Neighbours was Booton's first script-writing job. In an interview with Neighbours fansite Perfect Blend, she notes:
'My career really started with Neighbours. I'd joined Grundy Television as a script typist and written a submission for Prisoner, so management knew I was interested in writing. When Neighbours moved from Network Seven to Channel Ten at the end of its first series, there was a scramble to re-staff the writing team. I was offered a job as a trainee storyliner and, since it paid ten dollars more a week, I jumped at the chance!'
Booton notes in the interview that she occupied a number of roles in the fifteen years for which she worked for Neighbours:
'I sometimes joke that I've been with Neighbours longer than anyone since I typed the first episode of the first series. But the real association started with trainee storyliner on the Channel Ten series. I had very generous people to give me on-the-job training, including Ray Kolle, Ysabelle Dean and Rick Maier. As I gained experience, I was able to rise through the ranks, so to speak. I became a fully-fledged storyliner, then began writing scripts, then editing them. Later I became the story editor and - much later, when Grundy moved the Neighbours writing team from Sydney to Melbourne - I was Script Producer for a brief period.'
She has also worked on soap operas outside Australia. In 1995, she worked for the long-running German soap opera Verbotene Liebe, set in Cologne and Düsseldorf and then in its first year: she is credited as both storyliner and dramaturge. She was the head writer on long-running New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, a position that she left Neighbours to accept.
'Lois Booton [interview].' Perfect Blend (http://perfectblend.net/features/interview-booton.htm) 22 November 2003. (Sighted: 13/11/2012)
Ocean Girl follows the adventures of Jason and Brett Bates, who move with their mother (a reasearch scientist studying whale song) to an underwater research station near Port Douglas. There, they accidentally meet Neri, a young girl with super-human strength, the ability to breathe underwater, and an affinity for communicating with whales. As the series progresses through four seasons, the Bateses (and the audience) learn more about Neri's arrival on Earth, her home planet, and the ecosystem of their own home planet.
Ocean Girl, one of the earliest productions to come out of Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, is creator Jonathan Shiff's first science-fiction program; his name has subsequently become synonymous with children's science-fiction and fantasy television programs, through such shows as Cybergirl and H2O.
Ocean Girl is ecological science fiction, in that it uses the genre of science fiction to explore the consequences of exploiting Earth's resources. For example, as the program progresses, Dr Dianne Bates (mother of protagonists Jason and Brett) shifts from her early role as cetologist to a more active role as environmental protectionist, in response to the increasing threat of building large underwater constructions in the delicate ecosystem around ORCA. Similarly, season four shows the devastating effects of a 'Red Virus' on the oceans of Neri's home world.
Home and Away is a television serial created by Alan Bateman and produced by the Seven Network. The idea for the series came to Bateman (then head of drama at Seven) after he stopped to buy ice-creams in a small country town in southern NSW. While chatting to some locals, he learned that the town was unhappy about plans to build a home for foster kids from the city. At that time, Channel Seven was still smarting from its decision to let Neighbours go to the Ten Network, where it had become hugely popular, and was looking to create another series to rival its success. Bateman saw in the idea that became Home and Away the potential for plenty of storylines and conflict by having streetwise city kids being relocated to a small regional environment,
In the beginning, the series focused on Pippa and Tom Fletcher, who, being unable to have children of their own, decide to become foster parents. When Tom is retrenched from his city job, the couple buy the rundown Summer Bay Caravan Park and move there with their five foster children. Soon after arriving, they also take in troublesome Bobby Simpson.
The series debuted in January 1988 with an hour-long telemovie. Although this rated well, the series itself took some while to develop an audience. Having learned their lesson from the Neighbours debacle, Network Seven gave its new show time, and its ratings gradually increased. As with Neighbours, the Home and Away series and performers became very popular in the United Kingdom.
A daily television drama series set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough, Neighbours chronicles the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street. The series initially revolved around three families: the Ramsays (at number 24 Ramsay Street), the Robinsons (at number 26), and the Clarkes (at number 28). The scope of the series has since broadened to include new Ramsay Street familes.