Toooooooooooooooo the Crystal Doooooome!
British Game Show
running from 1990 to 1995, initially hosted by Richard O'Brien and later by Edward Tudor-Pole. Produced by Jacques Antoine
. A remake of Fort Boyard
Each week, six contestants would have to complete a series of challenges in four adventure zones (at first- Industrial, Futuristic, Aztec and Medieval. In the fourth series, Ocean replaced Industrial). Completing these challenges would mean receiving a time crystal. If contestants failed to leave the room (crystal or not) before time ran out, or broke certain rules in some games, they were locked in and could only be released in exchange for a crystal.
The final part was always the Crystal Dome, where contestants would have a certain amount of time (determined by how many crystals won- 5 seconds per crystal) to collect gold tokens*
blown about by a big fan. Silver tokens were also present and these would result in a deduction from a score (which could- and often did- lead to a negative
total score). If they got over a certain total, they would win prizes: usually adventure holidays in B-level British resort towns.
Most of the show's appeal came from the wonderfully eccentric Richard O'Brien (of Rocky Horror Picture Show
fame) and the way he would present the show: his manic, restless behaviour; his razor-sharp put-downs of (frankly bad) team performances; and how he would always play that damn harmonica at the most inappropriate and distracting times. Edward Tudor-Pole never had a chance
. It also became common for the viewer base to start shouting at the screen at the contestants when they missed
the very obvious solutions. (Extracts from the show's blooper reel that have been leaked onto YouTube reveal that, in the privacy of the technical gallery, the show's director did it too.)
Although it wasn't very apparent to the viewer most of the show was in fact fixed: For example it was the production staff not the Captain that decided what games to play (Physical, Mental, Skill or Mystery) and was in fact decided well in advance of the show. Although on screen it looks instantaneous there was also significant length of time between a contestant entering a puzzle room and actually playing it sometimes in the region of 15 minutes. This was so the crew could set up equipment such as cameras and in some instances to actually reset the game if the player in question mucks up too badly in order to keep it interesting to the viewer. A far more in-depth list can be found on the other Wiki.
There were also Spin-Off Choose Your Own Adventure
style books, set in a more elaborate version of the Maze: The Crystal Maze Adventure Gamebook
by Dave Morris and Jamie Thompson aimed at teens and adults, in which the more "realistic" maze was justified by it being set a hundred years in the future
, with advanced holographics and robotics (including the robot host ROB
); and four targeted at younger readers (The Crystal Thief
, Tea at Rick's
, The Sacred Necklace
and Phantom in the Tower
all by Peter Arnold), which just Handwaved
The show remains a classic and repeats are still shown in syndication, while rumours
surface every couple of years about a Revival
. The show was and remains very popular amongst University Students, though there have been no DVD releases as yet.
This show contains examples of: