Across the Eastern Bloc, the budgeted $8 million "adult-oriented melodrama", 'Return To Eden' was a hit in many Iron Curtain countries in 1986. Rebecca Gilling visited Poland at the time told Jenny Cooney, "'Return To Eden' was so popular in Poland that the polling booths changed their hours during the general election so people would be home to watch it. Everywhere we went we were surrounded by people who wanted autographs."

Rebecca was given a tour of Auschwitz, visited the mining village of Katowice where she performed on stage in front of 1200 miners and their families, visited children’s hospital, attended dinners and parties with the Australian ambassador in Poland and appeared on a popular talk show which attracted over 37 million Polish viewers. Rebecca continued, "We had 'minders' who interpreted for us, but we were left alone in the street for 10 minutes and we were almost mobbed. Tony (Pringle) and I went to the art gallery on our only day off and while we were looking at the paintings everyone else was looking at us! It was like living in a goldfish bowl.

"We were warned that our room would be bugged but we kept forgetting, so we probably said some dreadful things. It’s something you take so much for granted living in a country like Australia and it’s a good reminder of how lucky we really are. Polish socialism is not something that I would want to live under. But the Polish people didn’t want to hear the truth about what we thought." 

Until 'Return To Eden', Hal McElroy observed, "No one else in Australia has done melodrama. They have done soap opera which is the next step past melodrama; but with 'Eden' we did, and are doing, melodrama." It was understood "heightened reality" did not require detailed exposition of motivation. Hal McElroy reminded, "People watch television not to be educated, not to be informed, but to be entertained and as a soporific, we have to accept that as an industry. What we set out to do was make unabashed, prime time entertainment. We are not talking prestige television. Over 22 weeks, you can't change people's lives." 

Hal McElroy reportedly pre-sold 22 episodes of the series to the U.S. and the U.K. markets before filming began on April 29 1985 until December 1985. The series went on air in the U.S. in September 1985. Producer Tim Sanders pointed out, "You're never going to hit the mark 100%, every single minute of the day, for 32 weeks." Peta Toppano played Jilly, told Prue MacSween, "I incorporated my fiery Italian background into the role. I think audiences are going to be a bit shocked by Jilly.

"Jilly has been stewing and plotting in prison for the past 7 years. It's been a gem of a role. I think that initially people will think that this was Wendy's (Hughes) role (from the 1983 mini-series), but then they’ll dismiss that and concentrate on what I’m doing, which is totally different from what she did. Only the character’s name is the same." Daniel Abineri as Jake Saunders acknowledged, “You’ve got to hand it to the producers for pulling it all together. It was a major TV series, a big gamble and at least they’ve satisfied the overseas market. I knew when I was signed for 'Return To Eden' that I couldn’t muck it up because it was going to be seen all around the world."

Tim Sanders stated,  "The whole thrust of the show is very much Australian. Ours is a totally original idea that developed here locally. The only similarities that one would draw are the common denominators of wealth, glamor, power, big business - the ones that are implicit to the story. When we set this up it was as a new series, not as just a sequel to the mini-series. It was very much planned in its own right and we consider it to be unique because it didn't follow any previous patterns of other series here.

"Where the others shoot 2 hours a week on their budgets, we were inclined to shoot 30 minutes a week. Elements like music, with the whole show originally scored by Brian May, and the wardrobe and sets all had priority and we spent a lot of money on them (reportedly over $2 million). We bought our own luxury cars so we didn't have taxi arrivals or obvious hire cars ... the whole thing was conceptually geared to produce what audiences would expect from a world such as this. It will stand on its own as a high quality series in Australia."

It was noted the 1983 mini-series broke ratings records in Australia, the U.K. and in the U.S. The mini-series was then sold for almost $4 million to Worldvision for American distribution and Paramount which sold 'Return To Eden' to the U.K., Italy, Finland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Malta, Monaco, Panama and Ecuador. Before 1986, the mini-series had been seen by some 300 million viewers in over 30 countries. 

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