has crumbled, children have grown and Bligh family matriarch Elizabeth has been around the world.  

"She's living a totally different life," Noni Hazlehurst tells The Guide.  

"She's been with Douglas for four years. They've had a great time. They've been to Egypt, Morocco and Turkey.   

"Her horizons have been utterly broadened, not only by her travels but the intimacy she enjoys with Douglas. Parts of her have come forward that have never been out, and other parts of her haven't been necessary."  

Robert Coleby and Noni Hazlehurst in a scene from season five of A Place To Call Home.
Robert Coleby and Noni Hazlehurst in a scene from season five of A Place To Call Home. Brook Rushton

As the 1950s come to a close, Australia stands on the cusp of great change. Pastoral families like the Blighs have long farewelled the golden era when Australia "rode on the sheep's back".  

The year of 1958 brings notable milestones: Qantas Airways introduces a round-the-world air service from Australia to London, Anzac Day becomes a national public holiday, Johnny O'Keefe releases his first hit with Wild One, the first Australian federal election is televised and a young Brian Henderson hosts the first episode of Bandstand.  

"The hairstyles and the hemlines are slightly different," Noni says.

"The American influence is becoming more pervasive. Rock 'n' roll and feminism are coming. A whole world's gone on in those four years and we've come back to settle."  

A scene from the season five premiere of A Place To Call Home.
A scene from the season five premiere of A Place To Call Home. Brook Rushton

In Sunday's season premiere viewers find Elizabeth back at home in Sydney working at Douglas's refuge.  

"We start the whole thing at the refuge on Anzac Day,1958 and she's firmly ensconced in his charity work," she says.

While she's no longer the woman running Ash Park, Elizabeth still has her finger firmly on her family's pulse.  

"Anna and Gino's marriage has not lasted the distance, so there's concern for Anna," she says.

Abby Earl plays Anna Bligh in A Place To Call Home.
Abby Earl plays Anna Bligh in A Place To Call Home. Nick Wilson

"George is still not divorced from Regina so Sarah still has to live in secret.  

"Caroline is there (at Ash Park) now full-time, married to Jack. Her city life has ended and she faces some challenges with boredom."  

Aaron Pedersen joins the cast as a returned Aboriginal serviceman.  

"He's a wonderful actor," Noni says.

"I worked with him on City Homicide and I was so thrilled he agreed to do it. He plays a returned serviceman who befriends Douglas and through him we learn what happen to the Aboriginal diggers - that becomes quite a strong theme just like the homosexual theme (in earlier seasons). It's a good water cooler thing for people. People can examine their own attitudes safely by seeing something removed from themselves."  

Aaron Pedersen plays Frank Gibbs in season five of A Place To Call Home.
Aaron Pedersen plays Frank Gibbs in season five of A Place To Call Home. Brook Rushton

The drama owes its lifespan to its loyal fans, who campaigned for its return after it was axed from Channel 7. Now A Place To Call Home has even gained a following in the US thanks to the streaming service Acorn TV.  

"I was in Melbourne the day after the Logies and an American couple who had just landed that morning did a double take and said 'Oh my God you're in that show! We're up to season three, episode eight'," she says.

"The fans are an integral part of it all."  

Season five of A Place To Call Home premieres on Sunday at 6.30pm Qld, 7.30pm NSW on Showcase.  



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