The wait is over for A Place To Call Home fans
THINGS are set to get darker for the residents of Inverness in the new season of A Place to Call Home.
The fourth season of the acclaimed period drama will feature everything from political intrigue and anti-communist sentiments to murder and adultery.
Set in the picturesque country NSW town of Inverness, the series centres on the wealthy Bligh family and the people who come in and out of their lives.
The series, which was renewed by Foxtel after being axed by Channel 7, has found a stable home on pay TV.
The premiere of season three attracted half a million viewers, making it subscription TV's seventh highest rating episode of all-time.
Season three's cumulative audience was also the second largest cumulative audience for a local production to date, and as a drama it only trailed Game of Thrones.
Season four will focus on the relationships between the returning characters as affected by two contrasting social issues in 1954.
The first is the conservative wave of fear generated by the "Reds under the beds" scare surrounding The Petrov Affair. The second, the wave of liberal change that opened up new social and moral choices for Australians.
"There were huge changes at that time," Noni Hazlehurst, who plays Elizabeth Bligh, tells APN's The Guide.
"Two years after that in '56 television came in and we had the Olympics in Melbourne. Australia stopped being this absolute, total British outpost and American culture started pervading our screens and lives."
Elizabeth's future as the Bligh family matriarch is in doubt after season three's dramatic conclusion.
After finally relinquishing control of the family's Ash Park estate to her son George, she was ready to embark on a new adventure when she suffered a crippling heart attack.
"Because she's ill she has no choice but to return home," Hazlehurst says.
"Family is everything and that's the position Elizabeth finds herself in; she could die any minute."
Hazlehurst says viewers will see more of her character's softer side this year.
"Her life has changed and she can either change with it or live a lonely life," she says.
"A lot of people my age come to that conclusion; they've either to make the most of it or continue doing the same things."
Villainess Regina now appears to have a stranglehold on Ash Park, after finally getting the marriage to George she always wanted.
"Elizabeth is responsible for bringing her back in the family's life to discredit Sarah and now Regina certainly appears to be in an impregnable position."
Season four of A Place To Call Home premieres tonight at 8.30pm on Foxtel's Showcase channel.