Back to the Rafters new photos tease what we can expect of the Packed to the Rafters reboot | Ralph Lauren

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After eight years away from our screens, we have finally been given a first look into the slightly older Rafter family in the Packed to the Rafters reboot.

Nearly a decade after we last saw the beloved brood, Amazon Prime has released the first images from the Back to the Rafters set, sharing photos of characters including Dave and Julie and their children.

Back to the Rafters picks up six years after we last saw the family on Channel Seven’s hugely popular drama.

Lead writer Bevan Lee (who went on to create other Channel Seven dramas including Winners & Losers and A Place to Call Home) has written the reboot, which will follow Dave and Julie after they have left Sydney and created a new life in the country town of Buradeena with their youngest daughter Ruby.

Meanwhile, the older Rafter children—Ben, Nathan and Rachel—are facing new challenges, as Grandpa Ted struggles to find his place.

Dave Rafter (Erik Thomson), Ruby Rafter (Willow Speers) and Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney) in Back to the Rafters.
Camera IconDave Rafter (Erik Thomson), Ruby Rafter (Willow Speers) and Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney) in Back to the Rafters. Credit: Amazon Prime

Little detail has been released about the series, but it has also been teased that “as Dave enjoys his new-found freedom, Julie must reconcile her responsibilities to the family”.

Much of the original cast has returned for the series, including Rebecca Gibney, Erik Thomson, Hugh Sheridan, Angus McLaren, Michael Caton and George Houvardas.

While she was initially signed up to reprise her role as Rachel, Jessica Marais dropped out just before filming began, with her role re-cast with WAAPA graduate Georgina Haig.

In an interview with TV Week released today, series producer Chris Martin-Jones said it would explore the “desire for a tree change many of us have felt at one time or another”.

A scene from the final episode of Packed to the Rafters
Camera IconA scene from the final episode of Packed to the Rafters Credit: Supplied

The series started filming in March last year but was forced to shut down as the pandemic took hold.

The production eventually picked up again and concluded late in the year.

Airing in 2008 and ending in 2013, Packed to the Rafters was nominated for 42 Logie Awards and won 13.

It was also broadcast in another 21 countries around the world, including Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and United States.

When the reboot was announced at the end of 2019, Amazon Studios International Originals vice president James Farrell said the series had been the top of the list of shows they had wanted to commission.

The original cast of Packed to the Rafters.
Camera IconThe original cast of Packed to the Rafters.

“Packed to the Rafters is among the most beloved Australian series and this revival will allow us to give our customers the locally relevant entertainment they want,” he said.

Lee said it was a “thrilling opportunity to be able to revisit the family at the centre of my most successful creation, six years down the track”.

“The world has changed so much in that time, and it is a writing dream to be able to explore how the Rafters have changed with it, while at the same time reconnecting with the life affirming combination of humour and heart that characterized the original series. In an increasingly dark world, it is wonderful to use the Rafters again to spread light.”

The series is Amazon Prime’s first scripted Australian original creation and is expected to be released sometime this year.


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