Opinions of Jack



Every so often, I get a call telling me that some god-forsaken awful character is leaving Home and Away and that we're doing a feature on them. Some I quite like. We had the departure of Ric and Matilda last year, and whilst towards the end they were like watching paint dry, at least Matilda was a nice colour of paint and not some garish-red or mouldy green. Some were dreadful, whose disappearance from the show is up there in terms of joy with May 1945 or April 1996, and alas on a dreich Scottish afternoon, getting dark at half past two, I've sat down to right an ode to Jack Holden, possibly one of the least enjoyable characters I've ever had the misfortune of watching.

It's nearly three and half years ago he first flounced into Robbie and Tasha's home-warming party. Perhaps what he was doing wasn't unreasonable, but somebody in the writers office had obviously decided that Jactha or what ever stupid name they were given at the time were going to be a couple that hated each other at first, but in fact it was all really love. You know, like Shane and Angel once were. Except Jack never did anything wrong, but that was enough for Martha to see all bad in him. You'd have thought he was a paedophile or a child killer. Oh, actually he is a child killer lest us not forget. But it would be easy to forget because in an attempt to create some drama upon their arrival with what could have been a serious issue, we had this storyline which lasted about 3 or 4 episodes and then it was forgotten about.

And that's the problem with Jack, defined in two words policing and Martha.

First of all the policing. In an attempt to create drama in what would have otherwise been quite boring storylines in some instances, Jack had to fake evidence, lie to protect those around him, disobey orders. Enough to get him fired from the service about ten times over. It was sort of used in early 2008 as perhaps all coming to head and being used against him, in what was a quite well crafted storyline with Sam. She was right. He was a terrible police officer. However, two weeks down the line, Jack decided he wanted to be a police officer all along and he got his old job back meaning that we now appeared to have about half the cast seemed to be in the police and so we occasionally got the same old tripe.

It's part of most peoples jobs, they are usually quite boring. I know some will sing the virtues of whatever their chosen profession, but day to day we do very little. Police officers, if Radio 5 Live is to be believed, spend most of their time filling in 10 paperwork because they caught some youth peeing in a bush and in the mean time half of London's teenagers have been stabbed in gang violence, but it's probably a rare occurence for a police officer to fight psychos etc. Except Jack did it on a monthly basis and because we got so normalised to it, seeing him doing desk work was actually quite exciting. However, whenever he did deskwork, it was always a sign that he would use intelligence never usually seen at any other time and provide the breakthrough to a case. However instead of informing all those around him, he would sneak off and usually make a pigs ear of the whole thing.

So, yes, I thought highly of Jack as a police officer, and so we move onto Jack: the boyfriend, husband, divorcee, whatever, to Martha. The relationship was forced upon us, out of storylines created out of falsities. In reality, it was probably all due to the need for a wedding for Zoe/Eve to blow up, but their relationship came across as fake as the explosions. Where as many relationships are carved out over time, this was forced fed onto us. It was not until they broke up in late 2006 and then spent the next 18 months getting back together that you actually believed that they had a genuine affection for each other. In that time, we had the same story repeated about five times. They were sort of destined to be together, but seeing one playing the sad puppy as the other was in a relationship for the fifth time was tiring. OK, one psycho could be exchanged for the other, but it was basically the same thing.

In a way, it's kind of apt that Jack's awful policing has led to his demise.


It probably shouldn't come as a surprise to most you of that I'm a big Paul fan. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm a big Jack fan as well. Because I'm not.

When Jack first arrived on our screens, he was cheeky and flirty, but with a dark secret (but then again, which Summer Bay resident doesn't have one of those?). The secret was soon out in the open and Jack was eventually accepted. Which lead to his relationship with Martha and you probably know the rest.

Jack was never the brightest spark and he messed up more than once, to put it mildly. But his intentions were always good. It was his methods that were filled with flaws. It was annoying to watch at times, so he did after a while become more like eye-candy to me instead of an interesting character. He stayed pretty much the same up until the reunion with Martha. Then he became more mature and IMO a far more interesting character, even though he stayed mostly in the background. But that suited me just fine. I'd never enjoyed the "will they won't they" saga, so it was a big relief to see the end of that. Even though Paul was at his best during the reveal of Sam, which was one of my favourite Jack moments.

Then there's his death. Epic fail if you ask me. It was so stupid. It would have been much better if he died saving Martha. It would have been heartbreaking to watch, but it still would have been so much better than what we did get. Seeing Jack following Angelo, having Angelo shoot Jack (but did he? Who knows?) and Jack dying all alone. That was so uncalled for. The JM fans have been loyal and that is how they repaid us? Stupid. Home and Away just isn't the same anymore...

I do appreciate Jack, because without him, I'd probably never known who Paul is. And that would have been a shame. So I'm sad to see Paul go, but I wish him all the best for the future.


Here's my take. They never properly developed his character beyond a husband and a bad cop. (He had good instincts, that was always consistent but he had a shocking way of applying them) Even as a Jack and Martha fan I can admit that all his storylines bar Sam were about them as a couple or not being a couple and wanting to etc, and the Sam one pretty much ended in the same way. I think they should have concentrated more on his relationship with Tony and Lucas while they had the chance and not just when they needed an extra scene and decided to fill it with a family one. The entire family had a great dynamic and it's a shame it was so underused. One of my favourite of his scenes is actually when he was telling Lucas how he lost his virginity, it was a great humurous moment.

The going back to work thing could have been a great idea for futher development of character as well and interesting to see where he went seeing as he seemed to only know being a cop and that being all he ever wanted to do. Even from the very beginning, more exploration into the Chambers girl death could have been explored or at least mentioned a bit more.

That said I could never really understand all the intense hate that came for the character. Probably stemed off the relationship saga and perhaps the fact that he was definitley not the sharpest tool in the shed but when it came down to it all the things he stuffed up at work came from his love for someone and need to protect them. And he was also a genuine, nice person. I know it soap that translates as boring but with so many villians I thought it was kinda nice.

I think Jack and Martha had great chemistry in the beginning, it was cheeky and it was fun. It did seem to die out a bit but I think as time went on it became a different kind of chemistry. I still think they worked well but it felt a lot more grown up and relaxed and I enjoyed that too. I also thought his death storyline was/is excellent. Not because I *wanted* him to die but because it honours the stability of the relationship he built for the second time with Martha and the effects on Tony will obviously be devastating. It'll also be extremely interesting to see how he handles the arrival of a new child while he mourns the loss of his eldest, especially with his middle child not there to support him.


I will miss Jack. I went off HAA for a few years and him and Martha were the reason why I started watching it again. He was fun, easy going and cheeky. And I loved how he used to rile Martha up when they first met.

My favourite moment would have to be his and Martha's first kiss. But pretty much anything from when he first arrived until when he and Martha divorced and when he was acting like a dad with Rory, I loved.

Having said that, I think the way they treated Jack's character was appaling and disappointing. From the moment he arrived, he was never given the chance to develop as a character, instead thrown straight into a relationship and was suddenly one half of the golden couple. He was never given anything besides the triangle crap between him, Martha and Sam or getting shot on the job. They could have done so much more with him, but they didn't. What about making him a father? That was the one thing he wanted the most and they cruely took that away from him, not just once, but three times.

I loved Jack and I will miss him, but he was never his own character. Most of everyone's favourite moments of him, mine included, involve Martha which just proves my point.


Jack vs. Corey was one of my favourite sagas. Like most people, I was disappointed that Irene's mental health issues got hijacked by a J&M love triangle, but the fact that Corey was one third of that triangle, and that Jack's instincts about him were being treated as nothing more than jealousy over Martha, made it great viewing. As much as I adore Corey, I respected Jack for having the commitment to his own intuition to bring him down. I particularly liked the scene where Jack had Corey pinned to the ground.

Loved the Holden family unit, too. Tony, Jack and Lucas proved that men don't need women to look after them, they can get along just fine, and still have a great emotional bond. It was beautiful to see. Unfortunately that deteriorated a bit over time where Lucas was concerned, but Tony and Jack always kept it together. I loved when Tony kissed Jack to reassure him after Jack's marriage broke down. It was so sad and sweet.

I wasn't always a fan of Jack - in fact, I'm pretty sure I hated him for a while - but by the end he was one of my favourites. He just had a really cruisy and funny energy that I liked. It was heartbreaking to see him die so pointlessly and all alone... and to see Tony find him. I'll miss Jack.


I loved Jack at the start, when he was just the fun cheeky cop, hated him in the Sam days and then loved him again as he matured last year.

My only wish is that his character had been developed as much as Martha's had, but on the other hand his simplicity was nice, he was just a nice guy who wanted to settle down and have a family. Towards the end he gained some depth in the cancer storyline, which is why its a pity he was killed off then.


For me, Jack Holden lit up the screen. A H&A episode in the past 3 years without Jack in it has been a lesser one as far as I am concerned. It was his character that got me hooked on the show again and I haven't missed one episode since his very first one. His whole manner, demeanour, sense of humour, sense of justice and his softly spoken, kindly, caring nature makes him to me one of the most well thought out characters and most engimatic and charismatic. Like I said, he lit up the screen. Losing him is like losing a piece of me. Watching him made me feel happy, it made me feel warm and fuzzy. His passing scares me as I don't know who can fill the void for me.

I do agree his character wasn't developed much. The characteristics I mention above were all evident from the time he arrived but they remained consistent which was vital to my enjoyment of him. Too often we complain about inconsistency in the writing. With Jack we saw the same successes and failings, strengths and weaknesses and conviction for what is right played out time and time again. He was a noble character, much like his father Tony, and Home and Away did a great job in creating such a character. I hope they can strike that gold again now that they have destroyed him.


Jack was exceedingly dull, and that was a shame and totally unnecessary, because for a large period of his time on the show we had a couple of other dull characters to fit that slot - Dan Baker and Brad Armstrong. If his character had developed in any way or been given any depth he might have been interesting, but the writers chose to solely focus on his relationship and marriage to Martha, and to a lesser extent Sam. How a man could go through numerous life-threatening experiences, lose his wife, his step-mother, witness the departure of his brother, step-siblings and step-son from his life for good, be charged with murder, suffer the breakdown of two marriages, and learn that his wife is carrying another man's child, and never change or develop as a person through all that is beyond me...... I'm just glad to see the back of such an unrealistic character.


Jack was my favourite male character from when he arrived in 2005. He wasn't the brightest spark and you could say he still wasn't the brightest spark when he died.  Lucas & Jack when they first arrived on the show didn't to me seem to be very close to their dad, that changed as Lucas departed and there were more Tony/Jack scenes. Jack was always there for his dad and vice versa. Tony may have been too involved with Beth and the Hunters but he never forgot Jack was his son.


Jack was always a character for me, who was just there. I don't know if that's a negative or a positive really. But I do wish I'd cared more about him when he was. I always thought he was a bit of a 'dumb cop' never realising what was going on, when literally everyone else did and you could almost hear the 'clunk!' when he finally did!

He was also, ironically since he was shot, always indestructable too...however many times he was shot or needed organ transplants he'd always survive!

I also found him and the Holdens when they arrived to be a complete breath of fresh air to the Bay and it was really good to see a male single parent family, with Jack being as Tony said today "not just his child but his very very best mate too". Jack was great like that and his character though easily fooled to kind of say the least...always always loved and protected those that loved him.

I'll miss him...and as I said, it's only now he's not there that I wish I'd cared about him more, rather than just drooling a bit whenever I saw him on-screen! Ahwell. 


I was never keen on Jack's investigative skills (more so when he first came on - he got better!) but he was such a great, nice, sweet character. Like... just a genuine nice guy...

I loved the dynamics of the Holden family and how they were more mates than Dad vs sons. He was a good character and it's a shame really. Wish he didn't have to go like that though!


I'm going to miss my Jacky boy! I'll miss seeing him in his uniform, I'll miss him in his cop car, oh and his green car! I'll miss him kissing Martha good-bye every morning for work, I'll miss him disliking Roman, I'll miss his hair, I could go on forever and ever but I simply don't have enough time..

But I hope Paul will have lots of hope and luck furthering his career, and I hope to see more of him the future, or else.