Nick Collett (TimeBusters and Knightmare VR), Cliff Barry (Lissard), and Mark Knight (Lord Fear) discuss the Knightmare Geek Week episode.
On entering the dressing room, the first thing we immediately noticed was how well the three actors related to each other.
Knight, Collett, and Barry have worked together in various combinations since before they worked together in Knightmare.
All three are able to provide a seemingly unlimited supply of hilarious stories regarding what they've gotten up to in the past, including unleashing a horde of pirates on the passengers of the Pride of Bilbao ferry in an episode of TimeBusters.
Back into character
Like putting on a very comfortable old glove...
We asked Knight and Barry if they had any difficulty getting back into character. Much like Hugo Myatt, both explain that it's been relatively easy to revise their roles of the past (as Lord Fear and Lissard respectively).
Barry explains it as "like putting on a very comfortable old glove... ridiculously comfortable".
In fact, Knight explains that the only problem he has had with the entire process is that he no longer wears contact lenses, which means that he "cannot see a thing" when playing Lord Fear.
So reprising their roles was easy. Was there then any adaptation required after 20 years of last playing Lord Fear and Lissard?
- Barry: "Lissard is still absolutely loyal to Lord Fear and never gets a kind word. He remains unflinchingly loyal"
- Knight: "He thinks it earns him points. It doesn't."
Poor Lissard and this time there's not even any kidsiessss. Never mind.
Collett plays a new character named Sylvester the Jester. Sylvester is intended to be a much darker and non-aligned jester character than either Motley or Folly (the jesters of Knightmare past) who were generally both aligned to The Powers that Be.
From the scenes that we saw, Sylvester comes across as being delightfully ambiguous and someone who could very easily help or hinder.
In fact, we think that fans will be under no impression that Sylvester is a very different character to any we've seen before, as well as remaining a bit of an unknown factor in the dungeon.
This episode is blending the best bits that Knightmare had with new technologies.
We briefly discuss whether Knight or Barry can remember any of the quests from the original show. Barry explains that the writing in Knightmare happened fast, particularly since scenes were inevitably written to cover an action by the players that hadn't been foreseen.
Barry: "You'd be given the pages, do it almost immediately, then you'd be straight into another character and have to do another scene. You'd have to completely wipe the previous scene from your mind."
In response to a question from Facebook, we asked the trio which characters they would play if they had any choice in the matter.
Barry says that he'd have liked to have played a Hordriss-like character (originally played by Clifford Norgate), since Hordriss got to give out the prizes.
Knight would have liked to play a jolly jester, or a character like Sylvester Hands (played by Paul Valentine).
Collett would have liked to play Lord Fear ("a shorter, slightly spikier Lord Fear").
The conversation turns from Knightmare of the past to Knightmare of the future. We ask about whether, in view of the Geek Week episode, Knightmare Live, and the repeats on Challenge, a future can be seen for Knightmare.
There's a consensus that it's certainly possible and all three hope that it won't be another 20 years before they get another call.
Collett: "This episode is blending the best bits that Knightmare had with new technologies. The affection of the fans is hooked into the love that goes into making the programme... It could easily be cold and distant, but it never was and I don't think this one will be either. It keeps a twinkle in the eye and captures the imagination of adults."
Knight mentions how today's technology could easily be used to enhance the filming and production of a series of Knightmare. In particular, using something like Google Glass would allow a script to be flashed up on screen to an actor, and thereby allow dungeoneer choices to be responded to immediately.
The bigger the community of people saying "WE LIKE THIS', the better
Such technology could be used to make a far more dynamic dungeon with real choices for the team to make. Indeed, the use of Google Glass to produce a Knightmare-like environment was suggested as recently as May this year.
Call to arms
Finally, we asked whether anyone had anything else they'd like to add.
- Knight: "Fans of Knightmare: email, click 'like', comment, twitter, do everything to tell people that we want Knightmare to be a weekly episode."
- Barry: "The bigger the community of people saying 'WE LIKE THIS', the better."
Well, you have your orders, from Lord Fear and his chief henchman no less. You'd best do as they say.