Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

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Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by BBrooks » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Now I know it's not exactly fair to debate this on here, as most of you (like me) are going to say Yes. :) But I thought that it would be perfect time to bring this up after the "Richard Bacons Beer and Pizza Club" episode on the most underrated TV shows of all time.

You would be right to say Yes of course, there has never been a more pioneering/innovative TV show, one that has stood the test of time and has yet been unrivaled. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "The Box of Delights" started to make extensive use of chroma-key, but it really came into it's own on KM and created something truly awe inspiring. It was Virtual Reality on Television and it was the first time it had ever been done, as Iain Lee said on "The 100 Greatest Kids TV Shows". It also boasted a fine cast and a witty script, it was Funny/Exciting/Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish and spawned 2 very successful International versions. What more could you ask for ?

You've now got to ask the question. Why is it underrated ?

-Is it because it's regarded as being a Gameshow ?
-Is it because it's regarded as being a Kids program ?
-Do the bigwigs think it's to dated now ?
Or
-Is it because it was broadcast on ITV and not BBC 1 or 2 ?

Another reason is that some TV executives seem perfectly happy to keep KM stuck in the 80's, for example the "CITV Birthday Bash" (2003) listed it in the 80's section with Michael Underwood announcing as "the coolest show of the 80's".
It's not just a great show from the 80's, it's a great show full stop and the fact that it ran for longer during the 90's makes their actions even more ridiculous.

KM should be held in the same high regard as other pioneering shows such as "Doctor Who", "Star Trek", "Monty Pythons Flying Circus" and "The Young Ones". Documentary's should be made about it and Special Edition DVD boxsets should be gracing the shelves of HMV etc. (One can only dream)
Until that time (if it ever happens), KM will keep it's cult status amongst us fans in our own little bubble here, as a quietly spoken but fondly remembered show from the 80's and 90's.

So going back to my original question, Do you think it's "officially" the most underrated TV show of all time ?

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by HStorm » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:54 am

I don't think it's under-rated especially, it's received considerable acclaim down the years. I think 'under-exposed' would be more accurate, as, since it came to an end, there are an awful lot of people out there who either haven't heard of it or have forgotten it. References to it in modern media are few and far between, which is why there tends to be such excitement round here when it gets a ten-second mention on a local radio station. The profile certainly needs reviving, but the profile that's currently in-the-chiller is already a strong one.

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by Rich » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:15 pm

I would've thought the fact that Hugo "Treguard" Myatt is in the voice cast of the recently released Fable 3 on Xbox 360 would provide new interest.. Obviously not.

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by JamesA » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:10 am

BBrooks(KM Forever) wrote:Until that time (if it ever happens), KM will keep it's cult status amongst us fans in our own little bubble here, as a quietly spoken but fondly remembered show from the 80's and 90's.
I wouldn't say that Knightmare is contained within a small bubble of fans within this website, upon my last visit to the show's Facebook page it revealed to have almost 9,000 fans (or 9,000 people "like" the show as it now tends to be referred to). However, it is possibly safe to say that not all 9,000 will actively talk about Knightmare on a frequent basis....

As much as I do whatever I can to help raise the profile of Knightmare within the worldwide domain, perhaps I wouldn't say that is officially the most underrated TV show of all time. The show's makers Broadsword did a thoroughly enjoyable programme on the BBC called "Time Busters" in the early 90s, which coincidentally featured numerous actors who had also appeared in Knightmare. There was also a late quiz show on ITV1 around 2002-4 called "The Machine" which again I found to be worthwhile viewing.

However the one TV programme that I feel maybe doesn't get enough repeat exposure on the small screen nowadays is "Gamesmaster". Running from 1992 to 1998 and just one series short of Knightmare's incredible run, it had an icon in Sir Patrick Moore that was brilliantly complimented with a host in Dominik Diamond for six out of its seven series. Fusing video game play within various captivating locations, it was another program that to me was always going to be compulsory viewing after school.

One advantage that Gamesmaster does have is that the spin-off magazine in still in publication after 17 years. Plus the last I heard is that there is discussion in bringing the show itself back in some format, so there will always remain hope for us Knightmare fans.... just never give up on the dream.
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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by BBrooks » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:19 pm

JamesA wrote:The show's makers Broadsword did a thoroughly enjoyable programme on the BBC called "Time Busters" in the early 90s, which coincidentally featured numerous actors who had also appeared in Knightmare.


"Time Busters" would get even more acclaim if any recordings of the show ever surfaced. It's the same with "The Sattellite Game" which featured David Learner.
JamesA wrote:However the one TV programme that I feel maybe doesn't get enough repeat exposure on the small screen nowadays is "Gamesmaster".


Aaah "Gamesmaster", now that was a great show. I'll never forget seeing Sir Patrick Moore with the Skull Cap and the Robotic Eye (that he had for the first 4 series) for the first time.
JamesA wrote:......that was brilliantly complimented with a host in Dominik Diamond for six out of its seven series.


I notice that you didn't mention Dexter Fletcher there. :D
JamesA wrote:Plus the last I heard is that there is discussion in bringing the show itself back in some format, so there will always remain hope for us Knightmare fans.... just never give up on the dream.
That's true, if Gamesmaster can return, then KM certainly can. Gamesmaster was of it's time and I honestly never thought it would return, so the news certainly surprised me. Channel 4 have obviously realised that now is the perfect time for it to be revived, it's a just shame that ITV haven't realised that for KM yet.

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Commercially Underrated, Yes

Post by KaM » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:47 am

With all the best will in the world, how could we measure an ‘official’ most underrated? 8) To lend a turn of phrase from the Times Higher Educational this week:
“how can we measure the impact of an activity whose worth is not only self-evident but too rich and nebulous for functionalist metrics?”

(Asking myself once whether studying Knightmare was a ‘science’ or‘humanity’ has obviously triggered a curiosity).

I think there are merits in everything that has been said here. To echo Martin: indeed, there has been considerable acclaim over the years, and Knightmare has continued to be recognized in the 2000s (not just through the prospect of KMVR either).

Knightmare, as James mentions, has a sizeable stock of fans. But their degree of interest is what may fuel your issues, BBrooks. From a total of c. 10,000 fans (if we count all the Facebook groups), the numbers interested in participating here or even signing up in support for the episode distribution / DVD release has been unthinkably low. I struggle to understand why. Perhaps this opens a wider debate about the negatives of social media, and whether it has done Knightmare more harm or good.

I would suggest that Knightmare is severely underrated from a commercial standpoint, yes. There are shows with smaller audiences, less online presence, and less cultural ‘impact’ (said loosely), which have seen DVD releases. I know that the logistics behind commercial activity for KM are convoluted, and that does not help. Perhaps - and I think another thread better suits the point - Knightmare’s popularity may have been its commercial undoing, thanks to torrents, YouTube, and so forth. But nevertheless it frustrates me when everyone says ‘we should bring this back’ when they show not a drop of interest in how this is realistically achieved. The only way I can ever see Knightmare returning is if it became a commercial concern: thousands campaigning, as they did for BBK, for legal Knightmare episodes and DVDs. Without that, how does anyone in the industry make a case for bringing Knightmare back, when the guarantees of ROI, be it financial or basic audience numbers, are shallow at best?

We are forever dictated by fashions and tastes. You question, BBrooks, whether KM is underrated because of it being a gameshow and/or a children’s programme. I think these causes come to mind for you because both are out of vogue these days. Children’s TV has slowly gone, and the great gameshows, such as the original Krypton Factor, Going for Gold, Blockbusters, Crystal Maze etc are just as much a part of nostalgia for us today as Knightmare. Has that not been Challenge TV's raison d'être? There has always been a place for GamesMaster, in print and again on-screen, because computer games have consistently grown as a market force. I absolutely think there is a place for Knightmare in 2010 and beyond, but it will take a lot more to force the issue, because the commercial reason for doing it has not made itself visible enough.

I’m not sure it’s possible to answer your queries to your satisfaction - in fact, I think I've avoided the main question - but I think you are right to imply (if I’m not writing words into your fingers) that Knightmare’s exposure (to lean towards Martin’s term) is not helped one bit by its marketing parameters cascading out of fashion. The rejection of KMVR proved that no-one was willing to take a punt on something that did not grip with an iron fist. But the fact that KMVR happened at all proves that enough sparks eventually make a flame.

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by Aldarion » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:54 pm

With websites like this and the RPG one, it can't be underrated!

Most underrated kids TV program of all time - if you ask me - Gilbert's Fridge! (Hmm, pity I didn't think of using "Marmaduke Smarmy" as my handle).

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by leeroymukabgede » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:46 pm

knightmare make people very passionate :)

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by Pooka » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:25 am

JamesA wrote:...it had an icon in Sir Patrick Moore that was brilliantly complimented with a host in Dominik Diamond for six out of its seven series.
I mentioned Dominic Diamond in an A-Level History essay once. I made a point about Churchill, but couldn't remember the name of the historian who had said it (if, indeed, it had been said by a historian at all), so I mentioned that Dominic Diamond had said it. My teacher clearly didn't know who Dominic Diamond was and assumed that I was just quoting a historian he hadn't heard of. It also worked later on in the essay when I pulled the same goof using the surnames of members of James.

Anyway.

No, I don't think Knightmare is underrated at all. It's perhaps not remembered as well as it could be - certainly not by as many people as watched it in its first incarnation - but those of us who do remember it remember it fondly enough to build up a large enough fan base which is still discussing KM over fifteen years after its death, and is still managing to raise unthought-of points, including how one fan managed to pass a History essay.

That's not underrated - that's venerated!
Pooka - teacher, writer, comedian, musician, geek, and full-time Knightmarian.

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by BBrooks » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:47 pm

I've just revisited this thread again and I'm going to have to go over what I posted more thoroughly. I didn't fully explain it properly last time and I didn't really convey the message that I was trying to put across.

Of course KM wasn't underrated when it was originally being shown, it was held in high regard at the time and was award-winning. It looked like I was implying that it "was" underrated back in the 80's/early 90's in my first post, that wasn't supposed to happen. :)
What I was highlighting more was the fact that television has seemed to largely forget KM since it's demise, you can definitely say that KM hasn't been given much TV exposure (Sci Fi channel and Challenge repeats aside) since 1994. The only really notable times have been brief mentions on Channel 4's "100 Greatest Kid's TV Show's", BBC's "Children's TV on Trial" and an all too brief featurette on Challenge. The "CITV Birthday Bash" in 2003 barely gave it a minute's worth of airtime, which was surprising really considering how big and successful it was for the channel. Credit where credit's due.

Apart from them, that's pretty much it (in terms of TV) and that's what I meant about KM being underrated. You can then go by the questions that I posed in my first post. So the question should be, Is Knightmare the most underrated TV show? in the sense that it's had little mention on TV, in books/magazines and on radio since it ended.

I was watching the "Father Ted" night on Channel 4 over New Years and I was thinking that that's the kind of thing that KM should be getting. They did a similar thing a few years back for "Blackadder" where they re-united the original cast for interviews and a few of them revisited some of the old filming locations. At the moment it's unlikely that a documentary like that would be made for KM in the future, I hope I'm wrong though. The closest we've had so far to that has been Debbie's brilliant interviews with Tim Child, Hugo Myatt and David Learner in 2002.
At the time of posting, the Knightmare page on Facebook is currently at an impressive 9,505 fans, which certainly show's that people still remember it, the only downside of it though is the lack of a forum. As for the issue of DVD's, when you look at the brilliant home releases of e.g "Red Dwarf" over the past 6&7 years, in an ideal world KM should get the exact same treatment as that, sadly though it doesn't. At least not yet anyway. :)

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by JamesA » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:10 pm

BBrooks(KM Forever) wrote:At the time of posting, the Knightmare page on Facebook is currently at an impressive 9,505 fans, which certainly show's that people still remember it, the only downside of it though is the lack of a forum.
I have given this some thought.... At present, Facebook doesn't seem to allow forums or discussion boards on fan pages. That said, I feel the Wall does a pretty capable job and should someone do enquire about a forum, I'll be more than happy to direct them over to here. 8)
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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by Mystara » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:45 am

I also think that splitting up users is bad.
The last thing we'd want is half our active users using one board and half using another. And the annoyance of having to read two forums every day would cause that kind of split.

Though closer integration with facebook might be advantageous.
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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by Mogdred » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:42 pm

I can't even find it on Facebook.

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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by JamesA » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:41 pm

Mogdred wrote:I can't even find it on Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Knightmare/9747116549

Alternatively, you can just click on the link in my signature below. ;)
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Re: Is Knightmare "officially" the most underrated TV show ?

Post by Canadanne » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:54 pm

Is that Arthur Wells of KMVR fame who has liked the most recent post?

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