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Series / GamesMaster

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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 originally 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 trademarks 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.

The show got a reboot that aired on E4 in November 2021, with Sir Trevor McDonald playing the Games Master.


This show provides examples of...

  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The Offence-O-Meter from the last episode of Series 6.
  • 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 3 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.
    • To a certain extent, the reboot qualifies for this with the Abyss. Granted the original second series had the pit but a) nothing suggested those sent there died (in fact one girl returned the following week) and b) was much less prevalent, only used in exceptional cases
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Dominik Diamond and the Games Master.
  • Eject the Loser: Occasionally the Diver who awarded winners with joysticks would also escort particularly dreadful challengers into the smoke filled pit she appeared from. This was only however done in exceptional cases and Dominik would consult GM himself for a final decision to do this. On one occasion a girl was released the following week by her boyfriend winning a challenge.
    • This was repeated of sorts in the second half of series 3, where new host Dexter would order a large man known as the "Caretaker" to eject losing teams off the premises
    • Comes back in style in Series 8 with the "Abyss" where (via the magic of Green Screen and goofy acting) losers are ejected from the show by being thrown down a shaft and into a pit of molten lava. This time it happens to all losers, not just the very worst, and is much more prevalent than the original pit (which wasn't even mentioned until when used, a few episodes into the series). Adding insult to fatal injury, the GamesMaster also delivers a snarky Bond One-Liner at the parting loser's expense.
  • Fake-Out Opening: Series 2's Cold Open.
  • Finale Season: Series 7 was originally this - The very first line of the series was Dominik informing the viewer that it was going to be the final series of the show. The show would return for an eighth series in 2021.
  • Lovely Assistant:
    • Series 5 - The Angels
    • Series 6 - The Mermaids
    • Series 7 - The Girl Fridays
    • Downplayed with Series 2 (The Diver). Whilst it was no secret she was played by an attractive woman, she was largely covered up with the only visible feminine aspect being high heeled boots. Furthermore she gladly dragged truly awful players into her smoke filled pit which is less than "lovely" in personality at least (granted she was following Dominik and GM's orders, but still).
    • A male example in the reboot comes in Ty Logan, a model and influencer who is much more jovial and charming than main host Robert "Rab" Florence. Arguably Frankie Ward as well, although her role is more as in-house expert rather than assistant, and she generally acts as the inbetween/matter of fact to Ty's nice and Rob's (and GM's) mean.
  • Nerd: Dominik in Series 1 & 2 with his gold rimmed spectacles and outlandish outfits (particularly the red jacket in series 2). He wasn't nerdy at all in personality though (quite suave throughout Series 2 in particular). Upon his return in Series 4 he attempted a harder image (conservative suits and skinhead haircut) and if anything his social skills seemed to suffer.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: 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
  • Painting the Medium: The beginning of Series 2, which has a completely intentional fake opening, before declaring that the original series 'expired' and the new series will now begin.
  • 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 (literally) 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.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Dave Perry, the self-proclaimed "best games player in the UK". Dominik also counts since he clashed with Dave both on and off the set.
  • Spin-Off: GamesMaster magazine. It continued on for 20 years after the TV show ended, before being cancelled itself.
  • Temporary Substitute: Domink quit the show after the first two series due the McDonald's sponsorship for Series 3. Dexter Fletcher took over as host for that series and following the overwhelmingly negative reaction, Dominik returned.
  • Title Montage: The final episode in 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 episode in Series 7 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.