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.

21 thoughts on “Show Discussion: One Question

  1. Henry R

    This is a tough watch so far. It feels so drawn out and tedious that I’ve found myself checking my phone more than actually watching it.

  2. Brekkie

    Disagree actually – I thought it was surprisingly engaging and the Jeopardy style twist to the questions actually made it quite interesting. Undoubtedly lifted by Claudia.

    Certainly worth the weekly watch. Wouldn’t say it’s the sort of thing you’d binge watch though.

  3. Henry R

    Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I felt it was really slow, painfully so when you know the right answer and you’ve got to wait 15 minutes for the reveal.

  4. Brig Bother Post author

    OK, a team of two get a question (for example) “What is a circle?” and the contestants are given twenty appreciably Jeopardy-esque answers, one of which directly refers to the thing being asked (either directly or as part of a name of something) such as “this Saturday night gameshow hosted by Philip Schofield started in 2009”.

    In the first phase, the players see answers five at a time, and at the end of each row of five must eliminate two of them. At any time they think they see the correct answer, they can lock it in there and then. If they eliminate the correct answer, the game is immediately over. After four rows of five, they’ve eliminated eight leaving twelve.

    In the second phase, they can now eliminate any answers they want, but they can also buy clues at a price of £10,000 each. If they want a clue, they pick an answer and that will give them an additional hint for the *question that answer would be the answer for.*

    When they get down to six, they can spend £25k to have two answers eliminated – they pick three to put up, the computer eliminates two of them, the remaining answer may or may not be the answer to the question. If they get down to three answers, the computer can eliminate an answer for half the remaining money.

    The writing is legitimately quite fun to be fair (although the reveal of the correct answer was met with a mild ‘oh!’ rather than anything more exciting), but the process is pretty much as dull as I was expecting and if you’ve correctly spotted the answer, by the Discord reaction, it was about 40 minutes of sitting through a fairly dull process waiting for a result.

    For some reason the symbol on all the answers is a Q when it should be an A surely. The background music was largely standard drones.

    I can’t see many people jumping to watch the rest of the series on All 4, or tuning in as a Friday treat.

  5. Chris M. Dickson

    People watch shows, not formats, to quote a wise man around these parts. It’s not much of a format, but I think this has the feel of a low-key, slow-burner commercial hit that could well sell abroad; it’s a more satisfying answer to the question of “What if Deal or no Deal, but quiz?” than any we’ve seen so far. The tension ramps up effectively over time, and it’s a single compelling story from the start to the end of the game. The fact that people can bomb out at any moment is exciting, but the thought that people could take the Hail Mary for the correct answer at any moment is also exciting. I think I’ve watched episode two rather than episode one, but I quite liked the variety of the answers in the game material and the breadth of knowledge needed to do well. Claudia hosted this much more straightly than I thought she might, though she was a good fit; there were points where I wondered whether this might even be more of a Davina show than a Claudia show. I don’t love this, but it definitely feels above-median to me when I was expecting it to feel median at best.

    It;s hard to know what the correct slot for this is, and that might indicate it’s not as strong as I thought. I’m also struggling to work out the exact demographic; would the extent of age variety in the answer material play well with an older audience? I could imagine another world where this is actually an Ant and Dec Saturday night show. I don’t think it’s compelling in prime time without a hefty top prize, so I wouldn’t see it on the BBC. Could it be an afternoon show with only a slightly smaller prize? That might be it. I don’t imagine it holding up well as an alternative to The Chase, and maybe not even Tipping Point, but I could see it doing well against chunky, clunky old Tenable because of its simplicity, or maybe even stretching earlier still during the day as a transition between chatty talk shows and a formatty quiz.

    1. Brekkie

      I think it would work fine as a daytime show for £10,000. I think whether £10k or £100k though the clue/elimination rate needs a bit of work, and a few tweaks to how the reveals progress. I think in the first run through eliminating 3 rather than 2 out of each 5 would up the pace, and the jeopardy, a bit.

      Not sure how it’s a more Davina show than a Claudia show though – if it was Davina it would feel like “another Davina show” whilst Claudia rarely stepping foot into the gameshow world makes it feel fresher.

  6. Brig Bother Post author

    I know it messes up the numbers, but for me I wish they could eliminate answers in the first round as they were revealed – there’s so little utility in keeping answers that are complete non-mysteries to players and audience for a later date, they just take up real estate really.

  7. Mark A

    Watched the first episode last night and… I was pleasantly surprised.

    My initial thoughts when I first heard about this was “Oh god, This’ll never work!”. But actually, I thought the way they handled it is rather clever. It’s basically “reverse Wipeout” where the aim is to find all the “Wipeouts” to make it easier to find the “correct” answer. But the fact that you could, In theory, choose which answer is correct without seeing 75% of the clues, or accidently eliminate the right answer very early, means that every game should be different (Again, in theory anyway).

    That being said, I do wander if this show will have a “Rolling format” i.e. Millionaire or Blockbusters, or if it’s just going to have 1 or 2 games self contained in each episode. If it’s the latter then the format could fall apart, since the audience would then be able to tell what’s going to happen because the show is about to end!

    I think Claudia is a good host, but I agree this definitely felt more like a Davina show to me.

    Is it perfect? Not really. I’d probably tune in again next week to see what the rest of the series is like. I’m not binge watching it on All4 thought, I’m busy enough as it is!

  8. Realeo

    If you’re a quizzing nerds, you’re going to hate this because the correct answer is too easy. However, if it’s for the general public, it’s actually a reasonable show. I decently enjoy it. Not every game show have to be a fast paced show. It goes through around 35 multiple choices per hour, which could be worse. It may go to Hall of Shame, but it’s going there for “almost but not quite” instead of “absolute train wreck”. Perhaps it could be a better show if you try to have 3 pairs of contestant instead of 2, therefore the pace makes more senses.

    The question writing is very good. The fact they cover a lot of area of subjects makes the show enjoyable. There will always be some easy answer for everybody and there will always be hard answer for everybody.

    The fact it’s not a rolling format is a shame to be honest.

    My biggest grievance is that you can easily reverse psychology the mind of the question writer. If the answer is “The name of Aston Villa’s stadium”, you may not know the name, but you can be quite certain, even without knowing the question, that’s not the $100k clue because it’s not obscure enough.

  9. Brekkie

    One Question is probably selling it quite short as it’s really 20 True or False questions per couple, so likely 40 an episode. That’s pacier than it first appears.

  10. Whoknows

    Episode 1 isn’t on All4 at the moment. I’m assuming it was previously?!

  11. Mark A

    This is why you should always READ THE QUESTION before you answer!

  12. Brekkie

    Enjoyed episode 2 more than the first and hope this does become a sleeper hit but considering they only had One Question per round there should be no room for error. They essentially gave “Madison Square Gardens” as the correct answer to “What is Square”, but Madison Square Gardens is of course not square. And even if it was based on an earlier incorrect answer they’d define it as cube or cuboid anyway.

  13. Henry R

    Especially when one of the other answers Piazza del Campo means public square too.

  14. Brig Bother Post author

    The first episode of this did 866k, if it keeps that up all series then C4 will be pleased.

    Readers: I’m not hopeful of this keeping up all series. Celeb Gogglebox lead-in or not.


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