Paul Robinson (played by Stefan Dennis) is a fictional character, and one of the main characters in the popular Australian soap opera, Neighbours. As one of Neighbours' original characters, Dennis made his first appearance as Paul in the first episode on March 18, 1985, and is currently the only original character to appear in Neighbours.
With some early character development, Robinson was made to be an arrogant, powerful, and sometimes antagonistic businessman. He has an evil persona, but this was mellowed through a brain tumour story in 2007, which brought the character inline with producer's vision of reinventing the show. As the sole original character, the producers revolved their 6000th episode around Paul, now dubbed Who Pushed P.R.?, which involved an unknown assailant pushing Robinson off the Lassiter's Hotel mezzanine. As a result, the attack on Robinson created a long-lasting "whodunit" mystery.
In 1984, Dennis received a phone call from his agent who told him about an audition for Neighbours. Originally, Dennis denied this audition, stating "I wasn't that keen because I was more interested in a feature film I had auditioned for and felt sure I was going to get". But while he auditioned for a role in Neighbours, he auditioned for the roles of Shane Ramsay and Des Clarke, but was later cast as Paul Robinson.
Who Pushed P.R.?
Lassiter's Hotel explosion
Preceding events and motives
Robinson's motel was supposed to run the Citizen of the Year award. However, it was turned down, and handed over to Lassiter's Hotel. Paul is infuriated with the decision, and hires Cecilia Saint to mess with the event.
During the explosion
Dubbed as the "Lassiter's Hotel explosion", the storyline revolved around an unseen assailant tampering with the Lassiter's Hotel boiler room, causing it to explode. As a consequence, Josh Willis and Doug Willis were both killed. Josh Willis died after Doctor Karl Kennedy and his paramedics lifted the column that was trapping Daniel Robinson and Josh Willis, saving Daniel in the process, while Doug Willis died after he collapsed upon seeing Ned reunite with his father. He later appeared as a ghost in an emotional scene, smiling at Brad and Ned.
Back at the Lassiter's Hotel, people were being evacuated, while Mark Brennan and fellow police officers closed the area. Toadie, however, was still stuck between the rubble of collapsed rock. Paige was also saved by a stranger, who both appeared in front of the Lassiter's Hotel when it exploded. Whilst being treated in the hospital, Paige would stay with him, waiting for him to wake up, for he has no known identity during the time he appeared at Erinsborough.
Stephanie finds the Lassiter's Hotel blueprint in Paul's suitcase, which would be later be of immense evidence to the trial and conviction of Paul Robinson. However, Paul claims that he is innocent, and that these blueprints were planted on him. After numerous attempts, Paul finally convinces Stephanie that he is innocent, while everyone else are still convinced that Paul is responsible for the explosion.
As the police are constantly finding new suspects, each of them are getting cleared with a reliable alibi, and to Terese's shock and disbelief, she starts to believe that Paul is responsible for the explosion.
Paul Robinson was the prime suspect to the explosion of the boiler room. After Stephanie turned in the blueprints that was found in Paul's suitcase, the police looked into the case with the possibility that Paul was the person responsible for the explosion. He was even bigger when the police found lost footage of Paul going into the boiler room on the day of the boiler room explosion. And when Paul was disrupting the neighbourhood interviewing people, he was put on house arrest, having to wear a collar at all times. This helped police track Paul's every location. Paul was eventually arrested, and convicted of the crime, despite claiming that he's innocent.
John Doe (later Jack Callahan) was another prime suspect after he was found on the site of the explosion without identity. Because of his memory loss, this made it hard for police to investigate further. He had an alibi, who was found as a solid reference for an alibi, and as such, he was released. As a result, Paige was emphatic with the news. However, as Paige and John are constantly trying to find John's true identity, his memory slowly comes back. Remembering the "Braun & Bell" logo triggered John to investigate into the company, to find that they were a company fixing boiler rooms. This information freaked John out, who later turned himself in, claiming that he might have tampered with the boiler room, despite having a solid alibi. Because Mark was let off the investigation team, he had no choice, but to go with whatever the superintendent had said, and claimed that John was innocent. He was freed that day.
Another minor suspect was Tyler Brennan, who turned himself in, claiming that he might have tampered with the boiler room. He claimed that there was a slight chance in him being involved with the boiler explosion. This big news alerted Paul Robinson, who came down to the station. As Tyler was being interrogated in the interrogation room, Paul tries to convince Terese that he is innocent, but to no avail. Tyler was later released, after the technicians claim that his tampering of the boiler room would have had no effect on the explosion, and he was freed.
Trial and conviction
After giving up on the case, Amy constantly tells Paul to not give up on the case, after she believes Paul's innocence. Amy asks Toadie a favour that would turn the whole situation around. After a conversation, Toadie agrees to defend Paul in the trial, on one condition: to plead guilty.
However, before the trial Terese pays Cecilia Saint to give a false testament, for a job at Lassiter's Hotel. Saint obliges, and they settle on the payment.
During the trial, as Terese walks into the courtroom, Paul Robinson pleads "not guilty", to everyone's shock. He claims that he was going to go with the plan, right until Terese walks into the courtroom.
Release and aftermath
- "Neighbours celebrates 25 years of Ramsay Street soap opera. Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. March 18, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
- "Stefan Dennis (Neighbours' Paul Robinson) Interview. Last Broadcast. Retrieved July 4, 2016. [dead link]
- Hopwood, Clive (1990). The Official Neighbours Annual 1990. World International. p. 15. ISBN 0-7235-6859-6. Retrieved July 4, 2016.