Series 5, Powers that Be. Pickle (David Learner), and Treguard (Hugo Myatt).

Series 5: Overview

By Keith McDonald

What's new for Series 5 of Knightmare? A summary of the main differences.

Start of Series

Treguard strides into the antechamber, looking for his assistant, Pickle.

In the previous series, we saw previews of incoming dungeoneers on the viewing screen. Now, they enter the antechamber via a spiral staircase.

Teams now choose the object of their quest before they begin. They are also given the Eye Shield alongside the helmet and knapsack. Treguard offers the dungeoneer a chance to reconsider.

Start with Team 1

Sylvester Hands, played by Paul Valentine, in Knightmare Series 5.

Similarities and Differences

The dungeon continues the outdoor theme introduced in Series 4, with new locations. The introduction of a dragon, Smirkenorff, allowed for aerial footage between locations.

Pickle continues to assist Treguard in the antechamber, though some changes to the pre-quest formalities and the removal of the Weeping Doors reduce his influence.

A new principal opponent replaced Mogdred and his various surrogates. Lord Fear became a mainstay until the programme ended.

View the Series 5 characters

Series 5 (1990). Lord Fear (Mark Knight) in a spyglass sequence.


For the first time, there was no standard opening room. Teams could begin their quest with a flight, a trip in the descender, or Eye Shield footage.

The regular knowledge testing was reduced to speed up gameplay. Instead, teams had to decipher clue scrolls to choose the correct objects.

Series 5, Quest 2. Richard encounters a Blocker - a wall that advances to block the way forward.

Teams also gained hints from spyglasses - another new introduction. These allowed teams to eavesdrop on the Opposition for a short time.

To exit Levels 1 and 2, teams needed a password to bypass a 'blocker'. The dragon and descender replaced wellways as the transfer route between levels.

Series 5, Quest 1. Kathryn encounters a causeway of tiles featuring symbols of attack and defence.

Other new dangers included causeways of hexagonal tiles. These were based on a theme, such as elements (earth, fire, water). Teams had to learn or work out the code to cross safely.

New characters brought greater interaction and more creative storylines. These included the testy elf, Elita, and the slippery merchant, Julius Scaramonger.

View the Series 5 dungeon

Start of Episode

Pickle remains the keeper of the Book of Quests. He read out the teams' progress at the start of each episode.

Pickle completes a quest summary in Knightmare Series 4.

Like Series 4, these updates only reveal the status of the team in progress, not a recap of the previous episode.

End of Episode

The bell tolls to signal 'time out', freezing both the gameplay and the advisors.

There was extended theme music for the ending credits. Visuals included flights on Smirkenorff, unused rooms, and a new Broadsword animation for 1991.

An unused number puzzle for Series 5 of Knightmare.

In an eventful year for broadcasters, Knightmare was delayed twice by ITV's rugby coverage and also cut short at the beginning and end during the 1991 series.

Children's ITV in 1991

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Sylvester Hands

Series 5, Quest 5. Sylvester Hands attempts to rob new dungeoneer, Jenna.

Sylvester Hands (or Sly Hands) was a cowardly vagabond whose love of drink makes him Lord Fear's biggest liability.

The Gatekeeper

The gatekeeper. Played by Michael Cule.

The Gatekeeper guards the gate at the end of Levels 1 and 2 during the fifth series of Knightmare.

The Barn / Farm

A farm location used in Series 5 (1991).

The fifth season of Knightmare had a number of farmland areas, separate to the Greenwood.

See Also