Front cover of

Knightmare in Time Out

By David Goldstein

Knightmare received two mentions in London's Time Out within exactly a year of each other.

2014: Lord Fear in Time Out

This isn't a reference to Knightmare's baddy being disciplined for being naughty, nor a reference to the Opposition technosorcerer being caught in the Dungeons' temporal disruption.

It refers to the editorial on page 1 of the latest issue of Time Out London magazine (April 29 - May 5 2014; issue 2275), in which Jonathan Shannon writes that 'anything is possible with the outlandishly imaginative Londoners who are throwing immersive parties that let you dive into some very curious worlds indeed. So prepare to mingle with the Red Queen, Goblin King and Lord Fear among others.'

The best Knightmare references are arguably the unexpected ones. When I read that one, my eyes nearly detached themselves from their sockets. This doesn't usually happen until after all my skin has flaked off.

The reference is followed up on page 20. 'For nostalgics, there's always Knightmare Live, a version of the classic virtual-reality kids' TV show from the '80s, recreated in real life at the South Bank's Udderbelly on June 6, 13 and 20.' So strictly speaking, the editorial was referring to their 'Lord Fear Live'. But what I like is how Time Out credits its readership with knowing that Lord Fear is associated with Knightmare, without mentioning both together. It's a flattering assumption, showing that Knightmare's pop culture status should not be underestimated.

While London will have Tom Bell's Lord Fear in June, Norwich will have the original this month. Next weekend brings us the Knightmare Convention with Mark Knight's villainous alter ego hosting Late Night with Lord Fear followed by Lord Fear's Midnight Hunt. The goblins are in for a lot of fodder.

Lord Fear, the Leader of the Opposition, as played by Mark Knight at the end of Knightmare Series 6 (1992).

He did say he'd be back ("bigger, bolder, badder and better equipped" - Series 6). And it's safe to say - 'safe' being a relative term where evil-eyed fireball-throwing maniacs are concerned - that Lord Fear is not just back for a short spell. He's back for bad.

2015: Knightmare in Time Out

Among my repertoire of so-called Knightmare jokes - which includes one about Treguard enjoying a cuppa ("Ooh, nice tea!") and another about what time of day the posh warlock Hordriss touches himself ("When the big hand's on one") - is a joke about Knightmare characters' favourite magazines. Ridolfo the troubadour's is Loot; Treguard's is Time Out. Yet the Dungeon Master's choice isn't so implausible, given Time Out London's willingness to mention Knightmare.

They did it exactly a year ago, referring to Lord Fear in their editorial in aniticipation of Knightmare Live; they've just done it again in their April 28 - May 4 2015 issue (2326). The review by Ashleigh Arnott of escape game Time Run refers to it as 'an immersive, hands-on hour of problem solving and teamwork' before going on to say:

The kneejerk emotions that come with your successes are a simple and childish pleasure. Remember how it felt to watch a kid narrowly escape on cult '80s gameshow 'Knightmare', or even the satisfaction of a particularly glorious dash to safety during British Bulldog? Those are the inner air-punches you'll feel as your teammate uncovers the last piece of your puzzle.

Ashleigh Arnott

They certainly seem to know their audience. The past fortnight in print has demonstrated that Knightmare's popularity is enough to make it not only cult but also culture. And if for some chilling reason you don't remember how it felt to watch a kid narrowly escape on the show, the Series 2 repeats on Challenge (Saturdays at 10:30am, Sundays at 10am and 10:30am) are something you should definitely be aware of.

The review concludes by saying that 'if you can still name all four zones in 'The Crystal Maze', Time Run is as close as you're going to get to dashing from Mediaeval to Industrial with Richard O'Brien'. There was another host, wasn't there? After Richard O'Brien? Someone Something-Something? Don't worry, probably just my mind playing tricks. Think no more about it. And yes, there were five zones, but after the Knightmare mention I think we can let that slide.

Time Run is on in London until 2nd August. If you give it a try and find that the comparison with Knightmare watching is spot on, drop by our forum and let us know! P.S. According to Knightmare Live's Twitter feed, on 18 April they 'set the record time for completing Time Run, the theatrical puzzle show. 47mins, who wants to touch me?'...

Thank you for reading. If you think I write tolerably about Knightmare and can stand to skim some more, my other articles include news roundups, the truth (accepted) about Nik Kershaw's The Riddle and a review of Knightmare Live. I've also been known to bother people on Twitter.

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