Series 6 Appreciation Week

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Pooka
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Series 6 Appreciation Week

Post by Pooka » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:57 pm

Despite my initial doubts, these have been quite successful as a cross-platform endeavour, both here on the Forum and on Chat. Chat is tonight, by the way (Sunday), at about 8pm, and you can get to it here if you've forgotten, never done so before or are too lazy to scross up and click on the link above. ;)

So, Series 6.

I'm of the opinion, and always have been, that Series 6 is one of the best - if not THE best - of all eight series. 6 and 7 are in fact tied for my favourites. I've "introduced" Knightmare to two people - my Belgian expat girlfriend and young boy cousin - and always started with Series 6, as I do feel it's the most "complete" in terms of series.

To start with, I've always considered Series 6 to be one of the scariest, from the very outset in the first quest with the genuinely creepy Dwarf Tunnel reintroductions and Treguard's frantic, almost worried commentary about the goings-on in the Dungeon, which creates a fear of genuine uncertainty. Gone is a limit on the Opposition's power throughout Level 1 (Holmgarth notwithstanding), Lord Fear gloating constantly, dipping his hand in the water to catch the Dungeoneers and the subtle hints of the extent of his armies - goblin horns, marching noises and horrors like Pookas and Stormgeists all give you the sense that nowhere is safe.

Scary highlights include "Two-nil, I think... nice one!", something which almost makes Treguard lose his cool, and a genuinely terrifying moment (which I still find it difficult to watch) where a Dungeoneer slowly traverses the Dwarf Tunnels while Skarkill's creepy, menacing voice can be clearly heard stalking the Dungeoneer, almost as if he'll be around the very next corner. Chilling.

Other things I like about this series:
- Gone are the old outdoor locations, replaced with more familiar ones. I like Holmgarth, I like Wolfenden, and I do like the forests, even if we have already seen them.
- Some of my favourite characters are in this series. Motley, Hordriss, Elita, Hands and Skarkill give good performances here - I do miss Brother Mace and Aesandre, but I like the new characters. Sidriss is a good addition, although I don't think she hits her peak until the next series. And I really shouldn't, but I absolutely love Ah Wok - he's a scream.
- Creatures. There have been hints of these since the skull ghosts of Series 1 but here we are given a load of new toys to play with, from a redesigned Pooka with more floating ability to the eerie, persistent Stormgeists and the whirring, clanking monstrosity of the Dreadnort, we start getting more a taste of the unknown arriving to hurry the Dungeoneers up - "you're wasting life force" being a bit redundant by now!
- Treguard, Pickle and Lord Fear all give great performances. Treguard at his best, Pickle with a lot less to do but doing what he does well, and Lord Fear, now fully ensconced as the baddie, gloating and with witty put-downs galore.
- Incidental music. I like it. It's used realy well and adds much more of a sense of danger, especially in its early strains too...!
- End of season. The emergency contact from Hordriss and the red dragon in flight is utterly terrifying the first time you see it!

If I had to pick a low point, it would be - unfortunately - the first half of Ben's quest. I love the ending - the TRICK or TREAT nailbiter, which led to a very uncomfortable school week waiting for the result; the mad dash across the Great Causeway; the confrontation with Lord Fear and him ending up in the pool, followed by a sprint back through to Knightmare Castle before his life force runs out! Brilliant! However, the first half seems a bit stilted, almost as if they are being helped through by the production team at points. I think it's a fair victory, but they were lucky at some points!

In any case, I really love Series 6. I could go on, but let's get some discussion going! Are you all as big a fan as I am, or am I just being far too fond? Do let me know, kthxbai?
Last edited by Pooka on Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Series 6 Appreciation Week

Post by pjmlfc05 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:35 pm

I'm sorry but the 2-nil bit was from Series 7! The dungeoneer was Nicola!

See you in a bit!
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Re: Series 6 Appreciation Week

Post by Pooka » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:57 pm

pjmlfc05 wrote:I'm sorry but the 2-nil bit was from Series 7! The dungeoneer was Nicola!
Ah yes, well spotted! I should probably fact-check before I start posting these!
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Re: Series 6 Appreciation Week

Post by Canadanne » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:36 am

I think this is probably the best series overall, and possibly my favourite if I were absolutely forced to choose. It's definitely the best-looking series, very polished and rich in colour, and has great atmosphere with the introduction of tension music! The new opening titles are superb and I particularly love the remixed theme tune that plays over the end credits. The whole thing has this warm, cosy quality that takes me right back to watching the show on autumn evenings after school. (It's also the first series to have specific scenes that stuck in my memory, from January and Ben's quests.)

Lord Fear isn't scary any more but is still a complete joy to watch, interacting hilariously with other characters and generally being magnificent. Some of that dialogue is amazing. I adore his conversation with Alan while his giant hand is guarding the exits. His double act with Skarkill is wonderful too.

Elita is much improved in this series, with a better costume and a slightly warmer personality. She still manages to rub Sophia up the wrong way, however, and it's pretty damn funny to see her get an unscripted taste of her own medicine! Stephanie's face is priceless, and I love how Pickle expresses his approval!

Glad to see Smirky finding his voice at last.

Sidriss is a lovely addition to the cast. It's a shame there's no female antagonist in this series, though - I don't really count Peggatty! Still not a huge fan of Greystagg either.

I like Ridolfo a lot, even though his flirting with the dungeoneers is borderline inappropriate at times. ;D Would have liked to see him stick around for another series. A funny character who is somewhat underrated, I think.

Ah Wok is also highly entertaining, if you can look past the obvious problems with him! Probably my favourite of Mark Knight's characters after his Lordship. I just love to see him goofily improvising with the dungeoneers, and his rivalry with Julius Scaramonger.

Pickle is at his absolute best in this series for me, gleefully watching over the advisors' shoulders, enjoying the adventures as much as they are. I miss his bantering with Treguard at the end of each episode, though, and don't really like Treguard doing that weird "Fear play foul" monologue every time. (I *do* like Treguard talking to Lord Fear at the end of episode 1, and Fear just shaking his head amusedly - it would have been great if they closed every episode with those two exchanging a few words!)

The new life force animation isn't quite as iconic as the peeling skull (which does make one final, random appearance!), but I did always find the death sequence very memorable, when it turns green and collapses into a heap of bones. We only saw it happen twice, but I remembered it vividly.

One of the best things about Series 6 is the teams, who are *nearly* all very likeable and fairly competent. It makes this series a lot of fun to watch, whereas all the others have teams that are dull, frustrating or annoying. I just find the last two episodes let it down a bit, with an unpleasantly bossy dungeoneer, not enough Lord Fear (what's with the Greystagg & Heggatty spyglass scene?!), and an overly convoluted series finale plot that I found boring. It's also a pity that the winning team don't seem to enjoy their victory, looking deeply uncomfortable throughout the trophy presentation as if actually winning this geeky show will have damaged their street cred irreparably.

The pookas scared the crap out of me back in the day, especially the massive ones that just wouldn't go away! The Dreadnort was also quite scary at the time, though its flaws are more obvious to me now - Sumayya's death scene was very anticlimactic. :P And the Stormgeists look rubbish, unfortunately.

Love the continued expansion of the Knightmare universe with some new locations as well as familiar favourites. Level 3 in the Mines of Gore is fantastically scary, with that sense of claustrophobia and dread that you used to get in the original dungeon. The physical dwarf tunnels are also delightfully spooky.

On the negative side, the Causeways are badly overused, especially considering they all look the same now (following one number sequence or another). The introduction of the Frightknight timer was a good idea, but we really didn't need to see more than one Causeway per quest.

Don't like the reintroduction of the boring quest choice room, and it's stupid how Sophia's team are allowed to choose the Crown just moments after Ben has redeemed it!

Funny moments include Matt wiping his hand on Sly's cloak, Sidriss shamelessly pawing at Alan, Lord Fear popping up uninvited before January's quest, Elita making Skarkill dance, and "If you ask me You didn't ask me". And many more. :)

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Re: Series 6 Appreciation Week

Post by pjmlfc05 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:57 am

My favourite series of them all and the one I remember most with great fondness.

Highlights:

New opening title sequence - for me sounds better and you get a sense of what's in store.
Dwarf tunnels - so much better than the tunnels in s3. Plus the atmospheric music (especially the drum roll) was quite scary
Pickle - at his best for me
Treguard - at his best for me too
Ah Wok - great addition. Loved his scene with Ben and Julias Scaramonger
The teams - apart from Christoper at the end, really decent and likeable teams
Ben's team - my fav team and liked Ben's interaction with the characters
Sidress - a welcome addition and funny character
Ridolfo - shame he only had 1 series
Sophia - put Elita in per place! Gutted for her that she got killed off.
The great causeway - so good to look at
Matt shaking hands with Ridolfo! Shame Knightmare didn't have enough dungeoneers who interacted the way Matt did with other Characters
Dreadnort - I did like the death scene with Sumayya

Lowlights:

Apart from the last team, can't think of any!

Overall s6 what I felt Knightmare was all about. The perfect mix of scary and funny moments. Great teams and the best characters.Tension music which was sorely laking in previous series.
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Re: Series 6 Appreciation Week

Post by HobGoblin » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:08 am

The best ‘post eyeshield’ series - consistently entertaining, likeable teams and characters, varied quests etc. I only have a few minutes so I’ll focus on the things I don’t like (cos that’s more interesting!).

There’s a subtle stylistic shift in this series which makes the visuals particularly unsatisfactory to me - a lot of the real world photography often seems to be almost completely untreated. Although S4’s purple skies looked horrible, I think S6 actually goes too far the other way; it’s almost as if the line is crossed from the real world standing in as dungeon locations to the locations simply being the real world. It sometimes feels as if the dungeoneers are largely just wandering around historic sites meeting cosplayers! The lack of floor puzzles/trap rooms (apart from the causeways of course) doesn’t help. [S7 does try to address some of these issues but unfortunately gets other things horribly wrong.]

The stormgeists, pookas and dreadnought aren’t a patch on their early series counterparts imho. To me they mainly feel like hurry-ups rather than suggesting a constant possibility of death. You don’t really feel a team is in imminent danger unless they find themselves on a causeway (and favourites like the CoB and Ariadne barely get a look in).

I also hate the whole ship at sea thing simply because the ‘dungeon’ really is now a distant memory. The final underground stages offer a partial redemption and the great causeway brings a much needed ‘end of game boss’ feel to proceedings. I also like the fact it was allowed to claim a victim so close to victory (although another team had just won of course…).

But I would definitely agree that it’s an excellent series overall. Oh, I should also say that I do like the new title sequence – shame the actual series didn’t really reflect this trap-filled dungeon!
Extreme warning team, a Hobgoblin in the level!

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