Series 4 - Episode 1

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Tom41
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Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Tom41 » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:59 pm

Yes, Series 4 started today. Couldn't start on Monday, since Challenge decided to have a marathon of Who Wants to be a Millionaire instead.

I missed the first little bit of this episode - well, I _saw_ it, but didn't get it on tape because it wasn't in the right place. Started taping at the point where Treguard took the banana out of the knapsack ;)

Same animation sequence used for the intro as in Series 3, but with new music. A 3-second shot is removed (the scene with the knight riding past the prisoner in the cell and looking back) so it would fit the new music.

Pickle makes his debut in this episode, and there's a large projection screen on the wall to replace the old screen-in-the-chest viewer.

The first room is an all-new Place of Choice. The Spindizzy from the previous series was recycled and used to get the dungeoneer to the path they wanted to take. Pickle often tries to influence the team's decition before Treguard interrupts, saying 'the choice is yours'.

The close-up shot of the wall screen was done by projecting a plain blue image onto the screen, then filming it for a few seconds - and adding the footage later on (much like Series 8, how they get the Pool Image effect)

First appearance of Dooris, the 'weeping door'. The dungeoneer has to call out a special calling to start the question session.
"True and False, False and True, Open up and let us through"
Sort of a wall monster, and the mouth is still 'real'. The only real difference is that all the questions are true or false, rather than having specific answers. Scored 3/3 and the door opened.
The mouth faded out before the door face, giving a clear view of the background. Why didn't this ever happen with the Series 3 wall monsters? ;)

Hordriss was in the next room, and gave the team a task to retrieve a brass bracelet for him. Also gave them the eye-shield, first appearance ever. First mention of the calling names, which the dungeoneer has to call three times to summon somebody. Treguard mentioned that Hordriss is neither on the side of good or evil, but he doesn't even acknowledge the difference!

Now they have the eye-shield, it can 'guide' them out of the room. In reality, all it does is let the production team play pre-recorded walking videos ;)

Odd frame used for the ad break. Not the Knightmare logo, but a still from the animation of the horse rearing up when the monster appears.

Next, they were suddenly in the forest! In this series, the team could pause and resume the eye-shield sequences by telling the dungeoneer to 'stop' and 'walk'.

In the forest clearing, Motley and Mellisandre appear (same as the previous series), this time playing some kind of chase/hide and seek game. Motley and Mellisandre showed the team a complex sequence of going around the rocks and trees to get out. The dungeoner had to follow this sequence, guided by the advisers! Managed to get out seconds before goblins showed up :)

They then came into Oakley's glen, which was the replacement for the clue room. Oakley was the proper replacement for the wall monsters. His riddles require proper answers, rather than just true or false. His mouth is 'real' as well. All three riddles were based on things to do with trees or woods.
Scored 2/3 and Oakley gave them information which seemed to indicate 'Take the dagger and the gold'.

Approaching the Fortress of Doom, then timed out!
Over the credits, a view of the causeway-axe room. I heard that this was never used in the UK Knightmare, but was used in the French version where the dungeoneer could be easily replaced if they died ;)
Shame about the credits going over it, or Icould make an Animated GIF :(
Last edited by Tom41 on Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by DragonRider » Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:06 pm

In the forest clearing, Motley and Mellisandre appear (same as the previous series), this time playing some kind of chase/hide and seek game. Motley and Mellisandre showed the team a complex sequence of going around the rocks and trees to get out. The dungeoner had to follow this sequence, guided by the advisers! Managed to get out seconds before goblins showed up :)

I find this to be one of the cutest Motley and Mellisandre scenes. Their moments of play-time just make me smile a lot ;)

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Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by FrightKnight » Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:16 am

Notice how a s1-3 quest would have gone to midway through level 2 by now, but here we aren't even out of level 1 yet!

Get used to this slower pace, it'll be here 'til the end of series 7...

Also notice how Hordriss repeats almost the same task to give in back-to-back episodes, albeit from another series. He asked for a small trinket inconveniently placed in the level in s3 ep16. Why doesn't he get it himself? It's not that far to walk, and if he knows whereabouts it is, well that's just being lazy.
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Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Dan » Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:05 pm

FrightKnight wrote: Notice how a s1-3 quest would have gone to midway through level 2 by now, but here we aren't even out of level 1 yet!
We'd have had a death by now, going by the first teams of the previous three series... :)

I love the way Helen just strolls over the spindizzy. Good job they can see the exit ledges.

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Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by hermonifus » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:36 pm

I remember being bitterly disappointed at this episode way back when I was 7... the Knightmare I knew and loved had changed; it had gone outside of the dungeon and that, as far as I was concerned, was blasphemy! I wasn't exactly riveted by it; the snail's pace of the quest resulted in a distinct reduction in excitement levels. However, given time I became used to it... hell, I started to love it again! Actually, by time I mean the next episode as things seem to really pick up there. Helen's quest has since come to be one of my favourites. They are a brilliant team, expert guidance and judgement. And from Tyne and Wear too... local territory!

Anyhow, individual things I liked... the Spindizzy is a great way to start a quest... with a semblance of a possibility (yeah right!) of it all coming to a tragic end rather too soon. Oakley is a marvellous creation, Motley and Melly's banter is always nice to see and David Learner was, of course, great as Pickle. Apart from that, it was all rather slow but it's early days yet.

The best part of the whole thing, however, was the room over the end credits. I can remember eagerly awaiting its first appearance (probably in level three) but all to no avail. Perhaps it was unworkable... but still a nice tough ADDITIONAL task for an already marvellous third level (but let's not get ahead of ourselves...)

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Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by keke » Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:08 pm

dunno why everyone says it is unworkable. get down and crawl! there easy sorted and if nto thought of then pretty high chance of dungeoneer death. or if they set up a ledge for the dungeoneer to walk on in the shape of that path then it would just be about timing as the dungeoneer wouldnt step off the bridge. seems such a shame that it wasnt used as it looks so cool
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Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Billy » Wed May 03, 2006 5:20 am

And I finally get to review this episode. In August 2004 I was in Devon, in February 2006 I overslept, but now, with Series 4 getting its last ever showing on Challenge, I finally recorded it. In fact, I got so eager writing this review that this forum deems it 'too long' a post, so I've had to do it in seperate parts.

I wasn't one of those watching this episode back in 1990, being 1-going-on-2 at the time, but I put myself in the mind of a fan watching it at the time. After three series of the norm, suddenly every dang thing changes in front of their eyes!

Though you wouldn't think that right at the start, with Treguard giving the series' second pre-credits sequence ("Looking for adventure, are you? Well, you've certainly come to the right place! *cackle*"). Then the familar Siriol opening sequence plays...though this is the first surprise, it's been re-edited to match with a more orchestral sounding theme-tune.

Then..."Hang on! Who's that elf guy? Did Treguard just call him Pickle? Hey, and the magic mirror's changed! There's some colourful lighting over the antechamber! Did I miss an episode or something?" Actually, that'd make a really great fanfic - 'Series 4 Episode 0', which has Treguard meeting Pickle, installing some fancy lighting, etc. It's just so weird having him, well, be there, as if it's some normal thing. Surely his appearance was trailed beforehand, or he appeared in the CITV studio?

The first team of this radically changed series appear as usual, but hang on, Treguard's fumbling around with the knapsack...there's a banana in there! If this was an American sitcom there'd be a mass "Oh-ho-ho!" from the audience, and a 'gulp' look from Pickle to the camera. Quickly discounting theories of Pickle being a grown-up Eric Wimp, the same ol' Helm of Just is placed on (it's this bit which appeared on those ad-break bumpers when shown on Sci-Fi, fact fans!) and the episode begins.

Dice room? No, the Spindizzy's back in a new surrounding, another new invention for this series - teams have a CHOICE which quest object they want, even if it's only between two! Pickle whispers that they should pick the Cup, for some reason (there's been no winners for two years, and neither of them were for the four main quest objects) and Helen magnificently traverses the Spindizzy with ease.

They then come to...a door. A talking door, named Dooris! ("I suppose you want me to open. Well, I can't!") It's a Door Monster, or should I say Bore Monster. Surprise dawns when it seems that this creature appears to have replaced Golgarach and the Brangwen-Shee, and fires out three riddles - well, not riddles, just True or False questions. They get them all right ("Oh dear, oh dear, this is terrible!) and Dooris...opens, contradicting what he said about a minute ago. Geezum, so far the only character to survive from Series 3 is Treguard. Will that change in the next room?

Ah, Hordriss! His hair's grown a bit from last year, and he seems to have shifted a little - in S3 he was on neither side, but was classified as a 'dark grey' by Treguard, but now he's simply neutral. So a 'neu' stance for Hordriss, then (ho ho!), he sets the team a challenge (on Challenge) to find a bracelet, which is a bit odd for such a wizard of his calibre. Maybe it's for Sidriss, someone we won't see for another two years but must be around. They debate on whether to trust him before saying 'yes', and he introduces them to a strange little contraption called the Eye Shield. If 1990 viewers aren't baffled already, this is the time - Treguard holds full knowledge of this contraption, also saying "Let's not forget the Opposition" which is probably the series' first reference to them ever. Helen puts the iShield (er, Eye Shield) on and walks out, and..."It sees!" cries Pickle, which is something I'm sure he'll never forget.

(continued in next post)

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Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Billy » Wed May 03, 2006 5:20 am

(continued from last post)

So, onto...A FOREST?! THEY'RE IN A FOREST!! As viewers froth at the mouth in excitement/horror, Treguard explains how the dungeon's shifted, etc. The team seem slightly baffled at this amazing feat too, and ask Helen to watch out for a log on the ground. Surely they don't think it's a massive studio set or something?

Ah, some more familiar faces in the guise of the two Ms, Motley and Melly. At first they think Helen is a 'peasant' (one that's wearing a horny helmet, seemingly) before prattling on for a bit about an elf path. Melly, then Motley show us how to do it - skip round a stone twice, jaunt merrilly around a tree, and disappear through the other one (done by split-screen I guess, unless the actors spent 20 takes trying to jump and stopping exactly behind the tree at the same time). Helen follows...slowly, though things pick up after goblins are heard.

"Ok..." thinks our imaginary viewer. "I think I've got the gist of it now. You've got this elf guy as Treguard's assistant, these speaking doors as the wall monsters...hang on, WHO'S THAT?!" they cry, pointing at this tree that's suddenly sprouted a face, and for some reason, a Westcountry accent. They're in the 'clue room', though it's really a 'clue clearing', so I guess this tree guy is the actual wall monster replacement, making the Bore Monsters...pointless. Erm.

They get 2 right, take their items and leave. "It's a castle" exclaims one of the advisors, a little surprised, so Treguard explains it's the Fortress of Doom (great reading on 'Doom'). Helen-through-Eye-Shield gets to the door, slows down...and as she stops, so does the episode. Tis Time Out.

T&P do the first of their many "omg u watchers" banter, and the credits roll over a room we never see on the actual programme, ever - a zig-zag path with a giant swinging axe, which has a few aliasing problems but the reflection effects look great. Then the Broadsword logo, which states the programme was made in, erm, 1989. Whoops.

There we are, then - a massive shock to see so many things changed, with the minimalist of explanations given.
I'd certainly tune in next week.

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Re: Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by DJFairborne77 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:43 pm

Billy wrote:Then the Broadsword logo, which states the programme was made in, erm, 1989. Whoops.
I'm sure back in 1990 when it was originally shown on Children's ITV that the correct Broadsword 1990 production slide was used at the end of Episode 1, so I've no idea why a 1989 one should appear in the Challenge 2003 repeat of it, unless there is a slight problem with the master tapes or something? If you listen to the sword sound, it's out-of-sync with when the sword goes into the Broadsword logo, so I guess Challenge or someone just stuck it on at the end for some reason. I've always thought the 1990 Broadsword slide sounds a bit louder than the 1989 ones anyway. Also, a few other episodes of Series 4 during the Challenge repeat run had the Anglia production slide missing too, so perhaps there is something wrong with the master tapes. Still, it's only a minor quibble anyway though!...

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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Canadanne » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:44 pm

It's funny how the door in the Eyeshield room appears to be open throughout the scene, but as they walk towards the exit, the door is suddenly closed and swings open for them!

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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Drassil » Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:03 pm

I hadn't realised that Treguard's welcome speech in the Knightmare Live shows is adapted from the one after the opening titles of this episode.

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Re: Re:Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Maud » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:56 pm

keke wrote:dunno why everyone says it is unworkable. get down and crawl! there easy sorted and if nto thought of then pretty high chance of dungeoneer death. or if they set up a ledge for the dungeoneer to walk on in the shape of that path then it would just be about timing as the dungeoneer wouldnt step off the bridge. seems such a shame that it wasnt used as it looks so cool
We had this room at the start of Level 3. It took us 2.5 minutes to get Giles halfway across the causeway - yes, crawling. The production team decided it was just too long; we offered to have another go at it but the floor manager was firm in his opinion that the room was unserviceable. I always thought the problem was the lack of turning space on the corners.

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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Mashibinbin » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:37 am

It would have made for tense viewing I'm sure!

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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Maud » Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:34 pm

Wonder if the footage is still available somewhere! By the way, as I recall, Treguard introduced the scene by referring to the 'Sword of Damocles'.

The sword froze after the 2.5 minutes - either the animation was on a loop (no supercomputers in the studio during Series 4) and the production team paused it, or it reached the end.

I think this first team of Series 4 are my personal favourite - obviously only if we have to exclude ourselves!

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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Gretel » Mon May 02, 2016 5:36 pm

Drassil wrote:I hadn't realised that Treguard's welcome speech in the Knightmare Live shows is adapted from the one after the opening titles of this episode.
.... I only just now realized what you mean. Wow. Impressive call-back though.
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