Top Boy, Channel 4 The Arts Desk

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  • This very naughty recording of Frank Zappa and this incarnation of the Mothers of Invention was made on January 23rd, at Melbourne's Festival Hall.

    Top Boy, Channel 4 The Arts Desk

    It was recorded on a virtually new Superscope C mono cassette recorder very carefully stuffed under my jacket where it couldn't be seen too easily, with the corner containing the microphone just protruding into the open air, facing roughly towards the stage. I noticed that Zappa himself was also recording the performance using a dummy head on stage with microphones stuck in its ears but he probably got better results than we have here. A few minutes into the concert you will probably hear that the sound gets a bit muffled as I had to hide the recorder completely under my jacket when we were moved along a few seats to make room for a few latecomers who insisted we were in their seats.

    We ended up sitting in the sixth row back from the stage, a few seats right of dead centre - ideal seats to watch from, but unfortunately the PA stacks were way off to either side of me. As a result the vocals aren't all that clear, but the audience applause in the surrounding seats came out really, really well. Zappa and the band were in fine form this night but they weren't playing much new stuff, mainly repeating material from earlier albums. The audience response was enthusiastic especially when calling the band back for the encores.

    I managed to capture all of the first encore, but the tape ran out after a minute or so into the second. As it was I probably missed a few minutes when turning the tape over. Well, on the original copy there's a huge peak centred around Hz, probably caused by my copious armpit, combined with the legendary resonance of Festival Hall and its iron roof.

    Synopsis[ edit ] A group of teenagers go on a school camp in the Blue Mountains in Australia. While at the camp, Paul Reynolds accidentally goes into a parallel universe. This other world is inhabited by a more hierarchic and technologically different society, ruled by a group of people known as Spellbinders.

    Paul meets a girl there named Riana, and they become friends. The Spellbinders have discovered the power to create and manipulate static electricity.

    Top Boy, Channel 4 The Arts Desk

    They fly in gigantic copper-coloured machines that utilise large rotating orange crystals, presumably creating some form of magnetic levitation.

    The Spellbinders often use their power for good, but some abuse this power and use their discoveries for malevolence. One such malevolent Spellbinder is Ashka, who often manages to hide her true nature. Common people are often "banished" for their misdeeds, and sometimes Spellbinders are banished, also, if they are proven to have done wrong. There is tension from Paul's forays into the land of the Spellbinders and his attempts to return to his own universe, and also from conversations Paul has with his friends across the barrier between the two universes.

    Paul and Riana's escapes also add tension, as do the interactions between Spellbinders. Paul is eventually able to travel back home, but he is forced to take Riana with him in order to save her. Later, when Paul is able to take Riana back home, the Spellbinder Ashka follows Paul as he later returns home.

    Ashka seeks the unwitting help of Paul's father in making her a new high-tech 'flying suit' to replace her power suit in order to make her more powerful than the other Spellbinders. However, Paul manages to expose her scheme and defeat Ashka, who is returned as an outcast to the Spellbinder world, while Riana becomes the new apprentice to Correon. In order to keep the Spellbinder world safe from the more advanced people from "modern" world, the gateway between the two universes is closed permanently.

    His life was normal until a prank at a camp went wrong and he ended up in the land of the Spellbinders. At first, Paul was unsure of how to react to the new world, but he settled in quite quickly and was able to discover Ashka's plot to rule. Paul has some rough military skills, which, combined with the scientific knowledge from his father, makes him able to defeat Ashka.

    Top Boy, Channel 4 The Arts Desk

    Gosia Piotrowska as Riana — she lives in the Spellbinder world. Her life was normal until the arrival of Paul.

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    Despite getting off to a somewhat rocky start Paul being mistaken for a Marauderhowever Riana realises that Paul is not a Marauder after he rescues her from drowning in a river and returns her belongings. Riana quickly becomes Paul's friend. She has very good survival skills and can use bolas and a spear. Riana cares very much for her family and is upset when she realises that they may be in danger.

    In Paul's world, Riana is able to use some of her survival skills to help a newfound friend, and is known as "Paul's cousin from Iceland ". Due to her role in Ashka's defeat, Correon rewards Riana by making her his apprentice. Brian Rooney as Alex Katsonis — Paul's best friend who knows the truth about what happened to Paul and tries his best to bring him back.

    In the course of the series, he also develops a relationship with his classmate Katrina, even though they are basically as opposite as they can be. Alex has an older brother, who is a mechanic but gets fired for unspecified reasons. Michela Noonan as Katrina Muggleton — brought up by strict parents, Katrina is academically smart at school but has tendencies of naivete.

    Believing that the Mount Lara lights do exist, she travels up to the cave and is the only other person to both see and believe Paul's disappearance. She realizes that the radios can be used to communicate and is able to succeed in helping to bring Paul home. In the second half of the season, Katrina becomes a friend to Riana, helping her choose a dress.

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    However, Katrina is easily tricked by Ashka into helping her. Heather Mitchell as Ashka — a Spellbinder. She mistakes Paul for a Marauder at first, throwing a power bolt at him, then, she realisises, much to her surprise, that he is unaffected the rubber soles of his sneakers insulated him and chases after him. When she meets Paul at the castle and learns about fireworks, she blackmails Paul into giving her the secret of gunpowder, by holding the life of Riana and her family over his head.

    Paul tricks her twice and Ashka winds up in Paul's world.

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    In Paul's world, Ashka is unfamiliar with all the new sights and sounds and this proves to be a slight disadvantage, however she winds up working with Paul's father and creating a new power suit to take over the Spellbinder world. Ashka is ruthless and intimidating, and has the ability to create lies on the spot. Ashka misuses her power and authority for her own gain, and this leads to her downfall.

    Top Boy, Channel 4 The Arts Desk

    A scientist, Brian is usually more wrapped up in his work than his family, but eventually settles down. He refuses to believe that Paul is in another world. Even after Paul returns home, Brian instead believes his son is suffering a trauma. A single father, he shows a romantic interest in Ashka, not realising she's a Spellbinder or that she plans to overthrow the Regents.

    Top Boy, Channel 4 The Arts Desk

    He helps her create a new power suit. He realises Paul has been telling the truth when he meets Riana and opens his eyes to Ashka's true nature after she threatens Paul.

    When he realises his mistake, however, his knowledge helps bring Ashka down. Krzysztof Kumor as Correon — a Spellbinder and senior Regent. His studies are on how to repair flying ships and power suits. At first, he does not believe Paul and his claims about where he comes from.

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    When he meets Riana, however, and she shows him the technology from Paul's world via his camcorder, Correon realises that Paul is telling the truth and teams up with Paul and Riana to get Paul home. He calls Ashka a liar and is challenged by her, but he loses because Ashka, desperate to get rid of Correon, cheated by having Gryvon sabotage his power suit. Correon also reveals Ashka's true nature to the Regents, by showing them Paul's camera, which shows them Ashka's true motives.

    Correon is then reinstated as Spellbinder and senior Regent. He also is the one who introduces the Regents to a "Marauder" and plays a part in Ashka's downfall in the Spellbinder world.

    Rafal Zwierz as Gryvon — Ashka's apprentice. The son of the Clayhill Summoner and Ashka's co-conspirator, Gryvon is selfish and sycophanticand follows Ashka's orders to the full. He is stripped of his apprenticeship after Ashka escapes and is punished by having to help repair Riana's family cottage, which was burnt by Ashka.

    Despite the fact he is no longer an apprentice, he still assists Ashka in her plans, but in the end he is exiled just like her. He is the first of the Marauders to discover that the old Spellbinders were responsible for the Darkness and not the Marauders. Correon introduces him to the Regents as a real Marauder.

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    He is impressed by Paul's scientific knowledge on flight. He is Gryvon's father and is in charge of keeping things order in Clayhill the village where Riana and her family live. When Paul arrives in the Land of the Spellbinders, he is the first person Paul meets. The Summoner mistakes Paul for a Marauder, and Paul accidentally steals his eyestone.

    Top Boy, Channel 4 The Arts Desk

    He is unaware of Gryvon helping Ashka rule the Spellbinders, and is shocked when she threatens to burn his village. Christine often expresses the wish for a mother and tries to match-make with her father and her baby-sitter, Gina.

    Andrzej Grabarczyk as Bron — Riana's father. He lies to the Summoner that Paul is his nephew.