Show Discussion: Unbeatable

By | May 9, 2021

Weekdays, 2:15pm,
BBC1

We’ve had Pointless answers, Impossible answers, Tenable answers and now we have a potential Only Connect question as Jason Manford invites contestants to find Unbeatable answers.

Contestants see a board of six rankable answers to a question and must try and pick the best one for big cash prizes. The blurb suggests a hold ’em or fold ’em poker element, we’ll see if that transpires.

The set certainly looks colourful and this ought to be the sort of thing Manford should be quite good at. The BBC are backing it with 50 episodes. The last time Possessed and 12 Yard collaborated we got Catchpoint which is pretty good. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

39 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Unbeatable

  1. Cliff

    Yikes, that was boring. A very repetitive and dull format and game mechanic, a lot of “who cares?” questions, and Jason Manford doesn’t even get to flex his comedy muscles.

    Reply
    1. Anon

      Oof, this dragged on a bit, didn’t it? The “Top Trumps” nature of this could’ve been really interesting, but quite often you can narrow it down to 1 of 2 anyway, so the “tense” reveals are not actually that tense (c.f. the Anchorage reveal at the end).

      Bit of a shame, as I like Jason. And please stop using Impact font for graphics. It’s been done.

      Reply
  2. RandomZombie

    The one word I have here is it’s fine, I wouldn’t go out of my wat to watch it, but I might watch it if I feel like it.

    Reply
  3. David

    In games like this, there are one type of question I dislike- questions based on a poll; you can’t really make a reasonable guess most of the time and it’s all luck. There was one on the first ep (Paraphrasing)- based on a poll, which of these Disney Princesses do the most people consider a bad influence?

    Reply
  4. CliveOfLegend

    Alright, perfectly watchable without ever threatening to be engrossing. Liked the range of questions, some nice ideas in there. Pretty good graphics, I can’t find any word to describe the music other than indescribable. Generic, yet also weird and occasionally grating, so well done them I suppose. Didn’t particularly feel like it dragged, yet also felt in need of a speed boost. Jason needs an audience, I suspect, or at least a less rigid format to really shine.

    Reply
  5. Crimsonshade

    Format rundown:

    So the basic game of Unbeatable is the same throughout – pick an answer from a board of 6 and hope it’s better than the other choices, with the aim to pick the one “Unbeatable answer”.

    Round 1 is a Solo round where each contestant takes a turn on the board. They’re asked a question such as, “Which of these British rivers is the longest”, and shown a board of six options; and the contestant chooses one. The contestant then has to decide, do they think this is the Unbeatable answer? If they do, they must hit a buzzer on their podium within a three-second countdown. How this round plays out depends on their choice:
    – If the contestant does not buzz, then they choose other answers one by one, playing them off against their original choice. For each matchup, if their answer was the better answer (in this case, the longer river), they earn £100. However, if their answer was worse, they lose their money and finish the round. The contestant can stop any time between answers.
    – However, if the contestant DOES buzz, each answer on the board will be played against their chosen answer one by one. The contestant scores £1,000 if their answer does beat all five other options; nothing if they were wrong.

    After every contestant has had a turn, we move on to Round 2.
    Now the contestants go head to head, with leading contestant from the first round selecting their opponent.

    This round is best of 3 boards. Same rules again – asked an ordering question, pick an answer from 6. Leading contestant goes first. After both contestants make a choice, the same three-second countdown is played where either player can buzz if they think their answer is unbeatable. As before, if the contestant DOES buzz, each answer on the board will be played against their chosen answer one by one. A correct buzz wins the board and banks £1,000 for the contestant; if they’re wrong, the opponent wins the board by default and banks £100.
    If neither contestant buzzes, their choices are played off against each other, with the winner scoring a point and banking £100. Both answers are then removed from the board, and the contestants must choose two new answers, with the buzzers no longer in play. Win two answers to win the board; repeat all of the above with a new question for the second (and, if needed, third) board. Losing contestant goes home with nothing, then the round is repeated with the other set of contestants.

    For Round 3, the two Round 2 winners return for another head to head. In this round, only the Unbeatable answer matters.
    The contestants are asked another question with six answers; but this time, the contestants take turns picking an answer on the board until one player gives the Unbeatable answer. Picking it straight off the bat is worth £1,000; the prize decreases by £200 for each wrong guess. The contestant who wins two questions plays the final; loser goes home with nothing.

    For the final, the contestant has the chance to win half, all, or double the money they’ve banked to this point.
    They’re given one final board, and the choice of two questions to play on it. The contestant chooses a question, then selects an answer from the board. They must then choose other answers to play off against it, for money:
    – To win half the money, they have to win two matchup.
    – To win all the money, they must win four.
    – And you guessed it, to win double their money, they must have picked the “Unbeatable” answer – the one that beats all the others. For this final gamble, Jason asks the contestant if they want to play or walk away, the lights go down and tension music plays, and the contestant must use their buzzer to signify they want to play for the double. The reveal is deliberately dragged out for tension.

    Reply
    1. Crimsonshade

      Quick math reveals there’s a potential £10,000 up for grabs, as is standard for BBC quiz shows, if a player can pick the Unbeatable answer first time in every round and backs themselves throughout. A player who fails to declare an Unbeatable answer but still plays an otherwise perfect game can still theoretically bank £2,900 and then double it to £5,800; I expect most of the winning games will average the £2-4k range.

      And because I’m a nerd: The lowest possible amount it is still possible to win is £300. To do this, you’d need to lose the first round question; win the second round by default by having your opponent play two Unbeatable answers wrongly, thereby banking £200; win the third round twice on the fifth guess banking £200×2. This gives you £600; then just chicken out after two correct answers in the Final and take half. Of course, if you did this, did you really belong on this show anyway?

      Reply
      1. Crimsonshade

        Actually, I realised today that it would theoretically be possible to squeeze an extra £100 from the game – making the highest win £10,200 with the double – if the player loses a board in Round 2 by 1 answer to 2, then goes on to correctly declare two Unbeatables and win the round 2-1. I do feel, though, that if a player managed to pull this off, it would likely arouse suspicion.

        Reply
  6. Brekkie

    Jason Manford one of the best hosts around but God, this sounds duller than weighing the heaviest potato.

    Reply
  7. Cliff

    If you’re sensitive to the misuse of “less” when the correct word is “fewer”, then avoid this show!

    Reply
  8. Oliver

    Everything about in show seems good in theory – solid concept and good host – but it was deathly dull and generic. I’m not even sure cutting it down to 30 minutes would fix it.

    Reply
  9. Brig Bother Post author

    It’s an OK game that’s just not that much fun to watch.

    I thought they’d find a bit more of an interesting use for the Unbeatable Button, as it is “will they or won’t they push the button” is completely underwhelming. They ought to redo the first round so the contestant picks an answer, then the others fly down in worst to best order and they have to push the button before it gets to an answer that beats it, or something. Something a bit more arcade-y and interesting.

    Also, it took me years to get my head around “ranking most least” questions on Secret Fortune – I know it’s something that should feel intuitive, but it just isn’t.

    I do think the show has a strong look, and Manford does a decent job (although you kind of feel he ought to be off the leash a bit). However if I hear that cymbal brush noise every time something on the board moves one more time I. Am. Going. To. Go. Mental.

    It might be a long fifty episodes.

    Reply
      1. Matt Clemson

        Yes, but then they’d have to call it “Nuts”.

        Reply
  10. Bendy Bully

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Jason’s outfit.
    When did casual attire for hosting a quiz become a thing?
    He looked like he was dressed for a trip to B and Q.

    P.S; I liked the show and thought Jason was good

    Reply
      1. Bendy Bully

        Today expect him to be wearing shoes with jogging bottoms.

        Reply
  11. Brig Bother Post author

    1.02m for ep 1 I’m told, although I don’t know what slot average is.

    One number is not a trend.

    Reply
  12. Brig Bother Post author

    Incredible spot from @jonathancairns on Twitter – the theme tune has an uncanny resemblance to Strong Bad’s Dangeresque (40 seconds in): https://youtu.be/lwgqSMbFE3o.

    I wonder if this is coincidence or Possessed Music Box is a fan.

    Reply
  13. Brig Bother Post author

    Oh yes, something I meant to write yesterday, I think they’ve got the graphics the wrong way round, they should put the questions on the floor and use the big eff off background screens to make the match ups look a bit exciting.

    Reply
  14. Brig Bother Post author

    Episode seven down to 744k (17.1%). Has to make another series of Impossible look like a good bet, surely. Anyway, another nine weeks to go.

    Reply
  15. Brig Bother Post author

    Alright, I’ve got a list:

    Ep1 – 1.02m (18%)
    Ep2 – 0.87m (17%)
    Ep3 – 0.59m (12%)
    Ep4 – 0.86m (16%)
    Ep5 – 0.98m (17%)

    Ep6 – 0.89m (18%)
    Ep7 – 0.74m (17%)

    So maybe not quiiiiite so bad as yesterday’s numbers suggest. I bet there were some horrified faces after Wednesday’s numbers though.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Ep 8: 665k (14.7%)
      Ep 9: 795k (14%)
      Ep 10: 1.13m (18.5%)

      Friday SURGE for Unbeatable (although I’m also told that the last Friday of Impossible did 1.27m (23.1%)) so there is that. I wonder why it does so badly on Wednesdays?

      Reply
      1. Daniel H

        Not sure about Wednesdays but r.e Fridays…

        Due to Doctors only running 4 days a week at the moment due to the pandemic, they’re doing a very peculiar bit of scheduling on Fridays.

        Rather than simply swap out Doctors for another half hour show at 1:45, they bump Impossible/Unbeatable to 1:45 and put the half hour replacement in at 2:30!

        That means on Fridays only, the quizzes follow the news and get a head start on the ITV shows and Countdown.

        Reply
  16. T Bean

    I love my quizzes and watch as many as possible. However, there is one thing that has stopped me watching this – Jason Manford keeps saying pound instead of pounds and I find that extremely jarring.

    Reply
  17. graham brooks

    I watched episode 34/50.
    There was a question in the program about comments in film.
    I want to point out that the expression “My Precious ” was first expressed in lord of the rings 1978 animation version well before the modern film of 2002 so the lady who picked that expression should have won that round.
    Thankyou Graham

    Reply
        1. Des Elmes

          Apologies – was a bit narky there having recently discovered that a rather large number of my edits to Google Maps (which I edit quite frequently) had been approved and published only to then seemingly be reverted for whatever reason.

          I can’t help but wonder, however – and again without intentions of disrespect, or shooing anyone off – what brings the likes of Graham specifically to *this* site to raise their points? I can only assume they ask where to go, and the Bar is the first site that’s suggested to them.

          Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            It’s probably just someone not that Internet savvy. Nobody died.

            Also I have to approve first time posters. He may have a good point.

            To be honest, it’s harmless.

    1. Joey Clarke

      I don’t think that would have counted.
      Because it was out of the six films and the animated version won’t be recognised as those who have seen the films.

      Reply
      1. Des Elmes

        I will say that Graham does have a good point – the question could have been worded that bit better.

        But then again quizzes would be that bit less interesting without the occasional quibblesome question. 😉

        Reply

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