Knights and Warriors (1992, USA)

Go and look on Google or Wikipedia and see how much information you can find on this show. Well I have already, it’s very, very little. This show seems to have dropped off the Internet completely, and we only really knew it because Sky One in the UK used to show it in the 90s.

Well I don’t think that’s good enough because Knights and Warriors is a bit of a lost gem – not perfect by any means – but a lot of fun, and much more like UK Gladiators than American Gladiators in terms of presentational style. There have been other Gladiators-style combat shows in the US like Battledome and Blade Warriors, but this, we think, is our favourite.

“It is written in the book of Good and Evil, that in a time long ago all was peace and harmony. Paradise on Earth.”

“Then one day the universe shifted, all was dark and for those born on that day their evil destiny will be sealed! Now they have united to wreck havoc on an unsuspecting world, and forever more will be known as… WARRIORS!”

“Led by the walking talking tower of destruction, PLAGUE! A true physical specimen, an iron beauty: STEEL MAIDEN! He’s too hot to handle he’s PYRO! The biggest chip off the Rock of Gilbraltar LADY BATTLEAXE! The Duke of Doom, he’s your worst KNIGHTMARE! The Royal good girl gone bad, PRINCESS MALICE! The utter state of confusion, he’s CHAOS! And a truly dangerous snake in the grass, VENOM!”

“And I the Lord of Rules and Discipline have recruited the most skilful teams of modern day knights to do battle against the despicable warriors… “

The teams are introduced at this point by walking through a gate. Two couples of two representing the purple and gold teams.

“These teams shall vie for knighthood in a whirling battle where but ONE couple will meet the riches of sweet victory, there is no turning back the time has come for Knights… and WARR-iors!”

Unfortunately we can’t find any references at all as to who played the Lord of Rules and Discipline which is a shame because he is amazing. He sounds a bit like the assistant in Dungeon Keeper – that sort of voice.

It’s certainly one of the most OTT intros to a game show you’ll see for a while. Helped no end by Fred Lapides’ royal tourney meets RAWK soundtrack.

Here’s host and commentator Joe Fowler, one time sportscaster, now apparently does infomercials for a living.

And down in the Warriordome bringing all the news from the contestants is actress and one-time co-host of Dancing With the Stars Lisa Canning.

There are the same eight events in each show, “the games of King Arthur with a nineties twist!” Some are played in each episode by both male and female competitors, some games are played by only one gender but no game is specific for one gender, who plays what changes from week to week. The team purple or gold with the highest combined score wins the competition and plays in the next round of the tournament and one step closer to the grand prizes, which we don’t know what are.

Each event is introduced by a short piece of film. Event one is the Catapult.

Here come the Warriors! “The louder they boo the happier they are!”

Pyro uses his fire magic to light the ring of fire.

Before some events, you get to listen to some of the Warriors give themselves a pep talk. Here’s Plague and Chaos, here.

Right, unpleasantries out the way let’s get on with the game. Catapult is played twice, once with the men and again with the females. Down one end of the arena is a catapult which the Warriors load with red balls. They are fired into the arena. The object is for the players to pick them up and then chuck them through the ring of fire. The further away they are when they do it, the more points they score. To make it a bit more interesting, you can see a slingshot on the right. The other warriors use it to fire yellow balls into the arena at high speeds. These are best avoided!

There is one minute for this game. Each game begins with a gong and trumpets. In some events the clock is on screen all the time, in others it disappears and comes back at the end.

The cumulative scores. The women didn’t manage to score anything in this event as it turns out.

The Lord of Rules and Discipline tells everyone to keep watching after the break because Battle Swords and the Sorcerer’s Wheel are coming up next… on Knights and WARR-iors!

Game two is Battle Swords, played by the males. Here they’re going to be fighting Knightmare. Using your giant rolling pin things, the object is to knock your opponent off. 50 points if you knock the Warrior off, 25 points for a draw.

But to make things a little more interesting, they’re both on seperate treadmills. Unfortunately our Knight has lost balance here.

Game three is for the females and is called the Sorcerer’s Wheel. They must run anti-clockwise around a rotating track jumping over the fences along the way. They score ten points for every lap completed within the 45 seconds, but if both feet touch the inside mat then the lap does not count.

But unfortunately the Warriors have got a swinging mace they can swing between each other with the intention of knocking the knight off the wheel and out of the game. It’s a bullseye for Lady Battleaxe, here.

And isn’t she happy about it.

The Volcano is Knights and Warriors‘ equivilent of The Wall.

The knights must try and climb to the top of a 30 foot net in the shape of a volcano, the higher up they get, the more points they recieve. Men get 45 seconds, women sixty and both will have a go. If someone gets to the top the game immediately ends.

The difficulty comes with the Warriors inside the Volcano. One is on a swing with a battering pad, two more are swinging him from side to side and a fourth is controlling the height. By bashing into the Knights from the inside, the intention is to slow them down. And cause them PAIN.

The surveillance cameras capture some action from inside the Warrior Den in the form of a short skit.

If you want to pledge allegience to the Knights or Warriors… you’re about 15 years too late.

Roller Joust is a bit of a brilliant event, albeit often over quite quickly. Everyone is on roller skates. Two warriors circle the outside track. Also around the outside track are 24 rings – red ones worth 10 points, gold ones worth 25 – to be lanced on the five foot lance the Knight has been given.

The idea is to try and get as many rings as possible within the 45 seconds and to avoid getting knocked over by a Warrior which ends the game.

Lancing a ring in action, here.

For the first 15 seconds, the Knight can use the middle lanes exclusively. After the fifteen seconds a horn goes off then it’s a free-for-all.

Unfortunately this Knight’s strategy of picking the lane so close to the oncoming Warrior was poor.

Tug O’ Warrior is played by the men. It’s a tug of war played on swivelly platforms. 100 points for winning, 50 for surviving.

The penultimate event is The Pit, and is the only event where the Knights battle directly. It is played by both men and women.

In it, the players must get into a large bowl and attempt to pin each other using the provided pads – no other sort of pin will do. They score points depending on which zone the pin happens – 25, 50 or 75 points. The game lasts 45 seconds.

But the Warriors still get to have their fun! They violently rock the bowl, so it’s as much as the contestants can do to stay standing let alone pin each other.

The final event is the only one where the couples get to work as a couple – Target Onslaught. It’s played in two parts. First, one team member must fire at six targets (the active target lights up) – some of them moving – using the catapult provided whilst their teammate loads the crossbow.

The Moon’s been successfully hit, here.

They have thirty seconds to hit as many as possible. But each target isn’t worth points, it’s worth time for the second part of the game – an additional five seconds for each target hit.

The partners swap over, and it’s time for the Warriors to start taunting them!

The Knight has 30 seconds plus the additional time earnt to shoot the warriors as they zig zag their way across the battlements on handrail slides.

There are three rails – hitting a warrior on the furthest one is worth 150 points, the middle one 100 and the closest one 50.

An inset shot, Lady Battleaxe takes a hit on the nearest rail.

Well she was the largest target, in fairness.

This is a pretty decisive event really with such big points on offer compared to the score differences at this point. Some sharp shooting could earn you many hundreds of points, although few teams were much good at it.

The winning couple recieve their winners medals. Let us all hail the team of Whitley Bay Hurrican… wrong show.

Not only do they win a medal and a berthing in the next round, they win some camping gear.

And it’s going to be even more exciting next week!

And after the credits we’re given some Warrior Words of Wisdom. The antithesis of Inspector Gadget.

Mildly interestingly, it looks like several episodes were released on VHS tape.

This feature was originally written in 2008, the following comments were left in the original comment box:

David:
A couple of other things I remember: 

-later on in the season, they altered the Catapult scoring (since scoring was so bloody rare- if anyone scored more than two or three times, it was a miracle). The closest zone was now just a catch zone (and most of the red catapult balls were now aimed to land in that zone), the 2nd zone was worth 25, the farthest zone was worth 50. 

-The Pit’s rules were changed as well. The placed a non-scoring zone in the middle of the bowl, and the objective was for the Knights to simply knock a player down high enough in the bowl so the majority of their body landed in a scoring zone (there were off-screen refs who would sound an airhorn when a legal score was made). The scoring was the same.  

-Battle Swords, Sorcerer’s Wheel, Roller Joust, and Tug-o-Warriors could be played by either men or women- they changed who would do what each week (but the two players on the team would do two of those events each). 

-The Warriors did cheat, and often (to emphasize the fact they were “bad guys”)- Interstingly, the major cheating- cheating that might result in points being awarded or a Warrior being DQ’d- happened to occur more often to the trailing team it seemed…

Brig Bother:
Battle Swords, Sorcerer’s Wheel, Roller Joust, and Tug-o-Warriors could be played by either men or women 

Mmm! Yes you’re absolutely right. Lisa refers to a “he” in the Roller Joust introduction.

Brig Bother:
Can you recall what the grand prize was, David?

Brig Bother:
I also think – shout at me if this doesn’t make sense – the catapult would be better if you scored more for being closer, as you’d be taking much harder hits from the slingshots. Hmm.

David:
It was some sort of a luxury all-expenses paid vacation plus several thousand dollars in spending money I think… 

The thing with Catapult was the slingshots were mainly meant to distract the players- the heart of the game was getting the red balls and throwing them through the hoop. The longer shots were harder to make, thus the higher score for them.  

Again, it was a decent series- potraying the Warriors as “Anti-Glads” worked to a point, and some of the games were interesting- but it suffered from being the copycat.  

Most stations ran AG on Saturday mornings oe early afternoons-usually in a consistent time slot paired with pro wrestling in a 2 hour block- KAW had lesser timeslots (remember, both shows were syndicated, so there was no set timeslots for them anywhere), sometimes late-night slots or even Sunday afternoons (where they would get crushed by football games).  

AG was pretty much at it’s peak about then as well, and varied the games a little (KAW had the same set of games for the entire run). Also, Target Onslaught just didn’t have the feel of the Eliminator.

Gizensha:
It’s certainly one of the most OTT intros to a game show you’ll see for a while. 

How is it compared to Ice Warriors? 

…And the Warriors had very homoerotic costumes, I see. Hurrah.

Mika:
Liked this show as a kid. And, ahhh, Blade Warriors. That was actually a pretty decent show, although it had the unforgivable “Final Round Worth Set Points” flaw.

Simon:
Done a bit of googling and the Lord of Rules and Discipline was an actor called Bernard Erhard. His obituary is on this page.  

http://www.einsiders.com/features/columns/nov00obituaries.php

Brig Bother:
Well researched! Thanks Simon, I knew I recognised the voice from somewhere.

10 thoughts on “Knights and Warriors (1992, USA)

  1. James E. Parten

    A seven-paragraph listing of this show can be found in “The Enclyclopedia of TV Game Shows” (3rd. edition) by David Schwartz, Steve Ryan and Fred Wostbrock. (Checkmark Books, 1999). I don’t know if there have been any editions since. Rather full credits are given, including the fact that it was taped at the CBS/MTM studio in Studio City (a neighborhood of Los Angeles, to be precise).
    I remember watching this one when it came out. Yes, “American Gladiators” was as big as it was going to get at the time.

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  3. Richard

    Here at last be someone who recalls the Welk Entertainment Group’s “Knights & Warriors”! ‘Twas during Season One or Season Two, I forget which one, if I recall correctly, that host Joe Fowler introduced his daughter to the world. Presley Anne Fowler is, I assume, in her mid-20’s or mid-30’s today; but when the K&W cast & crew found out about the fact that Joe was gonna be a daddy, when the episode aired, he called the little bundle “Baby Battleaxe,” after Dot Jones’ Lady Battleaxe. Cool, huh?

    Reply
  4. EPS

    Interesting to read a lot of the comments above. K&W was indeed a gem of a programme in the 90s.

    I can offer a fair amount of info about the programme, but unfortunately like everyone else, I have no footage of it.

    First point to make: Vandal! I have no idea who this Warrior is. I missed only 1 episode to the best of my knowledge (the very first episode of Season 1) and I do not remember him at all… Slash subbed for Pyro in one episode of Season 2, but that was it.

    Interestingly enough, Empress Vixxen actually appeared in both seasons. Midway through Season 1, she subbed for Steel Maiden for one episode. In one of the first episodes of Season 2, Steel Maiden injured her knee in a game of Roller Joust. Raven was introduced at the start of The Pit as the fourth female Warrior. For the very next episode Empress Vixxen was back subbing for Steel Maiden, then Raven replaced her for much of the rest of the season (Steel Maiden did return for one or two episodes in the middle of Season 2, but left again). It was also during Raven’s first full episode (where she appeared in opening credits) that Slash also subbed for Pyro, giving us a very double-different intro.

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  5. EPS

    Now, during Vixxen’s first appearance she was the Warrior for that episode’s game of Battleswords. She lost – badly! But, it did always make me wonder if that was scheduled to be Maiden’s one and only appearance on the game, and we missed it.

    This did of course mean we got a speaking intro from Vixxen where she (and I’m paraphrasing) told us: “I’m Empress Vixxen – with two XX’s [holds up two fingers to the camera – no joke] – because I spell double-trouble. [throws head back] Hahaha! and a limp crack of her whip.

    Yes, Vixxen’s USP was the fact they gave her a giant whip… So, during the Warriors entrance into the arena in this same episode, she broke free from the others after they did the whole hands-in thing, cracked the whip and made the claw-hand to the camera. In other words, for one night only Vixxen stole the spotlight from Pyro with his whole lighting of the Ring of Fire (not such an unwelcome break from tradition either) etc. She didn’t do anything an elaborate in her second appearance though.

    Vixxen also had this incredibly annoying habit of making this “cat-noise” (a fox is not a cat, dear!) at every bloody opportunity, and doing this claw-hand gesture.

    She was a very poor quality Warrior from memory also, and her OTT am-dram moments (check out the exaggerated snarl in her intro clip [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmBTYoe2GUw]) were not missed when she didn’t come back again.

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  6. EPS

    Raven on the other hand was a bad-ass blonde bombshell who always reminded me looks-wise of the bad babysitter in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle – except she had scraped-back blonde hair in a French plait (is that how you spell it?) and was arguably the best-looking female warrior.

    By the middle of Season 2 we had almost forgotten about Steel Maiden as Raven fitted in so well. She was a frequent skater on Roller Joust and took part in Tug-O-Warrior more than once. I don’t ever recall her having a spoken introduction prior to the events, but I’m sure I just can’t remember. And I’m almost sure she did have a bit of banter to the camera with the other warriors before Roller Joust.

    Slash was a one-episode wonder who I remember very little of. He didn’t do any solo events, hence he just sort of blended into the background. In fact my only memory of him of any real significance is on Target Onslaught where I believe he got hit on the 50 and 150 slides.

    He was a big, beefy, shaggy-haired beast with a very plain costume. I do remember part of his intro during the credits was “Cutting his way _____, wherever he wanders – he’s/it’s Slash”. He burst his way through the smoke striking a knife/dagger in both directions across his body.

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  7. EPS

    Interesting miscellaneous memories:

    – Knightmare couldn’t roller skate, yet they put him on Roller Joust on a couple of occasions either late into Season 1 or Season 2. And they kept putting him on it! By the end of Series 2, he had become competent – but honestly, it was like Bambi the first few times. Hilarious!
    – Battleaxe didn’t debut on Roller Joust until quite late on, but she was competent and became a regular.
    – It’s no surprise to hear Battleaxe usually assumed the role of the ‘muscle’ in Volcano, hoisting the other warriors up, while the other two did the guiding. On only ONE occasion they actually put Battleaxe in the swing and left it to poor Raven to do the hoisting… Interesting, as Joe Fowler once commented that all of Raven’s strength was in her lower body.
    – Also on one occasion, and it might very well have been the one above because I remember it with a sense of irony, the female warriors completely misjudged the ‘hoisting’ and the warrior was significantly lower than the climbers. However, I have it in my head that it was (again) the one and only time they let Venom be the muscle. Could be wrong though!

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  8. nerdzster

    This was one epic game show – certainly the most FUN. Watched this in the late ’90s.
    Just ONE episode is available on youtube 🙁 (and i dont think its on sale either)

    I particularly enjoyed Roller joust

    Reply
    1. Aaron

      if i recall, the show with the grand prie of a vacation + several thousand dollars in spending money was beach clash. i can’t believe that wasn’t corrected b4 now.

      Reply

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