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 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 played by comic David Walliams.

"Hi! I live in a television screen."

What follows is a series of games described by the Lift and each game is played for credits on the "cred-o-meter". The more credits the players win, the bigger the chance of getting nice things at the end.

Max required credits to achieve: 400

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.

Planet Susan - For this two minute game, objects have been left hanging above and the chosen player has to fly to grab as many objects as they can, give them to their teammates for them to put in the trash and then tag the flyer so that they can fly to get more, each object they successfully put in the trash is worth 10 credits.

Hey mum look, I've achieved my dream to go to space.

Through the Earhole - An audio based game where one person has to play some sounds and the rest of the team have to pick up telephones to listen to what the sounds are. Each sound they correctly get is worth 10 credits.

A team member trying to make a sound of a bike pump.

Glow Worms - In this three minute game, two players are blindfolded and are taken to three separate stinky places where they are guided by their guider who stays in the lift and guide the two blindfolded people to grab three glow worms, which are each worth 10 credits making a total of 30. The first is guarded by a wall of hands all chained up like an old horror B-movie, the second is floating somewhere in a murky marshy bog and the third is hidden in the deep dark woods.

The hands have the glow worm, but will the team notice that?

Intruder Alert - A celebrity slowly walks up to the camera on the team's monitor and they have very few seconds to guess who the celebrity is. If they correctly guess it in time, they win 30 credits.


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 each player who successfully makes it to the green light at the end of the board, they'd win 20 credits, which means a maximum of 60 credits is on offer. If any one of them get caught, they don't win the 20 credits and are sent into the void of whiteness (a.k.a. - Heaven), which the survivor(s) have to press the button to get their companion(s) back. 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".

A view of The Dark Knight board.

Big Ray - A giant who gives the team a number of zoomed in pictures and as they are slowly zoomed out, the team would have to correctly get what each object is. Each correct one is worth 10 credits.

Alphabet Soup - This was good fun and it was the end game of the show where everything can be won or lost. The players would go into a kitchen and be miniaturized. 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 in two minutes. If successful, the current total credits they've scored so far at this point will surpass the target of 400 credits on the "cred-o-meter", in which case they'd go TTTTTTHHHHHHHRRRRRROOOUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH THE ROOF! And win the big prize. But if they fail, their current credits total stays where it is and they are taken down to the booby basement and are given a booby prize. There are two different ways to win this depending on how many credits a team have scored at this point, for a team that scored a total over 200 credits at this point would have to make two words of four letters to double their current score, but for a team that scored a total under 200 credits at this point would either have to make three words of four letters or two words of five letters to triple their current score. 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.

This isn't Pee-Wee Herman's house is it?

Series 2

Another series was commissioned the following year and David Walliams' role as The Lift was replaced by someone who had a regular bit part in Saturday Morning show Motormouth. This said, the second series had the better structure. The Lift was now given a name called "Sam", the team were now playing for levels instead of credits and there were some new games to play...well, except for the two games they brought back, which were Alphabet Soup and The Dark Knight, and for any players that The Dark Knight catches are sent to "The Basement", which we will get to later.

The upgraded lift 2.0

Crystal Cave - The cave is split into two rooms, the team would have to transfer coloured stepping stones to the corresponding colour path for each player to progress, when each path is completed, they would then have to grab an icon and place it on the escape hatch to get out of the chamber. This is a two minute game and for any team member that fails to get out in time are sent to...

Blocks. Lots of blocks.

The Basement - 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.

I wonder if they make a sound.

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!!

A good plumbing top down view.

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.

A right good gunging.

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 balloons 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.

We definitely need protection.

Penthouse - The brand new end game for this series in place of "Alphabet Soup" 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. This game is at level 200 and has a potential maximum of three minutes to play, but there is a catch, if their total of levels is under the required 200 then each level they are under deducts two seconds from the three minute time limit. Using how much time they have, 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 piece has been found for a prize.

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

A job well done. Now to relax.

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 contestants 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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