While there’s plenty of surprises we won't spoil for you, die-hard fans will already be aware that the show welcomes back several old favourites, along with a two-year time jump to get our heads around.
Happily, the first episode of Neighbours’ new chapter is written by executive producer Jason Herbison. A wedding takes place during the premiere, and you will be trying to work out who the bride and groom are up until the very last second.
Have a read of this handy guide as we preview what’s new, what’s stayed the same — and whether the new Neighbours lives up to its reputation.
Confirmed characters include long-standing regulars Karl (Alan Fletcher), and wife Susan (Jackie Woodburne) — and it's a delight to hear their comforting voices again. Another popular persona promised to return is fun-loving Chloe, with April Rose Pengilly reprising her role.
Also back are Paul (Stefan Dennis) and Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou), as well as Jane (Annie Jones) and Mike (Guy Pearce), two couples who shared respective romantic reunions last year. Mike's hardworking daughter Sam (Henrietta Graham) also features, as well as Paul's sister Lucy (Melissa Bell).
Read more: Neighbours: The 10 most memorable moments
Meanwhile, Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Melanie (Lucinda Cowden), newly married last time we saw them, are also back. Young widow Mackenzie (Georgie Stone) remains in residence; as does Paul’s son, single father Leo (Tim Kano).
Beloved local-turned-visitor Harold (Ian Smith) continues to maintain Ramsay Street’s history book. We’ll also see Karl’s daughter Holly (played by returning star Lucinda Armstrong-Hall); and watch out for a strong debut from Ayisha Salem-Towner as Toadie’s mischievous daughter Nell.
Elsewhere, Wendy (Candice Leask) and Andrew (Lloyd Will) have settled in nicely with daughter Sadie (Emerald Chan) since their introduction just months before the finale. Expect more exclamations of chirpy Wendy's catchphrase:"Yoo hoo!"
There may just be a few more familiar faces in the mix, but we can’t reveal exactly who they are just yet…
There’s a new family in town — the Varga-Murphys — and they have a secret. Mums Remi (Naomi Rukavina) and Cara (Sara West), are joined by teen sons JJ (Riley Bryant) and Dex (Marley Williams). Keep your eye on JJ, who grows more intriguing by the minute.
The clan aren’t the only ones hiding something. Mischa Barton joins the cast as Reece; but there must be a reason she’s rocked up on Ramsay Street, and it’s not to admire the scenery — or even just for the passionate rendezvous with Jane’s son Byron (Xavier Molyneux).
Another newcomer, Haz (Shiv Palekar), is on hand as the new owner of Harold’s café. Less of a mystery and more of a likeable charmer, we predict viewers will grow attached to Haz and his dog, Trevor.
And could Haz be Mackenzie’s second chance at love?
Is Neighbours still the show we know and love?
It may have been a few years as far as Erinsborough's residents are concerned, but those we remember still have the same traits we love to hate, smile or roll our eyes at (looking at you, Paul and Karl).
Having said that, their lives have certainly undergone a makeover. There are references to big events that we’ve missed out on. Harold seems distracted to a worrying degree, while Karl and Susan are at loggerheads. The question is, why?
So, has Neighbours changed? Yes and no. In essence, it’s still the perfect blend. The famous theme tune has had an upgrade, which takes some getting used to; but it certainly embraces this brand new era.
Just as it should, the revival relies on the same trusted formula and the faithful, much-missed team — from Herbison to script producer Shane Isheev.
But the show has upped the ante, knocking us somewhat off our feet in the process. We could really do with some flashback sequences to explain how, why and when; but we’ll let you be the judge of the first shocking twist.
Neighbours returns on Monday, 18 September at 7am on Amazon Freevee, and you can read our full review once the episode has streamed.
Watch the Neighbours 2023 trailer