Show Discussion: Last Commanders

By | January 30, 2018

Tuesdays, 5:30pm,

New adventure show on CBBC heavily inspired by Knightmare by the sounds of it, by way of live action first-person style video game. Teams of kids direct a character from their own living rooms around a space station solving puzzles and escaping monsters.

It’s The Chuckle Brothers play Live Action Hitman writ-large basically, except with kids and new IP. Is it any good? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

9 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Last Commanders

  1. Dan

    Came across this, an gameshow on youtube called Well Played, it’s about video games and apparently features youtube personalities. Never heard of them. Haven’t watched it yet.

  2. Dan

    This is edited very poorly. It seems they have decided to edit 4 shoots into one episode. It just doesn’t work with all the different characters. Shows that have characters in them have got to make enough time for each character. This one doesn’t, it jumps about from character to character. Also one team may have completed a challenge but then it can cut back and forth from a team that hasn’t done the challenge.

    The main host “Skye” had pre recorded bits which just mind boggles me. On any given day of shooting they would have 8 actors, probably all in costume and then only one actor would play, surely it couldn’t have been that much trouble to have the actress be in studio every day seeing as she will always be in the episode.

    Also concerning the 8 actors, at the start they showed special skills and traits which never come into fruition. A good idea would be to have skye tell the kids what the challenge is going to be and then the kids pick the character to play. This would allow for more rounded out characters.

    Also this was made by Panda, I doubt any tv company will commission any more gameshows off them.

    This was bad, worst of the year, I’ll stick to Remotely Funny as my children’s webcam gameshow of choice (That sounds a bit dodgy, also Remotely Funny was in my top 5 for the poll of 2017)

  3. Chris M. Dickson

    I liked this; it did have a very “inside-out Knightmare in space” feel to it – instead of being able to see everything and having to describe it to the mobile avatar, the players had the mobile avatar’s view as perspective. At first I had concerns about having four games running in parallel, but on reflection you can see what they’re doing and creating easy comparison and contrast between successful and unsuccessful games. Hopefully over time we’ll have shows with different numbers of successful teams…. maybe there’ll be an all-successful show, or perhaps an all-failure show. Perhaps there wasn’t much game material per team per show, but imagine four teams worth of Knightmare, which might take – say – five episodes, and just split the game material into horizontal metaphorical stripes rather than vertical ones. The puzzle material was good enough and definitely got better as the show went on, though there’s reason why chains of cogs were in the Medieval zone rather than the Futuristic zone in The Crystal Maze. The atmosphere was quite fun, though space never speaks to me as much as fantasy does, and I am 41 rather than 14 these days. Looking forward to future episodes, and this is starting to feel a little like a seven to me.

  4. Will Tennant

    I think from a storyline standpoint I don’t quite understand why the games are in parallel, granted it follows a video-game style theme but what happens to the avatars if they fail? What happens if more than one team succeed? Just seems a bit too iffy.

    With how it was edited was a bit hard to see if every team would’ve made it if they were given all the same information, with some avatars giving some hints that I’m guessing the others weren’t given. Always loved knightmare but agreeing with the kids that some of the puzzles were maybe too easy for their own good in this episode.

  5. Weaver

    On first viewing, this isn’t “grab me by the labels and plant me in front of the telly every week without fail”. That’s only because I’m not in the CBBC generation.

    If I understand the “coming up” bit correctly, next week has a completely different challenge. They can’t do a Knightmare, they can’t go back and show the other teams’ attempts at the same challenge, because the show’s narrative requires something novel each week.

    Might we compare Last Commanders against S4C’s fantasy-meets-escape-rooms show Prosiect Z?

    The basic conceit of Prosiect Z: You are thirteen years old. There has been an outbreak of the zombies. You are trapped in your school with five of your friends. But all is not lost! If you can make a loud noise, you can cause great pain to the zeds. This gives you a few moments to unlock the front door, leap into the van, and ride to safety.

    The big differences: one team per episode, and they live this experience as though it were for real. No avatars, no play-from-your-sofa interaction. Just lots of atmosphere, some really locked objects, and plenty of recaps. (And captions, for those of us who don’t speak much Welsh.)

    1. Mathew Palmieri

      another comparision, 2015’s youtube red escape the room “murder mystery” (although, not really) Escape the night.
      Someone uploaded all episodes of the first season to dailymotion.
      Like prosiect-z there is 1 team actually “Living it” persay, although its all one game thoughout the season, and contestant are eliminated though votes and elimination challenges. its….Confused on what it wants to be (thats another story altogher, lets just say i have a….love/hate relasionship with it.) although the production values are better than last commanders.

  6. Brig Bother Post author

    This mainly gave me motion sickness more than anything, I didn’t think spending five minutes on a simple cog puzzle that’d be two minutes max on something like Crystal Maze was the best of starts.

    This being said I think it’s got stuff going for it, I thought the characters were likable and entertaining and clearly the kids were invested in the fiction, so there’s that. I thought the set pieces got better as the show progressed – I thought the poster clue for the memory bit was well done, as well as interpreting the hint to the password, a throwback to anti-hacking measures from the 80s, although circling it in red pen seems like a bit of an anti-climax. The worst bits were when the only real advice was to run.

    If we’re suggesting Knightmare is the big influence I don’t think it builds the tension nearly as well which is what it needs really, losses seem to be very short sharp not-really-shocks. The teams seemed much more investable when half of them had gone.

    Overall the sort of thing we ought to like, and a brave try, but it’s much too irritatingly (and rather claustrophobically) shot for my 36 year-old eyes.


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