Brisbane-based television scriptwriter Anthony Morris began his career in the early 1990s with sit-coms All Together Now, The Bob Morrison Show, and Us and Them (all three of which were created by Philip Dalkin and Pino Amenta, with the input of Alan Hardy, John Powditch, and Jon Stephens), as well as writing scripts for soap-opera Paradise Beach.
His work on Something in the Air led to his being appointed as a writer on long-running suburban soap-opera Neighbours: Morris notes in an interview with Neighbours fan site The Perfect Blend that he came to write for Neighbours because 'Luke Devenish and Lara Radulovich (both Neighbours story producers and fine spotters of talent) knew me from my having worked on the serial Something In The Air for the ABC.' Morris continues to write for Neighbours and has also contributed scripts to rival soap opera Home and Away.
In 2012, the Australian Writers Guild, for a presentation at which Morris was speaking, described him as 'the most produced scriptwriter in Queensland', with 'over a hundred-and-thirty hours of network drama credits as a freelance writer, and hundreds more in in-house roles.'
'When fifteen year-old Zac goes camping on Mako Island, he has no idea his every move is being monitored by real-life mermaids Sirena, Nixie and Lyla, whose job it is to ward off trespassers. When he comes into contact with the magical waters of the Moon Pool on the night of a full moon, Zac is given a taste of Mako's powers, waking the next day to discover he has been granted fin-like feet and the power to control water…causing all sorts of trouble for Sirena, Nixie and Lyla.'
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/ Sighted: 15/12/2009