Christmas scene: blog post

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s4t8brett
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Christmas scene: blog post

Post by s4t8brett » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:06 pm

Hi Everyone,

Knightmare's Christmas ending on Series 4 Episode 16 is mentioned glowingly in this article on '5 Hidden Gems of Children's Christmas TV':

http://www.curiousbritishtelly.co.uk/20 ... as-tv.html

Warm regards,
Brett

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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by Drassil » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:19 am

Thanks, Brett. I've known Curious British Telly (Ben) for a while but I missed this 2014 article of his.

I appreciate what they were trying to do with the Christmas scene. I do. But like other fans, I'd have appreciated it more if they'd let you finish your quest - and given John Woodnutt a scene that better honoured his four-series contribution to Knightmare.

For anybody who wants to watch the scene, here is the ITV Children's Classics clip on YouTube.

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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by s4t8brett » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:32 pm

Thanks for your interaction, Drassil. I was expecting someone to say it didn't fit the scary/gothic feel of Knightmare, and I was ready to say that the same could be said of Lord Fear from series 6 onwards - but he is still popular with many fans. However, you surprised me!

I think if the production team had stuck to the quest plan, we'd have tackled the Block and Tackle on Level 2 (as per every other quest except that of Dickon's team) and instead of encountering it on Level 3 we would have had the showdown with Mogdred as per the other two teams that got that far, and then just the last Weeping Door (we completed the Transporter Pad room). It seems to me our Level 2 was shorter than some other series 4 Level 2s, but (to my knowledge) no fan has yet registered that impression.

There was definitely the studio time - the Thursday afternoon, Friday, the entire following week - for our quest to have been fully recorded had that been the production decision.

And, who knows, maybe (and after a fashion) we can record the ending after all - and of course introduce Lord Fear - at the upcoming Knightmare Convention.

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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by Mystara » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:08 pm

Keep in mind that the last week of studio time was always reserved for the cast.
It was used to film the noddy shots, the catchups and closedowns, refilm bits that went badly, film promos, etc. etc.
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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by s4t8brett » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:28 pm

Yes but even taking that into account I think my point still stands: that it was not for want of studio time that the last three scenes of our quest weren't filmed.

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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by Mystara » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:33 pm

Sorry, maybe there's a post I'm misreading or missing.

Your previous post refers to some oddities but I am not sure I can see how you've come to the conclusion that there were missing rooms. You refer to "The quest plan". How do you know what this was? Even the actors and crew don't know these due to all the last minute changes that were made.

Your filming schedule sounds like the same as ours. Gameplay finished on to the Thursday morning for the team after us except that the crew had they had until the following Wednesday to complete. Are you sure they had the full following week?

The logical answer for your quest ending if they still had studio time remaining is that they simply ran out of screen time.
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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by s4t8brett » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:22 pm

Hi Mystara,

Thank you for interacting with me on this thread. When I say 'quest plan', for example when I asked the producer how many more scenes there were to our quest, he said he'd have to check the plan (or perhaps he used some other synonym for it). I thought Tim had already described that each Level was planned separately after the first series? Not to say there weren't last minute tweaks and additions, particularly in the Lord Fear era, but the basic puzzles would have been decided beforehand if only to ensure the graphics and other pre-filming footage (spiders, lizards etc) were prepared.

I'm not stating there definitely were missing rooms from our Level 2, but if you compare our quest with those earlier in series 4, there were generally about 3-4 rooms before the Weeping Door in those other quests.

My understanding at the time of filming was that the last week was a contingency both for filling up screen time and for recording extras (some refilming with Giles - the Level 1 conveyor belt, Motley arriving in Ariadne's layer etc - took place as we went along). In fact some padding occurred during our quest, with extra Eye Shield sequence added in to episodes 15 (entering Dungarth - if you look carefully we have a different Eye Shield sequence followed by the familiar one) and 16 (at the very beginning).

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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by Drassil » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:55 pm

Brett wrote:Thanks for your interaction, Drassil. I was expecting someone to say it didn't fit the scary/gothic feel of Knightmare, and I was ready to say that the same could be said of Lord Fear from series 6 onwards - but he is still popular with many fans. However, you surprised me!
It was 13 years after the Christmas ending when I joined the forum and began a prolonged period of mocking it alongside fellow cynics. We're now 13 years further on and I feel I should be open to thinking about it differently.

Festive cheer is almost impossible to avoid or to take on our own terms. As anybody who has ever tried to get away with not wearing a Christmas jumper on Christmas Jumper Day knows, it is oppressively popular. We may never know whose idea the Series 4 Christmas ending was - it may have come from higher up than Tim Child - but somebody obviously felt there was demand for it, and maybe there was. I'm far from convinced that it was right for Knightmare or right narratively for the series finale, but I'm tempted to accept it as an inevitability.

I also try to remember that however we as watchers felt about the Christmas scene, at least we got it at the right time of year. You and your teammates had to get into the spirit at the height of summer.

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Re: Christmas scene: blog post

Post by s4t8brett » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:57 pm

Well at Christmas time, as with many festivals, it seems to me you have to go with the flow to a certain extent. Even if you're super organised and arrange things early, you're going to encounter busy shoppers and pick up the sense of bustle.

Tim said "Enjoy the rest of the summer, boys; I know there isn't much of it left". I agree with you that the Christmas scene might not have originated with Tim; it might have come from ITV, and often he must have been balancing the competing needs of novelty, budget and audience taste. The implementation of his ideas, too, would have been through the personalities of the production crew, actors and actresses.

I remember being impressed that they had managed to source the evergreen in August; perhaps August wasn't the onslaught that it has become these days regarding the arrival of Christmas stock!

Isn't it kind of strange that the warmest month - August - is followed only four months (and not something like six months) by the darkest? Projecting forward - the deadest (December again) is followed four months by the liveliest, with Spring in full activity.

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