When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by frieza » Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:03 pm

Before I add my opinion, I'd like to quote from Wikipedia. There are many definitions of jumping the shark, but the most common is

"They are generally viewed as a desperate and futile attempt to keep a series fresh in the face of a decline in ratings"

To be honest, I don't think this really applies to Knightmare, as the ratings did not seriously decline over the 8 years that it was shown on CITV. I'll agree that the show faltered slightly with regards to the eyeshield, CGI etc, but seriously ask urselves

would the show have survived any longer if these changes hadn't been made? did it really alter the show that much? I don;t think they did. I believe series 3 was a high for the show in terms of action and settings, but it was repetitive, something that the later series' strove to avoid. so a mixed bag all round.

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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by Mykell » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:04 pm

I've found the current series on Challenge to be better than the previous series. I still think that the Eye Shield was a bad idea but at least it meant that the dungeon could expand a whole lot further.

I love the idea of the Dreadnaught though - out there in the dungeon trying to find them. Gives a sense of urgency and a spice of danger.

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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by frieza » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:27 pm

I think that's a good general point. Later series seem to have a greater sense of drama and suspense than the pre-sedries5/6 episodes. maybe it's because of the music and majida's jumpiness?

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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by djoska » Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:21 am

Knightmare, for me, didn't seem to get any worse, or tiring although I felt a bit strange getting used to the sontrast betwen series 5 to 6 (with the music, all them extra characters, dwarf tunnels, etc) but I have to agree with the "too much eyeshield" view.

A little bit here and there was (k)nice, but it seems rooms were cut short and it was straight to that wobbly, slow paced camera scroll between every room.

I now find the 1st couple of series a bit boring now. They have their good points, but I just love the outside locations and woods rather than similar airbrushed rooms one after other. It adds an adventure feel and you're going places.

However, the 1st couple series are classic and I love the retro special effects and the dark and dingy feel.
I didn't like the way all of the outdoor scenes were bright pink (series 5-6)!!!!
There was no need- it made them TOO bright. Pink is associated with feminity and light. What it needed was a bit of clever location lighting to give it a boost- not a "colour balance" on 50% red and 20% blue etc.

All in all, the show was great throughout and it was a big part of my childhood!
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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by Nickuk1987 » Wed May 17, 2006 8:45 pm

Liked most of Knightmare but not sure about the last 2 series really. Not as scary and exciting as it used to be at that point. But thats just my opinion 8)

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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by frieza » Thu May 18, 2006 6:30 pm

Last two series not as scary?!?!? Are you kidding?!?
Perhaps it's because I was only 9/10 when I first watched them, but there was a definite spookiness about some moments in those series. I mean, who wouldn't be scared by someone getting sliced in the corridor of blades and blood pouring onto the screen?! Personally, I think the later series stand up better, and not just because the haircuts are slightly more modern. Series 3 was a good series, but many of the quests lacked "identity", later quests were more individualised.

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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by GranitasIsCute » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:56 am

I also think that Knightmare never went awful but I think that the visor spells and potions etc. in Series 7 were a bit annoying. It was the same proccess every time.
First Majida would say 'but they can't see, it's too difficult!'
Secondly the team tell the dungeoneer to take the potion or cast the spell or whatever
And then it shows a visor-view on the screen which sometimes even showed the dungeoneer in it! That can't be what they see if they are in it!
Also, they never even seemed to help because the advisors kept guiding the dungeoneer as usual anyway.
Anyway, isn't it best that the dungeoneer doesn't see?
I think they were just doing this to show off the new helmet! :o
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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by PhoenixFlame » Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:11 pm

Hmm, it never really jumped the shark for me, but I have to say I did find it Majida extremely annoying, which was one of a few things that annoyed me about the later series, just my opinion.....
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Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by stu » Sat Jun 24, 2006 3:58 pm

I say the last series it might have been bevuase i was older but that i think they used short cuts and things like that? did there like a bypass from level 1 - 3?

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Re: When Did Knightmare

Post by Aldarion » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:29 pm

I don't think it deteriorated (not that I've watched much of the later episodes on YouTube so far) - it just changed.
In some ways it became more difficult in the later series - more information to retain and sift - though for some reason they don't register in the mind as "impossible" the same way Series 3 does.

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Re: Re:When Did Knightmare

Post by LiamABC » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:44 am

Drassil wrote:Discussions of jumping the shark are interesting, because they are so subjective. Indeed, there are many fans of Happy Days who feel that the show had jumped the shark even before the shark-jumping scene. Conversely, a fan who 'got into' Happy Days only shortly before the shark-jumping episode is unlikely to see it as a downturn moment. Knightmare is leading to the same diversity of opinions because we all got into at different stages.
Agreed. We all naturally gravitate to the first two or three series we saw - or at least, saw and fully understood. I remember watching series 1-2 as a boy, but didn't really know how it worked. It was when series 3 began that I fully understood what it was all about.

If you read my "All Change Please" article in the last three issues of TES, you'll know my feelings on the subject in detail. For me, the high point is series 2-3. Series 2 was basically what series 1 should have been like in the first place, and with series 3 they are really finding their feet.

I still like series 4, because while it isn't any easier, the standard of gameplay is much improved - they still have to solve riddles (albeit mostly true or false ones that they have a 50-50 chance of getting right anyway), but everyone makes it to level 2 at least. The only problem with series 4, and I registered it at the time, was the Eye Shield slowing everything down. If it hadn't been for those cumbersome sequences, Giles would have been able to complete his quest. Also, as a musician, I have to say the series 4-5 theme tune is the best!

Even though the riddles were significantly less in series 5, this was countered by the introduction of Lord Fear, who really was a great baddie, and the causeways, which were a good puzzle.

The point where the rot began to set in for me was series 6 - they tinkered too much with the aesthetics of the show, like the life force and title sequences. The scrolls were also starting to be a dead giveaway, along with the spyglass sequences. Too much information was being handed out for free.

Series 7 was where things really went downhill with the gameplay - because of the new helmet, and the sight magic! What were they thinking?! The whole point of the show was that they couldn't see where they were going, and needed advisors to guide them through the dungeon! Plus, Majida's prompting, "he can't even see what he's doing!" - THAT'S THE POINT! The trial by spikes and play your cards right puzzles were good, but they had really tampered with too much of the show's fundamentals.

Series 8 was the last nail in the coffin. To its credit, Snapper-Jack did at least restore the riddling element to the show, but it wasn't to earn any information, that was still being given freely by the scrolls and spyglasses. One thing I didn't mind was the shortcut, at least not in itself - after all, it is the Corridor of Blades, and if you can survive that, you deserve to go all the way, and arguably Duncan in series 5 happened on this shortcut first. But trying to cram in a winning quest into half an episode at the end was silly - if they'd not had a shortcut, and just had a standard three-level quest for Dunstan, that would have been better.

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Re: When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Post by Canadanne » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:16 pm

I agree with the consensus that Knightmare never jumped the shark, though it was teetering perilously on the edge in Series 8, and I do now think it's probably for the best that it ended when it did. If Tim had been able to pursue his vision of a fully VR show, it would have felt very different indeed, and likely not in a good way.

Personally I find it difficult to compare and rank the series because each of them had its good and bad points. It may have gone downhill in some ways, but other things were improved at the same time, so it was never wholly displeasing or absolutely perfect. Examples...

Series 1-3
Good: Really atmospheric and claustrophobic, reminds me of watching it when I was very small and being properly scared. David Rowe's paintings looked much better than the real locations and CGI that followed. More emphasis on general knowledge, guiding skills and decision making - poor teams weren't let off back then.
Bad: Quests were rather formulaic and repetitive - the lack of variety and plot makes repeat viewings a little dull. Not that many likeable characters. S3 took several ideas from S2 and made them better, but was slightly less entertaining, mainly because Treguard was no longer a total nutjob.

Series 4
Good: Plenty of material for fanfic writers, with a bunch of new locations and intriguing hints of power struggles going on in the background. I found Dunkley Wood quite scary and memorable as a kid. Introduced the Corridor of Blades, probably the most popular challenge ever. I also like the status bar that first appeared this year.
Bad: Treguard & Pickle's endless repetition of lines and the interminably slow Eyeshield sequences make it so tedious that it's almost painful to sit through. (I have no objection to the Eyeshield, as long as they vary the clips and it doesn't take up too much time.) Level 1 success virtually guaranteed. Riddles reduced to true-or-false questions that can be guessed, and wall monsters replaced by weeping doors which were possibly the most annoying thing ever.

Series 5
Good: Wonderfully varied so that every quest is different (and no faffing around in the same start chamber every time). Great winning team. Lord Fear ('nuff said). Several highly amusing and satisfying deaths.
Bad: A few poor teams, some of whom got further than they should have done. Too many Causeway deaths. Riddles now used infrequently and mistakes continue to be excused, which does make it feel a bit dumbed down compared to the early seasons.

Series 6
Good: It looks awesome. Almost a whole series of really likeable teams. Tension music is a nice addition. The role of Pickle and his relationship with Treguard has been perfected. Lord Fear & Skarkill also make an amusing double act. Elita considerably less annoying than last year.
Bad: Didn't like the witches or the series finale. The tedious choice room has been brought back. Causeways feel overused as they all look the same. Treguard's catchphrase and floating at the end of each episode is a bit odd (I preferred his banter with Pickle). Lord Fear starts to become more of a comedy character, which is still brilliant entertainment, but he's not scary any more.

Series 7
Good: Really nice progression through the levels, with outdoor stuff on Level 1, increasing danger in Level 2, and the memorably unnerving Goth in Level 3. Great trap chambers in Play Your Cards Right and the Trial By Spikes. The combined brilliance of Julie and Barry's quests to finish off the series. Episode recaps are pleasingly concise and informative.
Bad: New helmet, introduced purely so they could use sight spells, which were just a terrible idea (it goes against the whole point of the show and didn't work particularly well anyway). Loveable Pickle replaced by whinging Majida, which also reduces Treguard to a grumpy old man. The series takes a while to hit its stride. Same boring Smirkenorff flight in each quest. No Motley, just Fidjit who was rubbish. The Brollachan is creepy but pointless - there is no longer any punishment for not knowing the right answers.

Series 8
Good: Yet more interesting locations and monsters introduced. Some fantastic new characters. Some fantastic teams. Riddles finally brought back. Motley returns. Majida more likeable than before.
Bad: New director and it shows, with lots of unnecessary and weird changes. Don't like the new chairless antechamber, don't like Lord Fear's new look, don't understand why Treguard has started making stupid gestures at the start and end of quests, don't like the way teams aren't summoned or dismissed using magic, don't like the watchers being ignored, don't like clue objects being carried in the knapsack, don't like the Life Force pie. Some poor and/or annoying teams. All the rooms in Levels 1 and 2 look the same, and fugly with it. FLOAT spells are also too repetitive. Things are rushed and messy as they tried to cram too much into a shorter series - the final quest was compressed to the point of absurdity and they should have just given Dunstan the extra time for Level 2.

So yeah - I enjoy some series more than others, but I'm incredibly grateful even for the weaker ones, because they all had something unique and valuable to offer. It remained at least partly excellent right until the end for me.

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Re: New Articles Needed: Site and Forum now Linked

Post by Canadanne » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:10 pm

Has everyone seen this fantastic article by Chris Ballard (HobGoblin)? I completely agree with all these points (in fact I said the same thing much less eloquently in a journal entry a couple of years ago). Really enjoyed reading this!

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Re: When Did Knightmare jump the shark?

Post by HobGoblin » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:31 pm

Just read David's response to my article.

Firstly, a very entertaining read (as all David's posts are) and full of valid points. As pointed out, this is a highly subjective topic and while I can't say David is wrong about anything, I can share my feelings on the points he makes.

I always thought of the various vale locations as underground caverns. The bridged vale pictured in the article is certainly in keeping with the dungeon aesthetic. Vanburn obviously has a more exterior feel but I would say that a) it was never a favorite of mine, b) it is still quite otherworldly and c) level one can just about get away with this. As a one off, it was fine (and do we know it was 'ground level'?).

Dwarf tunnels - the S3 stalking sequences with their sound effects and backward glances got the pulse racing more than any eye shield sequences with howling wolves. But yes, they were slightly passive and repetitive. As a series experiment I don't really have an issue with them. And that might be what really annoys me about the eye shield - they didn't try it out and discard it (the producers understandably had to find ways of keeping the show fresh) but they KEPT THE BLOODY THING! Despite TIm Child apparently hating it. Grr.

I used the word otherworldly above and this is surely a key part of a fantasy scenario's appeal. This is why I dislike the real world locations - feeling involved takes away the magic for me.

There's a more general point I want to make. People seem to take the phrase jumping the shark as meaning when a show 'became a bit rubbish'. This isn't the definition on which my article was based and KM certainly never became rubbish. Though the early series are by far the best as far as I'm concerned, I was still taping and rewatching the show to the bitter end and was very disappointed when it disappeared from our screens.

If the show had been on an upward trajectory when that SIGHT spell was cast then I would say it probably would be my JTS moment too. But the introduction of the eye shield remains, for me, the most jarring change in KM's history. And it was definitely a change for the worse.
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Re: When Did Knightmare

Post by wombstar » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:47 pm

No it wasn't a change for the worse, that's just your opinion. And they were certainly exteriors in s3.
Real locations didn't hurt either, many kids wouldn't have even known.
It added variety, after three years the formant needed looking at to keep the show moving forward, other wise it would be repetitive and boring. If anything the eye shilled kept the show going for a few more years, without it the show would have died a nasty death far too soon.

It kinda speeded things up, and not having to see the teams struggled to walk in a straight line.

If anything, the biggest mistake with the long dragon rides.
It's always the cracked ones that let the light in

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