As her cranky self, Saskia (Hannah Greenwood) had no success trying to talk to online to Max Hammer (Cameron Nugent), who is using her music without her permission. This time she creates an avatar to get his attention. 'Indy’ is gorgeous, sexy and friendly. It works and Max wants to talk. Back in the real world Saskia continues her online discussion with a ‘real’ looking Max representation that ‘appears’ in her room and they come to a deal. Summary Annemaree O'Brien.
Indy is gradually revealed, from her legs up, increasing anticipation about what she will look like. In contrast to the paper bag look in clip 1, the shape of Indy’s body, clothes, eye colour, her name and her attitude say a lot about her. It also says a lot about who Saskia might like to be.
Saskia uses her imagination to construct a fantasised image of who Max is in real life. Although we hear their voices, in reality all communication between Saskia and Max would be through typing and this leaves the imaginative Saskia to create her own idea of how Max really sounds. The use of an Australian actor to play Saskia’s image of Max is clever example of the layers of meaning hidden in this series. Indy is Saskia’s projection of who she wants to be, and Max is her projection of how she wants to see him. It could be very confusing but it’s not. This intriguing story works on many levels.
Feisty Saskia (Hannah Greenwood) seeks revenge when a faceless geek somewhere in cyber world steals her music. This opening episode of a 13-part series shows the start of the online relationship between two teenagers – the uncool but quick-tongued Saskia in Melbourne, and the geeky Noah (Jack Blumenau) in London. It is Noah, transformed into his avatar ‘Max Hammer’ who has used Saskia’s music in his comic strip, ‘The Very Real and Excellent Adventures of Max Hammer’. After failing to get anywhere as herself in Max’s (Cameron Nugent) chat room, Saskia creates Indy, a super cool, beautiful avatar, to lure Max into talking to her. She then discovers he is a funny, charming guy who thinks just like she does.
This first episode shows off the humour, complexity and cleverness of the series. The episodes alternate between the two main characters, and this episode is about Saskia. She is happy to take on the world and everyone in it and she frequently interrupts the narrative to communicate directly with the audience. This, along with Saskia’s ability to ‘see’ what it’s like inside other people’s heads establishes an engaging and quirky tone for the series. Saskia is a complex character – on one hand, brash and aggressive but also self-deprecating, and shy. She is also starting to like boys, but doesn’t really know how to attract them.
We also meet Noah (Jack Blumenau) and his family at the very end of the episode. This final scene raises many questions for the viewer. There are lots of compelling narrative hooks waiting to be unravelled, interesting and quirky characters, and an abundance of humour. The viewer is left wanting more.
Noah and Saskia premiered on the ABC at 5.30 pm on Tuesday 4 May 2004, starting with Tomorrow Never Knows. It screened weekly in this timeslot.
Notes by Annemaree O'Brien