Series 4 - Episode 16

s4t8brett
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One thing approaches ...

Post by s4t8brett »

Happy Friday 21st December, everyone!
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Re: One thing approaches ...

Post by Drassil »

s4t8brett wrote: 21 Dec 2018, 06:50 Happy Friday 21st December, everyone!
I hadn't realised that: a Friday then, a Friday this year.

I can't help but think of you and your team at this time of year, Brett. Somebody has tweeted the TV listings from 21st December 1990. You were up against Take Two (a programme which had Tim Child as a guest the following year), Behind the Headlines (co-presented by Sandi Toksvig) and the Fifteen to One Grand Final (not presented by Sandi Toksvig).
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett »

Hi Drassil,

Thank you for sharing the tweet with the TV times for Friday 21st December 1990 - interesting to reminisce and amazing to compare it with the schedules of today.

I hope you're having a good Christmas. I thought it was noteworthy this year with the 21st December falling on a Friday.

With best wishes for the New Year,
Brett
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Mashibinbin »

I haven't seen that many of these tv listings for Knightmare since their original publication. I wonder if this is the first one to name the team members in it?
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Morghanna »

What an episode, so many points of interest. This could take some time....
Team 8 encountered Brother Mace and earned a "Joker" card. A wonderful moment when Mace mistakenly handed Giles the 3 of hearts instead of the joker. ;D Actor Michael Cule tried to keep a straight face for the remainder of the scene, but his expression made me think that he was desperately hoping for a shout of, "Cut!", which never arrived. He was half-saved by the fact that Mace was clearly supposed to be well-oiled anyway, so any blunder could be explained by that.
An amusing moment at Doorkis, altho not because of the door-monster. The team had forgotten the command and tried several words before they finally remembered the calling, with much relief. ;D You could clearly hear one of the advisors (Robin?) say, "Write that down!"
Passed with 2/3.
On to ariadne's lair and they collected some gold, then played the Joker, so that Motley arrived to distract ariadne.
Used the gold to pay the ferryman for the crossing, then descended the steps to level 3.

In the clue-room they found the key they needed and summoned Merlin, who gifted them the spell "TINY".
The next challenge was the corridor of blades. 8-o After a few near-misses, they found their timing and Giles emerged alive. I am convinced that one of the blades (#8) just clipped Giles' right shoulder, but this should only have damaged his life-force anyway. (Rather like Leo being clipped by the axe or Julian stepping in the flames.)
Next was the vale-bridge and Mogdred made his last ever appearance. Giles very firmly refused Mogdred, then hurried across the bridge before it collapsed.
Into the block&tackle room and a memorable performance. As the room began to break up, Giles was given some frantic directions before somehow eventually making it out safely. 8-o (Much laughter from Treguard.)
They arrived on the transporter pads but, before they could continue, their quest was cut-off incomplete due to the end of the series. >:( >:( >:(

Unbelievable! Yet again the end-of-series curse struck, but this time it was far, far worse.
In S2 & S3 the final team had been cut-off part-way thru level 2 and it seemed harsh, but to cut-off a team who were on the brink of victory was utterly ludicrous.
Given how much quest-time was wasted in this slow-paced series, particularly with the tortuously slow eye-shield sequences, surely they could have done some editing and created another few minutes screen time for team 8 to complete their quest.
It has been stated that team 8 failed the block&tackle, but were allowed to continue. However, there was little logic in the producers doing this, only to cut-off the quest as incomplete in the next room anyway.
(Did this finally produce a change in the approach to series-endings? No, as yet another team were cut-off whilst doing well in S5, but that's for another post....)

Team 8 were extremely unfortunate. They were a very competent team and were one of the most enthusiastic teams ever. (They reminded me of Scott's team in S3 for their general enthusiasm.)
Given how well they did, "DISMISS" seemed rather harsh. "HOME" would have seemed more generous.

The festive ending to the series might have been really nice, but in these circumstances it fell completely flat.

Great sword-play by Samantha Perkins on the closing credits, altho she nearly got a nasty knock on the head when she fumbled it. 8-o
"I think it's about time you got wise to the ways of real magic. The kind that is borne on the dark side." >:D
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett »

Dear Morghanna,

Thank you for your insightful and sympathetic reflections (it was Andrew who said, "write that down", in fact - and probably not for the first time!).

"It has been stated that team 8 failed the block&tackle, but were allowed to continue. However, there was
little logic in the producers doing this, only to cut-off the quest as incomplete in the next room anyway."

The Floor Manager told Giles to take four large steps into the Block and Tackle room; for the first take, he ran in, so he was pretty close to the left-hand exit to begin with. After the floor had given way beneath him, I said, "Er, Giles, could you take a large side step to your right, please?" - there was still some floor on that side of him, you see. ;)

So if there were, indeed, little logic in the production team allowing us to continue, only to cut-off the quest as incomplete in the next room anyway (fir tree and wreath delivery notwithstanding!), perhaps the real reason for the second take was a consensus among the production team that the enthusiastic manner of Giles' entry had made the challenge unfair - so we didn't fail it - as hard as it may be to disentangle that motivation from the series ending.

In any event, they allowed us to complete the Transporter Pad room (which we did successfully) and apparently there were four more scenes to go: I venture to suggest that includes the Transporter Pad room itself, plus the final encounter with Mogdred, the Level three weeping door and then the location of our quest object, the Cup that Heals.
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by JamesA »

s4t8brett wrote: 01 Jul 2020, 16:52 So if there were, indeed, little logic in the production team allowing us to continue, only to cut-off the quest as incomplete in the next room anyway (fir tree and wreath delivery notwithstanding!)

Brett - not sure if you saw this post recently, but it's worth having a look at the Twitch video mentioned within as it looks at your quest referencing what you've mentioned above.
James Aukett
Creator of the Knightmare: 25th Anniversary Documentary
s4t8brett
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett »

Thanks very much, James - I'll take a look.
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Morghanna »

Thank-you for your input Brett, it is very much appreciated. It's amazing to actually hear from someone who experienced Knightmare in person. It shows how much armchair fans (like myself) miss. That's good that the producers wanted to make the challenge as fair as possible.
From your deduction of what obstacles remained, you were very close to completion.
"I think it's about time you got wise to the ways of real magic. The kind that is borne on the dark side." >:D
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Drassil »

It seems an obvious observation, but doesn't appear to have been made before: this episode marked the halfway point in Knightmare's TV run as both the end of Series 4 of 8 and as Episode 56 of 112. In terms of minutes, perhaps the halfway point falls elsewhere as not all episodes were precisely the same duration.

Morghanna wrote: 29 Jun 2020, 15:25 The festive ending to the series might have been really nice, but in these circumstances it fell completely flat.

There've been some entertaining forum comments about the Christmas ending over the years, including:
GrimaldineGrimwold wrote: 03 Jan 2004, 18:39 As I've said so many times, I think the end to Series 4 is sickening, with my main focus for scorn being that dreadful Christmas scene, which I just can't watch.
darkDescender wrote: 25 Aug 2004, 12:11 Let me just start by saying this ep had the best ending of any series. No contest. Oh. Sorry. Wait a second...Lie Mode cancel...ahem ... the less said about the chrimbo ending, the better.

We even jointly wrote a fanfic via this forum about Merlin stealing Christmas.

But here's what dungeoneer Giles himself had to say about the Christmas ending when he posted on the forum 15 years ago:
Giles wrote: 16 Dec 2005, 09:27 We hated that, it was really childish and made us feel really uncomfortable. It was filmed in mid august too.
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by asrl07 »

The block and tackle room initially looked to be a blatant attempt to kill them to finish the series at a cnvenient time. He entered at an awkward angle, they did a zig-zag tour of the right hand side of the room before finding the exit (turn 45 degrees right is what you want), they were very lucky not to be whacked by a sliding block. I don't think they got let off in the COB, it looked to me like a miss by a hairs breadth. Shame they ran out of time, from my memory of Dickon's quest they were only about three rooms from victory after the transporter pads.
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Drassil »

Brett wrote: 13 Jan 2013, 19:32 Reflecting on it now with your help and that of others on the forum, the "you do want to be home for Christmas, don't you boys?" does seem a bit redolent of a public school of a bygone era. Maybe we should have said "Surely, Santa Claus - sorry, Merlin, we're not going to miss Christmas if we stay here another fifteen minutes or so to complete our quest, are we?!".

Also selective cutting of less action-packed moments might have enabled us to complete the quest on screen time - just like when the production team cut four minutes or so from our time on the Spindizzy room in episode 14.
The 30th anniversary of your quest, and its infamous ending, has come and gone. The world seems to have learned (very much the hard way) that a well-advanced quest for a healing-related goal should not be chucked away for the sake of a Christmas gathering.

I'll take this opportunity to thank everyone who has brought good things to the Knightmare fandom in 2020 and to wish you all well for 2021.
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett »

I, likewise, noticed it was 30 years this, 'Christmas', Drassil... and I was thinking about remarking on the KM reference I noticed in the lyrics to, 'Deck the Halls', a few days ago. As often happens with this time of the year, though, that would have jarred with the more earnest reflections you recorded yesterday afternoon.

For those who, like Brother Mace, isolating himself in our quest, "...contemplate the follies of the wide world," Treguard's injunction when we encountered the tree-troll seems particularly apt: "Do as you're told, for now."
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