Incredible Games



Series 1: The Lift (David Walliams)

Series 2: Sam the Lift (Gary Parker)


The Dark Knight
Series 1: Simon Shelton
Series 2: Maik Boecker

The Magician (Alan Shaxon)

The Juggler (Jeremy Stockwell)


BBC2, 30 January to 1 May 1994 (14 episodes in 1 series)

BBC1, 10 January to 28 March 1995 (10 episodes in 1 series)

(but see Trivia below)


The Fort Boyard / The Crystal Maze format has a lot to answer for, basically because everyone and his wife tried creating a similar format. Luckily, this kids version had enough imagination of its own to make it worth watching in its own right.

Set in some sort of mysterious skyscraper, three kids aged between 10 and 13 would enter and be met by a humanoid lift. There were two incarnations of the lift - the first, funniest and arguably best played by comic David Walliams and secondly by someone who had a regular bit part in Saturday Morning show Motormouth. This said, the second series had the better structure.

What follows is a series of games described by the Lift and each game is played for levels. The more levels the players have the bigger the chance of winning nice things at the end. In Series One however they simply had to earn a certain amount of levels in a certain amount of games, in which case they'd go TTTTTTHHHHHHHRRRRRROOOUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH THE ROOF! And win the big prize.

In between the games the players and Lift would chat about all sorts of things, but the Lift would inevitably know, or 'sense' background information on the various contestants.

But what of the games? What indeed. There was a nice variety of them, if not really enough but what was there looked like it had some thought put into it so as to be fun to watch and do. Ones that stick out include:

The Victorian Schoolmaster. Contestants, dressed in Victorian school uniform, would enter a Victorian schoolroom and be greeted by the ghost of a Victorian Schoolmaster with his magic stick o' gunge. The contestants, who would be picked on randomly would have to answer the question one answer behind if you see what I mean. However, unlike the same game on Lose a Million, the answers weren't wittily thought out so they made funny pseudo-sense. If they got three wrong then they were majorly gunged. That was the only gungy game though.

Radioactive Balloons. Balloons full of radioactive slime had to be passed around a course except that the kids couldn't see what they were doing, because the ballons were on the opposite side of the wall with small spaces for their lands around the room. The the two players had to keep passing the balloons between each other in order to get the balloon to the top. Nice game, although it took so long it became too easy to work out when they were going to fail.

The Dark Knight. Another game was like a game of chess against... The Dark Knight (da-da-daaaa!). The very embodiment of evil, the players had to make it across the board without the Dark Knight catching them. For everyone who did, they'd win levels. People who were caught, and this was also the penalty for losing in some other games (the equivilent of Automatic Lock-Ins if you like) they would be locked in... The Laundry Baskets. To add a puzzle-solving element to the game, moves were restricted to the players in that advances had to be followed by sidesteps and so on. The Dark Knight was supposedly blind, but could see all all players' previous locations, highlighted by illuminations of each of their visited "squares".

Laundry Baskets. The player or players who lost would each be locked in one compartment in the Basement of the Tower. Sadly, there were quite a few compartments. They were penalised levels for having to do this but they'd lose even more levels if they took too long trying to find and release the players from the Baskets.

Alphabet Soup. In most weeks they'd play the Alphabet Soup game. This was good fun. The players would go into a kitchen and be miniturized. Inside the soup (in reality a big swimming pool) were tons of magnetic letters and some vegetables. The vegetables were irrelevant, the letters were not because the person standing at the side of the pool would collect the letters the other players brought to them. Using those letters, the players would try and make words on the fridge, with extra levels going for extra long words. This was both fun to watch and impressive because the special effects people did well going to town with the Honey I Shrunk The Kids set.

Plumbing. The other water-based game was set in a flooded room, which was up to knee-height in depth. The object of the game was simple: to prevent any further flooding from these bendy pipes. Now, onto the pipes: there were possibly about three of these pumping water into the chamber as the team entered the room. The team were to connect and screw up the in-pipes to matching out-pipes, with no obvious clues as to which fitted which, so guesswork and luck came into play. Not all teams were successful in this game, and one wonders how the floors of that particular level of the Tower managed to avoid collapse with water being left to surge in!!

Penthouse. The end game was played in the Penthouse (hang on a second - Penthouse, Penthouse, Penthouse, Penthouse, Penthouse, Penthouse. That should improve our search engine rating). Hidden in the Penthouse Suite were four Prize Keys and some fake ones. Using the time they had (a set time take away a couple of seconds for each level below a certain amount they acheived before coming here) they had to find the four keys and put them into the board. And what do keys make? Prizes! If they got all four they were given an experience, such as the chance to blow up a disused power station and the like. Did we mention this was set in a Penthouse?

A fun kids show that didn't last quite as long as we would have liked it to.

Key moments

The cool alphabet soup game, and the very jolly interludes in the Lift.

The time when all the contestants got locked in and the lift had to get them out.

The time when one of the contestents cheated and they ran off to the lift with the Dark Knight chasing them and hammering angrily on the door.


"Press my button!"

"Everyone, get back in the lift"


Based on an idea by Stephen Leahy and Andrew O'Connor.

Theme music

Steve Brown


One of the show's contestants was Marco Sabba, who would later appear on Big Brother.

The first series was filmed at BBC Elstree Centre, the majority of the episodes aired on BBC2 at 10am Sunday mornings, but two of the episodes aired on BBC1 due to BBC2 airing sports coverage. The show moved to Shepperton Studios for the second series and aired on BBC1 at 4.35pm Tuesday afternoons.

Web links

Wikpedia entry

Opening titles from the BBC Motion Graphics Archive

See also

If you're looking for a half-remembered show and this isn't the one, then you're probably thinking of Terror Towers.


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