A new Rachel and family struggles: What we know about the Packed to the Rafters reboot.

Packed to the Rafters is coming back to our screens and yes, production has started.

The Logie-winning series was consistently a high-rating show during its five-year run from 2008 to 2013. The reboot, titled Back to the Rafters, will screen on Amazon Prime Video.

Since news of the show’s return was confirmed in December 2019, a few things have changed. Jessica Marais, who played Rachel Rafter was originally slated to reprise her role, however, in February 2020, she announced she would be pulling out of the series due to “personal reasons”.

After it was confirmed The Wrong Girl actress would not appear in the reboot, fans feared how showrunners would explain Marais’ absence. Some even speculated her character might be killed off.

See Jessica Marais in the trailer for The Wrong Girl. Post continues below.

Video by Channel 10

Today it was confirmed Rachel will continue to feature in Back to the Rafters. Instead, her role will be played by fellow Australian actress, Georgina Haig. The 34-year-old starred in the Aussie kids show The Elephant Princess and played Queen Elsa in Season 4 of Once Upon a Time.

Haig has also featured in The Sapphires, played Paula Yates in the 2014 miniseries INXS: Never Tear Us Apart and starred alongside Abbie Cornish in Channel 7’s 2019 show, Secret Bridesmaids’ Business.


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Marais has also given her blessing to the rebooted series. A representative from RGM Artists told Mamamia in a statement that she decided to step away from the reboot due to “personal reasons”.

“Jessica Marais has decided to step away from the new series Back to the Rafters for personal reasons. She thanks everyone involved on the show for their ongoing support and love, especially her ‘Rafter’s family’, and sends them her very best wishes for the production.”

Apart from Marais, the rest of the cast will be returning. According to official news from Amazon Prime Video, the series picks up six years on from when we last left the Rafter family.

Listen to Mamamia’s daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, where hosts Laura Brodnik and Kee Reece discuss the Packed to the Rafters reboot. Post continues below. 

Dave (Erik Thomson) and Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney) have moved to the country with their young daughter, Ruby, while Rachel Rafter, Nathan Rafter (Angus McLaren), Ben Rafter (Hugh Sheridan) and best friend, Nick “Carbo” Karandonis (George Houvardas), are navigating adult life and the struggles that come with it. Grandpa Ted (Michael Caton) is also returning to the series and is struggling to find his place in the family.

According to the press release: “As Dave enjoys his newfound freedom, Julie must reconcile her responsibilities to the family. They might not be under the same roof, but the same honesty, love and laughter bonds them more tightly now than ever before”.

Packed to the rafters 2020
In our first look of the reboot, here is Hugh Sheridan (Ben Rafter), Georgina Haig (Rachel Rafter) and Angus McLaren (Nathan Rafter) on set. Image: Amazon Prime Video.

It's pretty much the same wholesome, Australian family drama we've missed on our screens for the past seven years.

Although we don't have an official release date, Back to the Rafters is expected to be dropping sometime this year. For now, you can watch all six seasons of the original series on 7plus.

What are you most excited for about the Packed to the Rafters reboot? Tell us in a comment below.

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