Fort Boyard, but a lean version of Fort Boyard

By | August 3, 2022

Protip: if you don’t mind watching it a year behind (i.e. they’re showing the 2021 series this Summer), and you want a version that cuts a good twenty minutes off the runtime, not by cutting the game content but by cutting most of the sketches (like all the recurring ones) and extraneous stuff, do take a look at TV5 Monde’s edits of the show – currently airing at 17:30+D10 minutes pm on Saturdays in the UK and repeated Wednesday afternoons at 1pm. They are quite nicely done.

I think it’s important for the show to have a lore element – if you reduce the place to a jumped-up outward bound centre, which in real life is basically what it is, you’ve missed the point of television. But we’ve never seen the point of introducing each section (and sometimes each character!) with a two-minute film, especially the same one every week – that’s 10-14 minutes of completely unnecessary stuff right there. Whilst we appreciate the occasional comedy scene of Pere Fouras shouting at Passe-Muraille and calling him a lazy idiot, the constant between game cutaways between every game detract from the moment – sure you might think running around the Fort is empty television, but I think you’d be surprised by its usefulness as punctuation and feeling like a cohesive adventure.

I can never remember the reason TV5 started showing it a year behind, certainly during the 90s it had parity, those would be the versions I grew up with and the main abrupt edits were that sometimes they wouldn’t show the Laffont/Fouras chats before the credits but I’ve little idea of what else may have been cut.

Whilst we’re here, we’re halfway through 2022, how are the Nine Assets of Pere Fouras? By and large they’ve been pretty good! The most successful ones have been the episodes where they’ve added a twist to some of the games – The Night of Prohibitions and Ghosts of the Past (many have been things like doing a game as a pair, not making a noise, avoiding lasers we’ve installed especially, that sort of thing but the funniest have been “you stuffed this game up last time you were here, you have to win it this time or go to prison” or offering a double prize for participating in something they refused last time), the Masked Warrior was simultaneously quite fun and quite rubbish (duel against the Masked Warrior, get a clue to their identity, work out who it is for a cash bonus. The audience are told who it is 10 minutes in, because the worst thing about The Masked Singer is the playalong value). The most interesting one in terms of future possibility for me is The Solo Adventurer – one player is allowed into the fort and they have to earn their teammates by winning games, each key won letting two more people in to join. The hilarity is the same person having to play games until they win one, running round the fort on their own, and the host having to offer all the advice. The main issue is twenty minutes in, the twist is basically done. Which doesn’t really make for a great Asset but might be a quite fun way to open the show going forward.

Still to come: The Cursed Contestant (which I understand has a similar thing where one contestant has to play all the games until they win one), The Cornelian Choice (looks like there will be tactical dilemmas to contend with), and its ending with another Masked Warrior so yay?

2 thoughts on “Fort Boyard, but a lean version of Fort Boyard

  1. Mark A

    If they were to keep “The Solo Adventurer” as a regular thing going forward, they should have all the contestants start in the prison, then one contestant has to pass one of Chez Willy’s challenges before he/she can start the key quest, then have two more contestants “released” from the prison for every key won. Maybe even have prisoners who were locked in during the key quest returned to the prison, then released again whenever another key is won.

    On the subject of Chez Willy, they should really bring back “Willymix as a “Prisoner-must-win-the-game-or-lose-time-in-the-Treasure-Room” challenge, just for a laugh!


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