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Tragic true story behind new ’10/10’ series that’s leaving viewers transfixed

Tragic true story behind new ’10/10’ series that’s leaving viewers transfixed

Boy Swallows Universe is based on Trent Dalton's real-life experiences

There's a tragic true story behind Netflix's latest series, which has been rated as 10/10 by impressed viewers.

Netflix-goers and readers alike have been raving about the on-screen adaptation of the book of the same title, which follows the life of a working-glass Aussie family in Brisbane.

Boy Swallows Universe tells the tale of the Bells and what it’s like to grow up around crime and poverty.

Eli Bell, played by the amazing Felix Cameron, is the star of this series as he navigates 1980s Brisbane with a heroin-dealer stepfather, a drug-addicted mother, and a selectively mute brother.

The show has left many people in tears due to the emotional nature of some scenes, but what’s even more upsetting is that it’s based on a tragic true story.

Written by Australian author Trent Dalton and released in 2018, the plot follows a lot of similar themes and situations that he had to go through as a young boy.

With a star-studded cast to tell his life story, Phoebe Tonkin takes on the role of Eli’s mother, Frances Bell, and Travis Fimmel as his stepfather.

Boy Swallows Universe is based on the 2018 book of the same name.
Netflix

Speaking with the Townsville Bulletin, the author explained that he grew up with a criminal stepfather and a family friend named Arthur ‘Slim’ Halliday, a convicted killer.

Dalton recalled only knowing ‘Slim’ as a friendly person who was fun, and not his felon past.

He said: “He was the funniest, kindest old bloke.”

Dubbed ‘Houdini’, his father figure and friend was notorious for escaping prison twice in the 1940s and his later conviction in 1952 for murdering a taxi driver on the Gold Coast by beating him with a pistol. However, Dalton wasn’t fazed by his past.

His stepfather was also involved with criminal activity.

He told the Bulletin: “That man was genuinely the first man that I ever loved and he was probably in many ways my mum’s true love, the love of her life.”

But there were also elements in the show where Dalton could create situations that didn’t happen in real-life to add something unique.

For example, the retro red rotary telephone which is featured in a lot of pivotal scenes - the author explained that this was a major plot point in his story when coming up with the story, as he had conjuring up scenes and ‘fantasising about who’s on the end of that phone line’.

A lot of the twists are also fictional, but the story is nonetheless an emotional retelling of a boy who was stuck between the criminal world and continuing to love shady characters who were trying to keep the family together.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, Australia, TV and Film