Series 4 - Episode 16

Canadanne
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:53 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset
Contact:

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Canadanne » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:43 pm

Maud wrote:Also selective cutting of less action-packed moments might have enabled us to complete the quest on screen time - just like when the production team cut four minutes or so from our time on the Spindizzy room in episode 14.
They could easily have scrapped the encounters with Mellisandre and Mistress Goody in Level 1, both of which seemed entirely pointless!

Drassil
Senior Staff
Senior Staff
Posts: 2152
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Drassil » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:55 pm

Brett wrote:If Christmas isn't in keeping with the spirit of Knightmare, can we describe what that spirit is? Or was it just the way Christmas was handled?
I recently wrote {a sketch} showing how I'd prefer Series 4 to have ended. I hope you don't mind! As you might have seen, there is also an older thread full of {alternative Series 4 endings} suggested by members of the forum, so we have at least had fun with our outrage. ;)

Christmas on TV tends to be about cosiness, sentimentality and happy endings - and most of the time, Knightmare never pretended to be about that. What made it worse for fans was that the Christmas scene turned out to be John Woodnutt/Merlin's final one in Knightmare, and putting up decorations was not exactly a majestic way for such a fine actor and powerful character to be rounded off after four years. (We never did find out what happened to Merlin, beyond a vague remark by Brother Mace in Series 5 acknowledging that he was no longer about.)

Maud
Dungeoneer
Dungeoneer
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Maud » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:28 am

I've just been considering parallels between Series 4 Team 1 and our quest.

We were told there were about four scenes left, which would fit the two scenes for shrinking and de-shrinking that occurred earlier in the series on Level 2 (e.g. to escape from Mogdred by using the TINY spell and then reversing it on the other side), plus the door monster scene and the final room with the Cup.

However comparing Series 4 Team 1's quest suggests that perhaps the Block and Tackle scene was moved from Level 2 to Level 3 to make the last episode more exciting. In that case, perhaps the TINY spell was to be used on Mogdred directly (presumably he would also have faded away rather than remaining in the room as we manoeuvred towards the exit). It would not require moving the fireplace scenes from Level 2, although the scenes in Series 4 did tend to be fluid in terms of the Levels on which they occurred. Again in this scenario there would be about four more scenes, namely three: the door monster, the final encounter with Mogdred and the final room with the Cup.

Comparing Series 4 Team 1 with us on the Block and Tackle, I think it's much easier if the stage manager doesn't enter the dungeoneer at 45 degrees to the left taking 'four large steps', but I still think the room is pretty unfair - just like many of the general knowledge riddles in Knightmare - because of the bottom row of blocks crossing the room without any discernible pattern.

On the news of John Woodnutt passing, I would add that he showed his professionalism in refusing my request for his Mogdred voice in the studio canteen (prior to the onscreen encounter, by the way).

Presumably, had Series 4 Team 1 cast the BUT spell, they would then have had time to cast the TRANSFORMATION spell and turn Mogdred into a lizard (temporarily, of course), as happened to Brother Mace (I think it was), earlier in the series. Again I'm not sure this was a particularly fair test, even for Level 3. It seems too off-the-wall to quickly realise "I'll counter that magic sword with my BUT spell".

Series 4 has been criticised on this forum for being repetitive, but I agree with the producer who said it's not just new scenes, but what happens in a scene, that makes an adventure (when asked whether our quest featured any new scenes). I think the quality of the character interactions went up in series 4. Bear in mind, too, that we hadn't seen the rest of the series, so the whole thing was completely new to us.

I didn't dislike Lord Fear in the later series, but I found the constant spying scenes a bit annoying and trivial after a while, even though you can understand the production team wanting to introduce a counter-narrative to make the game more exciting.

My ideal series would be a mix of 3-5. I liked the idea of the dragon ride, Winteria and the ship (the latter two reminding me of CS Lewis for some reason), but I felt they weren't implemented convincingly enough at the time due to the technology and budget constraints. I agree series 4 was overly 'purple'; the colouring in the eye shield sequences was painfully over-altered. A combination of some of the series 3 scenes - particularly the three-part outdoors-like areas - with the forests, inn and river of series 4, plus some of the outdoors scenes from series 5, would be my favourite combination - fairly contained, but not overly.

s4t8brett
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:04 am

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett » Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:25 pm

Having watched Team 1 and Team 6 again, my best guess is that under normal circumstances we would have encountered Mogdred immediately after the collapsing bridge scenes, and had to use the TINY spell. That was the pattern for each of those quests.

The Block and Tackle was normally encountered on Level 2; perhaps by the time of our quest the Sword of Damocles was supposed to replace it as a manoeuvre test, for variety.

User avatar
JamesA
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1512
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:33 am
Location: London

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by JamesA » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:57 am

s4t8brett wrote: Series 4 has been criticised on this forum for being repetitive, but I agree with the producer who said it's not just new scenes, but what happens in a scene, that makes an adventure (when asked whether our quest featured any new scenes). I think the quality of the character interactions went up in series 4. Bear in mind, too, that we hadn't seen the rest of the series, so the whole thing was completely new to us.
Agreed. Whilst the scenery and landscape in each of the quests during Series 4 may have looked similar, the interactions between dungeoneers and characters throughout the levels were all different in their own unique way.

The actors would have obviously been given a brief description of how the plot outline should work, but how they reacted to that obviously depended on how the dungeoneer and their advisors interacted with the actor at that specific time.

Tim Child himself has described Knightmare as being "commedia dell'arte", meaning that there was no script and the actors have also described their time on the show as being entirely based on improvisation - something I learnt from them whilst making the 25th Anniversary Documentary.
James Aukett
Creator of the Knightmare: 25th Anniversary Documentary

s4t8brett
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:04 am

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:31 pm

Thanks for those insights, James.

I once went backpacking in the Amazon and the first time I came face-to-face with one of the waterways (not a busy port like Manaus) it felt similar to KM, but like being in a real (immersive) adventure. A reminder that there are other (and equivalent) adventures - Amazonian spiders and ants won't be for everyone! - to be had even if you weren't fortunate enough to get through the KM shortlisting procedure. Hopefully not reckless ones, though.

User avatar
EvelynMason
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:18 am
Location: Hungerford Berkshire

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by EvelynMason » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:54 am

I just spent twenty minutes writing out a replay, pressed a wrong button, and lost all my work. >:D

Tried to put something in italics, screened rolled up, (accidentally) hit the back button, and the very last thing before I was about to save before posting. >:D

I tried to put across that was angry and disappointed the team were cut off when they were. They had made it to level 3, were going along nicely and overcome a number of obstacles and then they cut off to end the series with about three or four rooms to show. Another 15 or 20 minutes they may just have completed the quest, I really thought they were going to do it. :'(

Made a number of references to different rooms encountered and the characters with it. This was one of the best episodes I have seen of the re-runs on Challenge, and they spoilt it significantly with the abrupt ending. In other words, everything up until the last three minutes was good entertainment.

Have to feel sorry for the team that they were denied so late in the quest but the producers made a decision and what's done is done. I don't know if this 'error' was repeated in subsequent series but you could see the disappointment on the teams faces evidently when Treguard called Giles back to be re-united with his team.

Best moments : Ariadne (always a pleasure), Brother Mace, Corridor of Blades, Pickle and his usual 'lively' self.

Worst moments : no need to further elaborate.

Canadanne
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:53 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset
Contact:

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Canadanne » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:05 pm

EvelynMason wrote:I just spent twenty minutes writing out a replay, pressed a wrong button, and lost all my work. >:D
I hate it when that happens! I've learnt the hard way that it's best to write things in a separate document and then paste them in, rather than typing directly into the browser...

User avatar
wombstar
Level 3 Dungeoneer
Level 3 Dungeoneer
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by wombstar » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:06 pm

They really threw everything into the last episode to try and make it exciting.
But not sure if they made to to level 3, there wasn't anything to suggest they had, but then the blades popped up, but then so did the block n tackle which was a level 2 room.

Also under normal circumstances i reckon they would have lost in the COD as he got sliced while crawling in the floor, then all of a sudden his standing and running from side to side. maybe they restarted the room and just carried on until time ran out.

But then the last few minutes sucked, i always liked seeing the dungeons collapse at the end of a series.

I'm shocked they didn't have more winners here, series 4 seems pretty basic.
It's always the cracked ones that let the light in

s4t8brett
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:04 am

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:14 pm

Evelyn, glad you enjoyed it!

Wombstar, we did get to Level 3 - as Treguard explained in the programme. The corridor of blades (presumably what you meant by COD) was recorded in one take; it wasn't re-recorded. The production team decided it was an exciting near-miss (otherwise known, perhaps more logically, as a near-hit or a near-slice).

User avatar
wombstar
Level 3 Dungeoneer
Level 3 Dungeoneer
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by wombstar » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:22 pm

Ah must have been the way it was edited for the program it looked liked it jumped from one thing to another in the blades, (yeah COB, dunno why i typed Cod, lol)

Yeah wasn't sure if it was level 3 or not, it got a bit jumbled and rooms appeared in an unfamiliar order, Block and tackle after blades then the transporter pad.

As i say they threw everything into the last part so it made for an exciting final episode.
Should have been giving a short cut.. might have just made it in time B-|>

Oh yeah, and this was sadly the final appearance of Merlin and Mog. :'(
It's always the cracked ones that let the light in

Drassil
Senior Staff
Senior Staff
Posts: 2152
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Drassil » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:54 pm

wombstar wrote:Not sure if they made to to level 3, there wasn't anything to suggest they had
The status board that appeared after their second encounter with Merlin said 'LEVEL 3' on it. Not so much a suggestion as a positive statement.

Brett, out of the 210 Knightmare advisors (including the Geek Week team), I'm more sure than ever that you're my favourite. Your infectious enthusiasm ("Well on our way!"), your team spirit ("Go Giles go!") and your intelligence (noticing that Ariadne sounded like Arachne) helped your quest to rise above Series 4's flaws to become one of Knightmare's most enjoyable. Thank you.

Admittedly, the cast did sometimes steal the scene (Brother Mace). And in the end you were no match for Christmas. But then who is?

s4t8brett
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:04 am

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:02 pm

Possibly they repeated part of the COB to make it longer on the programme than it was in filming, wombstar. Scenes were very fluid between Levels on this series, not just on our quest, apart from the signature scenes for each Level.

Another insight about this episode is that we had a fire drill before Giles went into Ariadne's lair, and Motley came out too - mostly in costume, so it was pretty clear what we would have to do! I think we could also see the graphics on our journey back through the studio. The effect whereby Motley appears out of nowhere and pats Giles on the back was filmed afterwards; in reality he entered from the front-right.

Thank you Drassil for your kind words! We tried really hard to move beyond earlier series cliches such as 'You're in a room ...' (inevitable though they doubtless were for the earlier times), to get the movements succinct, to be interesting and to make the show interesting for everyone - ourselves, actors and viewers. I'm glad you enjoyed the episode as much as we did.

If Google were to sponsor a reunion and continuation of our quest ...

Best wishes,
Brett

Drassil
Senior Staff
Senior Staff
Posts: 2152
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by Drassil » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:25 pm

Brett, I am still noticing new things about this episode.

As a side effect of Merlin's Christmas conjuring, the items you and the team were holding disappeared: helmet, eyeshield and clipboards. It also put out the candle behind Treguard.

As a side effect of Treguard casting DISMISS, the candle behind him relit.

Truly a magical time.

s4t8brett
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:04 am

Re: Series 4 - Episode 16

Post by s4t8brett » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:10 pm

Thank you, Drassil; that's very perceptive of you and not something I've been conscious of while watching it post-production. There was at least one rehearsal and at least one take, so I'm not surprised those things disappeared with (floor manager) Tom Hunt's fastidious attention to presentation without our really noticing the overall effect.

Happy New Year!

Post Reply