Knightmare being filmed

Paul Boland (1993)

By Nicholas Lam

Paul was captain of the first Irish team to audition successfully for Knightmare in 1992. Unfortunately, they didn't make it to filming, but they were twice invited back as guests.

Due to his mother's illness, Paul Boland and team missed the call for filming. To make up for this misfortune, Paul was invited to filming as a guest in 1993 and 1994.

The 1993 visit

Paul arrives in time to see winning dungeoneer Julie Connell and team retrieve the Sword.

When we arrived at the studios, everyone was having lunch. Standing in line was Hugo "Treguard" Myatt himself. I couldn't move, I was so excited.

Paul Boland and friends meet Hugo Myatt (Treguard) by the dressing rooms.
Paul and friends meet Hugo Myatt

Our tour of the studios began with the dressing rooms.

Paul Boland and friends meet Iona Kennedy (Greystagg) by the dressing rooms.
Paul and friends meet Iona Kennedy

It was here that we met a lot of the stars and had photos taken - Hugo Myatt, Greystagg and Clifford Norgate (Hordriss).

Paul Boland and friends meet Clifford Norgate outside the dressing rooms.
Paul and friends meet Clifford Norgate

Then we met Tim and Susan Child.

We were taken to see the costumes and computer equipment used on Knightmare. Then into the studio itself, starting with the Knightmare Castle antechamber.

Paul Boland visits the Knightmare set. Sister Julie sits on Treguard's chair.
Paul and friends in the antechamber

We went to see the two blue rooms where the Dungeoneer has all his adventures.

Paul Boland's sister with the Eye Shield. From their 1993 visit to the studios.
Julie with the Eye Shield

Behind the blue rooms, more props are stored, including Smirkenorff and the boat that features throughout the dungeon.

Paul Boland and visitors find the boat used in Knightmare.
Paul and friends find the boat

We walked between Lord Fear's Pool of Essence and a large television camera next to it. I bent forward so as not to hit the camera and reached towards the centre of the pool (which is blue so they can project images onto it) and realised it was made of paper!

Paul Boland and friends find the puppet of Smirkenorff behind the scenes.
Paul and friends locate Smirkenorff

Then we walked through the Dwarf Tunnels.

Paul Boland and friends visit the purpose-built dwarf tunnels.
Inside the purpose-built dwarf tunnels

It was almost time for filming, so we went into the waiting room where we met the current team of girls whose Dungeoneer was called Julie. After wishing them luck, we went back into the studio and watched all the action.

Mark Knight was rehearsing the next scene to be filmed. The Dungeoneer was to claim the Sword and Lord Fear would appear to confront her. As Mark practised his lines, the Arken shield rolled down and covered him. Mark Knight's attitude totally changed.

With the Arken shield repositioned over the door, Mark started calling it as if it was a dog. "Come here, Arken. Here, Arken…" he would say. When it rolled over him again, he said, "Get this bottle cap off me!" We were all in stitches.

Eventually it was time for the team to come in. And it began. The Dungeoneer entered the room and there was the Sword. Suddenly Lord Fear appeared. They tried calling out "Arken" as Lord Fear raised his hands to blast them. Were they going to get killed?

Treguard told them that it was a spell and suddenly they knew what to do. It covered Lord Fear and they grabbed the sword and left.

With that scene over, the team retired to the waiting room. Mark Knight came around to the antechamber and I got autographs and photos with Treguard, Lord Fear and Majida.

Paul Boland and friends in the antechamber as Lord Fear (Mark Knight) pays a visit.
Lord Fear in the antechamber

The next scene was with Greystagg. After summoning her and getting the means to return to Knightmare Castle, a cheer erupted in the studio. The girls had won!! They looked around, they didn't realise that they had succeeded and when it dawned on them, smiles filled their faces.

Paul Boland and friends with Hordriss the Confuser (Clifford Norgate).
Paul and friends with Hordriss

The 1994 visit

Paul gets an invite back to see Knightmare's final team, who reached Level 3 in record time.

We were taken on the studio tour again to see the changes. In the costume area, Julie tried on one of the new Mermen head pieces.

Paul Boland and friends try on the headpiece of the miremen costume.
Trying on the Miremen costume

We got to see Lissard get his makeup applied, and then the new antechamber of Knightmare Castle. Treguard and Majida were here and we took some photos.

Paul Boland and friends meet Clifford Barry in make-up for Lissard.
Clifford Barry in makeup for Lissard

Behind the blue rooms, we were in for a treat. A team had already won and sitting on a table were four frightknight figures. Filming would begin after lunch, and we got our front row seating to watch the action.

Paul Boland and friends in the new Series 8 antechamber.
Paul and friends visit the new antechamber

First up was a spyglass scene and we got to see Lord Fear's new Techno Tower. Mark Knight had broken his arm and his plaster-cast was concealed under his cloak so you couldn't see it.

Corridor of Blades Mishap

The next scene was the dreaded Corridor of Blades. This is done using a mobile blue wall inside the blue room. The Dungeoneer is positioned in the small makeshift corridor.

But as it was being filmed and the Dungeoneer moved left and right to avoid being hit, he was also moving forward. He suddenly moved right and passed straight through the wall because he had moved passed the mobile blue wall.

The scene was cut and filmed again and this time all went well.

[Watch for Oliver at 3:30]

The next scene was a skeletron moving back and forth in a corridor and the Dungeoneer had to move past it. Sadly, after this scene, we had to go, and even worse, this would be the last time we were be able to come to the studios.

Paul Boland and friends find Smirkenorff again on their second visit to the Knightmare set.
Julie tracks down Smirkenorff again

So ends my story. Knightmare was without a doubt the best television show ever made. I am very sad that it is off the air, but I had a fantastic experience and it is something I will never forget.

Thanks to Tim Child and all for our audition for Knightmare and for having me over for the final two years and for such a fantastic experience. And thank you for Knightmare.

After the show ended, I started to make Knightmare computer games - 16 adventures in total.

I later worked on a graphics library of Knightmare characters and objects using Clickteams MultiMedia Fusion with the intention of creating Knightmare games for Windows.

Paul Boland, February 2004

Front cover of the Christmas card Paul Boland received from Broadsword.

Paul also received a Christmas card from Broadsword Television.

Signatures inside the Christmas card Paul Boland received from Broadsword.

All photos in this section are © Paul Boland 1993/1994.

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