Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left

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Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left
Author Robin Klein
Country Australia
Language English
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Viking Kestrel
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 144 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN 0-670-80636-6 (first edition, hardback)
Followed by Turn Right For Zyrgon

Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left is a 1985 novel by Australian children's author Robin Klein which also became a children's television series.

The story focuses on an alien family who seek refuge on Earth, in the small town of Bellwood. Klein also wrote a sequel novel called Turn Right for Zyrgon.

Plot summary[edit]

The novel tells the tale of the planet Zyrgon, ruled by the galactic police called The Law-Enforcers. They are after Mortimer, who has cheated the government lottery for the 27th time in a row. His family is governed by the youngest daughter, 12-year-old X, who wants to save her father from the detention centre.

The family also includes Mother, who would rather design clothing and leave all worries to her daughter X. The oldest sister Dovis is a cosmic flier who writes poetry and levitates. The youngest is a boy genius, Qwrk who is a professor at age 8.

X is the lead character: a stressed girl who has to balance between strange Earth customs such as school and her duty to take care of her family.

Zyrgonians have special powers such as levitation, simulations, and kinetics. They love gambling and live on an ultra-modern and dystopian planetoid.

Major themes[edit]

The novel's theme is children who are forced to grow up too soon and to take responsibilities that are too much for their age. In the novel, X cannot handle the stress and gets very ill, but she is cured in the end when she finally finds her place on the new planet.

Television series[edit]

Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left
Halfway pic.jpg
Genre Sci-fi/Aliens
Created by Robin Klein
Starring Lauren Hewett
Jeffrey Walker
Jan Friedl
Bruce Myles
Silvia Seidel
Sandy Gore
Bruce Spence
Country of origin Australia
No. of episodes 28
Running time 24 minutes
Original network Seven Network
Original release 1991 – 1992

The story was made into a television series in 1991-1992. It was very popular in Australia and aired on CITV and TCC in the UK and also in other parts of Europe and there are many fansites. The series is not available on DVD, though in the early 1990s several episodes were released on VHS in the United Kingdom These can often be found for sale on eBay.

The TV-show had 28 episodes, split into 2 story arcs. The first story arc stayed close to the novel, the second arc had new stories written, some of which would end up incorporated into the sequel novel, Turn Right for Zyrgon.

The entire series was filmed in Melbourne, Australia. Zyrgon, and the family home interior were shot on the Crawford Productions sound-stage. The town of Bellwood was shot in Williamstown. The family home exterior is located in Surrey Hills. The props for the space raft and other sets were kept in the Crawford Productions lot for a couple of years following production, however, they were eventually dismantled and destroyed.

The series was repeated in the UK between 2007-2008 on a digital children's channel.


External links[edit]