7.8/102 Votes Alchetron7.6
First episode date 13 February 1999
Network Seven Network
Developed by Robert Greenberg
Final episode date 25 August 2001
|Genre Children's science fiction|
Created by Philip DalkinJeff Peck
Written by Robert GreenbergPino AmentaJeff PeckPhilip DalkinKevin NemethShane BrennanAnthony Morris
Directed by Esben StormSteve JodrellJulian McSwineyPino AmentaRay Boseley
Starring Damien BodieCassandra MagrathRichard MossNikolai NikolaeffPaul PantanoFrances WangNicki Wendt
Cast Damien Bodie, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Cassandra Magrath, Nicky Wendt, Louise Siversen
Similar Spellbinder (TV series), The Girl from Tomorrow, Ocean Girl
Crash zone australian 90s kids television
Crash Zone is an Australian children's science fiction television series which aired on the Seven Network from 13 February 1999 to 25 August 2001. It was produced by Australian Children's Television Foundation, in association with the Disney Channel, and ran for 26 episodes. The series starred five high school students, "high-tech whiz kids" of varied backgrounds, who are hired by the president of the Catalyst software company to save her failing business. The premise of the series was unique in that it was one of the first series to examine the early use of the internet as well as the video game industry and artificial intelligence.
Mike Hansen (Nikolai Nikolaeff), Alison 'Pi' Renfrey (Cassandra Magrath), Rebecca 'Bec' Chan (Frances Wang), Marcello Di Campili (Paul Pantano) and Abraham 'Ram' Foley (Damien Bodie) are five Melbourne high school students who all have a strong interest in computers, online gaming and the internet. While playing an online computer game, they each discover a coded message. The message prompts them to follow a series of clues that eventually leads them to a meeting with Alexandra Davis (Nicki Wendt), president of the software company Catalyst.
Confessing that she was the author of the messages, Davis reveals to the teenagers that her company is struggling and she would like to hire one of the teens as game testers in order to design games for her company at "The Crash Zone". Davis proposes a competition in which the winner takes the job, and while the competition is fierce, she is impressed by their teamwork and offers them all positions in the company. The one exception is Ram, whom she feels is too young, but is allowed to remain with the teens. As well as the developing friendships with each other and their social lives, the teenagers also discover Virgil (Matt Parkinson), a mysterious artificial intelligence which exists on the internet.
The second series has the teenagers returning from their summer vacations to find the financial situation at Catalyst to have become much more serious. Davis has been forced to lay off most of her staff and they may be next. Two new characters are introduced in the second series, 12-year-old Penny Gallagher and her father Matthew Gallagher. Penny Gallagher, who is befriended by Ram, persuades her father to offer Davis a deal to save Catalyst from bankruptcy. Although knowing very little about the video gaming industry, Matthew Gallagher is a very successful businessman and very quickly turns the company around. However, his changes often results in conflict between him and the staff.
The series was the first collaboration with the Australian Children's Television Foundation and the Disney Channel. It proved a very successful show and eventually aired in Canada and the United Kingdom as well. The series was nominated for several awards including the Australian Film Institute Awards, Prix Jeunesse and the New York Film Festival. It was also given honorable mention at The Chris Awards and was an official selection at the Prix Danube, the Chicago International Children's Film Festival and The Museum of Television and Radio.
In 1999, series producer Patricia Edgar was nominated by the Australian Film Institute for "Best Children's Television Drama", specifically its first episode "The Dream Team". Esben Storm was also nominated for "Best Direction in a Television Drama" for directing its first episode. Edgar was again nominated to receive "Best Children's Television Drama", along with Bernadette O'Mahony, for their work on the episode "Skin Deep" in 2001. Its second season saw the series also nominated for "Most Outstanding Children's Program" at the 2001 and 2002 Logie Awards.
A novel based on the series was written by Amanda Midlam and released in 2001.