Name: Adria Elspeth Mackenzie
Date of Birth: November 19th, 1950
Hometown: Ullapool, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
Height: 6ft 1in
The open-minded, open-hearted friend of the Pattinson family, Adria Mackenzie was once Siobhan’s driving instructor and continues to maintain a strong relationship with her island amigos. She later takes on the role of Ebony’s driving instructor, helping introduce the aspiring aviator to the open road with the help of her Talbot Sunbeam.
It must be said, Adria’s role has been expanded greatly over her original part in the story; that being she was barely even in it!
In my original draft of the story, Adria was only seen in the montage section where her and Ebony are seen driving around in the Talbot. The reason for this was largely because I wasn’t sure what kind of character I wanted to give her. Perhaps the hardest thing when it comes to writing a comic series, especially when it’s completely by yourself, are characters and their traits. While it’s easy to consider simple, faceless characters with no personality outside of just showing up and saying things, I like to delve a little further and give a little more background to them.
For the longest time, I really couldn’t consider a character for Adria and thus temporarily she was somewhat fobbed off as an incidental face in a sea of incidental faces. I wanted more from her though, especially considering she does play something of a pivotal role in helping Ebony get her driver’s license.
It wasn’t until I watched an episode of Top Gear (back when it was good) where James May introduces AC/DC singer Brian Johnson to the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma. Although Brian Johnson is a Geordie (colloquial term for people from the Newcastle and Tyne area), his mannerisms and bon amis attitude reminded me of many Highland people I’ve met in the past; thus I translated this persona onto Adria while also expanding her involvement and interaction with Siobhan and Ebony.
The scene of the trio at her house outside Ullapool I felt was a nice little break in the story to show Siobhan has friends outside her island home and that her world isn’t completely isolated from the rest. I do love scenes in stories and films which aren’t there to advance the plot or implement some foreshadowing, simply just showing the characters on a regular day just doing what they enjoy. Brevity is nice, but throwing the audience from one plot-building scene to another without taking the time to catch a break is, in my opinion, a bit of a heavy-handed approach to storytelling. I prefer to see things take their time and develop naturally rather than darting from place to place like the opening scenes of Rogue One; where we’re basically given a comprehensive tour of the Star Wars galaxy within the first five minutes!
Still a good movie though. 🙂
Also, this is going to sound shameful, but the name Adria is actually based on the Slovenian airline Adria Airways. After watching the episode of Top Gear with Brian Johnson in it and setting my heart on her backstory and personality, I found myself stuck for a name. A few days later, for whatever reason, my Dad was telling me about the Zagreb mid-air collision and that, in the days after the crash, British Airways crews and pilots would boo and jeer Inex-Adria flights when they landed at London Heathrow (my Dad’s friend was an engineer for British Airways and frequently snuck him into the cockpit of Concorde while it was in the hangar receiving maintenance!).
The name Adria stuck in my head and thus her title was chosen! 😀