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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.