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Series / The Girl from Tomorrow

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Australian series from the early 90s.

Alana is a girl living in the year 3000, whose guardian Tulista is sent on a Time Travel mission to the twenty-sixth century. After realising that Tulista may not even survive the mission, Alana breaks into the time travel facility place (which is never given a proper name), only to see Tulista leave. The Time Capsule returns almost immediately, with a new occupant, Silverthorn, who takes Alana hostage and goes back to the year 1990.

Alana, thinking Silverthorn dead, leaves the capsule and meets up with the Kelly family, who take her in. It doesn't take much convincing for them to realise that Alana is capable of doing some very odd things, and must be returned to the capsule before it automatically returns to the thirty-first century.

But, alas, Silverthorn is really Not Quite Dead, and has used the Capsule's computer to become incredibly dangerous...

The series was followed by Tomorrow's End, in which Alana takes the wounded Jenny Kelly back to the year 3000 to heal her. Then she discovers that she's created a whole new future, and is forced to return Jenny and Silverthorn to their respective centuries... only to discover that this was Silverthorn's plan all along.

The Girl From Tomorrow contains examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: People in the year 3000 tend to have euphonic names that cannot readily be etymologized based on current English: Alana, Tulista and Lorien are among the examples turning up over the two seasons. However, the inventor of the time machine has the already-existing name Bruno. In the year 2500, names are based on more recognizable elements, like Silverthorn. A second-season 2500 character is called Nik, presumably just a simplified spelling of Nick (for Nicholas?)
  • Affably Evil: Silverthorn is a vicious thug from the slums of a Crapsack World, but is capable of being remarkably personable, even charming when he needs to be.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Jenny's little brother Petey.
  • After the End: The Year 3000. The year 2500 is Just Before the End.
  • A Little Something We Call "Rock and Roll": Irene Kelly tells Alana that maybe there are things that she can learn from 1990, in the scene after Jenny Kelly plays her some music on the radio which Alana and they both start dancing in the shop.
  • Arm Cannon: Silverthorn's wrist-mounted jolt gun, before being melted by Transducers.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The people of the thirty-first century use telepathically-controlled "Transducers" to do most things, from the elimination of manual labour to healing wounds to blowing things up.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: A variant: instead of using a gun, a Transducer is used to heat the gun up, forcing Silverthorn to drop it.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Silverthorn.
  • Companion Cube: Alana's wrist computer, PJ.
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. James Rooney, Jenny's scence teacher, who takes a liking to her mother Irene and joins the group of Alana's allies. Jenny even tells Alana that the schoolgirls call him "Mr. Spunkarooney"note , and Alana cluelessly greets him this way the first time she meets him in class.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The Year 3000, although minus the Crystal Spires.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: When Silverthorn is sent back to the late 20th century with the Capsule, his laser pistol and his knowledge of future events and advanced technology, what does he do with it? Try to conquer the world? Pfft, no he uses records of newspapers from the Capsule's computers to win a fortune on the horse races and sets himself up a life of wealth and comfort in the Sydney suburbs. Justified as being a scavenger gang leader from a polluted future hellscape where he had to live in the garbage beneath the notice of a tyrannical global MegaCorp, being able to live in in the safety and comfort of 1990 with all the junk food he wants would be like paradise to him.
  • Do Wrong, Right: When Mr Rooney tries and fails to impersonate Silverthorn's voice to a security company, the captive Silverthorn seems more offended by how badly Rooney did it than anything else.
    Silverthorn:(rolling his eyes and in an exasperated tone of voice) That was pathetic!
  • Eternal English: Not even Just a Stupid Accent
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Alana, Silverthorn, Jenny.
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: When Rooney, who is the only person who can actually drive in the group, is incapacitated during the episode where they steal the time capsule back from Silverthorn then Mrs Kelly, who is just learning to drive, has to take the wheel; and promptly puts the car in reverse back into the gap in the wall. She does sort the gears out afterwards though.
  • Half-Hearted Henchman: Silverthorn's 1990s servant, Eddie, is not that competent and is more in the whole thing for a chance to drive a fancy car and do some minor mischief than anything truly evil or villainous. He's also seriously out of his depth at pretending to be an actual servant. He does seem to actually care about his boss's health too, and well as wanting his approval. When he is told to get a room decorated for Alana during the kidnapping episodes, he does a pretty good job making it comfortable with lots of cuddly toys and nice floral wallpaper.
  • Humans Are Psychic in the Future: Subverted; Alana claims that the Transducers require the use of ESP to function, but it's not something unique to people from the year 3000 as Jenny trains to use one in Tomorrow's End and actually manages become quite proficient very quickly. Apparently all humans have ESP, but they need the Transducers to channel it
  • Idiot Ball: Alana may only be a teenager, but she seems to be very ignorant about the past. Dropped into 1990 from 3000, she initially thinks doors aren't "working" because they don't automatically open to her as she is used to. A person from our time may be used to automatically opening doors in (say) the entrance to supermarkets, but would hardly expect any doors to have the same mechanism if dropped into medieval times around the year 1000.
  • Living Polyhedron: Not literally, but the time capsule is a rhombicuboctahedron that interacts verbally with the protagonists due to 30th century technology.
  • Only One Name: Everyone in the future. After arriving from 3000, Alana clearly needs some time to understand that it works differently in 1990. When she is introduced to a 1990 girl who gives her name as "Jenny Kelly", Alana in the beginning keeps adressing her new friend with that full name, apparently perceiving "Jennykelly" as a single word. Eventually she does figure out that "Jenny" is normally enough.
  • Our Showers Are Different: Alana's time has a "shower" that consists of a band of light running up the body. It even removes 20th-century permanent hair dye because the device perceives it as dirt.
  • Power Incontinence: What happens when emotionally undisciplined people use Transducers
  • Psychic Surgery: Alana destroying Silverthorn's brain tumour.
  • The Quincy Punk: Eddie, Mr Silverthorn's chauffeur/henchman.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball:
    • Tulista goes to the year 2500, and returns with Silverthorn. Silverthorn takes Alana back to 1990, where he alters history with his own ruthlessness. Despite this, his own time remains unaltered. After a battle leaves Silverthorn and Jenny both injured, Alana's forced to take them both back to the year 3000 to heal. This simple act should have been impossible, as the 3000 from whence Alana hails should no longer exist. Nevertheless, it happens, setting up the temporal paradoxes to be resolved in the Sequel Series.
    • Perhaps a touch of Fridge Brilliance - the timeline of the year 3000 that Alana and the others return to at the end of the first series IS different, but not massively so; it seems that some of the changes made in 1990 did have a lasting effect, but for the large part remained mostly unaffected. The changes trickling down from 1990 seem to have been made mainly in relatively minor details. The changes in the follow-up series that Silverthorn made in 2500, however...
  • Trapped in the Past: Alana.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Defied trope by Eddie. When Jenny fakes being sick while he is guarding her, he retorts that "I've seen that movie" and refuses to fall for it even when Jenny throws in some gagging and rubber vomit.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • Alana's "Smog it".
    • Silverthorn's "scragger".
  • Villains Blend in Better: Alana has a lot of trouble adapting to the 1990s, but Silverthorn takes to them like a piranha in a goldfish bowl. Justified by Alana and Silverthorn being from significantly different backgrounds, such that Silverthorn has spent his whole life adapting to unfamiliar and hostile circumstances in a way Alana hasn't. Also, Silverthorn has a significant advantage in having access to the time machine's databanks. He's also from a much closer time period than Alana, only 500 years in the future rather than 1000. Finally, he's an adult, while Alana is only a teenager.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Silverthorn goes back on his word to let Alana go home by trapping the Time Capsule inside a force field, preventing it from returning to the year 3000. He doesn't do it out of pure spite, though, as he feels he needs the Capsule and the knowledge contained in its computers to secure his lifestyle in the past.

Tomorrow's End adds examples of:

  • Apocalypse How:
    • Class 5 in the Bad Future Alana and Lorien return to after their initial adventure in 2500. The destruction of both Peace Platforms destroys the atmosphere of Earth, killing off all life.
    • Before the Nice Job Breaking It, Hero shown in Tomorrow's End, the original apocalypse ("the Great Disaster") only destroyed one of the Peace Platforms, devastating the Northern Hemisphere only. Perhaps a Class 2.5.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The final episode is called Kings of the dinosaurs because the power-hungry villains are stranded in a very remote past with no one to "rule" except dinosaurs (as the kids gleefully point out). However, it is said that they were sent to the year "5 million BC", which is sixty million years later than non-avian dinosaurs went extinct. However, no dinosaurs are actually shown, so the kids making the "dinosaur" quips may just be woefully ill-informed about the true extinction date of dinosaurs.
  • Bad Future: When Alana and Lorien return to the year 3000 after leaving Silverthorn back in 2500 and taking Jenny back to 1990, they step out of the Time Capsule onto a blasted wasteland bereft of all life thanks to Silverthorn stealing the Time Gate plans.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Pretty much all of GlobeCorp, but specifically Draco.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Initially played straight when Silverthorn uses the Time Gate to obtain luxury items from 1990 for his gang, but after being forced into an uncomfortable alliance with Draco, he eventually ends up trying to take over the world by threatening the heads of GlobeCorp with nuclear weapons.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Mind Link, where two Transducer users merge their beams to generate far more powerful effects, is not exactly forbidden, but is definitely dangerous and not done lightly. Because Transducers are psychic tools, it runs the risk of doing mental damage to inexperienced users if they can't maintain their discipline. Lorien is forced to Mind Link with Alana for the first time to rescue Silverthorn and a boy who'd fallen into the surf and were being dragged out to sea by a riptide, lacking the strength to pull them back in on her own, and Lorien rates Alana's successful performance as sufficient to make her a fully-qualified user. At the climax, Alana doesn't have the strength to push the camera drone with PJ attached far enough up into the atmosphere to reach the nuclear bomb-loaded transport before it destroys the remaining Peace Platform and dooms the southern hemisphere, so she's forced to link up with the inexperienced Jenny to save the human race.
  • Enemy Mine: The heroes are forced to team up with Silverthorn to try and stop Draco's plans. Silverthorn backstabs them when he sees an opportunity and tries to take over the world himself.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Lorien and Nik.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: At the beginning of the second season, Silverthorn, the villain of the first season, has been brought to the near-utopian world of the year 3000. He assures everyone that he has amnesia and can't remember any of the wicked deeds he supposedly did, but he is so very sorry if any of that really happened. The people of the year 3000 are very much inclined to believe him, they being so pure and idealistic that they struggle to imagine a truly duplicitous person. Even protagonist Alana, the time-traveler who spent the entire previous season suffering from Silverthorn's villainy, finds her friend Jenny (brought to 3000 from 1990) overly cynical and distrustful when Jenny thinks Silverthorn is just faking it and biding his time. Guess who turns out to be right.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the climax, Alana and Jenny fly PJ up to the second missile to prevent it from destroying the Peace Platform and killing the other half of the world. Unfortunately PJ ends up frozen to the missile and they can't rescue him before it explodes.
  • In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous: An odd variant since it's only the "past" for Alana and Loriel, but it turns out that Nik's grandmother is Maeve, the inventor of the first Transducer and the "Mother of the Future".
  • Lobotomy: Probably the vilest thing GlobeCorp does in the year 2500 is brainwash people into being "moddies"- mindless, emotionless drones who can only follow orders unthinkingly and are used as slave labour without any regard for their welfare. This happened to Nik's parents and also to Lorien, although she at least is eventually deprogrammed.
  • Love Triangle: Jenny thinks Nik is a spunk, while Alana is less romantic and far too pragmatic to be bothered with him. Nik for his part likes both girls, for different reasons, and is really bothered by the fact.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future…: The last minute of the sequel: the timeline has been restored, and Alana and Jenny returned to their respective time periods. Jenny is standing by a window looking up at the moon, uttering a sad "Goodbye, Alana". Meanwhile, in the year 3000, Alana also looks up at the moon and says "Goodbye, Jenny"
  • MegaCorp: in Tomorrow's End, the dystopian year 2500 is ruled by one of these (Globe Corp). (It's implied that said company stems from somewhat innocuous beginnings in the 20th century, as the characters use a ruse to get into their offices and sneak the time capsule up there, transporting themselves to the Globe Corp head office in 2500 (in the same building!) by pretending they want it as a location for a film they're making.
  • Portal to the Past: Silverthorn steals one in Tomorrow's End.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Eddie, in Tomorrow's End, is one of these and doesn't really want to work with Silverthorn anymore but does so because he is "a scary guy". He'd rather just set up his above ground pool business than mess with Jenny and Alana. Whenever Silverthorn is off in the future, or trapped in the past, he is quite civil to them and even helpful.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The premise of the second season.
  • Stable Time Loop: Maybe. The original series was kicked off by the people of the year 3000 trying to find out what caused the Great Disaster that rendered the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable. It turns out that it was caused by Draco getting Silverthorn to steal a nuclear warhead from the year 1990 with the Time Gate and blow up the Northern Peace Platform in an attempt to take over GlobeCorp.
  • Trapped in the Past: Petey reprograms the Time Gate while Silverthorn and Draco aren't looking to send them back to the time of the dinosaurs rather than the 20th century and the two of them end up stranded there.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Amusingly, James describes the time capsule as a decahedron, elaborating that that is a "twelve-sided figure", only to be corrected by the policeman that the word for a twelve-sided figure is dodecahedron. In fact, the time capsule is a rhombicuboctahedron, which has not twelve but twenty-six faces and twenty-four vertices.