Alison Wonderland

A 6 x 1 hour comedy drama series for the BBC based on two cult books by Helen Smith, Alison Wonderland and Being Light. Development commissioned by the BBC January 2005.

Series synopsis

When Alison Temple, a 30-something unrecovered divorcee, ditches her 9 to 5 job and signs-up as a private detective with the agency that proved her husband's infidelity, she steps through a contemporary looking-glass that changes her life. Attempting to escape her past and the monotony of her daily life, Alison ironically now finds herself spying on unfaithful husbands...working 9 to 5. Partly recounted through voice over, Alison's emotional odyssey is a comic yet profound journey through divorce, singledom and parenthood.

Book reviews

"Imagine a satire on cool Britannia made by the Cohen brothers, or a story told in a voice pitched somewhere between Fay Weldon and Penelope Fitzgerald. This very funny book makes you wonder how it's done." - Times Literary Supplement on Being Light
"Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one." - Peter Millar, The Times, on Alison Wonderland
Smith's first novel "made me throw it on the floor in a fit of envious pique" - Julie Burchill, The Guardian

About the writer

Helen Smith's first novel is remarkable in its originality. She can turn the familiar into a dazzling surprise, and the absurd into the everyday and make it all effortlessly entertaining. Part adventure story, part dissertation on anything and everything from Japanese knotweed and psychic postmen to why women with great bodies wear the chunkiest bikinis, Alison Wonderland is a kaleidoscope of acute observations and comic virtuosity.

Helen Smith's published work

Fiction: Alison Wonderland. Novel. Published by Gollancz, 1999. Being Light. Novel. Published by Orion, 2000.

Non-Fiction: Grave-robbers, Cut-throats & Poisoners Children's history book. Faber, 2002.
Pirates, Swashbucklers & Buccaneers Children's history book.

Drama: Looking for Baby Jesus. Short radio play. Winning Writer, New London Radio Playwrights' Festival, 1993. Broadcast on LBC 1993


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