• When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?
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When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" For You?

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:58 pm
by NeilJones
This'll be interesting. When, if ever, in your opinion did Knightmare jump the shark?

For those of you not in on this piece of terminology...

Jumping the shark is a metaphor used by US television critics and fans since the 1990s to denote the moment when a television series is (in retrospect) deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark," fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm. The term is occasionally stretched to refer to pop culture institutions in general; film series, musical performers and authors can all be said to have “jumped the shark” at some point. covers pretty much every single aspect of this whole jumping lark. Interesting read.


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

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:28 am
by Billy
I don't think it ever jumped. While some may think that the later series aren't as good, I like them all in equal measure.

You could technically say it jumped with Knightmare VR, but that doesn't really count (IMHO). Besides, it wasn't that bad.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:06 pm
by Becxsmagic
I agree and think it never jumped. It was pushed, really.

All the series were memorable and had their strengths. I think Knightmare, and the technology used in KM would have evolved as people's expectations of TV programmes grew and viewing audiences changed. Really, there would eventually have been a point if it had continued where the show would have to come to a close. But I think it ended too soon.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:17 pm
by Velda
I don't think it jumped the shark either - especially since I actually prefer the later series - from Series 5 onwards. :)

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

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:12 am
by Naitch

I hadn't heard that terminology, but good question all the same.

Lets see.

I don't think Knightmare ever 'Jumped The Shark' per se, however, if you compare series 1-3 which are the classic series, with series 5 & 6, for me there was a bit of a dip in the quality of the programme(Less quest time, too much eye shield) even though the dip is only slight and I still love series 5 & 6.

However Knightmare got very much back on form with series 7 & 8.

Aprogramme like Knightmare is difficult to state a precise 'shark' time as is always changed and evolved with each quest and season, whereas something like the Muppets, Dads Army, Blind Date, Crossroads, Minder and Taggart are/were all long running programmes where not that much changed, and they rarely left the locations in which they were set.

But series 5 & 6 were the 'difficult 2nd or 3rd album' stage of Knightmare for me...

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

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:41 pm
by Mykell
I know some people are going to hate me for this, but I just couldn't enjoy the show as much from series 4 onwards - mainly because of the Eye Shield. I thought it really lost it when they merely walked around a forest or rendered photos of castle rooms.

Part of the big appeal on the first three series was the fantasy element and that every room was a work of art with great puzzles and adventures along the way. I loved it and it's these first three series I love the most.

But that isn't to say that the rest didn't have its positives. Series 4 introduced my favourite ever room - the Corridor of Blades. Nothing could top that for the hysteria that the instructors usually got worked into trying to get their dungeoneer to move away from those frightening blades!

I think it finished at precisely the right time personally although I think that now we have such advanced home consoles that can use voice-recognition headsets a completely new video game should come out. Can you imagine it - a little dungeoneer and you're verbally telling him/her to 'walk forwards slowly', 'sidestep to your left' and 'spellcasting...'! I'd buy a copy!

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

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:20 pm
by Ironlord
If I had to be pushed for an exact jump-the-shark point, I'd say it was the first time we heard:

"Snipper snap, look, here's Jack!"


Re:When Did Knightmare "Jump The Shark" for you?

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:14 pm
by Drassil
Thanks for the Wikipedia link. Though I can't help pointing out that I 'got there first' ;) - Here is what I had to say about Knightmare and jumping the shark, many moons ago. More thoughts follow.

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.

Personally, I enjoyed Knightmare a lot less from Series 7 onwards. That was partly to do with personal developments that altered my perspective somewhat; though both back then and in retrospect, changes to Knightmare made it feel discontinuous to me:

- I found Majida unappealing and irritating. Lissard too;

- Hordriss and Treguard, the longest-running characters, seemed to have lost all trace of the sardonic neutrality that made their characters compelling. And the other longest-running character, Motley, was absent without explanation (until Series 8 );

- The dungeoneer sight magic (e.g. VISION and LOOK spells) seemed gimmicky and superfluous. The price of technological capabilities being demonstrated in this way was that great harm was done to one of Knightmare's core concepts: 'Now your advisors will be your eyes';

- The first death of Series 7, where Treguard eschews a familiar 'ooh nasty' commiseration/valediction in favour of bickering with Majida, is unsettling viewing for me.

I never stopped being a Knightmare fan - I wouldn't be here otherwise - but for me, if Knightmare took a downturn akin to jumping the shark, it was in Series 7. Obviously, this is just my opinion.

It's perhaps ironic that, like Happy Days, Knightmare had its own bizarre shark moment. (Cue a doctored image from Billy... if we're lucky ;))

Edit: The image came and went.

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

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:45 pm
by Thanatos
It didn't. I only watched from half-way through series six onwards on CITV (I was fourteen months old in September 1987) and it never struck me as any worse on the whole. Now that I've seen them all I'd say the worst series was the fourth, largely because Treguard's lines were, bizarrely, identical for each quest, but that the next was better than any that had gone before, the sixth better still.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:37 pm
by JamesA
Although in my personal opinion Series 8 didn't quite live up to my own standards of the previous series, I would never say that the show jumped the shark, as it was one of the most innovative programmes on television in the late 80s/early 90s.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:18 pm
by Snowcat
...and it's because of that innovation that my opinions on where KM 'Jumped the shark' tend to be a lot different to many others.

To me, the shark was leaped at the transition between seasons 6 and 7 and it was because of the video sequences and location photos being changed for CGI. *hears swords leaving scabbards* Now now people! Let me explain why:-

IMHO the change to CGI also signalled the change to technical wizardry over a believable realm.

I actually LIKE the Eye-Shield and 'real-world' locations. Yes, it took up game time and introduced a certain linearity to the rooms but the grittynes and slightly layered look felt like a true evolution of David Rowes painted rooms. They may not have been beautiful and perfectly integrated but on a phsycological level that scruffiness aroused curiousity and made you want get into the story and location of your own freewill and THAT'S where the true immersion can happen.

Compare this to the uber-smooth and plasticky look of the CGI rooms to be found in series 7 & 8 and suddenly everything feels fake and like a themepark. It feels like the program is trying to grab you and pull you in under THEIR wishes and not yours. Because of this, I found it harder to suspend my real-world disbelief and couldn't connect with what was going on like before.

The characters changed in feel in a similar manner. They went from 'join us, if you dare' to something resembling 'you're already here'. The first had me wishing I could actually go on the quest (like many of us probably had!) and travel these fantastical places while the second had me thinking "No I'm not! I'm in the living room! ??? "

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

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 pm
by TuragaNuju
Eye Shield Is A Definite Fall-Point For Me.

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

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:39 pm
by kev_hamster
Series 4 & 5 for me were not so good, series 4 particularly as there was little difference between the quests, and the irritating-as-hell weeping doors.

However, Series 4 did have Fatilla (who never failed to amuse me) and of course was the first appearance of the legendary corridor of blades.

I'd say that Series 7 & 8 saw the show as compelling as it was in the early days. So rather than jumping the shark, I'd say it dipped under it for a while!

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

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:25 pm
by Skeletor
In my opinion series 6 was the peak. I still enjoy 7 and 8 but it was never quite the same again.

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

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:15 pm
by Adzee
I think that Knightmare got a lot better as the programme went on. I personally prefer Series 4,5,6,7, and 8. The Series 1, 2 and 3 haven't standed the test of time for me. A lot of people would disagree, but hey, I'm not a lot of people!