Lift Off (TV series)

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Lift Off
Written by Jeff Peck
Rick Maier
Bob Ellis
Tony Watts
Nancy Black
Garth Boomer
John Hepworth
Directed by Steve Jodrell
Paul Nichola
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 78
Production
Executive producer(s) Patricia Edgar
Producer(s) Patricia Edgar
Margot McDonald
Ewan Burnett
Rob Pemberton
Susie Campbell
Peter Clarke
Peter Jackson
Running time 60 min
Broadcast
Original channel ABC TV
Original run 8 May 1992 – 24 March 1995
External links
Website

Lift Off was an Australian educational television series that was broadcast on ABC Television from 1992 until the series ended in 1995. Each episode featured a live action storyline about a group of young children, and the problems they encountered with growing up, their parents, and various other social issues. Episodes would also feature segments of short animation, puppetry and documentary segments, as well as various songs, stories, and word games. Aimed at 3 to 8 year olds based on the ideas of Harvard University development psychologist Howard Gardner. The series was linked with the school curricula through the Curriculum Corporation of Australia. The different episodes used stories and locations to explore subjects such as jealousy, loneliness and anger. The puppet characters were designed by illustrator Terry Denton and were constructed by the sculptor Ron Mueck.

Cast[edit]

Children

  • Poss Burke - Erin Pratten: A blonde haired, blue eyed young girl. Poss is Nipper and Annie's big sister and the Burke's eldest child.
  • Nipper Burke - Paul Cheyne: A blonde haired, blue eyed little boy. Nipper is Poss' little brother, Annie's big brother and the Burke's middle child.
  • Annie Burke - Nikita Plummer (Season 3): A blonde haired, blue eyed preschooler-aged girl. Annie is Poss and Nipper's little sister and the Burke's youngest child. Up until Season 3, Annie was known as "Baby Annie".
  • Max Garcia - Robert Peschel: A brown haired, brown eyed young boy who is deaf and requires a hearing aid. He is Turbo's little brother and the Garcia's youngest child.
  • Turbo Garcia - Heber Yerien: A brown haired, brown eyed adolescent boy who assists Snap Jordan in her "fix it" business. He is Max's big brother and the Garcia's eldest child.
  • Aku Jordan - Aku Bielicki: A brown haired, brown eyed, Aboriginal little girl. She is Paul's little sister and the Jordan's youngest child.
  • Paul Jordan - Luke Carroll: A brown haired, brown eyed, Aboriginal young boy. He is Aku's big brother and the Jordan's eldest child.
  • Raph Ponti - Jared Daperis (Season 3): A brown haired, brown eyed preschooler-aged boy. He is Marco's little brother, "Baby Ponti's" big brother and the Ponti's middle child. He, along with his family, moved into the Garcia's apartment in Season 3.
  • Marco Ponti - Mario Filintatzis (Season 3): A brown haired, brown eyed, disabled little boy. He is Raph's and "Baby Ponti's" big brother and the Ponti's eldest child. He, along with his family, moved into the Garcia's apartment in Season 3.
  • Kim Stinson - Maria Nguyen: A Chinese young girl, who was adopted. She is the Stintson's only child.

Baby (Season 1)

Adults

  • Jenny Burke - Madeleine Blackwell: Poss, Nipper and Annie's mother.
  • Ted Burke - David Sandford: Poss, Nipper and Annie's father.
  • Ricardo Garcia - Petru Gheorghiu: Turbo and Max's father.
  • Teresa Garcia - Irini Pappas: Turbo and Max's mother.
  • Snap Jordan - Aku Kadogo: Paul and Aku's mother, who, along with Turbo, runs a "fix it" business.
  • Harry Stinson - Alan Fletcher: Kim's adoptive father, who works as an architect.
  • Stella Stinson - Louise Le Nay: Kim's adoptive mother, who works as a real estate agent.
  • Mr. (Seymoure) Fish - Mark Mitchell: One of the most memorable characters of Lift Off, Mr. Fish was the caretaker of the small apartment building where the characters lived. He was often seen yelling at the children from behind his desk in the apartment foyer when they came in from the outside. He owned numerous signs, which he used to threaten the children.
  • "Mumsy" Fish - Mark Mitchell: Mr Fish's mum, who constantly drops in unannounced to check on Mr Fish. Despite the fact that he is an adult now, Mumsy treats him as if he is a child, much to Mr Fish's embarrassment and disgust.
  • Bonza Men -

Puppet Characters

  • Lotis (voiced by Julie Forsyth): Lotis was the magical lift that existed in the apartment building; although genderless, Lotis is referred to as her. Lotis would often help the younger characters with their personal problems. However due to her AI status, Lotis often found it difficult to offer advice as she sometimes could not understand more complex human behaviour and thinking.
  • Rocky the Frill-Necked Lizard: Rocky was the leader of a colony of frilled-necked lizards. Rocky spied on the humans (whom he referred to as two-footers) and would report his findings to the rest of the colony.
  • Beverley: The one-eyed plant that lived in the apartment foyer. Beverley would often show short documentary clips regarding what was being discussed in the episode.
  • EC, the animated rag doll. EC stands for Every Child.[1] EC was gender less, so that all of the children could relate and befriend EC. EC also stands for "Elizabeth and Charlie", which are the names that Poss and Kim gave to EC in the first episode "A Load Of Rubbish".
  • The Backsacks: two of the children's backpacks that came to life and spoke though their zipper mouths. There are 7 of them owned by each of the 7 Children. When Max and Turbo moved to the country in Season 3, their backsacks were passed along to Raph and Marco. Another backsack (owned by Annie) joined the group in Season 3 as well.

Wakadoo Puppet characters

  • The Three Pigs: Their names are Morris, Boris and Doris. They are Lonely's Judges and sometimes Wolf's nemesis.
  • Wolf: The Doctor of the group. He is also the pigs nemesis.
  • Boss: The Boss of Nearly, Cook and Zelda.
  • Nearly: A kind-hearted and clumsy member of the group. He also loses so he needs to get fit to win.
  • Zelda: Nearly's sister. She helps her brother.
  • Lonely: A quiet and shy character who doesn't appear to have any friends.
  • Cook: He cooks and works with Nearly and Zelda.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1992)[edit]

Episode 1 and 2: A Load of Old Rubbish (8 May 1992)

Episode 3 and 4: Destroy (15 May 1992)

Episode 5 and 6: Which One? (22 May 1992)

Episode 7 and 8: That's Not Fair (29 May 1992)

Episode 9 and 10: Because It Feels Good (5 June 1992)

Episode 11 and 12: Into The Unknown (12 June 1992)

Episode 13 and 14: Once I Grew (19 June 1992)

Episode 15 and 16: Something Tells Me (26 June 1992)

Episode 17 and 18: The Wheel Turns (3 July 1992)

Episode 19 and 20: Out Of Order (10 July 1992)

Episode 21 and 22: Above and Beyond (17 July 1992)

Episode 23 and 24: I Can! (24 July 1992)

Episode 25 and 26: Remember (31 July 1992)

Season 2 (1992)[edit]

Episode 27 and 28: Clash (7 August 1992)

Episode 29 and 30: For Sale (14 August 1992)

Episode 31 and 32: Face (21 August 1992)

Episode 33 and 34: Going Under (28 August 1992)

Episode 35 and 36: Illusion Is All (4 September 1992)

Episode 37 and 38: Beneath The Skin (11 September 1992)

Episode 39 and 40: Real Friends (18 September 1992)

Episode 41 and 42: Lost (25 September 1992)

Episode 43 and 44: Funday (2 October 1992)

Episode 45 and 46: No Entry (9 October 1992)

Episode 47 and 48: Wanting (16 October 1992)

Episode 49 and 50: Threads (23 October 1992)

Episode 51 and 52: All Together Now (30 October 1992)

Season 3 (1995)[edit]

Episode 53 and 54: Brand New (17 February 1995 and 20 February 1995)

Episode 55 and 56: Under Pressure (21 February 1995 and 22 February 1995)

Episode 57 and 58: What's Missing (23 February 1995 and 24 February 1995)

Episode 59 and 60: My World (27 February 1995 and 28 February 1995)

Episode 61 and 62: Would I Lie (1 March 1995 and 2 March 1995)

Episode 63 and 64: Give and Take (3 March 1995 and 6 March 1995)

Episode 65 and 66: Far Out (7 March 1995 and 8 March 1995)

Episode 67 and 68: Out of This World (9 March 1995 and 10 March 1995)

Episode 69 and 70: Shape I'm In (13 March 1995 and 14 March 1995)

Episode 71 and 72: Heroes (15 March 1995 and 16 March 1995)

Episode 73 and 74: In Your Shoes (17 March 1995 and 20 March 1995)

Episode 75 and 76: Not Alone (21 March 1995 and 22 March 1995)

Episode 77 and 78: From Where I Stand (23 March 1995 and 24 March 1995)

EC Plays Lift Off[edit]

EC Plays Lift Off was a spin-off children's game show, hosted by Mr. Fish.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Children's Television Foundation - Lift Off Website