Show Discussion: Bridge of Lies

By | March 13, 2022

Weekdays, 4:30pm,
BBC1

Hot on the heels of Danny Dyer (The Wall), and Steve McFadden (er, Britain’s Hardest) former Eastenders hardman Ross Kemp has been drafted in to host a quiz and it’s one that seems a bit more gamier than most so we’ll soon see if this is a smart bit of casting or stunt casting gone wrong.

Teams of individuals must cross the eponymous Bridge of Lies – an electronic screen made up of tiles in a diamond formation but only stepping on the correct answers that fit the question – from the promo we’ve seen, the questions are a bit Moneybags-esque which isn’t a bad thing. The steps of the Bridge are covered until you’re a step away so it will be interesting to find out if the positions of the questions on the bridge are entirely pre-determined or whether the correct route is pre-determined but right or wrong questions are just distributed from a list – it seems like there’s potential for backtracking and picking up extra money en route.

Criticisms that people have picked up on just from the promo is that it’s the shame all the writing on the tiles is going to be at 90 degrees for the viewers at home, and that the game is against the clock (to HUNDREDTHS of a second no less) but there’s still quite a lot of step on answer, pause for drama, reveal going on which seems a bit rum. Hopefully there’s enough else about the show to cancel the issues out.

STV Studios had a quite fun format called The Lie knocking around a few years ago which we always thought would have been a great half-hour filler show, so if it’s at least as decent as that than that’s a good sign. But is it? Let us know what you think in the comments.

20 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Bridge of Lies

  1. Chris M. Dickson

    Bah. I wrote a long comment, but the Bar ate it. Here’s a bullet point version instead.

    1) Very well thought-out. I prefer this to everything in last year’s Hall of Fame.
    2) I really liked the kinetic nature. It reminded me of The Exit List and The Adventure Game.
    3) I actually want to play this, which is very rare for me.
    4) The “there is always a route through” mechanic is brilliant and makes this a proper game, not just a quiz.
    5) 22 truths and 10 lies per bridge? I like those odds, but it must be hard to write for.
    6) Music is nothing special, but I like the really appropriate use of variety of volume.
    7) No strong feelings either way on Ross Kemp.
    8) I did like the decreasing time per row in the final.

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  2. Cliff

    Good gameplay, clear graphics, lots of playalong value.

    If three players trying to win £475 between them was deemed exciting enough to schedule as the first show, that doesn’t bode well for future contestants.

    It’s not a Bridge of Lies, it’s a Floor of Lies. There is a bridge in the studio, but Ross stands on it, overlooking the floor.

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  3. Brig Bother Post author

    The conclusion I reached after one episode is that as a round it’s brilliant, but it’s pitched at quite an irritating level of intensity to the point that I’m not sure it replays all that well in the context – it has lots of good Moneybags-style of questions (and rather them have to come up with 30+ potential answers than me), but it lacks the fun chaos that lends itself better to repeated play – I absolutely respect it, but it doesn’t come across to me as an afternoon off treat like !mpossible, Tenable, Answer Trap, Moneybags does (or did).

    It feels like a lot of work for the players (and, perhaps more importantly, the viewers) to end up with a pot that’s less than £500 split four ways. What is this, Beat the Pack?

    Ross Kemp’s better than expected, the music’s OK (I’m trying to remember what it reminds me of) although growing in intensity as the game’s about to finish whether by win or loss is a bit of an irritating spoiler.

    I don’t know. I respect what it does, I ponder whether the audience for it is going to be there at 4:30 in lieu of Antiques Road Trip not famed for its intensity, but I also think it’d likely be a hard sell in many slots. We’ll see.

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  4. NowCutThatOut

    Much better than I expected (though probably bolstered by how surprisingly bad 1 and 6 Zzzzzzzs was). Will be interested to see how the game holds up with a less likeable group of contestants, as it was very easy to root for this bunch.

    Definitely looks a lot of fun to play though – seems like a prime candidate to be turned into a Twitch warmup game in the future.

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  5. Brig Bother Post author

    Hearing about 1.1m for episode one for this in a slot that was doing 1.5m I’m told, one number not a trend etc. Today’s warm weather won’t help though.

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  6. Brekkie

    Second show may have been better for a debut. Surprisingly watchable, with Ross Kemp surprisingly comfortable in the role of gameshow host.

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  7. John R

    Even better episode today!

    Turns out the final contestant can’t use the panic button so they have to use it or lose it by Player 3
    If all of them get through to the final there is no half offer, just double offer

    Felt a bit pointless having the final question in the final when they were guaranteed by that point to win it (IF THE WAVE DOESN’T BEAT THEM OF COURSE!!!), a bit like how they still had to scream “STOP!!!!!” on The Colour Of Money even though they were guaranteed to win (IF THE BONG DOESN’T BEAT THEM OF COURSE!!!)

    Also I like how the unused contestant managed to hot foot it back to the Vault and out again with the team within about a millisecond…EDITING!

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  8. JC

    A fun game let down by lots of small issues.

    In particular the post-mortems don’t work at all, there’s not enough time to unpick wrong answers. Right answers are not investigated which is a shame for categories like S country capitals. Red-green tinges to reveal wrong answers are troublesome for colourblind viewers like me. The reveal of a random lie seems pretty useless most of the time, would it be better to pick a lie on the leading front? Sound mixing feels off, it feels like they are playing in a vacuum to me – the wrong answer noises in particular are too understated IMO. More music while people are talking might make the chats feel less stilted and artificial.

    I do like the endgame – the offers provide a nice touch!

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  9. Brig Bother Post author

    Up to 1.3m for ep 2. I hadn’t realised that ITV are at Cheltenham all week so it’s up against Tipping Point compilation shows, which is smart.

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  10. jon s

    Tipping Point compilation shows are a real help to the ratings, but they are still fairly down on slot avg.

    I don’t think the pacing of the game is quite right – they’ve taken the 5 minute time mechanic from Mental Samurai and it throws away lots of opportunity for extra information you want to hear..

    The random lie reveal is a waste of time – why bother?

    The trouble will be writing questions that have enough answers and are interesting, they’ll burn through the interesting ones quickly.

    On the good side, its quite a neat mechanic, the set looks nice (although I would have preferred there to be an actual bridge) and Ross is competent.

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  11. Michael S. Collins

    I left this for a few days as I thought that a gameshow hosted by Ross Kemp did not sound like my cup of tea.

    Well, shows what I know, as on the whole, this was quite promising.

    There are niggles. The contestant’s five minutes including all of Ross Kemp’s “is it the right answer?” waffle. The Chase and Mastermind count contestant and host in the time but that is straight question and answer. (Although the trend to reply to a shortened answer in Mastermind with “yes, Tony Blair” annoys me too. Takes crucial contestant seconds away…) There’s also too much unnecessary angst over questions the contestants know, but maybe that sells TV now. (One and Six Zeroes stretched that out to get tension out of the Coventry answer, which was ridiculous.) The random lie “help” appears to be sod all use. I agree that part of the thrill of quiz shows is learning stuff you didn’t know, so if you jump too quick from a right/wrong answer, it feels like a waste. Which again goes back to the five minutes includes Kemp’s chatter. Maybe circa 2 mins to cross the bridge but the clock stops when the contestant makes their move. That could even increase jeopardy – “you have 30 seconds to make 3 moves, you’re time starts now!” The jeopardy in episode 2 came from “will Ross Kemp stop talking in the time left to check their answer?”

    Also I feel a 50% automatic penalty on a wrong answer when you have 3 lives is unduly harsh on a show which doesn’t offer that much money to begin with. But that’s just me.

    On the less negative side…

    I love the bridge idea. There always being a route, there’s some logic involved. If you know two correct answers, maybe go for the one which opens up more answers. I like the minesweeper style play of it. I like that they show the options clearly on TV making it extremely easy to play along at home. I also like the “double your money for one less team member” final gambit. The questions are set at a reasonable level, but there’s some sudden stinkers in there too.

    In short (err…), much better than I thought it’d be. I don’t immediately love it, but I could grow to appreciate it.

    And it’s nowhere near the Bank Balance debacle I’d assumed going in, which should teach me to keep an open mind about new quiz shows with unusual hosts!

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  12. Oliver

    I liked this a lot; the core concept and gameplay is really good – well thought out, easy to grasp and is very compelling. It also nicely fills out its 45 minutes without feeling padded (if anything, it could do with being a little longer to be able to provide more answer reveals).

    Kemp, who is someone I’ve never particularly cared for, seems like a good fit and keeps the show moving nicely, especially as the format doesn’t require a ton of personality-driven filler to pad it out.[1]

    A few minor quibbles – it’s not massively varied, it’s probably going to run into a Pointless-esque question issue sooner rather than later if it gets a few series, the stops at the side seem extremely limited, and the prize money on the first episode was pathetically low even by BBC daytime quiz standards.

    But they are quibbles – overall a good concept well executed.

    [1] Kemp combined with the brick set does give me weird alt-universe Dragon’s Den vibes, however.

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  13. Brig Bother Post author

    Watched a few eps now, don’t think my opinions have changed much – good bordering on great general game and question writing, the Final feels a bit dull in comparison (and please, have a better contingency than “you basically can’t lose UNLESS THE WAVE GETS YOU!!!”) and the show lacks X Factor.

    Haven’t seen any numbers in the past week so no idea how it’s doing (especially now Tipping Point’s back to full strength). Few qualms if it gets recommissioned (especially given a lot of the stuff that’s been recommissioned recently), not sure where it ought to go though.

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    1. Alex McMillan

      Feels like maybe if that last step in the final changed if the player got it wrong, that might work?

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Mmm, possibly. That does mean you probably have to refresh *every* row where someone steps wrongly to keep it constant.

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        1. Alex McMillan

          Aah I’d just colour the final row differently, describe it as like “the last leap” and just explain it’s an outlier if/when you get there.

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          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Noooooo! That just feels like adding unnecessary rules! One size fits all is *usually* the better approach.

  14. jon s

    970,000 and 14.5%
    Seems to be pulling the Pointless ratings down – 2m, 21.5%

    I’m not sure this is a good bordering on great game, it an average bordering on good game.
    It’s solid, but lacks something compared to the great games like tipping point, chase, dond etc.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I suspect it’s going to be the new Duel where a certain subset are going to go bonkers over it and everyone else can’t quite see it.

      This being said, if Unremarkable can get recommissioned I’d probably feel a bit put out if this didn’t if I worked on it.

      Reply

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