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The Girl From Tomorrow

Filed under: General — 19day @ 12:32:03

Does Anyone Else Remember This Show?

Title for the show

The opening titles

I’ve recently rediscovered a show I once watched as a young lad something like 10 year ago. It’s actually available on Youtube of all things, the entire series.. see far below for links. I’ve also, er, acquired it, through other means. This site that lists several shows, classic kids tv gives some info, and a link to Shock which actually released the first series in it’s entirety very recently (before it and it’s sequel were chopped down to telemovie length). In any case, the show is Region 4, or Region 0 in Pal, depending on which bit you read, either way I can’t play it. If ever it’s released here, I’ll buy it.

The show was created in 1991 and starred a group of people that, if you were to find some commonality between them other than being alive and human, would probably be the desire never to leave Australia, as it seems none of them really appeared in anything readily available outside Australia again. Looking up some of the bio’s from people who were in this show, if they even have a bio online, indicates many of them were stage actors in australia, and have remained so since, or perhaps dropped out of spotlights altogether. Which is annoying, since the star of the show I thought was strikingly attractive. I had nearly forgotten about that since I first saw it, since I couldn’t remember the show too well, but I now remember that I thought the lead was quite stunning. Now, of course, I’ve aged 10 years and she hasn’t on the screen, so it’s weirder, but I think only 5 lashes is sufficient punishment. The show was created in two series, each with 12 episodes, and the 24 episodes in total follow pretty well a huge story arch, with perhaps a dip in the middle where the two series are separated, but still the story wasn’t effectively resolved at that point.

The main protagonist of the show, Alana from the future, was played by Katharine Cullen, and just like the other people in the show, it’s pretty well impossible to find anything about her, in fact, wikipedia and imdb don’t even have a birthdate, but I reckon that if her age on the show in 1990 was supposed to be 14, that it’s likely that she was. As I said, I always thought she was quite attractive, and now that I’ve rediscovered the series and have remembered that fact, I’ve been trying to work out why. I think it’s the eyes and the broad nose, and the cheeks. Anyway, she hasn’t been in much else. IMDB claims she was one of the many Gatherers in The Tribe that Stayed in Max Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Hell if I can spot her, but I wouldn’t even know what she would look like at 8 or 9 or however old she would be. She was also in a play that had a picture in a paper with her name on it, so google found it. She’s probably late 20s in that picture. Anyway, I was unable to wring anything more from the internet, my stalking skills must be on the decline.

Katharine as Alana

The Katharine that was young

Katharine as Herself

The Katharine that grew (top left, obviously)

So here is a synopsis of the introduction of the show. Alana, said Girl from Tomorrow (several tomorrows, into the year 3000 of them) sneaks in to the science dome where her historian-guardian Tulista embarks on a 28 day trip to the evil year 2500. She returns moments later with bad man Silver-Thorn who took control of their new Time Capshul (intentional, since they all pronounce it like that, it’s cute). The people in the future use the power of thier minds to fight him, so he decides to rule the past instead, grabs Alana and together they plummet into the year 1990. Alana is separated from the time capshul, and having received no training in history, she is pretty much screwed. But she does meet up with Jenny, a comperably aged girl (who helps her evade a raging grocer), her brother Petey, who’s young and annoying, and their newly divorced mother Irene. Together, with their powers combined, don’t beleive Alana is from the future. And so the show continues.

The show is interesting for a couple of reasons. One of which is that it takes place in Australia, so it’s all accents all the time, but other than that the show could have really taken place anywhere, if you remove all references to Vegemite. The sci-fi elements are low-key, sort of like Star Trek TOS, the technology is there, but we don’t really have to know how it works. This constrasts with all the Star Trek’s since, which try to explain it in their own fantasy terms, and really, reversing the polarity is something the enemy should just expect by now. The show is also low-budget, at least, I have to figure it is given what it was, a children’s sci-fi on australian television. But they managed to use it pretty effectively, the scenes of the future aren’t particularly corny, just a little sparse. The special effects are decent, as are the props, for the most part. Some of the effects from the transducer scream Post-Production, but altogether it’s not so low budget that you see the set shake or shadows on backdrops. The ‘electricity’ effects are particularly nasty, but what are you gunna do.

year 2003 control panel

Coloured-light pianos and reflectors are more intuitive control interfaces

computer map for alana

PJ basically shows Alana how to subvert security at every turn, nice graphics otherwise

Another curious element is that the show’s protagonists are almost entirely female, and even minor players in high positions are women. Alana, the protagonist, is female, as is her friend Jenny. Petey is male, but just a wee lad so he doesn’t have dominatory effects. Jenny and Petey’s mother is single after a divorce. Later on a male protagonist in the form of a new beau of the divorcee comes along, but as the main protagonists are Alana and Jenny, it doesn’t undermine them much. The world council head (in the year 3000) is asian, and also a woman. In fact, they did a reasonable job for the year 3000 casting, since lots of nations are represented there. The inventor of the time capshul is an indian man, but the historian making the dangerous leap back to 2500 is female. Unfortunately there is a bad womanism here, which the world council head remarks to the historian now in ugly 2500-era garb that she wouldn’t have the courage to wear those clothes. ha ha ha. Well, whatever, Still better than her being recast to Nurse Chapel.

Interestingly, the antagonists are both male. Well, I’m talking about the really evil people, not the ones who merely get in Alana’s way in the 1990’s, which are also, I see, mostly male. But at least in this series, the two main evil characters, Silverthorn from 2500, and his bribed young henchman Eddie from 1990, are both male. That never seems to change actually, I think perhaps in the second series there was a woman hench..person, in 2500 (but the costuming makes it hard to tell) and there was a woman who did bad things under orders, but the main enemies were all male. Oh well, the point of this wasn’t that the antagonists were male, but that the protagonists were female, which is refreshing.

Time Travel has inhrerent problems in philosophy and physics, and in storytelling for that matter. For stories, basically, if you can travel at will back and forth in time, like Back to the Future, then you have to decide whether you can change history, or not. Changing history is interesting, leads to paradoxes, or rather, just deferred madness. Like, in Back to the Future Part 2 where they go back to 1985 and see it all dystopic, that is because history was changed and on travelling forwards, the timeline they are in is that altered one. That is all well and good, though the bit in the first movie about people fading away is just crap.

The other system you can use, which makes things a lot easier is to just say that the past is immutable, any changes you think you are making to the timeline are already in it, meaning you were destined to make those changes. This is like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban, since they didn’t really “change” anything, it all occured as it did in the first “pass” of the timeline, they just didn’t realize the implications, but they were destined to do it, it was contractual.

The Girl From Tomorrow is weird in that it seems to think that the immutable past theory is true for the first series, then go, oh shit when they see it’s not true in the second series (which I will discuss in more detail later) go and employ the theory of a changed history, which story elements in THAT series show elements of the Harry Potter version, of a destiny and an immutable history. Say what? Oh well. I’m actually surprised that Alana, as a character in the first series, didn’t even consider the implications of changing the history, and going to security guards asking them if they’ve seen her Time Capshul. Still, kids show.

Also, a problem with time travel is the concept of space travel at the time. The Girl From Tomorrow claims to follow the rule that it doesn’t travel through space, and that fact is actively used as a plot element in the second series. But in the first series, it is totally violated in the last episode. Oh well. This is the same sort of system seen in Back to the Future, except I don’t see why movement relative to earth is special. On the very first experiment with the Delorian, that dog’s one minute leap into the future should have had it 1800 kilometers away, in space, perhaps in the earth itself, since the earth revolves around the sun at 30KM per second. And that’s just the earth’s movement, what about all other movement. It couldn’t be calculated since as far as I know there is no fixed point in space to which all otherwise relative movement can be measured, but in any case, the car wouldn’t be on the road. For safety’s sake people, the only time machines should be space ships, why won’t anyone listen!

The technology from the future is of the sort that’s indistinguishable from magic. The main future element Alana brings with her other than the capshul is the Transducer, a headband like thing with a cystal in the middle. It focusses the telepathic aspects of the pituitary gland apparently. It is the main tool from the year 3000, it can be used to levitate, heal, and if emotionally unstable, untrained or evil, can be used as a weapon to explode CG balls. The people in the future even have little dots tattoed on their faces representing the levels of mental control they have. Other bit of futuristic brikerbrack Alana has with her from the future is a large bracelet which is actually her PDA called P.J., which has the ability to break into government computers, synthesize voices, project holograms, and has absolutely no security regarding how it’s used or who uses it.

The transducer at work

Any sufficiently advanced future is indestinguishable from magic

Here I’ll do a rundown of each of the shows, here be spoilers. I tend to focus on the more interesting or odd bits, these aren’t meant to be full reviews or synopsies. If I seem to be making fun of the show, that’s just my way, it’s still a good show in my opinion, but it may require having seen it when young.



Zelda Rap

Filed under: General — 19day @ 22:26:31

I find myself singing this often enough, so I thought I’d share. I dislike doing just link-based blogging, but I think I do it rarely enough that I can get away with it now.

Zelda Rap on Youtube

I like how previously impossible to find things (and I had looked for this before Youtube/googlevideo existed) turn up with such frequency now.

And the lyrics for those so inclined:

There was Zelda from the very start!
I got the hearts and smarts to play the part
D-d-down with Zelda!

C-c-creepin’ through with an overhead view,
‘Cuz a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

So I stay on track,
Collect the facts,
Never cut slack,
And I always watch my back for jacks.
D-d-down with Zelda,

S-s-strong I stand;
I’m the man with the plan,
‘Cuz the power’s in my head
And the power’s in my hand.
D-d-down with Zelda!



Intruder detected. Calling local police. Line busy. Shutting down.

Filed under: General — 19day @ 19:33:03


Well, I decided to go into the local Chapindigo to buy a Perl book to advance my ability to do work, and I thought I could use a long-neglected gift card as well. I buy said book and on my way out I pass through the sentry gate in front of the door… beep beep beep beep… why…

I go back up to the counter, take the book out of my bag, wait for one of the orbiting cashiers to notice me, and ask them to deactivate the book. “No, no, don’t worry about it.” “What do you mean ‘don’t worry about it’, the alarm will just go off again!” “Yeah…” “Oh.”

Annoyed, I thrust the book back into my bag and leave the store again, ignoring the beeps as I went.

It’s bad enough the same thing happened at Shoppers Drug Mart minutes later. Almost the same discussion with the cashier there too, except I took my book out and waved it through the gate to see if it was the culprit, and the gate remained silent. I put the book back in my bag and walked out,.. and silence. Nothing had changed as far as I know, it just didn’t feel like going off that time.

Why? Why can’t these Thief-Gate makers, or even users, attune them so they will only go off when, say, stealing their merchandise, rather than, in practise, going on whenever the hell they feel like it.

I hate having attention drawn to me at all, but I have to say, it takes on a whole different stain when the attention is an automatic attendant calling me a thief.

Beep Beep Beep Beep Beep

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