Series: Games Master

GamesMaster was a British television show, airing from 1992 to 1998, and was the first ever UK television show dedicated to computer and video games. A large part of the show was the challenges, which saw gamers competing against each other over the course of the series to be crowned "GamesMaster Champion" through a variety of different games and challenges (For example, a Speed Run through Sonic The Hedgehog 3's Angel Island Zone), before focusing more on the actual games than the challenges.

Debuting between the launches of the SEGA Mega Drive and the SNES, the show orginally had a target demographic of pre-teens, but as time went on, the show shifted to targeting teenagers and young adults instead.

Two of the show's tradmarks were the setting changing changing each year, much like levels in a video game; and the titular Games Master, a disembodied head (played by Sir Patrick Moore) who dispensed advice on video games to those who needed it, albeit with a sharp tongue.

This show provides examples of...

  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The Offence-O-Meter from the last episode of Series 6.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Series 3, thanks to Dexter Fletcher and the Team Championship.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In the race stage of The Aquatic Games in Series 3, one challenger used the cannon to get an early lead and still managed to lose.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A Japanese Tetsujin faced 100 British challengersnote  in consectutive games of Virtua Fighter in Series 6. He won without much challenge.
  • Darker and Edgier: Series 4 ended with a "Gore Special", focusing on games they couldn't show in the normal pre-watershed timeslot.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Dominik Diamond and the Games Master.
  • Finale Season: Series 7 - The opening titles were a Title Montage built from the previous six intros, and if that wasn't a big enought hint, the very first line of the series was Dominik informing the viewer that it was going to be final series of the show.
  • Follow the Leader: After GamesMaster became a surprising hit, several imitations popped up that used the same format; all of them were cancelled before GamesMaster, which was lampshaded during the final episode.
    • One of which, Games World, was by the same production company.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • There were many double entendres from Dominik Diamond and also some from the challengers (including some quite young children).
    • They somehow got away with showing Fatalities in Mortal Kombat. And though they had blood turned off in the challenges, they still showed blood in the Consoletations segment when someone asked how to unlock extra blood.
    • The Series 1 finale had a review section focused on Adult Games. The show aired at 6:30.
    • The Series 5 intro featured Dominik being hit by a bus and dying.
  • Pit Girls: The Diver in Series 2, the Angels in Series 5, the Mermaids in Series 6, and the Girl Fridays in Series 7.
  • Politeness Judo: Inverted in at least one Consoletation Zone segment in Series 2 when The Games Master refuses to give a kid a hint because he asked rudely, but does give the kid the hint he wanted when he asks again politely.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Kind of. In a 2011 interview, Dominik claimed to attempt to distance himself from games, to pursue a career in radio and get a "trendy music show". Years later, when he got such a show, he found that the reason he was able to command exclusive interviews with "trendy" bands at the time was because they'd grown up watching GamesMaster.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Dominik Diamond left the show after Series 2, and was stated to have died in the Oil Rig explosion at the end of Series 2. A rather literal example, as when The Bus Came Back and Dominik returned in Series 4, the show was set in hell.
    • The bus returned in Series 5's opening titles - hitting Dominik on the way out of a chippy, thus setting that series in Heaven.
  • Rearrange the Song: Every series featured a new remix of the GamesMaster theme; Series 2 and 3 using an altered version of the previous theme tune each time. From Series 4 onward, the theme was remixed to be more appropriate to the theme of the series.
  • Spin-Off: GamesMaster magazine. It's still going strong 17 years after the TV show ended.
  • Take That: Frequently.
  • Title Montage: Series 7 used one which cut together footage from the previous six openings sequentially before showing Dominik on the show's new setting, then doing the same thing with the GamesMaster (who had undergone a makeover each year) before bringing up the title.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Theresa and Leigh-Ann, the Mermaids in Series 6.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Dominik Diamond, following his return in Series 4.
    "I'm Dominik Diamond, I'm back, and I'm grumpy."
  • Trash the Set: The final ever episode featured Dominik looking back over the past seven years, whilst the set was gradually taken apart behind him.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Dominik has a fear of flying, which gradually got worse as he was flown around the world to shoot segments for the show. By Series 7, it had gotten so bad that Dominik refused to get on a plane again.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: The Games Master himself.
    • Series 1 to 3 - Belligerent A.I.
    • Series 4 - Lord of the Underworld
    • Series 5 - God
    • Series 6 - Poseidon
    • Series 7 - The Sun