Fort Boyard 2016

boyardlogoSaturdays on France 2 from July 2nd,
1955 UK/2055 France

Incredible, we’ve hit series 27 of Fort Boyard, the show that we’re still quite excited for despite the fact we’re in our mid-30s and probably ought to know better.

At time of writing it sounds like a few structural changes this year – the assault on the fort looks like is gone, teams will need to get NINE keys now – it’s been seven for all but three of the previous 26 series (four if you want to count The Cage shenanigans last year) so this is quite the departure. The adventure section begins with a trip to a mysterious room where the team will get visual clues as to what’s coming up and Pere Fouras’ gives them a ‘joker’ to change one they don’t like, and it sounds like there are BIG changes to the Council this year, new room, new elements?

I reckon they’re also going to double down on game variants (like they did with Boyard Academy and Gagarine TV) which should keep us on our toes.

We just hope they aren’t going to increase the length of the show, it was already pushing it at two-and-a-quarter hours last year and occasionally with really disappointing payoffs for the viewer effort put in (a losing team is interesting, a team that wins but only 1:30 in the treasure room feels like quite the swizz).

There is ongoing discussion of this year’s novelties being revealed as filming proceeds here.

163 thoughts on “Fort Boyard 2016

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    I didn’t realise comments were closed for this, sorry, anyway new series begins July 2nd, 8:55pm Europe/7:55pm UK time on France 2, I hope Parent’s Mode d’Emploi is still on.

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    Press dossier:

    Not a complete list of new things. Looks fairly good. I think Dizziness and Dependency sounds like quite a fun but difficult task, although I can’t believe that’s its official name.

    This year they’ve borrowed the Mummy from Tore and the Ghost Train from pretty much any series of I’m a Celeb.

    The council looks great. Four games worth 30 seconds each by the sounds of it, and all sort of magic mirrors and tables featured.

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    This year’s rules:

    Assualt the Fort has gone (the game starts when the players pull a lever to enter the fort), The Cage no longer requires a key to enter and can happen at any time, nine keys in 50 minutes.

    Blanche and The Great Escape return, sounds like there are two courses for the Great Escape but only one minute on the clock, extra time taken deducted from treasure room.

    No longer a game clock for the Adventures, they will face six, they will see them in the Hall of Adventures (but not whom) and get a joker to swap a player out.

    They get 3 minutes in the Treasure Room, the council is four games worth an additional 15 seconds each.

    1. David

      I’m assuming the Cage is also like last year in that the key game clock stops while they’re playing..And it basically forces them to get 2 out of 3 there to have any shot at getting 9 total…

    2. Jack B

      The big question with the new rules is what happens if the team gets nine keys with time still remaining on the clock, seeing as they can’t carry the time over to the adventures anymore..

      1. Lee

        Probley very unlikey. Maybe they keep playing and any extra keys will be turned into a clue game. Or they add on an extra adventure.

  4. Jack B

    In other news, TV5Monde will be airing repeats of the 2015 series starting next Saturday at 5:30. Keeping my fingers crossed that maybe this year they will broadcast it with english subtitles, like the majority of their other programs.

    1. Jack B

      Very impressive, although it does feel heavily influenced by Game of Thrones.

      I’m not a huge fan of the new version of the theme tune, but perhaps it will grow on me over the season.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I’m at work so have only actually watched it without the sound.

        I think they’ve been GoT-ing the show for a while – previously one of the incidental tracks has been basically the GoT theme.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          Just realised I have Wi-fi on my iPod. Yeah it’s interesting, it sounds like they’ve taken the old March of the Tigers theme and accentuated the tune and serious-ed up the backdrop. I hope we get a full version over the credits.

  5. Ian D

    The show has a new intro and theme remix – . I wonder if this means we’ll see a new graphics package to go along with it.

    As Lee says, The Spider has been changed a bit. Instead of it being a flat tunnel they must crawl through, it’s now a slope with the sticky flooring. It also appears that only one trip across is needed to get the key. The placement of the spider is also quite low down, making it difficult to get under whilst touching as little of the floor as possible. This will certainly be getting a few lock-ins this year.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes I’ve seen the video. I think it’s a good idea and I suspect the end result is closer to what I suspect the original intention of the game was.

  6. Lee

    From the looks of the spider game. The music package for the running and most games will remain the same.

    Interesting that they changed the theme song.

  7. Lee

    Overall an interesting episode.

    New key games.
    Alice looks like it can be cheated.
    Spider looks proper harder this year. And small time limit
    Mummy could be interesting and used for a prisoner.

    Cage is better now that it doesn’t require a key. Although would be better if the clock stated again when they got back to basket boyard.

    Like how the team get shown the adventures before. Good use of the joker.

    Council nice changes. Kinda not a fan of pere foras being more darker.

    Like how the clue words are displayed for the viewers.
    Some of the music is nice. Prefer the old Excalibur music and hope they don’t change museum music tho.
    Felt like the show was dragging a little. Could have been like 5 minutes shorter.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Pere Fouras usually cycles between ‘spritely old man with a glint in his eye’ and ‘curmudgeon’ variously over the years, I guess we’re in a dark phase.

      He’d make a brilliant host for Atmosfear.

  8. Brig Bother Post author

    Mmm, yes that was an agreeable way to pass two hours.

    I really like the new arrangement of the theme I’ve decided, and I really really like the whole board game allegory they’ve got going on. It seems a bit of a shame therefore that the clock graphics haven’t had a refresh. It’s slightly odd they’ve kept the old font for the Hall of Judgement and they’ve kept the old arrangement for the Treasure Room.

    The refreshed way they introduce the rules for each game with a rhyme is quite quick and neat and actually jars for me less than Olivier doing it.

    I liked the way the contestants were invited to The Cage.

    The new games are pretty good so far I’d suggest, Vertigo and Dependency is a terrifically old-school Fort Boyard challenge. The Ghost Train is quite funny (I liked Passe-Muraille providing comedy in the dark) although I wonder how much has been elided in the telling otherwise it’s a two-minute experience but only with 30 seconds of game really – Spiders and Scorpions played at light speed. I really liked the set-up for the Abandoned Library even if there didn’t seem to be all that much going on really.

    No-one is going to get nine keys surely. But impressively there was no obvious prisoner-forcing game at Judgement (the turntables!). I was asked on Twitter what they’d nicked from The Cube this year, so far the answer is only “the slo-mo”. Great that they’ve found another game of chance to compliment the Wheel of Destiny.

    The Hall of Adventures is a really good set-up but comes across as being far too slow and ponderous. I didn’t dislike knowing what was coming up as much as I expected.

    I think letting the viewers in on the clues is a great idea and one I’d probably have put in ages ago, although if you want to play along with the team and get them all at once at the end there seems to be no clear method for that which is a pity.

    I like the refresh of the Council, feels like a modernised version of the original Chasseurs du Temps set-up. Fairly seriously done in tone as well. I like the fact that provided people do the Great Escape quickly we’re going to get some large amounts of time going into the Treasure Room – when was the last time anyone went in with 3:30?

    Really it feels like they’ve done a lot of things right thus far although I still think it comes across as a bit too slick with the editing.

  9. Tom F

    Ah, Boyard, I’ve missed you.

    BTW thanks for the How To Watch guide Brig, last year I missed the series because I expected it to immediately be on youtube.

    As a fun fact I’ll tell you that I went to an adventure park in France last year that had a version of the cylinders and (obviously) had a go. It’s very very difficult but by far the best way to do it is to “sit up” so you can balance with your hands (areoplane impression style) so I imagine it’s a unspoken rule that the contestants have to lie foward like they always do.

    I don’t rate the new music. For me, there needs to be that wham-factor on the main riff for it to be proper boyard. That said, I do like the new graphics and the ‘board game’ thing.

    There’s a lot more character stuff, sketches, messing around. I kept feeling like I was watching French Avanti without questions. (I mean this in a good way!)

    Tying into this, no (fake) clock on the adventures this time. I wonder if this is a test to see whether the key games could come off the (fake) clock too, my opinion is they should since it clashes with the amount of messing around they do. I did actually feel like, by having the rules tucked into the running about, and focusing more on sketches and fun during the ‘chat’ bits, the show overall felt less fillery, which is good.

    I’ve always felt that whilst Blanche’s games are cool, they could do with a bit more visual impact – case in point, why such a tiny plinko board?

    The vertical rope/trolley/tightwire game was an absolute genius design, I want it every week.

    Agree the HoA was too slow, and (if I’ve understood correctly) they didn’t actually decide anything there? They chose to use the joker at the point of getting to the bungee? I think if you’re going to the trouble of having that room at least put more meaning into it.

    The other new adventures GT and Library felt like they had potential (in both cases you’re sort of constraining the player so they can’t get away, which is scary), but could do with a few more nasties for more impact. Also the timing of GT which others have mentioned.

    I’m sad it seems that coldroom has gone, I always thought that was really funny.

    I don’t mind PF being a bit Darker – it seems odd to me though that change coincides with what I think is probably the easiest version of the game (as a net total) we’ve seen in recent times. Although I think the adventures are more *scary*, I felt the key games, blanche, and adventures were skewing a bit easier this year (ok you do need 9 keys) – and the council numbers are extremely generous (maybe escape has been made harder to compensate?).

    I think overall there’s a lot of quality innovation and it felt a bit faster than recently to me so lots of pluses.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Cold Room is still there, although it sounds like it’s become a key game.

      The Escape probably is harder, you only get 60 seconds before penalties kick in. There are two courses though and we don’t know what they consist of yet.

    2. Jack B

      I feel that they had to make the key games slightly easier, so as to avoid the situation where a bad team won’t have enough people to sacrifice to get to the 9 key requirement (such as a team getting 4 keys with 2 prisoners- what would they do then?)

  10. Brig Bother Post author

    Not a brilliant start last night, just over 2.3m and third in the slot, but likely tempered by the Germany/Italy match on TF1 which got over 9m, so.

  11. Michael

    Interesting to see that they seem to have replaced The Library as a lock-in with Mummy. Have we ever had an enigma lock-in game before?

    The season obviously started with a competent team – nine keys, no lock-ins and four clues is nothing to be sniffed at. I think the joker idea was kind of meant for the bungee jump though.

    I loooooove the new council set. It’s way way cooler than the old one.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      No (*) although I suppose Mr Chan was a close alternative.

      * Except in Sweden in the mid 90s when they all were, and a successful answer meant releasing all the prisoners.

  12. Qusion

    Well that was fun.

    I like the new graphical package they’ve got going on, especially the board game theming; although i would have liked the digital part of the clock to animate when they gained time in the council.

    The new title music is great and the incidental music is a bit less quiet this year which I think is better, none of the new game tracks were too poor, although none shone as much as my favourites.

    Spider was visually much better, although why we cant have a nice wide shot of the spider is beyond me.

    Cotton Buds was OK, although it’s also another code box game now; there are so few games remaining where grabbing a key is part of the game. Even fewer, perhaps none, where grabbing the clue canister is part of it.

    Wonderland was ok and a nice evolution of compass, but it lacked a little bit of something, perhaps the fall needs to be a little higher.

    Mummy was entertaining enough, although not entirely original I’d still place Gargarine and Abandoned Cabin above it in terms of riddle games.

    Abandoned Library was good, a genuinely scary new adventure, although I don’t think it needed the haunted house vibe. I also note that in this game we are retrieving a book, bringing it to a key, to get a code, to open the code box. Did I mention last year how much I loath code boxes.

    Dizziness and Dependency was another old school Boyard adventure, and looked both scarier, harder, and less ridiculous that some of the other high-wire adventures.

    Ghost Train was a bit poor; drop a bit of dust on their head and a scorpion in he box; and then don’t give them long enough to actually be afraid. Boyard needs to learn that fear takes time, if you put time pressure on you get adrenaline which overrides the fear.

    As for the returning games, I dislike the ‘eat this stupidly large portion’ game in restaurant. I’d rather see them eat a smaller amount of something and with less time pressure – I’m A Celeb has shown this can get plenty of drama and reaction.

    Basket Boyard looks much better; i understand the rollers were to stop people cheating, but I see no problem with just telling them not to cheat.

    Cage was much better, from Rouge shooting an arrow at a door she couldn’t have had line of sight at through a more ‘in character’ master of the cage and some less cheap looking games. A great addition.

    Council is also probably as good as it has been for some considerable time; especially the ‘into the jaws of the tiger’ reference. As noted last year, I’m not a fan of Jolly Fouras, so I liked the darker tone this year. Oh and the magic mirror is brilliant.

    Overall it was good, probably a better series opener that last year. My only worry is that we have already had all the new adventures; I hope it isn’t going to be a repetitive series.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I do find it pretty amazing that we’re still using codeboxes in 2016, as if surely there is no more interesting way of releasing a cannister than watching people struggle with a combination padlock. And yet they’ve been used for almost 15 years now. Incredible.

      1. Ian D

        The Abandoned Library could have easily had the clue in a locked box, but have a key to the box attached to the book. Would have cut an unnecessary stage out.

  13. Ian D

    Thanks to someone uploading the entire episode on Youtube, I have seen the entire show (only saw second half live).

    The new intro and theme works well, and is a nice little refresh. The new graphics are also nice. I especially like that they quickly explain the rules in the transitions, instead of Olivier having to do it. However, why the entire graphic package didn’t get a overhaul is a mystery.

    Wonderland is a fun little game and I love the aesthetics they have for it, but it seems rather easy.

    The change to The Spider was much needed. It’s not a fantastic game IMO, but it’s a bit more interesting now and more likely to get lock ins.

    The Mummy is actually a good idea, but I have two concerns with it. Firstly, given the lock-in aspect is there going to be producer interference? For example, a very hard riddle given when the team are doing well. Secondly, the answer to the first one was ‘oasis’, so are they all going to have desert themed answers? That may make them easy to guess.

    Coton-tige is now a bit of a disappointment, it should have either been left alone or scrapped all together. Also, the codebox thing for it is unnecessary.

    Garage seems to have been made easier with the water level in the tube at the start being higher. Also the rope in Excalibur (like the new music for) seems to be a lot weaker now.

    The cage now feels a bit better (dunno why), and it ‘s good that it doesn’t take a key to get in.

    Blanche is OK, but with 9 keys to get now, could get to be bit dragged out.

    Adventure Room, doesn’t need to be there, a quick one minute video being shown on the screen outside Blanche showing the games selected and the Joker being given would have been fine.

    The Ghost Train is a good idea in concept, but is awful in execution (Stretcher was much better). The time limit does seem incredibly unfair, with just over 10 seconds to get the last bit of the code, enter it in the lock and grab the clue. No-one will do that, unless they changed it mid-series.

    Liked the Abandoned Library, but the codelock is unneeded, a key on the book would have been fine.

    A great idea for the Restaurant to combine items to make a meal, but the portions are absurd. Still, doesn’t seem like you have to finish it to win the clue.

    Didn’t like them revealing the clue words after they got the canister.

    The council is brilliant this year, the best it has been in a long time. Doesn’t feel tacked on, and 3 min default where you can only gain time in there is a massive improvement.

    Overall, a good start. Some problems, but better than last series in my view.

  14. Alex

    Currently at the end of the key games. Production feels a lot faster and smoother than it used to be. Not too hot on the new games yet, though.

    1. Alex

      Ah, for Blanche this year, instead of stealing from The Cube, we’re stealing from The Price is Right…and then from themselves, with a rehash of Louches.

      Ghost Train not a patch on the Stretcher. Also, nice touch with the surstromming hand sanitizer, although if we see it every week it’s going to wear thin I think.

  15. Lee

    Sounds like Russia maybe back this year. As well as newcomers czech republic.

    Sweden and Morocco too.

  16. Mika

    Well, finally got a chance to watch. Mostly agree with the thoughts here. Really like the general presentation a bit better. Though, while I agree the theme and opening needed a refresh, the new theme doesn’t feel as exciting anymore.

    New sets look great. Almost wish they’d do a bigger refresh of all sets now to really go all out on the “each room is a different world” idea that they’ve been toying with. Ghost Train is a great idea but pretty not greatly executed. Abandoned Library totally doesn’t need the code aspect.

    Maybe more fluent people can say – Was Mummy’s riddle easy, or was it just that she was good (she *did* get the Abandonded Cabin one, too). Seems a shame if something with such a good payoff never happens if it’s always won by easy riddles.

    Actually do like that they’ve dropped the time idea for the adventures. I mean, we know it’s not ‘real time’, but since that’s really obvious with the adventures, feels nice that they just threw the idea out and went with set numbers of games. (Like, how would the Joker switch make any sense if they’d tried to present that in real time?)

    I wonder if they’re gonna keep any of the bigger-set Council games, like the timer, or jars. And I like the little touch that they players don’t return to the team.

  17. Mika

    A nice episode. A lot of nice “Huh, they did thats”, too.

    Surprised Course en armure came back as a regular game. Nice visual overhaul for Awalée. Pleasantly surprised Bonneteau is back as a duel (with Bras de fer last week, I wonder what other former key games might come back as duels) And speeding up Marteaux was nice.

    Vaisseau infernal looks really cool, but can’t tell if it’s that easy, or they were just good at it. Nice idea behind it, though.

    Kinda wonder if Brahim was told to take it easy on them in the Cage, though. Was worried we’d have Blanche go on for ages.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I think it is quite easy because of the way the maze is laid out – when I originally saw it I thought it looked quite tough, but clearly there are edges next to the holes into the next level so you can basically just guide it round.

      It looks very cool though.

  18. Lee

    Was a good episode.

    Only issue i’m having is all the skipping in games. Feels like its alot more this year.

    Interesting to see a different Camera angle for Caserne.

    Curious who was the racer in Course en armure. It was Wily last year which made it even more funny.

    Also intresting how producers seem to be only using 1 prisoner game per episode currently.

    1. Jack B

      I suspect the decrease in prisoner games is because of the increase in the amount of keys needed. Also the team only get 12 key games (plus the cage) this year, as opposed to the standard 14 that we had until last year- if they would play too many prisoner games, Blanche would get incredibly repetitive between the sacrifices and the prisoners.

      Despite the lack of prisoners, the 100% success level at Blanche for the sacrifices so far is quite surprising. I wonder when we’ll get to see the new great escape courses.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        It’s good that the new Blanche games aren’t gimmes, but neither are they absurdly difficult.

        I think Francis Lallane is a great addition to the Boyard Academy, really fits the tone of the show. I daresay he’d have been a pretty good wise man of the tower if you were casting this from scratch.

        Amused to see that the Council this week were basically all games from the original Council (with an electric overhaul) with bonus Bonneteau.

        Also amused to have worked out how they’ve done the elevator to the Hall of Adventures (i.e. they haven’t actually built an elevator).

        Excited we got to hear a bit of the rearranged theme’s middle eight right at the end of the credits.

        1. Jack B

          I realized now that there’s also an 100% success rate so far on the Pere Fouras riddles, between the solve on Gagarine this week and the Mummy and Abandoned Cabin wins last week. I wonder if the riddles are easier this year, or if the contestants so far are just good at them.

          1. Michael

            I think it helps that the words seem to be themed around the game that’s being played – Oasis for Momie, Orbit for Gagarine and Enigma for Cabine Abandonée.

  19. Ian D

    Well episode 2 was also very enjoyable. Some thoughts on it:

    It does seem that the riddles have themed answers in Mummy and Gagarin, which makes working them out a lot easier.

    The new Blanche games seem to be of a fair difficulty, and not just having one game heavily weighted towards a lock-in to make it likely that the great escape part is seen.

    Vaisseau spatial seems rather easy, but is very enjoyable to watch. Probably one of the best unique ideas they’ve had in a while.

    I suspect there was some producer interference in The Cage. The team were doing poorly and suddenly they win 3 keys without much difficulty. It wouldn’t surprise me, if he was told to go easy on them so they could make up some keys.

    The knight course was odd to have been brought back, but was hilarious and was the highlight of the show, so I’m not complaining.

    Francis (Narcisse) is a very fitting addition to the Boyard Academy. The game he had did remind me of the old game where they used to have to blow into pipes and place a card with which note it was (do-re-mi ect).

    Good to see some old council games back, the council is quickly becoming a highlight again rather than a filler.

  20. Brig Bother Post author

    Looks like it’s not exclusively spiders and scorpions falling into the box in The Ghost Train.

    1. Mika

      Yeah, but crickets (or grasshoppers or whatever those were) isn’t really much of a replacement.

      I think I pinpointed another problem with the game: Almost every other similar game and previous version of (Dollhouse, Abandoned Library, Snake Pit, Brancard, Tete Chercheuse, heck even Manoir to a point), they all played them relatively straight and for the ‘this is someone having to do something that scares them’.

      This game doesn’t do that.

      It plays it for laughs and jokes. From Passe-Muraille joking about, the rest of the team standing there joking about, the ‘upbeat fake horror’ soundtrack, the kitschy set design. I know there’s a fair bit of lightheartedness with the show, but it still felt like certain games stayed darker and more serious, and this is one that should’ve kept that tone. Or maybe that’s just me.

      1. Jack B

        I imagine the code numbers will remain exclusive to the spiders and scorpions though, the other creatures seemed just for laughs.

        The other issue I have is that this game is of the new school Boyard “survive something scary for a bit, and win the clue” attitude- except that given the time limit, I doubt anyone will be able to get the cluebox open fast enough- meaning they completed the ordeal but get nothing to show for it.

  21. Ian D

    So, this week it seems that Train Fantome was sped up a little to give 18 seconds to get the final code, which is a lot fairer. Also seems as though there is a dummy bit of paper now with the first scorpion drop, and the grasshoppers don’t have a bit of code.

    The great escape is interesting, as they have completely changed the course. Instead of the treadmill bit at the start, there is just a drop like in the old escape segments in the mid 2000s. That is followed by a rather cramped version of Tourniquet, before the break through the ceiling bit.

    Seems like the show won the slot last night, getting about 3.2 million viewers, just under 20% of the audience share.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      There are apparently two Great Escape courses, the first one was quite fun.

      I note that three episodes in and no underwater games have been played yet.

      Also I wonder about the status of the waterslide and the well, the two games used to assault the fort last year, the Swedish show turned them into key games, I wonder if the French show will do the same.

  22. Lee

    Rated 1st in the ratings this week. So that is good.

    Got confused with chambre froid. Actually didn’t realize the key was on the hook the whole time. thought she had lost and the team were confused.

    Not sure if Brancard is still on the fort. There looks like a bigger stretcher next to basket boyard.

    Interestingly no joker used this episode. Although they may regret not using it on the first game

  23. Brig Bother Post author

    One nice touch the new celebrity-fied version of the show had last night, the message from Pere Fouras to Fauve telling her off for helping him defend his treasure in the cage last year but changing sides this year.

    It’s a show that’s increasingly happy to nod to its long history, which I quite like.

  24. Jack B

    Episode 3 for those who missed it:

    My thoughts:

    I was quite surprised that they didn’t use the Joker on Saut De L’Ange.

    I’m also noticing a pattern that teams tend to start off pretty badly in terms of keys, then the minute it becomes impossible for them to get 9 keys without Blanche they start winning practically every game left. This ties in with my wondering if Ronny was told to lose on Cabestan- the transition from almost winning himself to losing was a bit abrupt.

    The first Great Escape course was quite fun, and provided this weeks nostalgia moment with the return of Tourniquet. They definitely seem to be catering towards the older audience this year with the old games returning (Bonneteau, Bras de Fer, Awalée, etc). I wonder what other old games we’ll see.

  25. Alex

    3.2m’s fairly decent ratings, I’d assume? When was the last time it won the slot, too?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yep, best since 2014, best share since 2009. It’s only got repeats to go up against next week as well, this week there was a 12 Coups de Midi special.

  26. Brig Bother Post author

    I don’t know if production read here, but I do think it’s worth pointing out that they’ve addressed a number of things we’ve bought up year on year.

    We say 90-120 seconds is a lousy Treasure Room payoff for two hours of television – this year everyone’s getting at least three minutes by the looks of things. Perhaps this is *too* generous, or at least you could probably increase the range a little, we’ll find out by September.

    We say that recent games lazily fall into ‘do this thing three times to release the key’ – this year none of the games seem to do this, Wonderland is actually a beautifully old-school Fort Boyard game that you might do in one go but might never manage, for example.

    We say the show is too slickly edited so it just feels like lots of disperate events rather than an adventure – this year we get lots more running around the fort. It’s not perfect, I still miss old-timey rawness but it’s nice they’ve made an effort.

    So some great steps in the right direction and if you are reading it is appreciated.

    Now bring back Homme Volant next year please thanks.

    1. Lee

      Wonderland is great. Did have fears it would be easily beaten.

      The key game editing is becoming a bit much. I would like to see less editing rather than 1:20 key games.

    2. Mika

      Ha, yeah, just watched, and was thinking the same thing about how much time they get. A couple years of so little time, and now everyone getting over 3 makes it feel long.

      Momie payoff wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be. Guess they can’t really do a big “thing” or whatever since the head’s the last bit to get wrapped up, but does make me miss Mr Tchan’s stomp.

      New duels are really interesting. Good twist on a stacking game, and Réflexe animaux is a neat take on a classic game whose name escapes me.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I think 2:40-3:00 as an average is fine (I think teams getting 3:30+ should still feel quite exciting, it’s probably a bit *too* gettable right now). We’ve not seen anyone tank the Great Escape yet, and I should add I err on the side of generousity but might be willing to be less generous if the show wasn’t 130 minutes long.

        It’s a really difficult balance to get this right. I disliked the Council when teams could lose time as well because half the time it felt like we’ve been here 20 minutes and all that’s happened is the team are +/- 5 seconds total which seemed like a lot of effort for no payoff. I think last year had the right idea but started from too low a base. I think this year has the right idea but starts from too *high* a base. I expect next year will hit it out of the park.

    3. Matt Clemson

      Saturday’s did make me feel that maybe there were a few too many ‘get liquid to receptacle’ games in fairly rapid succession (using a slightly generous definition of ‘liquid’ that includes ‘coffee beans’, but the spirit is the same!), but that’s perhaps more an issue of how that episode’s running order was planned than a more significant issue.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I think it’s fair comment, although aggravated by the fact that lots of these are a few years old now when that style of game was very in vogue.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Next week’s should be really interesting as it has no real competition, but last week also featured a Youtube personality with almost a million Twitter followers and whatever, I don’t know how many other Youtube personalities they have lined up but you’d have to assume they come with a decent audience who wouldn’t normally watch this sort of thing.

      I’ve been quite cynical about this sort of thing in the past, but I do wonder with the sort of audiences shows get these days whether trying out properly big Youtube people should be encouraged a bit more.

  27. Mika

    Huh. Something interesting I just noticed, not sure if anyone else has mentioned it. At least according to’s fort map, where Momie takes place, and the door where the team stands are nowhere near each other. Can’t remember if there have been any other games like this before. (though I suppose funnily enough, the door to where Momie actually takes place is where I think they stand for Gagarine, but that’s just in the next room over)

  28. Qusion

    That would explain the slightly odd cut as Mr Boo was about to try and enter the door to the cell to collect the prisoner – which appears to have no way of opening it anyway.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I imagine it’s just a board of a mummy standing against the door, I wonder what’s behind it in actuality, not bothering to look it up myself.

      1. Mika

        (Again, according to the plans…) Nothing. Apparently this room’s *never* been used. At least since 2009. Considering the size of the room, not surprising. Probably just used for storage or something.

      2. Matt Clemson

        In this week’s episode I think it looked more apparent that it was just a board leaning against the door – there’s a very clear angle to it that I don’t recall having seen in previous appearances.

  29. Mika

    Another nice episode. Not exactly a spectacular team, especially when they have to go up against someone, but those clues games.

    Hey, first time Bras de fer is played by a female. And feels like the first time in ages that Balance has actually been a proper Adventure.

    Still oddly amused when they show the adventures, and it’s all “Saut de l’ange! Train fantome! Egout! … … … Chez WIIIIIILLY Rovelli!” Like, it just completely doesn’t belong, but it’s just so funny seeing it being taken so seriously that it fits perfectly.

    Kinda surprised neither Manoir nor any underwater games have shown up yet. Especially Manoir.

    1. Jack B

      Agreed, I honestly dont know why they bother showing Chez Willy Rovelli in the list since we all know its going to show up every week anyway. Its still hilarious to see the contestants reactions, though.

      Also, I’m wondering why nobody used the joker again. Arguably it seems like they didnt really need it, but still- with all the effort to include a new element in the game to make it easier for the team, you might as well take advantage of it.

  30. Alex

    Oh wow, Wonderland is possibly the first game to have a different theme ending for getting out without the key.

    1. Jack B

      Just noticed that now, it actually reminds me of the Bullseye closing theme, where they had a more upbeat version of the theme if Bully’s star prize was won.

  31. Brig Bother Post author

    I’ve just looked up the plans of the Fort but I’m intrigued to see what’s behind the wall next to the Cold Chamber.

    Turns out it’s a movable wall that hides the Hall of Adventures! Incredible.

    Also quite fun is that the entrance to the Council is just on some stairs, the actual Council is a few rooms away.

  32. Brig Bother Post author

    In this increasingly unpredictable world it’s still fun to see that in winning Miss France your main prize is still guaranteed entry to Lutte and Cylindres.

    Quite incredible to win five clues and still require a sacrifice. I laughed at PF taunting Sebastien with the clue he didn’t win in the Council.

    They were a pretty good team that fell apart a bit towards the end, which is a pity because that’s precisely the bit that tends to affect your bottom line. Odd to think that this time last year that’s a team that would have gone into the Treasure Room with 1:21.

  33. Ian D

    After seeing it twice, I’m certain that they’ve made Excalibur easier. The rope appears to be a lot weaker than it used to be.

    There also does seem to be a lot of old games they haven’t played so far this season.

  34. Tom F


    Here’s a thing I just worked out while watching episode 3.

    For me, the cage has never felt quite ‘right’. Last time you had to pay a key to get in (with obvious fake choice), this time you don’t so you can potentially win 3 keys at no risk, but this isn’t presented as an opportunity for the players — rather, the cage and all the imagery of rouge is presented as a big obstacle.


    WHY NOT (reduce the keys needed back to about 7, and) HAVE THE CAGE BE:

    *You win a game > Nothing happens
    *You lose a game > Losing player is taken prisoner


    +The cage is now a bad thing, an obstacle to try to survive. When Oliver solemnly reads the message on the arrow he really has reason to be solemn.
    +There aren’t /really/ any instraprisioner games now (and that’s ok because the cage is conceptually separate) so the key target has to be sky-high so that we get to SDJ.
    +Rouge is now attacking the players. The imagery around rouge with fire & arrows makes more sense.
    +Rouge has an army because she is attacking the players.
    +The name ‘cage’ and the cage décor suddenly make 100% more sense.
    +Rouge is literally the opposite of Blanche.

    The balance might seem a bit off, but if you reduce the key target so that key sacrifices are a rarer thing (and I think 4(+?) in SDJ has happened, right?) then it basically works out.

  35. Brig Bother Post author

    So many fun things this episode:

    * Rain!
    * References to Fort Boyard Quebec!
    * Having no chance in the Casino!
    * A team getting nine keys!
    * The Bogdanov Brothers telling the viewing populace how to kill their enemies with red wine, bleach and SCIENCE!
    * David going to prison early, then being the first person to fail The Railroad and then going back to prison for the rest of the show!
    * Keen V in the Abandoned Library!
    * The first underwater game of the series!
    * The Ghost Train!
    * Successfully completing the Unstable Chair, only to not quite open the code envelope!
    * The second Great Escape route being barely different to the first!

    And of course THAT ending. How dramatic! It’s a shame in a way the list of clues tells you how many clues they’re going to use by the way it’s spaced. Even so a properly old school Fort Boyard Treasure Room featuring three sacrifices and an argument as to what the codeword is, ending up with barely enough time to collect any gold – collecting less gold then the house minimum and having to have it rounded up is the very rare. It should count as a loss really.

    Anyway, loved it, more please.

    Edit: I don’t think Passe-Muraille did any disguises this week. I wonder if they didn’t want to get the costumes wet or something.

    It looks like we’re getting Cablocypede next week.

    1. Jack B

      Passe-Muraille did one costume, at the start of the show..

  36. Jack B

    Agreed on the spacing, although tonight was the first time I really noticed it, possibly because of the length of the clues. Admittedly the treasure room music has also been giving away when they’re getting close to solving it for years now.

    Has that ending ever happened before? I kind of feel that it was counted as a loss, given the music that played at the end of the treasure room.

    Some other notes:

    * I find it amazing that despite barely speaking French, I somehow had an idea of what the codeword was tonight by the end of the adventures- and even more amazing that my guess turned out to be correct.

    * Was it just me or did they get rid of the rope that used to be at the start of the Wonderland course?

    * I honestly like the Abandoned Library so much more after seeing Keen’V on it tonight. I didn’t realize how claustrophobic it was there.

    * The Unstable Chair showcased everything that I don’t like about the clue boxes. I understand why it is needed in some games, but in an old school style adventure like this one they could just put the clue out there and be done with it.

    * Dissappointed with the Great Escape- I was expecting something more different, and honestly calling that a seperate course when most of it is the same (and the one different part was left over from last year anyway) is kind of pushing it in my opinion.

    1. Lee

      One thing to note. This episode was Episode 1 recorded this year. They sometimes change things around depending on how it goes.

      The Clepsydre moved on Casnere too.

      (One of the key differences was them changeing the snooker game mid season in 2009

      1. Matt C

        Speaking of changes, wasn’t Araignée higher than it has been in earlier (presumably later-filmed) episodes?

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes, it’s happened a handful of times. One time they didn’t bother weighing it, IIRC. I think I read somewhere in the *really* early days they didn’t round it up!

      1. Alex

        This sort of thing happened a fair few times in the late 2000s, I think it happened three times out of ten in 2009.

  37. Lee

    This week was good. Great to see a team actually get 9 keys.
    The key games felt longer because they had more time in the show which is a good thing.

    Still waiting to see games like Ring, Museum, Bizutag, Hamacs


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