Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). Banner from the show's opening titles.

Channel 4: 100 Greatest Kids' TV Shows

By Nicholas Lam

Knightmare achieved a creditable 16th place on The 100 Greatest Kids' TV Shows, broadcast on Channel 4 in 2001.

Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). Sequence of monitors during the opening titles.

The 100 Greatest Kids' TV Shows was broadcast on 27 August 2001, from 8.30pm to 12.05am. It was presented by Jamie Theakston.

The order was voted for by the public on the Channel 4 website from a shortlist of 100 selected by the producers. This proved controversial since many popular shows were never considered for review.

Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). Main programme logo during title sequence.

Knightmare finished in 16th place, ranking above shows such as The Flintstones, Postman Pat, Thunderbirds and Thomas The Tank Engine.

After the show, Channel 4 posted an 'updated' list of the Top 100 where Knightmare had mysteriously fallen five places to 21. But Knightmare fans are happy to claim the higher position on the broadcast.

DownloadWatch a clip (10.6MB)

The broadcast

Iain Lee: "This is the most exciting thing. It was virtual reality on TV. I think it was first time that had been done. It was sort of Dungeon and Dragons and goblins and trolls and nerdy Pratchett stuff like that. And it was quite witty as well."

Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). TV presenter Iain Lee discusses Knightmare.

A few clips of the first episode of Knightmare were used. Treguard's debut is shown as the badge of 16th place is awarded to Knightmare.

Treguard: "Welcome Watchers of Illusion, to the Castle of Confusion."

Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). Shot of Treguard (Hugo Myatt) from the first episode of Knightmare as the show lands 16th place in the list.

Iain Lee: "You'd have jobbing actors coming in, who I'm sure are more than embarrassed by it, pretending to be a jester and stuff, and being a bit wacky and giving clues and stuff."

Treguard: "There is no correct route through the dungeon..."

Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). Treguard (Hugo Myatt) sends the first dungeoneer on his way.

The first team is shown starting their quest, and tackling various bomb rooms that they encountered in the early stages.

It was the first intelligent game show for kids, I would say. The first one where kids actually had to think.

Iain Lee

Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). Footage from the first episode of Knightmare as the dungeoneer reaches a bomb room.

Iain Lee: "It was actually kids having to work out logistical problems and doing things. It was good, I think."

Treguard: "Farewell, David! You did well, but I'm afraid you came an awful cropper."

Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows (2001). Sequence of monitors during the opening titles.

DownloadWatch a clip (10.6MB)

The Top 100

  1. The Simpsons
  2. The Muppet Show
  3. Dangermouse
  4. Bagpuss
  5. Grange Hill
  6. Mr Benn
  7. Rainbow
  8. Scooby Doo
  9. Doctor Who
  10. He-Man
  11. The Magic Roundabout
  12. Rentaghost
  13. The Clangers
  14. Tom and Jerry
  15. Wallace & Gromit
  16. Knightmare
  17. Hong Kong Phooey
  18. The Wombles
  19. The Flintstones
  20. Worzel Gummidge
  21. Maid Marian and her Merry Men
  22. Trumpton
  23. Postman Pat
  24. Thunderbirds
  25. Jim'll Fix It
  26. Thomas The Tank Engine
  27. SM:tv Live
  28. Top Cat
  29. Jamie and the Magic Torch
  30. Roobarb and Custard
  31. Blue Peter
  32. Sesame Street
  33. The Basil Brush Show
  34. Chorlton and the Wheelies
  35. Banana Splits
  36. The Adventure Game
  37. Roland Rat
  38. The Sooty Show
  39. Crackerjack
  40. Battle of the Planets
  41. Byker Grove
  42. Play School
  43. Why Don't You
  44. Captain Pugwash
  45. Multi-Coloured Swap Shop
  46. The Tomorrow People
  47. Press Gang
  48. Batman
  49. Tiswas
  50. Fingerbobs
  51. Captain Scarlet
  52. Wide Awake Club
  53. Pipkins
  54. The Herbs
  55. Flowerpot Men
  56. Wind in the Willows
  57. Animal Magic
  58. Metal Mickey
  59. Newsround
  60. Pob's Programme
  61. Black Beauty
  62. Andy Pandy
  63. Jackanory
  64. Lassie
  65. Record Breakers
  66. The Double Deckers
  67. The Snowman
  68. The Famous Five
  69. Mary, Mungo and Midge
  70. How?
  71. Michael Bentine's Potty Time
  72. Noggin The Nog
  73. Pokemon
  74. Bob The Builder
  75. Skippy
  76. Catweazle
  77. We Are The Champions
  78. Vision On
  79. Tales of the Riverbank
  80. The Adventures of Robin Hood
  81. The Secret Garden
  82. Cheggers Plays Pop
  83. The Tweenies
  84. Just William
  85. Pinky and Perky
  86. Button Moon
  87. Runaround
  88. The Woodentops
  89. Hector's House
  90. Teletubbies
  91. Bod
  92. Screen Test
  93. White Horses
  94. HR Pufnstuf
  95. Magpie
  96. The Singing Ringing Tree
  97. Muffin the Mule
  98. Chystal Tipps
  99. Junior Showtime
  100. Do Not Adjust Your Set

You Might Also Like...

Knightmare in SFX Magazine

Shelf of magazines

There was a short feature on Knightmare in the July edition of SFX Magazine, styled as 'the Earth's greatest Sci-Fi and fantasy magazine'.

Testing and Pilots

Banner of the Knightmare antechamber set during the pilot episode.

What Tim Child was attempting in the mid-80s had never been done before. It took advanced tests and two pilots before Knightmare was commissioned.


The Level 1 Wellway Room was used for the first three series of Knightmare.

Wellway rooms allowed dungeoneers to descend to the second and third levels in the early series of Knightmare.

See Also