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Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:53 pm
by Pooka
CHAT, INNIT

Series 5 creates conflicting feelings for me as it's the first series I have memories of watching from the original CITV run. I didn't even know that there was no Lord Fear until I saw the Sci-Fi repeats. I also remember saying at one point that it was my least favourite series. I'm not quite sure why I said that.

Series 5 to me seems a lot like Series 4 with the kinks ironed out and a pilot for Series 6 thrown into a blender. It's a good "starting point" for the Lord Fear era and actually has some brilliant moments. Thankfully, it's not at all repetitive like Series 4 and doesn't have the over-difficulty of 3 or the clunky exposition of 1 or 2.

High points for me include:
* Lord Fear. He doesn't have as much to do this series as you think, and isn't too much of a threat even, but you know how good he's going to be and that still gives me chills.
* Pickle. He's at his best this series and with the new personification of wickedness, the emphasis is on more of a fight against evil. Pickle is keen to join that fight.
* Aesandre. Sexy and deadly.
* Ben's winning quest - one of the best quests ever, IMHO. Very tense, excellent final encounter, and a most fantastic nailbiter at the end with the unique causeway back through to Knightmare Castle. Brilliant all the way.
* Brother Mace, especially his banter with Brother Silence near the beginning of the series!
* Sylvester Hands - although he's not quite the villain we know he'll turn out to be, he's still a great character.
* The Descendor. It gets a bit grating later on but has many uses, and some good clues like "it's winter in Level 3".

Despite all this, I do think that Series 5 has something of a "Series 1" feel to it - it's the "start" of something new and it's still finding its feet. It feels more similar to Series 4 than it does to, say, 6 or 7 - although it's done away with the weeping doors and the psychedelic purple trees, thank Glod.

So yeah, good series but with some issues that aren't quite resolved due to the fact that this is Broadsword apologising for Series 4.

Add your thoughts below or come along to chat tomorrow night and discuss it there! Or best of all - BOTH!

Re: Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:41 pm
by pjmlfc05
It's something I bought up in KM chat the other week. S3 was when the producers relly got it right using the best bits of s1 and s2. It's the same here, s6 was when the producers got it right using the best bits of s5 along with s4. Anyway....

Hightlights:

Lord Fear - the best character in the whole of KM for me
Pickle - agree with Pooka, at his best this series
Smirknoff - although he didn't speak this series, great inclusion
Causeway puzzles - although at their best in s6
Skarkill - Lord Fears best henchman for me.
Richards death - one of my favourite deaths
Julias Scaramonger - another great addition
Elita - see above!
Sylvester Hands - see above!!

Lowlights

Descendors - didn't like them much

All in all a big improvement on series 4 but missing atmosphere which the next series addresses for me! Will explain more on s6 appreciation week!

Re: Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:52 pm
by Canadanne
One of my favourite series!

THE GOOD:

- Lord Fear is actually frightening - not a pantomime baddie, but a paranoid, angry guy whom you really wouldn't want to piss off, because he can kill you with his eyes! This also makes his humorous moments even funnier, when he's being sarcastic or unintentionally amusing. As much as I enjoy his later incarnations, I still think it's a shame he lost the scary edge he had in this series.

- I love Aesandre and wish she'd been used more. I would have *much* rather seen more of her in Series 6 etc, instead of Greystagg and Maldame.

- Rayner Bourton is a fine addition to the cast. Skarkill and Julius Scaramonger are both great characters.

- More brilliant improvising from Brother Mace.

- Pickle breaks free of the Series 4 script and becomes far more entertaining. Love his banter with Treguard.

- Sir Hugh has some amusing moments, especially when he "rescues" Gwendoline.

- Nice locations introduced in this series, with the likes of Wolfenden and Winteria. I also like the Descender and the Blockers.

- It's so fantastically varied! After Series 4 featured the same quest ad nauseam, Series 5 has completely different quests every time, right down to switching up the start points so you don't get bored of the same old 'choice' room or whatever. (Choosing the quest before they leave the antechamber is the best way, IMO. It's good how the Shield quest is no longer offered once it's been redeemed.) Even the repeated elements like the Causeways have a bunch of different sequences to keep them interesting.

- Really like the winning team; their victory is my favourite of all. I also love Richard's advisor with his heroic attempts to bullshit Skarkill about the "magic" horn! And Christopher's death scene is *hilarious*.

- Nice ending to the series, wrapping things up without making it too drawn-out. It makes me laugh how Aesandre freezes Lord Fear's HQ even though he specifically asked her not to. ;D

THE BAD:

- Elita, the charmless brat. She's well acted and everything, but never going to be a favourite of mine.

- That moment where Gwendoline tells Alex he must answer at least two out of three riddles correctly, and he only manages one, but she gives him the password anyway because "I can see you're trying"! I wouldn't go so far as to call it a shark-jumping, but since when had Knightmare been so soft on ignorant teams?! Both Alex and Sarah survived waaaayyyyy longer than they deserved to. (Sarah's advisor Helen is good though - she was wasted on that team.)

- A certain very dull team near the end of the series. It was satisfying to seem them killed off, mind you!

- Smirkenorff's silence seems very weird once you've seen him talking so much in later series. :P

- Sly Hands is a bit overly creepy at times. I prefer the later, funny Sly.

Re: Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:48 pm
by wombstar
Julius Scaramonger was always one of my favourits.
Smirkenorff's flight scenes are so reparative and dull, and they take ages. it's just about passable here as it was new and different but by series 6 and 7 it was a chore.

Re: Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:43 am
by HobGoblin
I like the analysis that S3 was the final version of the drafts that were S1 and S2 with a similar pattern then repeated through S4-6.

It does feel as though Tim Child hit the restart button for S4 (such were the stylistic changes) and S5 is very much a refinement and elaboration of those ideas.

[As an aside: It feels like the restart button was hit again for S8 – though like the equivalent button on our old Acorn school computers, it just turned everything green. Perhaps S10 would have been a classic… (yes, I know S7 is very much a bridge between what came before and after but tonally S8 feels like a new chapter in the show’s life – a discussion for another day!)]

Anyway, very briefly:

The Good
Causeways – I love navigational puzzles and for all the wonderful rooms in S1-3 few were as genuinely dangerous as these babies. Unfortunately they became overused as the constant threat of death evaporated elsewhere. Having to get the quest item back safely via a causeway rather than just winning instantly was a stroke of genius.

The original Lord Fear – a great new bad guy, shame he became more of a comedy character in later years.

Removal of the horrid purpleness!

The Bad
The domestication and naming of goblins! Why do they have to have a master? Can’t they just live in their own little communities, hunting dungeoneers for their own not-entirely-clear purposes?

Possibly because it links the changes of S4 with the excellent S6 it’s not very memorable. When I think of S5 events I’m often unsure as to whether they actually happened in S4 or S6.

The Ambivalent

I’m on the fence when it comes to Smirkenorff – on the one hand he’s the eye shield writ large and a step further away from the claustrophobic dungeon I loved. On the other, if you’re going to do something, do it properly and these flights really allowed the KM universe to expand.

Although blockers were far less annoying than the weeping doors they obviously lack the personality of the early riddle-posing wall monsters. Also, having a character demand a password is far more interesting than a wall with a single word vocabulary.

Re: Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:51 pm
by pjmlfc05
Canadanne wrote:A certain very dull team near the end of the series. It was satisfying to seem them killed off, mind you!
Is this the team where it was a case of Dun and Can?! ;D

Re: Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:41 pm
by Canadanne
pjmlfc05 wrote:
Canadanne wrote:A certain very dull team near the end of the series. It was satisfying to seem them killed off, mind you!
Is this the team where it was a case of Dun and Can?! ;D
Maybe. >:-]

Re: Series 5 Appreciation Week

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:58 pm
by Pooka
It's a very satisfying death to a very poor team!