L’Essentiel Fort Boyard ep 1

By | July 4, 2022

It’s not incredible (we basically wanted to show you Looping), but this four minute highlight video actually shows off some of this year’s new stuff (that’s been used) pretty well, if you can’t be bothered to seek out the full two-hour version:

Things mainly of note:

  • Of the new cells and adventures shown, Looping was my favourite – a 360 degree evolution (I hesitate to call it a revolution) of Cloche. It’s a bit like that game from Dog Eat Dog where you have to swing the swing to do a full turn except here you’re forty foot in the air, you’re not strapped in to some box device and you use CO2 jets to get momentum. It looked great fun, and when his legs come off the bar, dodgy as all hell.
  • The Infernal Cell is OK, it uses the elderly go back and forth through this obstacle mechanic, but it’s fair to say this is probably the most Wipeout-esque obstacle they’ve used in a room to date. The Propeller looked really hard. The way The Revenge Of Cyril Gossbo ends just reiterates the idea that when I’m producing Fort Boyard UK, Dave Benson-Philips is getting the auxillary character role.
  • This year’s big new idea – the nine assets of Pere Fouras – where each episode is played under special conditions worked pretty well this first episode. It was The Night of Prohibitions, so some games were played under different rules – you mustn’t play this game alone (game played handcuffed to another player), you stuffed this game up last time you were here, you mustn’t stuff it up again (win or go to prison), you mustn’t touch a laser, you mustn’t scream, you mustn’t play this game with any light (for the snake pit) – enough added spice to remix what’s already there. Next week is “Time Ghosts” where loads of old characters and games might turn up, I can’t wait to see if and how creative the rest of the series might get.
  • I’m not a big fan of the new running-around-the-fort music, but in a nice touch they’ve bought back Pere Fouras asking a riddle from the watchtower with the full-on 90s running music leading to it and 90s tower music.
  • Heavens be praised The Cage is now an optional extra – at Judgement you can choose either sister, Blanche in her Hall of Judgement or Rouge in The Cage to set you a task. On the one hand, the odds on losing to a Boo in a fight are extremely high. On the other, Blanche’s new game of “drop this cube into a massive box of water so it lands in a much smaller box” is bastard hard. The real joy is that it knocks 20 minutes off the runtime so it’s a slick two hours (and five) now.
  • Sheriff Willy is funny.
  • The CGI tigers are certainly CGI tigers.

Things you can do on Saturday if you must

By | June 30, 2022
  • NEW FORT BOYARD on France 2, scheduled for 8:10pm (UK) but probably best to take that time as a loose guide. We’ll be discussing this on the Discord. Or at least you will be, I’m not going to get to watch until Sunday.
  • Because it’s also Schlag den Star from 7:15pm (UK) which we’ll be watching along with which sort of requires the live element really.

Something you can do on a Saturday sometime in late August is play the new Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader game, which is coming out on in the UK and excitingly, is enhanced for XBox Series X/S so that will be some fun Video Content sometime after August 22nd. I believe it’s coming out on Playstation and Switch as well. Doesn’t look like any attempts at localisation, so no Noel 🙁

Loving the Welch

By | June 28, 2022

We’ve frequently bought up our admiration for the musical stylings of Ed Welch in the past, the Paul Farrer of the 1980s (Knightmare, Catchphrase, All Clued Up, Blockbusters, The $64,000 Question, everything on TVS) so you can imagine our thrill to discover another exciting Youtube channel full of production music (it’s a real trove, but mainly for drama more than entertainment) featured Welch’s arrangement of his theme to New Faces, which in his typical synthesiser form could break into any of his other themes at any time. Incredible.

Bother’s Bar Plays Badly: Escape Game Fort Boyard 2022

By | June 25, 2022

That’s right. The new series starts on France 2 next Saturday night but that’s not stopped Microids releasing this year’s iteration into stores – right now it’s out on Nintendo Switch and Playstation, Steam and XBox to come. Is it worth £36 of your hard earned cash? Of course not, but allow us to show you what’s new in this edition and also the stuff that was added in the Toujours Plus Fort! DLC last year that we didn’t bother making a video for.

This year’s big new innovation is the Time Machine featuring six (count ’em) old school games, two of which are games that have been on previous editions but deskinned. And for some reason these aren’t integrated into the main adventure, which they managed to do on telly when they got Patrice Laffont back for a year to introduce them so no excuse really. Also features Willy Rovelli, and for some reason all the new games have extraordinary tight time limits.

Show Discussion: One Question

By | June 23, 2022

Fridays, 8pm,
Channel 4
(and all on All 4, apparently)

I am ridiculously excited about One Question. There’s no time limit, no buzzers, no complicated rules. A sofa, a chat, just one question that could win our players £100k. Not only that, we give them the answer. Tricky part is we give them 19 wrong answers too. I’ve bought a new black sweater and the studio has a toasted sandwich maker. I can’t wait.

Claudia Winkleman in a press release

When I first heard about this, I thought it sounded crap – a twenty-option multiple choice question where they’ll spend the best part of an hour eliminating incorrect answers before landing on an answer which might earn them £100,000, like a crap quiz version of Deal or No Deal.

Anyway it turns out it might be slightly more interesting than that. The questions clearly aren’t going to be open and shut cases and sound as though they might be a bit more lateral than “which of these is the exact height of Mount Everest in feet?” and we’ve also gathered that there are lifelines that can be deployed to knock out answers but lowering the prize money – no complicated rules indeed. Also the first episode features two couples, will it rollover?

So ironically a show called One Question leaves us with a lot of questions, the big ones being “will it be any good” and “will anybody actually watch it” to which my guesses are “I’m not convinced but will keep an open mind” and “at 8pm on a Friday on Channel 4, probably not but I’m sure the first ep will do reasonably.”

Let us know what you think in the comments.

The actual real motherlode

By | June 21, 2022

Wowsers. It’s a twenty minute edit of the Richard O Brien Fort Boyard pilot, uploaded by Pierre Launais (one of the show’s creators). Be aware that the sound is *well* out of sync – like the visuals are running at a different speed to the sound.

It’s actually impressively fully-formed – about 75% of the games used were used in the first series of the actual show as is, a few more with a couple of differences, a few not at all. There’s no Pere Fouras character yet, The Sphinx serving much the same role, and I can’t work out what the scissors/paper/stone card bit at the end was all about (I wonder if this was the inspiration for the Time Chasers element bought into the show later on).

Also they cracked down on the “using your clothes as a sack to collect coins” between pilot and series. The treasure room in the first series worked differently to all the other ones – 18 chests, each key opened a chest, but you couldn’t go in and out – it was one way only, and “the legend” says if you won you could only take out what you could physically carry, so you had to strip down to the minimum before taking on the flooded underground to enter.

Still though, absolutely fascinating stuff.