Entry updated 25 April 2020. Tagged: TV.
Australian tv series (1991-1992). Film Australia. Created by Mark Shirrefs, John Thomson and Kathy Mueller. Produced by Noel Price and Ron Saunders. Directors included Kathy Mueller and Noel Price. Writers included Mark Shirrefs and John Thomson. Cast included Andrew Clarke, Katherine Cullen, James Findlay, John Howard, Melissa Marshall and Helen O'Connor. 24 23-minute episodes. Colour.
This miniseries, aimed at a juvenile audience, begins in the Utopian future of 3000 AD. The titular girl, 14-year-old Alana (Cullen), witnesses the demonstration of a Time Machine and is abducted by Silverthorn (Howard) – a criminal from the year 2500 – forcibly taken back to the year 1990 and left there to fend for herself. The story follows her efforts to find the time capsule, regain control of it from Silverthorn (who is also in 1990) and return to her own time. In the process she is taken in by a family in Sydney, the Kellys (Findlay, Marshall, O'Connor), who at first disbelieve her story. Eventually the teenage daughter Jenny (Marshall), her little brother Petey (Findlay), and finally their mother Irene (O'Connor) are convinced of the truth of her account and become committed to help her.
In the second season, subtitled "Tomorrow's End", the story arc becomes slightly more complex and the stakes much higher. It is largely set in the year 2500, in a version of Sydney resembling the Los Angeles of Blade Runner (1982). After returning Silverthorn to his own time, Alana finds that her world of 3000 AD no longer exists because of something that had happened in the past, triggering a global Disaster. She returns to 2500 with her friends from 1990 to discover that Silverthorn has conspired with Draco, the manager of a global corporation, to arm rockets with stolen atomic bombs. They intend to take control of the world, but Alana knows that the earth will be rendered uninhabitable unless Draco can be stopped.
Much of the plotting in both seasons is reminiscent of movie serials of the 1930s and 1940s, with the continual thrust and parry between the protagonists and the Villains, each episode ending on a cliffhanger. Many of the plot developments strain credulity, but the characters are sympathetic and the episodes are well-paced. The two seasons were novelized as The Girl from Tomorrow (1990) and Tomorrow's End (1991), both by Mark Shirrefs and John Thomson. [LW]
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