Are schools starting? Aren’t they? Starting then shutting down again? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. In the meantime, there’s a series coming up that will remind kids of all the weirdos they love and miss every day. Gabby Duran and The Unsittables S1 on Disney Channel (DStv 303) centres on 13-year-old Gabby (Kylie Cantrall) who winds up babysitting a series of alien children – who’re hiding on Earth disguised as humans – thanks to her school’s Principal Swift (Nathan Lovejoy) who’s also an alien (as are most school principals, really). The series is based on the Gabby Duran books (four of them so far, published since 2015) by writers Elise Allen and Daryle Conners.

Kylie hasn’t read the Gabby Duran books. But don’t worry – she didn’t skip her homework project. “I was told by the producers that I shouldn’t read the book because they changed the show from what the novel actually was. In the novel, Gabby Duran is a really goody-two-shoes who is great at her job. But in the TV show, they spin the script and make it where Gabby is a little bit of a troublemaker. She is still respectful and very polite, but she likes to bend the rules a little bit. And she’s not always great at her job, but at the end of the day, she always finds a way to save the day,” reveals Kylie. Kylie loves Gabby’s confidence and her ability to just be herself, no matter what situation she’s in.


From baby star to babysitter

Before 15-year-old Kylie started playing an alien babysitter, she was already marching to the beat of her own drum as YouTuber Hello Kylie. As a 9-year-old internet sensation, she’d perform pop music covers and rave about her favourite Disney stories, and she went on to interview music stars herself. Kylie, like Gabby, appears to be fearless. It helps to live at the entertainment epicentre in LA. Kylie’s dad (and manager) is music producer Alex Cantrall (he calls her Pookie), while her mom, Carol Borjas, is a dancer and choreographer.

“I grew up with music around me. My dad was into the recording sessions. I’ve seen famous people and other people he’s worked with. I’ve always been around that music scene,” says Kylie. ”Then my mom is a dancer and I’ve always went to her rehearsals and all of her shows and everything.”

Nowadays Kylie’s channel features tours of real-life Hollywood dressing rooms. Aside from her role as Gabby Duran, young fans may recognise her as Jasmine from the “Sleevemore” special episodes in Raven’s Home

alien nation

Gabby comes from a normal human family. She shares her home with her ambitious news reporter mom, Dina (Valery Ortiz), and overachieving baby sister, Olivia (Coco Christo). She’s in for quite the crash course when it comes to taking care of alien kids, though.


Jeremy (Callan Farris): Principal Swift's nephew Jeremy, a Gor-Monite, will explode if he drinks too much fizzy cooldrink. Does this mean that Principal Swift will also explode if he drinks too much cooldrink? Enquiring minds want to know. Normally Jeremy is supervised by Orb – a floating Gor-Monite AI assistant that has a lot of opinions for a piece of tech. Jeremy might look human, but in reality, he’s a shape-shifting blob boy. He and his uncle have a lot to learn about human culture.


Stuart (Lucian-River Mirage Chauhan): this shy, fishy-looking alien boy comes from Vitrious Prime. He’s taken a good look at Earth and he’s not a fan. “I don't trust humans. You pollute the ocean and turn fish into sticks,” he tells Gabby. Stuart is hydrokinetic – he can control water. Just imagine taking him to a waterpark. If Gabby can win his trust, they could have so much fun. Later Gabby babysits another “fish boy” named Louis (Max Archibald).


Sky (Elle McKinnon): Gabby swiftly becomes best friends with this alien girl who can read people’s thoughts when she’s touching them. Sky is intensely curious about human culture and experience, and she’s full of questions for Gabby – some of them a touch awkward. Sky is around Gabby’s age and doesn’t really need a babysitter; she explains that the word babysitter is close to the word for maths tutor in her language.


Kali (Mia Bella): even little jungle dwelling Gwargwar aliens can look after themselves. Kali is fierce and feisty and can take down enemies much bigger than herself. She can throw a spear with deadly accuracy, she loves bladed weapons, and her people take grisly souvenirs from the battlefield to wear as trophies. Kali has already formed two marriage alliances.


Fritz (voiced by Sabrina Pitre): Fritz is a teeny, tiny fuzzy alien who gets around Earth inside the android bodies that he builds, thanks to his skills with robotics. When Fritz develops a crush on Gaby, he tries to build the perfect cool boy body to court her.


Daria Mungo (Nevis Unipan): When you come from the species who’re the finest tailors in the galaxy, you can develop a bit of an attitude about fashion. Daria is Extra. But like Cruella de Vil, the Mungos’ garments aren’t exactly cruelty free. Gabby’s friends and clients had better watch their skins.

Watch Gabby Duran And The Unsittables S1 weekdays from Monday, 27 July on Disney Channel (DStv 303) at 16:35

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