PRODUCER and director John Tatoulis wasn't too concerned when he
unveiled the latest children's television series at the State Film Centre in
Melbourne last Thursday.
He had already faced two of the toughest potential critics: the
series'London-based international distributor, Richard Price Television
Association, and 192 school children aged eight to 14, whose responses ranged
from: "I think that kids watching the show would feel they would like to be in
the characters' shoes" to: "I think it's fantastic."
Reminiscent of the rollicking adventures of Enid Blyton's Famous Five, the
30-minute, seven-episode Adventures on Kythera has an international flavour and
1980s appeal. The heroes are a 12-year-old English girl, Molly (played by
Amelia Frid), Australian Johnny, 13 (George Lekkas), local girl Tik, 14(Rebekah
Elmalglou), Australian boy Spike, 10 (Garry Perazzo), and the half-African,
half-Australian Zenton, seven (Zenton Chorny).
The five children meet while holidaying on the Greek island of Kythera,
form a gang, and engage in adventures like rescuing a valuable icon from the
clutches of crooks.
Produced by Media World, with some financial backing from Film Victoria,
Adventures on Kythera cost $1 million. Production went ahead without any
pre-sale agreement to an Australian network, as the international sales had
already made it a viable proposition.
While the final episode of this series sees the sad end to a happy summer,
the Kythera gang vow to meet again, and pre-production has already started on
another six episodes to be made in Greece next year. The third season is likely
to see the young adventurers in another sun-drenched location, possibly Mexico.