Show Discussion: Letterbox Series 2

By | September 24, 2018

Weekdays, 6pm,
BBC2

Give me an L! Give me an E! Give me a T! Give me another T! Give me an E! Give me an R! Give me a B! Give me an O! Give me an X! What does it spell! Series two of Letterbox! Hurrah!

Britain’s best-loved wordgame IS BACK! for its long-awaited second series of hi-octane Hangman action.

WHO will solve the passwOHGODSOMEBODYKILLME.

14 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Letterbox Series 2

  1. Brandon

    You said originally about this show “I don’t understand why this was commissioned.” Now my reaction to this is, I don’t understand why this was re-commissioned. There’s nothing awful or incredibly stupid about it unlike some shows *cough*Babushka*cough*, it’s just so boring I’ve no idea why anyone would watch it for entertainment, nor is it hard enough to be interesting to play along with.

    Reply
  2. James W

    Was this actually given a reprieve, or is like so many “Series 2” runs nowadays i.e. ‘We made some more while the set was up because of economies of scale, and to give us something to trail a year down the line’?

    Reply
    1. James W

      In which case I’m shocked, as you’d have thought they’d have at least fixed the prop problems. Oh, well, at least this is the end of it (this is the end, right?)

      Reply
  3. Crimsonshade

    It’s hardly worth mentioning, but there IS a small change this series – that is, to the endgame reveals. The eight letters collected by the players are now placed on the desk and revealed all at once; then they are from play at the same time, speeding up the process. Also, when Mel pulls out the red letters at the end of the game, they now stay up, allowing the full password to be visible.

    One has to wonder why they would fix this, but still keep all £2,500 in the Letterbox regardless of the amount won…

    Reply
    1. Daniel H

      There’s also a minor change in the main game, whereby if a Heat goes to a third word they just swap positions again back to the same players who did the first word, whereas in the first series they chose within their pairs who was going to play the tiebreak.

      Reply
  4. Clive of Legend

    I still don’t get why they make a big deal out of picking letters out of the box for winning words and then they all just wind up with the overall winners at the end anyway.

    Someone please give Mel Draw It to host again, thanks muchly.

    Reply
  5. Alex McMillan

    Well I must say, I don’t think any of us expected this to come back as such a Tour de Force! Wow, what a change of pace from the first series!

    I’ll start by saying it was a smart choice to retain Mel as host, but a bold decision to have her only talk in the third person. That being said, it did pay off! It added a sense of character and mystery to the show, with quotes like “Mel thinks it might have a T, but is Mel right?” being anecdotally shared in offices around the country today.

    Now, onto some of the larger format changes. I wasn’t sure about the introduction of Cyrillic alphabets to gameplay, but I was on board within the first few minutes after it was clearly an improvement to gameplay. Opening up the players to choosing letters like Yery and Sha as well as the A to Z they were used to gave the contestants a lot more freedom with their tactics (even if it never actually did help with solving any of the words). There is more than enough space on the screen for several more alphabets, so I look forward to seeing what they can do!

    Another nice touch is the “Audience Clairvoyant” Russell Grant, which had the double whammy of giving Mel a regular to banter with (rather similar to Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner), but also mixing up gameplay by giving the teams a lifeline! It was always a joy to see the contestants turn to him and state “Russell, Grant me your powers!”, followed by a solid 2 minutes of complete silence as Russell plucks a letter from the astral plane.

    Now, my main criticism. They clearly responded *too* severely in trying to spice up the end game with new props. I don’t really like putting the prize money into a toaster adds much other than the obvious time pressure (which is a little ambiguous as toasters don’t really have timers?). Seems weird the BBC let this one slip past, I can’t imagine the Beeb would be too happy with the Queen’s face being defaced so blatantly every evening, given how infrequently the players manage to rescue the money from the Letterbox Jackpot Toaster.

    That being said, they’re obviously going for a different vibe altogether, so I can’t fault them for a few growing pains along the way! Hoping that the new format tweaks will pay off in dividends in the end of year poll, and let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised to see Channel 4 eyeing this up as another swipe after the similar success they had with Bake Off!

    Reply

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