Poss (Erin Pratten) and Kim (Maria Nguyen) go into the lift, which is personified as Lotis, an artificial intelligence that talks to the children and can take them anywhere. When the girls talk about riding, Lotis opens the lift doors and takes them on a roller coaster ride, not understanding the difference between this and horse riding. When the children explain, Lotis then plays Western music with the sound of galloping horses and the girls panic! Summary by Annemaree O'Brien.
Lotis was designed to reveal the wider world to children creating an environment where fantasy and reality are possible. She also explores the complexity and humour of language though word plays, jokes and riddles. She is a thesaurus but doesn’t always understand the nuances in language so can get things wrong like she does in this clever scene. The rollercoaster ride almost creates motion sickness for the viewer but kids love it.
This is part B of the episode That’s Not Fair, and has the usual Lift Off mix of live action, animation, puppetry, music, documentary and fantasy. The main storyline is about the Lift Off kids, interspersed with the other elements.
Poss (Erin Pratten) wants to win a pony by eating enough ‘Bonza’ cereal to win the competition. She fights with her friend Kim (Maria Nguyen) over eating the awful ‘Bonza’ and eventually realises her hopes are unrealistic. Poss finds a solution that all the family enjoys together.
Different elements explore this episode’s theme in some interesting ways. The three clips have been selected as examples of the richness, the depth of ideas, and the creativity underpinning the Lift Off series. While each segment works in its own right, together they provide different perspectives on the theme of 'it’s not fair’.
The program’s aim was not to be didactic, or even always logical. Its goal was to challenge, intrigue and encourage children to think for themselves and to make connections. Lift Off's multi-faceted nature was also designed to ensure appeal to audiences of mixed ages. In this episode, the story of Poss wanting a horse leads to Lotis’s wild view of ‘riding’, and then to Rocky’s totally bizarre anthropological observations about unfairness from a lizard’s perspective, a good example of the overall scope and depth of the program.
That’s Not Fair – Part B first aired on the ABC at 4.30 pm on Wednesday 8 July 1992. It was repeated at 6.00 pm on Saturday 7 November 1992.
Notes by Annemaree O'Brien