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Series Guides

In total, 112 episodes of Knightmare were made (of 23-25 minutes in length). The budget for each episode was £50,000, making it very expensive for a game show but cheap for a drama. See more about each series of Knightmare (and Children's ITV) in the following guides:

Series 1 (1987)Series 2 (1988)Series 3 (1989)Series 4 (1990)

Series 5 (1991)Series 6 (1992)Series 7 (1993)Series 8 (1994)

Audio and video clips can be found amongst the individual Series Guides, or within the Clips section.

Winners

There were eight winning teams over the eight series as follows (thanks to Billy Hicks for compiling this):

Series

A Brief Timeline of Knightmare (1985-2014)

1985

The idea for Knightmare was established and the format went into development. See The History of Knightmare.

1986

Chromakey tests are conducted in Anglia TV's Studio A. The first pilot episode was filmed, entitled Dungeon Doom. Later, a second pilot is filmed with improved opening titles and additional life force graphics. The name is changed to Knightmare. The finished pilot is viewed by the ITV Children's Committee, who decide to commission 8 half-hour episodes.

1987

Series 1 goes into production and is transmitted from Monday 7th September 1987 at 4.45pm - the year that Children's ITV introduces live presentation. A second series of 16 episodes is commissioned.

1988

Series 2 is transmitted from Monday 5th September 1988. A Children's ITV competition invites viewers to design a dungeon chamber. Presenter Mark Granger also speaks to dungeoneer Mark Wickson after their winning episode. Knightmare wins a bronze medal from the Youth Programmes category of the New York International Film & TV Awards 1988. Another series of 16 episodes is commissioned by ITV.

1989

Series 3 is transmitted from Friday 8th September 1989. Another series of 16 episodes is commissioned.

1990

Broadsword produces The Satellite Game for The Children's Channel on BSB Satellite, starring David Learner, who became Treguard's first assistant in Knightmare Series 4.

A French version of Knightmare, Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe, and a Spanish version, El Rescate du Talisman, are commissioned and go into production in their respective countries.

Series 4 introduces new outdoor scenes, which contrast against the painted rooms of the earlier series. A new 'Eye Shield' enables players to view the path the dungeoneer is taking. Series 4 is transmitted from Friday 7th September 1990. Another series of 16 episodes commissioned.

1991

A German production of Knightmare is agreed with RTL. Broadsword Television will make an initial series of 50 episodes in Norwich, and then export the production to Cologne. However, this is later cancelled.

Knightmare Series 5 is transmitted from Friday 6th September 1991. We see the introduction of Smirkenorff the dragon and a new Leader of the Opposition, Lord Fear. Another series of 15 episodes commissioned.

1992

Series 6 is transmitted from Friday 11th September 1992. Another series of 15 episodes is commissioned. Knightmare narrowly fails to win the Royal Television Society award for best children's programme - a decision allegedly described as a 'travesty' by a broadsheet critic.

1993

Broadsword produces TimeBusters for Children's BBC, starring many Knightmare actors. Majida is introduced as the new assistant to Treguard, replacing Pickle. Series 7 transmitted from Friday 10th September 1993.

At the end of filming for Series 7, the production team is kept for two extra days to film a pilot episode for the US market, titled Lords of the Game. The British cast is retained except for Hugo Myatt, who is replaced by an American actor. Players are supplied from the US air base in Mildenhall, Suffolk. American production companies remain unsure about the technical complexity of chroma-key production and there is no commission.

A new controller of children's programming, Dawn Airey, decides to re-commission Knightmare for a shorter series of 10 episodes. Figures suggest that the average age of child viewers has fallen below that of Knightmare's target audience. A potential successor to Knightmare, Virtually Impossible, aimed at a younger audience, was also commissioned.

1994

Series 8 goes into production with a return to textured dungeon environments. It is transmitted from Friday 9th September 1994 followed by a short series of Broadsword's new show, Virtually Impossible.

Knightmare continues to attract good viewing figures - in excess of five million. Virtually Impossible doesn't prove popular. After much discussion between Broadsword, Anglia Television and ITV, neither programme is re-commissioned.

1995

ITV controller of Children's Programmes, Vanessa Chapman, replies to letters blaming the demise of Knightmare on a fall in ratings. Broadsword explains that Knightmare should ideally be rested until the technology is better developed for Knightmare to go into full VR.

Broadsword meets with Children's BBC to discuss a possible transfer of Knightmare from ITV, but negotiations fail due to copyright reasons and other factors. As a result, Broadsword develops a new adventure game show, The Sword of the Sorcerer, for Children's BBC. Despite much interest, it is not commissioned.

Knightmare repeats begin on the Sci-Fi channel in the UK and Europe.

1996

Knightmare repeats continue on the Sci-Fi channel.

1997

The Eye Shield launches a Bring Back Knightmare campaign, though it struggles to gain momentum as a print-based magazine with limited readership.

1998

The Sci-Fi Channel begins repeating Knightmare again to UK cable viewers until October. The 3-year rights package expires mid-way through Series 4.

1999

Launch of Knightmare.com. The Bring Back Knightmare campaign is re-launched with further letters and petitions sent to TV companies, though without much success.

In response to the speculation over the reasons behind the demise of Knightmare, Tim Child writes The History of Knightmare, revealing the true story for the first time.

2000

More people re-discover Knightmare on the web and join in the campaign. Televirtual (formerly Broadsword) announces that it has new adventure game formats in development.

2001

The website continues to grow with contributions from production staff, former contestants, fans, actors and Anglia TV. The ongoing popularity of Knightmare is confirmed through a ranking of 16th place in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kid's TV Shows.

2002

Challenge purchases the rights to show Knightmare Series 3 as part of the Cult Selection feature from 24 December at Christmas and beyond. A short documentary is filmed with Tim Child and Hugo Myatt.

The format rights to Knightmare revert back from Anglia to Televirtual, and subsequently Televirtual announce details of a reformat, Knightmare VR, in development with Lottery funding. An adult format named TimeGate is also announced.

2003

Granada Media is rumoured to be interested in DVD releases of the original Knightmare episodes. Challenge purchases Series 4 and broadcasts the episodes from 2 June in prime time. It later purchases the rights for Series 5 and broadcasts from 20 October.

Televirtual wins Lottery funding for the development of a demonstrator for Knightmare VR.

2004

Five years of Knightmare.com. Challenge buys the rights for Series 6, 7 and 8. Series 6 commences in mid-April, followed by re-runs of all Knightmare episodes, starting from Series 1!

Knightmare Series 5 and 6 are believed to have aired on New York 55 TV station for a brief period, and also on the US Sci-Fi Channel for about a year. Exact details of these broadcasts are unknown.

Televirtual hosts a launch event in London to showcase the Knightmare VR demonstrator to industry bodies. A pilot episode for Knightmare VR is recorded, and clips are made available online. The pilot receives mixed reviews, and no commission is made.

2007

Knightmare appears on 'Children's TV on Trial' (BBC Four). Knightmare is included to demonstrate a more modern, darker theme that was emerging through children’s television of the 80s.

2013

Knightmare rises like a Phoenix. On 5 January, CiTV celebrates 30 years with an Old Skool Weekend schedule packed full of classic shows. The final two episodes of Series 7 are included. Challenge also begins repeats of Series 1 and 2 from May.

A group of actors and comedians led by Paul Flannery form a commemorative stage show called Knightmare Live. After several successful trials, the show goes on to feature at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Remarkably, after almost 20 years of waiting, Knightmare returns for a special one-off episode as part of YouTube's 'Geek Week'.

2014

Knightmare is voted best ever kids' TV show following a 'Kids TV Champ' competition by Radio Times. Artist David Rowe announces his 'Art of Knightmare' project, including a book of his compositions.

The first ever Knightmare Convention is held at Epic Studios in Norwich, where the show was originally filmed. Guests included Hugo Myatt (Treguard), Mark Knight (Lord Fear), Clifford Barry (Lissard), Iona Kennedy (Sidriss), and David Rowe.

Introduction

Treguard: "Welcome, Watchers of illusion, to the Castle of Confusion. I, Treguard, challenge you to the ultimate adventure..."

Key facts

  • Transmission: Monday 5th September - Monday 19th December 1988
  • Episodes: 16
  • Teams: 13
  • Winning Quests: Team 4 (Free the Maid); Team 10 (Talisman).
  • Longest Quest: Team 4 / Team 5 (40 mins).
  • Shortest Quest: Team 1 (9 mins 40, the all-time shortest).

New Characters

  • Gretel, the Maid
  • Bumptious, the Dwarf
  • Oracle of Confusion
  • Igneous, the Wall Monster
  • Olaf, the Viking
  • Automatum, the Mechanical Warrior
  • Mildread, the Witch
  • Mogdred, Merlin's dark alter-ego

Other Additions

  • 'Wheel of Fortune' to determine the opening route.
  • New graphics for the progress reports.
  • New range of monsters, including Ariadne and the Medusa.

For more, see Series 2 Overview.

Series Credits

Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
Folly was played by Alec Westwood
Gretel and the Oracle were played by Audrey Jenkinson
Bumptious and Olaf were played by Tom Karol
Lillith and Mildread were played by Mary Miller
Merlin and Mogdred were played by John Woodnutt
Cedric and Casper were played by Lawrence Werber
Gumboil, Igneous and the Automatum were played by Edmund Dehn
Olgarth, Granitas and The Troll were played by Guy Standeven

Introduction

Treguard: "By the powers of truth and light, by the sword of justice bright, make and mend, shift and blend, 'til Knightmare once more stands aright."

Key facts

  • Transmission: Friday 8 September - Friday 22 December 1989
  • Episodes: 16
  • Teams: 12
  • Winning Quests: None.
  • Longest Quest: Team 11 (47 mins)
  • Shortest Quest: Team 1 (11 mins)

New Characters

  • Mellisandre, the Maid
  • Motley, the Jester
  • Hordriss the Confuser
  • Velda, the Wood Elf
  • McGrew
  • Golgarach and Brangwen, new Wall Monsters / Clue Room Guardians
  • Mr and Mrs Grimwold
  • Morghanna

Other Additions

  • Progress reports shown through larger globe.
  • Teams began in new 'dice room', which replaced the Wheel of Fortune.
  • New 'dwarf tunnels' as a transition between rooms.
  • Minecart transition from Level 2 to Level 3.
  • New range of monsters, including goblins and the armoured behemoth.

For more, see Series 3 Overview.

Series Credits

Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
Motley was played by Paul Valentine
Hordriss was played by Clifford Norgate
Mrs. Grimwold and Olaf were played by Tom Karol
Merlin and Mogdred were played by John Woodnutt
Golgarach and McGrew were played by David Verrey
Mellisandre and the Oracle were played by Zoe Loftin
Velda, Morghanna, and Brangwen were played by Natasha Pope
Behemoth (unconfirmed) and Grimwold were played by Bryan McNerney

Devised and Written by Tim Child
Illustrations by David Rowe
Computer Animation Design by The Traveling Matte Company
Produced by Tim Child
Directed by Sally Freeman

Introduction

Treguard: "So, you've come! I just hope you've come prepared. Looking for adventure, are you? Well, you've certainly come to the right place."

Key facts

  • Transmission: Friday 7 September - Friday 21 December 1990.
  • Episodes: 16
  • Teams: 8
  • Winning Quests: Team 6 (Crown)
  • Longest Quest: Team 6 (54 mins)
  • Shortest Quest: Team 7 (25 mins)

New Characters

  • Pickle, the elf
  • Brother Mace, the Tavern Monk
  • Gundrada, the Sword Mistress
  • Malice, the Sorceress
  • Fatilla the Hun
  • Mistress Goody, the Witch
  • Oakley, the Tree Troll
  • The Boatman
  • Weeping Doors (Dooris, Doorkis, Dooreen)

Other Additions

  • An assistant for Treguard: Pickle the elf.
  • The Eye Shield enable pre-recorded links between scenes.
  • New theme music and modified titles.
  • Use of real locations combined with computer graphics.
  • Assassins and redesigned skull hauntings introduced.

For more, see Series 4 Overview.

Series Credits

 Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
Pickle was played by David Learner 
Merlin and Mogdred were played by John Woodnutt
Hordriss and Oakley were played by Clifford Norgate
Brother Mace, Fatilla and Doorkis were played by Michael Cule
Gundrada and Malice were played by Samantha Perkins
Motley and the Boatman were played by Paul Valentine
Mellisandre, Dooris and Dooreen were played by Zoe Loftin
Mistress Goody was played by Erin Geraghty

 Devised and written by Tim Child
Production co-ordinator, Sue Child
Illustrations by David John Rowe
Computer Animation Design by the Travelling Matte Company
Produced by Tim Child
Directed by Jimmy McKinney

Introduction

Treguard: "I hope you've brought your bravest and your best, for they are going to be sorely tested. In fact, they just won't believe what's waiting for them. But why wait? Please, step inside, if you dare..."

Key facts

  • Transmission: Friday 6 September - Friday 20 December 1991
  • Episodes: 16
  • Teams: 9
  • Winning Quests: Team 4 (Shield)
  • Longest Quest: Team 4 (62 mins)
  • Shortest Quest: Team 5 (19 mins)

New Characters

  • Lord Fear
  • Skarkill, the Goblin Master (with Grippa & Rhark)
  • Aesandre
  • Sir Hugh de Wittless
  • Gwendoline the Greenwarden
  • Elita, the Cavern Elf
  • Pixel
  • Sylvester Hands
  • Julius Scaramonger
  • The Gatemaster
  • Smirkenorff the Dragon

Other Additions

  • 'Blockers' (guarding walls) in Level 1 and 2.
  • Spyglasses to view the Opposition.
  • Smirkenorff and a 'descender' transported dungeoneers across and between levels (replacing wellways).
  • Causeway puzzles.
  • Scrolls providing clues and spells.
  • Extended theme music for end credits.
  • A new Broadsword logo animation.

For more, see Series 5 Overview.

Series Credits

Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
Pickle was played by David Learner
Elita and Pixel were played by Stephanie Hesp
Motley and Sylvester Hands were played by Paul Valentine
Brother Mace and the Gatemaster were played by Michael Cule
Gwendoline and Aesandre were played by Juliet Henry-Massy
Lord Fear and Sir Hugh de Wittless were played by Mark Knight
Skarkill and Julius Scaramonger were played by Rayner Bourton
Hordriss and Oakley were played by Clifford Norgate

Production co-ordinator: Sue Child
Lighting: Chris Brown
Illustrations: David Rowe
Puppetry: TALISMEN
Computer graphics: The Travelling Matte Company
Produced by Tim Child
Directed by Jimmy McKinney

Introduction

Lord Fear: "So, you like to play games, do you? And you think you're rather clever? And you're not afraid? Well, not very afraid...

"Very well, Dungeon Master. Bring on your brightest and your boldest. But remember: I play only the end game. And I always win, in the end..."

Key facts

  • Transmission: Friday 11th September - Friday 18th December 1992
  • Episodes: 15
  • Teams: 7
  • Winning Quests: Team 5 (Crown).
  • Longest Quest: Team 5 (55 mins).
  • Shortest Quest: Team 4 (35 mins).

New Characters

  • Powers that Be: Ah Wok, Ridolfo, Sidriss.
  • Neutral: Captain Nemanor, Heggatty, Greystagg.
  • Opposition: Peggatty.

Other Additions

  • New titles and revised theme tune.
  • New life-force clock.
  • Choice of paths room - all four quests available.
  • Re-introduction of dwarf tunnels.
  • New range of monsters, including pookas and stormgeists.

The dungeon had more fixed locations during Series 6, including Holmgarth (Level 1), WitchHaven (Level 2), and the Caverns of Gore (Level 3).

For more, see Series 6 Overview.

Series Credits

Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
Pickle was played by David Learner
Elita and Heggatty were played by Stephanie Hesp
Sidriss and Greystagg were played by Iona Kennedy
Motley and Sylvester Hands were played by Paul Valentine
Ridolfo and Captain Nemanor were played by Adrian Neil
Lord Fear and Ah Wok were played by Mark Knight
Skarkill and Julius Scaramonger were played by Rayner Bourton
Hordriss, Smirkenorff and the Dreadnort were played by Clifford Norgate

Visit the 1991/92 Gallery for Series 6 cast photographs.

Production Manager: Sue Child
Production Assistant: Susan Peters
Lighting: Chris Brown
Illustrations: David Rowe
Puppetry: TALISMEN
Computer Graphics: The Travelling Matte Company
Design: Carole Richmond
Assistant Producer: Mark Wells
Director: Jimmy McKinney
Producer: Tim Child

Introduction

An alarm sounds. A man with a green complexion runs through a tower, calling for Lord Fear.

  • Lissard: "Your Lordness, be armed. Be warned! They are coming!"
  • Lord Fear: "Of course they’re coming. I've been waiting for them for months!"
  • Lissard: "The great experiment, Lordness - we'll turn it loose on them."
  • Lord Fear: "SILENCE! DON'T! Do not speak of it again or I shall turn it loose on you...

I knew it. The hunt is on. The season has begun.

Key facts

  • Transmission: Friday 10 September to Friday 17 December 1993.
  • Episodes: 15
  • Teams: 7
  • Winning Quests: Team 6 (Sword), Team 7 (Shield).
  • Longest Quest: Team 7 (63 mins).
  • Shortest Quest: Team 4 (32 mins).

New characters

  • Powers That Be: Majida, Marta, Rothberry, Fidjit, Romahna
  • Neutral: Grimaldine, Brother Strange
  • Opposition: Lissard, Raptor, Brollachan

Other additions

  • Majida the Genie replaces Pickle as Treguard's new assistant.
  • A new helmet for in-game sight technology.
  • An hourglass image signals 'Time Out' and 'Game On'.
  • New CGI sequences, including Lord Fear’s new environment.

The new CGI environment for Level 3 is the Black Tower of Goth, which is protected by a sewer. New challenges included firebomb rooms, the Trial by Spikes and Play Your Cards Right.

For more, see Series 7 Overview.

Series Credits

Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
Majida was played by Jackie Sawiris
Sidriss and Greystagg were played by Iona Kennedy
Romahna and Marta were played by Jacquelin Joyce
Lord Fear and Rothberry were played by Mark Knight
Fidjit and Sylvester Hands were played by Paul Valentine
Hordriss and Smirkenorff were played by Clifford Norgate
Lissard, Brother Strange and Raptor were played by Cliff Barry
Grimaldine and the Brollachan were played by Anthony Donovan

Visit the 1993 Gallery for Series 7 cast photographs.

 Production Manager: Susan Child
Production Assistant: Susan Peters
Lighting: Chris Brown
Flight Simulations: Silicon Graphics
Computer Graphics: The Travelling Matte Company
Assistant Producer: Claire Whittenbury
Locations Director: Mark Wells
Director: Jimmy McKinney
Producer: Tim Child

Introduction

Lord Fear: "SILENCE, YOU LOT! Can't you see we've got company?

"Come in, come in, my little friends. You have no idea how much I've been looking forward to these Friday sessions.

"Did I say Friday? I meant FRIGHTDAY!

"In fact, I can promise you that when the great game begins, we're all going to have a ball… A FIREBALL!"

Key facts

  • Transmission: Friday 9 September to Friday 11 November 1994
  • Episodes: 10
  • Teams: 7
  • Winning Quests: Team 6 (Crown)
  • Longest Quest: Team 2 (49 mins)
  • Shortest Quest: Team 7 (13 mins)

New Characters

  • Powers That Be: Stiletta, Motley (returning)
  • Neutral: Maldame, Honesty Bartram
  • Opposition: Snapper-Jack, Bhal-Shebah

Other additions

  • Treguard's antechamber (new magic pool and gate).
  • Team entrance/introduction procedure. All four team members appear.
  • New quest item – the Reach Wand.
  • Dungeoneer can now place clue objects in the knapsack.
  • New Life Force clock (a pie).
  • Animated on-screen book for spell casting.
  • CGI scenes for eye shield rather than recorded footage.

The environment for Level 3 is now the Towers of Linghorm and Marblehead, separated by the Great Mire. The quest objects were held in Marblehead. New monsters included snapdragons, skeletrons, miremen and miretrogs.

The series that almost didn't happen

After much deliberation, the eighth and final series of Knightmare did go ahead, with a shortened series of 10 episodes.

Most viewers at the time were completely unaware that it almost didn't happen, and that it would be a shorter season.

For more, see The History of Knightmare (Part 4).

Nevertheless, there were a lot of exciting changes for the final year, thanks to improving technology.

For more, see Series 8 Overview.

Series Credits

Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
Majida was played by Jackie Sawiris
Lord Fear and Rothberry were played by Mark Knight
Lissard, Brother Strange and Raptor were played by Cliff Barry
Stiletta was played by Joanne Heywood
Hordriss and Smirkenorff were played by Clifford Norgate
Motley and Sylvester Hands were played by Paul Valentine
Sidriss and Maldame were played by Iona Kennedy
Snapper-Jack, Bhal-Shebah and Honesty Bartram were played by Bill Cashmore

Visit the 1994 Gallery for Series 8 cast photographs.

Production Manager: Susan Child
Production Assistant: Susan Peters
Lighting: Malcolm Harrison
Computer Graphics: The Travelling Matte Company / Stuart Lloyd
Assistant Producer: Claire Whittenbury
Director: Martin Cairns
Producer: Tim Child

Knightmare had two international adaptations in the early 1990s. Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe was broadcast in France from 1990-1991. El Rescate del Talismán was broadcast in Spain from 1991-1994.

Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe

Key facts

  • Transmission: On Antenne 2, 19 September 1990 – 31 August 1991.
  • Schedule: Wednesday 16:30, repeated Sundays 08:00.
  • Duration: 26 minutes.

Characters

  • The Master of the Castle
  • Tados
  • Merlin
  • Iselle
  • Velda
  • Morganne
  • Mandragore
  • Tarok
  • Le Corbeau
  • Bouffon
  • Laelith and Crom (clue room guardians)

Main principles

  • A new team of four begins a quest each episode.
  • One player is named the "Knight of the Labyrinth" (dungeoneer).
  • If the knight perishes, it is replaced by an advisor (max. 3 chances per team).
  • At the final stage, the knight removes the helmet to solve a puzzle.
  • If successful, the knight draws a sword from a stone, which reveals the prizes.

For more, see Chevalier Overview.

Series Credits

Le Maître du Château was played by Georges Beller.
Tarok, Merlin and Crom were played by René Lafleur.
Iselle, Velda and Morganne were played by Veronique Moëst / Marine Jolivet.
Mandragore and Laelith were played by Chantal Garrigues.
Tados, Le Corbeau and Bouffon were played by Lionel Muzin.

Theme Music by Patrick Oliver and Ganael.

Recreated by Marina Productions & Top No.1 Productions
Crew and post-production: Channel 1
Screenwriting: France-Marie Bauhin and Monica Barcikowski
Special effects: Philippe de Oliveira
Editor: Patrick Dufour
Producers: Claude Berthier and Jacques Clement
Director: Marie-France Briere

YouTube meets Knightmare

In August 2013, four popular online celebrities took on the dungeon for a one-off episode of Knightmare, which was created as part of YouTube's Geek Week.

The new episode was produced at Epic Studios in Norwich, where Knightmare was filmed between 1987 and 1994.

Original cast members, Hugo Myatt (Treguard), Mark Knight (Lord Fear) and Clifford Barry (Lissard) reprised their roles. Nick Collett, who was involved in the Knightmare VR pilot, also returned.

They were joined by comedian Isy Suttie (Peep Show) and actress Jessie Cave (Harry Potter), as YouTube and creative partners ChannelFlip kept a strong British theme to the Geek Week schedule.

David Rowe, the artist behind the early dungeon rooms, added digital designs to bring the recreation to life. 

The Team

  • Stuart Ashen (@ashens)
  • Dan Howell (@DanielHowell)
  • Phil Lester (@AmazingPhil)
  • Emma Blackery (@emmablackery)

Interview with the Geek Week team.

Episode Credits

  • Treguard was played by Hugo Myatt
  • Veruca / Daisy was played by Isy Suttie
  • Lord Fear was played by Mark Knight
  • Lissard was played by Clifford Barry
  • Sylvester was played by Nick Collett
  • Theodora was played by Jessie Cave

Interviews with the cast, starting with Hugo Myatt.

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