Letters, shallow focus. Photo by Suzy Hazelwood for Pexels (free-to-use licence)

The Quest 4.1: Viewer Letters

By Keith McDonald

A fan writes in to say the difficulty has dropped. Is it the comedy factor, or just a symptom of growing older?

Dear Knightmare,

I think the quality of Knightmare has dropped over the years and I would like to see another series like number four; the series where the eyeshield was introduced.

Several of my favourite characters, and other people's favourites, have disappeared. In particular, two characters from series four: Gundrada and Mogdred. These two were my real favourites.

Mogdred enquired, "Will you pledge yourself to me?" and if the dungeoneer said no (always) he would magic the bridge to crumble beneath the dungeoneer's feet. Several dungeoneers died when they met him. He was better than Lord Fear, much more powerful and frightening.

The collapsing bridge, based on a handpainted scene by David Rowe, as shown on Series 4 of Knightmare (1990).
Stephen recalls the falling bridge (1990)

Knightmare seems to be easier each year. For example, series four was very hard (Ariadne; Mogdred; the Corridor of Blades; the Block and Tackle room and Malice, the evil sorceress of level three.) Series five was still quite difficult, with the causeways introduced; the Blockers, Skarkill the Goblin Master, who could rarely be beaten, and Aesandre.

But to my disappointment, Aesandre was usually a push-over compared to Mogdred. My friends commented on that too. Lord Fear did not have contact with the dungeoneer.

So basically, my point is: try and make it more difficult, like series four, which I cannot fault. Knightmare is brilliant (the best children's programme ever made!)

Kind regards,

Stephen Massie (14)

TQ response

Stephen also asked, like so many others of you, whether the early series will ever be repeated. The answer to this is probably no, since Knightmare is classified by the relevant authorities (ITV Network Centre) as a 'game show' rather than, say, an interactive drama.

The chances of them coming out on video are also fairly slim.

Now on to Stephen's more pressing questions. Firstly, he says that many of his favourite characters have disappeared. Unfortunately this is to a certain extent, necessary. Knightmare is not a soap opera, it does not seek to follow the lives of characters over a period of years. Mogdred might only kill them if they had messed something up earlier on, or if they were so slow as to not merit continuing. He was no more difficult to deal with than Lord Fear's minions now are.

In the new series we have actors who have worked on stage and television (as well as adverts) up and down the country.

Stephen thinks Knightmare has become easier over the years. In recent series, as the quality of acting rose, it become possible for the scriptwriter and producer, Tim Child, to write comedy for his characters.

This shifted Knightmare in to a new direction: trying to scare its viewers, but also trying to make them laugh. However this had no effect on the difficulty.

Another point to make, Stephen, is that four years ago you might have been far more susceptible to fear than you are now.

We will, however, take into account your arguments. If there are others of you out there who would like to see changes in Knightmare, then please feel free to write to us. We will take into account your views.

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