Spellbinder is a fantasy teen drama/science fiction television series, produced by Film Australia & Telewizja Polska in association with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
The series is a 1995 serial of 26 episodes, co-produced between Australia and Poland. It was also novelized by the creators, Mark Shirrefs and John Thomson.
The shots were taken both in Australia which represented the “modern” world and in Poland where most pictures that featured the parallel world were shot.
Spellbinder was followed by, Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord, in which Heather Mitchell reprises her role as Ashka.
Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord is a teen, preteen and children’s television series, and a sequel to Spellbinder. Both series deal with children travelling between parallel universes, although the only common characters between the two series are Ashka, and her sidekick Gryvon. It was also novelized by the creators, Mark Shirrefs and John Thomson.
The series was filmed on location in Australia, China and Poland. The show was a joint production between studios in the three countries, although the script and concept came from Australia, and the spoken language is English.
The series is fast-paced and there are usually new challenges for the characters in each episode, which are solved through cleverness and wits. As with most children’s shows, most of the adventure is headed by children, although Ashka, Kathy’s parents, and the scientist Mek are adults.
Real-life mermaids, Sirena, Nixie and Lyla are part of a mermaid pod, which lives in the waters of Mako Island. As young members of the pod, it is their job to protect the Moon Pool and guard it from trespassers. But on the night of a full moon, the mischievous mermaid girls neglect their duties. Sixteen-year-old land-dweller Zac enters the Moon Pool and forms a special connection with Mako.
Zac is given a fish-like tail and amazing powers. The mermaid pod is forced to leave Mako, leaving behind the three mermaid girls, cast out of the pod. They know there’s only one way they will be allowed to rejoin the pod: They must get legs, venture onto land and take back Zac’s powers – or risk being outcasts forever.