Philip Dalkin is a television script writer, director, and producer, as well as the co-creator of several successful television programs.
Dalkin's first scripts were for Special Squad, a Crawford Productions' police procedural that ultimately proved less successful than previous Crawford programs. After this, Dalkin scripted the 1985 film Wills & Burke, a comedy that purported to tell the 'untold story' of the explorers (crediting them with, among other things, the creation of the idiom 'get lost'). After this and the 1988 drama Beyond My Reach (co-written with Frank Howson), Dalkin co-created (with Pino Amenta and John Powditch) the sit-com All Together Now, in which aging rock star Bobby Rivers finds himself the unexpected father of fifteen-year-old twins after their mother dies in a plane crash. All Together Now ran for four seasons and over one-hundred episodes, including episodes scripted by Shane Brennan (who would go on to create NCIS), Jan Sardi, and Steve J. Spears.
Dalkin's next two creations were The Bob Morrison Show (also created with Pino Amenta, as well as Alan Hardy and Jon Stephens) and Us and Them (created with previous collaborators Pino Amenta, Alan Hardy, and John Powditch).
In the mid to late 1990s, Dalkin wrote for programs produced by the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF), including Crash Zone, Legacy of the Silver Shadow, and The Genie from Down Under. Patricia Edgar recalls Dalkin as 'a scriptwriter who was willing to write tirelessly', though she also notes disputes with director Esben Storm over script alterations for Crash Zone (Bloodbath: A Memoir of Australian Television, Melbourne: Melbourne UP, 2006, p.328).
Dalkin has written for a number of animated children's television programs, the most notable of which is perhaps the multi-award-winning Dogstar, which (with the exception of a single episode) is written exclusively by Dalkin and co-writer Doug MacLeod. His first novel, Dogstar, is adapted from the screenplay of the television series and co-written with MacLeod. His scripts for live-action children's programs, other than those for the ACTF, include work on Heartbreak High and a number of programs from Jonathan M. Shiff Productions.
Dalkin's script-writing is not focused exclusively on television for children and young adults: he has also contributed scripts to Water Rats, Always Greener, All Saints, and Stingers, among other programs.
Dalkin has lived in Melbourne.
'Meet Ace McDougal... just your average, everyday nerdy school kid... Well he was, until he happened to be in the wrong dentist’s chair at the wrong time and accidentally said the secret codeword. Next thing he knew he’d been fitted with a set of top-secret, ultra high-tech experimental braces. From that moment on he’s catapulted - teeth first - into one oddball adventure after another! Now he’s the kid proving you’re never too nerdy to be cool!'
Source: Screen Australia.
Alexandra Wilson is a normal girl living in an average suburb. She can sing brilliantly (she's a songwriter at heart). She's funny and driven. Alex's band is her life, and her band-mates, expressive Amanda Tucci and realist JB Deekes, are her closest friends. There's also Marcus, their lead guitarist: he's a year older, and, well, rather attractive. Alex has two grounded parents, Anita and Jim, and one very centre-stage younger sister, Zoe. Life is very normal. But ...
Since birth, Alex has caused a succession of strange, somewhat magical events. Fortunately, she's been able to conceal, ignore, or deny them all. But then Kuru, a young man dressed in exotic robes, and Anala, a decorated adult elephant who has a tendency to vanish now and again, arrive on Alex's doorstep. Kuru explains that Alex is actually Princess Liliuokalani Parasha Khaled Persphone Amanirenas of Manjipoor.
Alex is not so sure about that! But the magical effects she seems to cause have recently blossomed. It's scary. Alex asks Kuru and Anala to leave, but they won't go anywhere. They are under the royal command of Omar, Chief Advisor to the former Queen Nefari, to bring the princess home to rule.
Manjipoor is an exotic, mystical kingdom that exists very close to our world--but not in it. The nation was born six hundred years ago when 'gifted' people (sorcerers, oracles, and witches) fled persecution and created their own territory, and later, for their protection, moved it to a parallel location by magical means!
Kuru's mission is made easier when Alex's parents accept him as an 'exchange student' and he is invited to stay at their home. He does his best to fit in at Alex's school. Alex keeps her identity as a princess a secret from everybody but Amanda and JB, but it's an ongoing problem concealing a wilful, sometimes-invisible elephant in her backyard.
Omar's recent revelation of the existence of Manjipoor's secret princess shocks and threatens Vashan, the last royal relative in a conflicted and dying dynasty, who fully expected to rule. Aided by his skilful servant Diva, Vashan acts--first subtly, then overtly--to prevent his cousin Alex from claiming her inheritance.
Back in 'The Old World'--our world--Kuru's persistence with Alex starts to have an effect. Alex begins to practise and accept her magic--and it often goes awry. It's not easy being a teenager with magical powers! Alex uses her magic to rectify some very teenage-related issues, as well as to bend the occasional rule, but she draws the line at using magic in her music or for the band. They've got to prove they're good enough without it!
Following an encounter in Manjipoor where Alex learns some of the history of her real mother, Queen Nefari, and is introduced first hand to Vashan's enmity, she awakens to the strong qualities developing inside her and the need for her in Manjipoor as a princess.
Simultaneously, Alex, Amanda, Marcus, and JB improve as a band. They get gigs, and Alex's confidence as a singer increases. Alex finds the pull between both worlds conflicting. When Vashan becomes increasingly bold in his endeavours to undermine and overtake Alex, his actions precipitate a series of stunning revelations affecting the lives of Alex, Kuru, Anala, and Omar and the future of Manjipoor. Alex finds she must make a choice about where her real destiny lies ...
Source: Jonathan M Shiff Productions website, http://www.jonathan-m-shiff.com.au/