Secret World of Alex Mack, The

Tagged: TV

US tv series (1994-1998; vt Alex Mack). Lynch Entertainment for the Nickelodeon Network. Created by Ken Lipman and Tommy Lynch. Produced by Lipman, Sean McNamara and Douglas Yellin. Directors included Paul Hoen, Allison Liddi-Brown, and Shawn Levy. Writers included Kati Rocky, Matt Dearborn, Neil Landau and Christine Eckland. Cast includes Meredith Bishop, Michael Blakley, Louan Gideon, Dorian Lopinto, Darris Love, John Marzilli and Larisa Oleynik. 78 22-minute to 25-minute episodes. Colour.

Teenager Alexandra "Alex" Mack (Oleynik) is walking home from Atron Junior High School in the corporate town of Paradise Valley, California when a truck swerves to miss her and drenches her with a strange chemical. This proves to be GC-161, which the Paradise Valley Chemical Plant is developing for a weight-loss drink. Alex discovers she has gained Superpowers including Telekinesis, the ability to project electricity from her fingertips and, most impressively, the power to transform at will into a puddle of mobile metallic liquid. Unfortunately she tends to glow when stressed or excited. Telling only her sister Annie (Bishop) and best friend Ray (Love), Alex struggles to keep these abilities secret from her father George (Blakley) – a brilliant chemist at the plant – and mother Barbara (Lopinto). Meanwhile plant owner Danielle Atron (Gideon) and her henchmen, led by Vince Carter (Marzilli), are searching for Alex, planning to eliminate this security threat and use her as an expendable test subject. Most episodes revolve about Alex's efforts to avoid Atron's thugs while concealing her powers and facing typical teenage problems of school and growing up. Fantastic elements are mainly confined to Alex's superpowers, though she also temporarily splits into good and evil-duplicate versions of herself, encounters a ghost (see Supernatural Creatures), and briefly undergoes Identity Exchange with her mother. Finally Atron – now ready to market her weight-loss drink despite GC-161's side effects – captures Alex and her parents, planning to blow them up with the factory in an "accident" designed to cover up the development of GC-161. Naturally Alex uses her powers to help everyone escape and to capture Atron and her minions.

Thirty-four Tie novels appeared 1995-1998 from various authors including Cathy East Dubowski, Clayton Emery, Diana G Gallagher, John Peel and John Vornholt. All were original stories except the first and last, both by Gallagher, respectively adapting the debut and final episodes. [GSt]

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