Tripping Over: articles

On a course to anywhere

Daniel MacPherson is the first to admit he might have a few things in common with his latest television character.

In Tripping Over, which premieres on Channel Ten this week, the actor who made a name for himself in Australia as a Neighbours star before moving to Britain and landing a role in The Bill, is playing a young actor who found fame in a soap called Next Door before heading off to Britain in search of something more.

Both discovered London is everything and nothing like what they expected and both come back changed for their experience.

Just don't try to suggest his character Ned was based on the MacPherson life story.

"I cringed when I first got [the script]," MacPherson said with a smile.

"I said 'Oh I can't do this, this is career suicide', but the more I read the more I loved him and the more I realised that I don't actually think we are too similar as people - we've just had very similar career trajectories in those early stages.

"I think I could have turned out like Ned without the grounding [I had] from a supportive group of family and friends ... but that's why I love him."

Tripping Over follows MacPherson's Ned and four other young travellers (three from London, two from Sydney) heading to opposite ends of the planet.

From Australia are Ned and his best mate Nic (played by Abe Forsyth) - one is out to see what the world has to offer and the other chasing a lost love.

From the UK are lawyer Tamsin (Alexandra Moen) and her friends Lizzie and Callum (Kathryn Drysdale and Leon Ockenden).

After a chance meeting in Bangkok their lives are changed forever and as they head off to their destinations we follow along to see how they cope with the changes.

Intercut with their lives are those of their family, also going through life-changing journeys of their own, giving ample opportunity to prove the old adage: that travel truly does broaden the mind.

It's that life-changing power of travel - for which Australians are famous - that MacPherson is hoping to show through Ned.

"Ned is taken out of his comfort zone from the very first episode where he says goodbye to a period of his life that had defined who he was," MacPherson said.

"Suddenly, when that safety net of his identity through his job is taken away and he ends up in London - one of the greatest and thriving cities in the world but also one of the loneliest - he suddenly realises all the things that made him who he was don't exist, everything is turned upside down ... but he emerges at the other side of that [experience] a much stronger person.

"There's one great speech where Ned's biological father turns up at the door and Ned is not speaking to him and he says, 'Do you honestly think you have all the answers? You don't know anything ... you have no idea what you're doing now and how it's going to affect you'.

"And for me that sums it up, that the generation before us is often still making up for the mistakes they made when they were our age, the journey through life is still going on for everyone." Travel addict

The decision to come to Australia to make Tripping Over was an easy one for Alexandra Moen ... going home was a bit more difficult. A lover of travel for any reason, as soon as filming was done in Melbourne Moen took off for Sydney, then Brisbane, Port Douglas and other assorted Australian sights. She, for one, is hopeful there is a sequel, saying: "What a dream job. Can we do series two in Africa?" Flashback

No matter how much trouble the Tripping Over team get up to in London, they're never likely to beat one of our first on-screen exports, Barry McKenzie (played by Barry Crocker). In 1972's The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie (available on DVD), the archetypal Aussie yobbo dropped in on London and managed to live up to every cliche imaginable and is probably the only person in film history to say "I need to splash the boots" when looking for the bathroom.

Tripping Over, Channel Ten, Wednesday, 8.30pm

By Scott Ellis
October 23, 2006
The Sun-Herald