Ben Johnson is a perfectly normal kid living a perfectly normal life in the perfectly normal town of Werrinup (in Western Australia). That is, until the legendary Werrinup Thief
steals his favourite pair of sneakers
. Ben catches the thief, and is shocked when he finds out that it's his best friend, Francis Short.
However, he quickly learns that things are not always as they seem, and the thief is not actually Francis, but an otherworldly person who happens to share the name
and exact appearance. Ben follows 'this' Francis down through a drainpipe, and arrives in Werrinup. But this new 'world' of Werrinup turns out to be a 'weird' variation: there are ridiculous laws in place! Not only that, but his house isn't even the same- it turns out to be the home
of his sister, Katherine Raddic. Ben is shocked, what has happened?
Wandering home, Ben finds out that his mother is actually a ninja
-styled Guardian of the Parallax
, who wields a 'weird' weapon called a Stave. He also learns about the menacing Welkin
, who are sent by his evil aunty, Betti, to sniff out the rest of the Guardians
Meanwhile, the entire group (which includes Francis Thief and Katherine's boy-crazy best friend Melinda) discover a third Werrinup, a commercially-driven technological town utopia where they meet Una and Due (who also have counterparts
in all the other worlds). After a while of exploring
, Ben accidentally falls into the portal of 'Forest-World Werrinup', where he meets the yodelling environmentalist, Mundi.
Together, they all deal with the threat Betti and her cohorts, the five Martins (one from each world, and each as officious as the last), who plan to "blandish" the Parallax by getting rid of all the "aberrants"
This series contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: Some scenes have as many as four iterations of the same character. Mostly played when the Martins encounter each other, as most of the others only encounter one other version of themselves (although the Francises have a Video Phone chat). Also involves Veronica and Betti, although they're actual siblings instead of counterparts..
- All There in the Manual: The official web site gave us an epic back-story, which presumably would have been revealed had the show gone on to a second season...
- Alternate Universe: Five parallel universes which form the Parallax of the series.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every universe has its own colour, seen in the 'glows of the portals' in each universe (regardless of where they lead) and in the Inter-universal transition animations.
- Crosscast Role: Faith Clayton plays not only all the "Mrs Dawes" roles, but also plays her brother Henry Dawes for one scene.
- Genius Bonus: For those who are studying the physics of the Many-Worlds Interpretion theory, this whole show makes perfect sense...
- Instrumentality: Betti's goal.
- Les Yay: Katherine and Mundi. Katherine appears disinterested in boys (in opposition to her friend Melinda) and, in one episode dances with Mundi during a party. They cap the night off by appearing to gaze into each other's eyes before a goodbye hug.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Shocks both Ben and Stefan. Veronica fled Katherine's Werrinup once she realised that she was pregnant with Ben.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Forest World Martin is actually rather nice, and, in one case, tries to help the others evade Betti.
- No Ontological Inertia: Averted. All that they can hope for is to undo the damage themselves.
- Real-Life Relative: Actors Francoise (Melinda) and Kazimir (Martin) Sas are children of Igor Sas (who plays Stefan)
- Things start going into Incestuous Casting a little, though (albeit briefly and extremely toned down), when you realize that, during the masked disco scene, Martin (Kazimir) is flirting with Melinda (Francoise).
- Una and Due are also played by actual sisters.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Welkins sort of look like a cross between purple "snakes" and wasps.
- Sequel Hook: Due to said undoing of damage, Betti returns with new-found fury.
- Time Police: The Guardians are supposed to prevent 'contamination' of the five universes- by making sure that no one had to go through Never The Selves Shall Meet' situation. Subverted with the Alternate Universe Martins however.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Betti wishes to "blandish" the whole Parallax. She does this by putting a strange 'potion' in the water that turns all who would oppose her into purple vapour. Her 'ideal' world is a 'paradise'- marked by having all the Martin copies playing loud music for the pure joy of it (and refusing to accept money)... But it turns out that all everyone else can count on is a barely-habitable desert world (with purple oceans).