Friday, September 28, 2007


Been feeding my appetite for TV shows I used to watch as a kid, thanks to a generous soul who's provided me with an episode of a programme I've been after for a looooong time.

The Adventure Game took a trio of 'celebrities' each week and put them through a series of intelligence tests. Later episodes became cult classics for features like the Rangdo (an alien shape-changer who has taken the form of a grumpy aspidistra) and the Vortex, a challenge that ended with more than a few of the competitors being 'vaporised'. The episode I got hold of is one of the earliest however, so those treats will have to wait for another time.

The basic idea is that the three competitors are time travellers visiting an alien world. Unfortunately the planet is populated by tricky locals who have pinched a crystal vital to powering the humans' time machine. To get it back, they have to prove their ingenuity and mental agility.

It was shot in 1980, so it's obviously pretty basic by today's standards, but when I was little the challenges were beyond fiendish. Now, nearly 30 years later, they all seem a bit of a breeze ... which begs the question why do the contestants make such heavy weather of them?

The guest stars on this particular show are a children's TV presenter, an actress who's now on Emmerdale (I think) and ... oh, someone else long since erased from the annals of TV history. The opening challenge involves getting across a booby-trapped floor (above). Only one shape and one colour are safe - you can tread on any shape if it's the safe colour and any colour if it's the safe shape. Get to the far end, key in the right shape and the right colour to unlock the exit and away you go. It was all straightforward enough from where I was sitting, but the team only made it across by blind luck. Later tests are characterised by fade-outs every two minutes as the editors chop out interminable sequences of the players scratching their heads and looking bewildered.

So assuming I can lay my hands on more such nuggets of TV gold, I guess I'll be watching for an entirely different reason to when I was small - to see just how dense celebrities can be. Failing that I can just stop watching and go back to proper, 21st century TV instead.

Dancing With Big Brother's Star Ice Singers, perhaps.


Blogger Peter Pan said...

Didnt Moira Stuart start on this show? It was much better in the early days as pictured, before they brough in all that Gronda Gronda bollocks.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Pete Kempshall said...

She did indeed - she's in the episode I watched.

Enjoyed the early take on the show, but I do miss The Vortex ...

4:25 PM  

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