Series 4 - Episode 1

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Morghanna
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Morghanna »

A very different feel to this new series. :-/
It appears that Treguard ordered his men-at-arms to refurb the ante-room during the off-season and he has also gained an assistant, Pickle the elf, albeit on sufferance.

The place of choice was a precarious-looking opener. Stepping off the spindizzy onto those narrow walkways seemed quite tricky for the first test. It looked like Helen stumbled onto the path more by accident than design. :-/
Really didn't like the new drawbridge door-monsters. They seemed an unnecessary addition to the clue-room guardians and really slowed the game down. They were also generally annoying.

Hordriss was on good form tho. Reassuring to see a familiar face in the midst of the changes. He offered the team a pact to retrieve an object for him. (A recurring theme in S4.)

Then the first major change: The eye-shield. Controversial opinion here, but i took an instant disliking to it and have never changed my mind since. The eye-shield sequences seemed very slow & long-winded and therefore took too much active game-time out of an episode.
In contrast, the dwarf tunnels in S3 fitted nicely into the look of the dungeon and generally only appeared for a few seconds here and there.

Next major change was that the dungeon had expanded and "gone outside" and they were using real footage rather than artwork. Another change which i never took to. It says so much about David Rowe's work that his artistic rooms in S1-3 were far more atmospheric than real castles.

There was a nice scene with Motley & Mellisandre.
The new level 1 clue-object guardian was good. A kind of tree-troll manifestation named Oakley, with a great voice provided by Clifford Norgate.
2/3 answers, but they received two helpful clues, which ensured they took the correct objects.
Time-out arrived before they had gone much further tho. An extremely slow-paced episode, even for a series opener. Unfortunately, this was to be the standard pace for a long time to come....

Team 1 seemed a competent team, no problems for them so far.

One new feature which i really liked was the status bar, which looked very cool. :)
"I think it's about time you got wise to the ways of real magic. The kind that is borne on the dark side." >:D
s4t8brett
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by s4t8brett »

Hi Morghanna,

I agree with you about the Weeping Doors. Not so slow when you're actually playing the game and under pressure to get the correct answers, but a bit of a drag to watch at home. If the misery-mood were changed to something more dynamic, it would perhaps have been more enjoyable viewing. At any rate, a bit of Synchrovox technology was somewhat interesting.

Best wishes,
Brett
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Morghanna
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Morghanna »

Hi Brett,
Yes, the actual questions are pretty quickfire, which must have put you under pressure. You don't get long to confer.
What slows it down is the length of the scene, as a whole. It seemed to take a very long time to tell the team how to summon Dooris and then it seemed to drone for a long time before actually getting to the questions. Yes, the depressing voice didn't help.
"I think it's about time you got wise to the ways of real magic. The kind that is borne on the dark side." >:D
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Drassil »

Episode 4.1 is also episode 41.

Series 4 may have ended poorly – I'll be accepting my Understatement of the Week Award in a Zoom ceremony later – but my word it started strongly. A wonderful opening from Treguard; a majestic new version of the theme music; a new character (and indeed double act) introduced without unnecessary ceremony; verbal and visual humour.

Helen, James, Rachel and Craig are the first mixed male and female team since Team 3 of the previous series.

When we see the Helmet of Justice before Treguard puts it on Helen, the nosepiece looks damaged.

When the Place of Choice's revolving disc was originally built to serve as the Spindizzy in Series 3 (assuming it wasn't built for some other purpose prior to that), I wonder if it was ever intended that dungeoneers would have to step onto it.

Although the photographic backdrops can't hold a candle to David Rowe's artwork, I've always found them otherworldly and immersive enough.

There are some top-notch lines in this episode. Treguard's description of Hordriss – "Doubly dangerous ... for being neither good nor bad. He doesn't even acknowledge the difference" – shows how valuable neutral characters were in Knightmare, both for us as watchers and for the teams, and what was lost when Hordriss stepped into Merlin's slippers in the later series.

Hordriss about Helen: "For one's purposes, one could have chosen something larger and somewhat more mature, but one is obliged to make do." For any HR professionals reading, I dare you to include that in your next acceptance letter to a trainee.

The 1989 in Roman numerals on the end board, observed on Challenge and present again on BritBox, would seem to be a production error.
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DuxBellorum
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by DuxBellorum »

I actually have a lot of love for series 4!

I was 9 when it first aired, and even back then I remember the different theme music and the 'editing out' of the prisoner in the opening credits animation.

The new ante-chamber took me by surprise, as did Pickle.

People either liked or disliked the Eyeshield. I can go either way with it. I understand the purpose it served from a production point of view, but it did take me out of the moment, at least the first few times I saw it.

While I adored the Dungeons from series 1-3 and in many ways they had never changed, I also enjoyed the newer outdoor locations as it expanded the Knightmare 'Universe' somewhat.

I think it was always going to be difficult topping series 3, but I also think that series 4 as a whole more than holds its own.

Was it generally a slower pace? Yes, but I also feel in some ways it was perhaps more 'in depth' than previous series.

Having recently watched episode 1 again, I'm reminded how much I loved Treguard's opening speech.

For me, a great start to the series.
s4t8brett
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by s4t8brett »

It was great to read these reminiscences, Dux!

Best wishes for any upcoming battles in 2022,
Brett
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Drassil »

s4t8brett wrote: 24 Dec 2021, 18:49 It was great to read these reminiscences, Dux!
I agree. Knightmare was made to entertain us and the more continuing enjoyment we find in it, the better.
s4t8brett wrote: 24 Dec 2021, 18:49 Best wishes for any upcoming battles in 2022
Very clever! And Brother Mace had your team down as boys who didn't understand Latin.
Knightmare: Kid-worthy, Naasty, Inspiring, Groundbreaking, Humorous, Treguard, Mesmerising, Adult-worthy, Rewarding, Essential.
s4t8brett
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by s4t8brett »

Hi Drassil!

Yes, he did - I was offered Latin but opted for German instead at the time, with the European Union in mind... :) Not that my knowledge of German helped with German goblins or copper mines in our encounter with Dooris a little later on...

I took it personally at the time, but looking back at the overall picture and trajectory of education over the 20th century from today, I can see why Brother Mace might have made that remark...

By the way, I finally got round to trying out chat last night (albeit after nine)... 8 pm on Sundays isn't usually ideal for me but I might try again in the New Year.
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by Mystara »

By the way, I finally got round to trying out chat last night (albeit after nine)... 8 pm on Sundays isn't usually ideal for me but I might try again in the New Year.
Indeed, it looks like you joined on boxing day. The channel seems to have been unusually empty that day (for obvious reasons). At the moment in the usual time slot we're averaging about 5-10 people.
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 1

Post by AriadnesLayer »

DuxBellorum wrote: 23 Dec 2021, 18:48
Was it generally a slower pace? Yes, but I also feel in some ways it was perhaps more 'in depth' than previous series.
I think you have summed up what I have struggled to say for years about my mixed Series 4 feelings. I like it. I like it from a nostalgic point of view. And I still like it now for the atmosphere and feel of the dungeon. I like the ruined castles and outdoor locations. I like the mix of characters and the beginning of more plot-focussed quests (albeit still in its very early stages here).

But man, that SLOWNESS. It's SOOOO slow. And not just that, the QUIETNESS! The introduction of that atmospheric background music in S6 was a much-needed brainwave of someone's. And then there's the REPETATIVE-NESS. Three major flaws that really detract from an otherwise great series.

It's such a shame for me that a series which I love so much for SOME things, is ruined by those awful eyeshield sequences. We get it. It shows us the dungeoneer moving through the forest from place to place in a way that otherwise would be impossible to show. That's totally fine and a good idea. But do we really need (what feels like) 2 whole minutes of footsteps going up a path? Couldn't they have been shorter? Couldn't they have been quicker? Let alone the exact same sequence every time a new dungeoneer comes along.

(Just for clarity, all these questions are rhetorical. I understand the reasons why things were done. This is simply my 2022 opinion and frustrations on the subject).
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