Show Discussion: Wild Things Series 3

By | March 12, 2017

Sundays, 8pm,
Sky One

Hurrah! It’s the return of our favourite award-winning physical gameshow of the last ooh, five years or so, now apparently promoted to the heart of prime time where it isn’t up against Countryfile.

Kate Humble and Jason Byrne try and control themselves as more couples dare to go into the Wild Woods and take home its treasure. Of each couple one of them is dressed up as a giant woodland creature protecting them from the dangers but cannot see anything, whilst their unprotected partner has to guide and direct and take any punishment their sense of direction and communication skills (or lack of) gets them into. The show not only has an eye for broadly comic physical situations, but a real ear for funny, revealing unguarded bits of conversation. We’re also a big fan of the super-tense endgame, our favourite for ooh, ten years probably.

This year there’s a weekly celebrity challenge as well.

18 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Wild Things Series 3

  1. Greg

    What a fantastic final so close.

    Seems like there has been some format changes this series. Its a straight elimination for the last place team in each game, no longer points based and scoreboard based. Also the order of elimination depends on where you start in the final. The better you do in the main game the closer to the winner you start in the final. The final course has also changed quite a bit. There appears to be a path littered with obstacles to trip you up or you can run through the trees.

    Great viewing as always, surely 8PM is getting on a bit late for a show like this. Think 7 is a much better timeslot.

    Reply
    1. Danny Kerner

      I think because its on boxset if you own sky or nowtv they know people can catchup whenever they like.

      Reply
  2. Simon

    Never really watched this before but really enjoyed it. Not sure it needs the celebrity bit (especially as they didn’t seem to be playing for anything – not even for a bit of charity money)

    Reply
  3. Alex S

    Hmm, first thought is ‘changes for the sake of changes’? The pace of the show is very quick now, the start almost felt a bit abrupt although that’s not perhaps a bad thing.

    I didn’t feel quite the same attachment to particular teams now that it’s an elimination format and whilst I appreciate why they’ve done it, the celebrity challenge felt a little light with just the two teams.

    That being said, the new games were great and the endgame is still brilliant. I thought 6 teams in the endgame might be a bit too busy but actually it worked fine, and probably reduces the likelihood of all of the chasing teams being left well behind.

    Seeing as they introduced a few teams before game 2, and the remaining teams before game 3, I wonder if it means the team eliminated in game 2 will always be introduced in the first batch?

    Reply
  4. Brig Bother Post author

    Right, they’ve changed the format – all six teams play, worst performers each game get knocked out, then three play down to one to decide who tries to leave with the briefcase. And there’s an extra celebrity challenge as well.

    Initially I was a bit concerned, I thought the first round felt a bit rushed and perhaps they’ve tried to cram in too much – I did find it a bit disorientating only having Kate and Jason off-camera, I thought the build-up and qualifier they used to do worked quite well.

    However any issues I had were abated with Woody’s Pizza, a game that fulfills Wild Things’ mission brief of essentially being about games with two people blaming each other for failure whilst still trying to actually play the game, this time with added dizziness. I laughed a lot.

    I think Spelling Bees isn’t quite there, I don’t think there’s something quite right with the strategic element and I’m struggling to articulate why. I don’t think there are enough potential words each conundrum could be to make the pass or play options interesting, effectively 50-50 shots with the only upside of passing is not being in line for an electric shock but also having no chance of progression. I was quite surprised when after offering it to one team who got it wrong there was no option to fill another letter in.

    Cherry Lane was fine. Not sure if I prefer celeb challenge to spending more time with the contestants. But I’m outside the demo now so it doesn’t matter what I think.

    Really great final. Wondered if six teams is too many, actually the cream rises and everyone else gets forgotten about. Noticed that one wild thing still didn’t get revealed at the end.

    So so far the format changes are a mixed bag, but not without some upside. Great to be back.

    Reply
  5. Emerson

    No doubt this new format will be used across the entire season, but I think they’re just trialling it so see people’s response and then next season they will either stick with it or go back to the old format. Think of this season as just a trial. I personally think the old format is better because this one’s fine but it actually feels much fairer for the contestants.

    Reply
    1. Emerson

      Furthermore, I feel like this format puts more pressure on the contestants. Once past the first race, if you came last in the first challenge you could pick yourself up and still come out top of the league. Here you can’t pick yourself up. One little slip will cost you the entire competition. This entire format feels one giant race to the gate now.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I think the criticism you could level at the old format that you could go into the last games with no realistic chance of winning is a fair one, but I’d also argue that the competition is not the show’s most entertaining aspect, which is seeing how people react in ridiculous high pressure situations where one person has all of the power yet none of the power, and watching people in animal costumes fall over. The new format actually has the same amount of games as it turns out, but spreads getting to know the contestants more thinly over fewer events.

        I would suggest that the new format opens up a new avenue for games which don’t require one or all four teams to play at once, this might be a good thing (it is with Woody’s Pizza), we’ll see.

        Reply
  6. Brig Bother Post author

    Crikey, this doesn’t seem to be working in its new timeslot, 78k last night. It was going two-three times that last year! I hope people are watching on catch-up.

    Reply
  7. Brig Bother Post author

    Great episode tonight, some takeaways:

    * I quite liked the Frogger game. Thanks to Gary for pinpointing the track they also used on Hercules as Vivaldi by Sky.

    * I note that there’s no qualms calling the DJ Tony Blackbird now, although I’m sure he sounds more like Chris Tarrant this year. Also did Deal or No Deal’s Augustin Bousfield do the chirp arrangements last year? I found them much easier this time round.

    Reply
    1. Gary

      Gus did them again. And I was the voice of Tony Blackbird this year, thanks to cuts. Last year was Phil Cornwell. He was always called Tony blackbird m, just last year it was a bit tricky to say that out loud.. If you get my drift.

      Reply
  8. Michael

    Nice to see former Coach Trip losers – Jestina & Anthony – on Wild Things last week.

    Reply
  9. Brig Bother Post author

    Something quite interesting this series is that usually the winners escape two-times out of three, but this year it felt like the winners were captured 2/3s of the time. I wonder why that is – the course doesn’t feel especially longer or more difficult (the winners were still getting to the hut in three goes). Does having five chasing teams make a large difference? My gut says the loser’s staggered starts evens the disadvantage so natural selection means only one or two teams will be skillful enough to have a chance of capture which is not really any different to before.

    I think Sky have treated the show quite badly this year, I hope it’s been doing well enough on catch-up for a recommission.

    Reply
    1. Luke S

      I was wondering this as well – my gut says that the more tactical nature of the final game (where you usually have some discretion over which opponent you want to target) means that the eventual “winner” is less likely to be the team which is most capable of escaping.

      There’s also the possibility of a good team having a nightmare in one of the earlier games (especially the quiz ones).

      I don’t think this new structure has served the show well this year – particularly the celebrity interlude, which takes so much time away from everything else. Less time for reaction shots of owls shouting at damp people.

      But even with that caveat, still hoping for a recommission (even if my heart desperately wants a move to the “Total Wipeout” slot on BBC One…)

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        For me I think the 3 > 1 game as is doesn’t quite work, with the exception of Fishticuffs which is effectively two seperate playings of the same game, because two teams will tend to go tit-for-tat with each other leaving the third to get away largely scot free so when the final two come to battle one’s doing it from a much weaker position. The winner is not usually in doubt after about a minute. Nothing wrong with the concepts of the games, just the structure.

        It’s quite interesting that with each game being played twice there were a couple where the rules seem to change between playing – Spelling Bees (which worked much better second time round dropping the pass or play thing), Cherry Lane (reducing the cherries) and The Crafty Cock (lives based). Given they’d have recorded the playing of each game on the same morning/afternoon, I’d be intrigued to find out what was tweaked after a playing and what they may have retrofitted in the edit.

        Reply

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