K-Fac ’95

By | June 25, 2011

Right, so in theory The Krypton Factor ’95 is showing on Challenge this evening at 7:30, immediately after the ’93 Grand Final. I’ve certainly not seen a full episode since they originally went out sixteen years ago, so I’m intrigued to find out if time makes it feel less bad or not.

In other news, I’m hoping to do a feature on awesome Japanese show Escape Game Dero! tomorrow. Here’s a show to watch on Youtube – the pit is apparently CGI, by the way.

36 thoughts on “K-Fac ’95

  1. Brekkie

    I posed this question over on TV Forum but pretty much drew a blank – can anyone think of any series which a few years in has undergone a major revamp (on the sort of scale of The Krypton Factor) and then actually survived. In almost all cases revamped series seem to be the final series, or at best completely undone a year later.

    1. The Banker's Nephew

      Well, US Millionaire had a major revamp and seems to have held its rating up. Admittedly, it hasn’t even finished the first seasons, but it hasn’t had the ratings collapse as other shows have.

    2. Gizensha

      I presume you mean ‘in a single season’ there rather than the evolutionary changes to the format some things have undergone?

    3. Qusion

      I imagine you’re looking for a UK show but I cant help but cite Fort Boyard with a different format every few years.

      Back in blighty I believe Treasure Hunt changed it;s format a bit quite early on. Sequential clues to an object instead of finding a combination to a safe.

      Adventure Game had reasonable changes to the format over the run although neither of these were so drastic as Krypton Factor.

      Therefore my suggestions are: Robot Wars, Turnabout, Countdown (As Calendar Countdown) and Masterchef.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Fort Boyard from 2002 to 2003 almost certainly, and 2011 is looking that way as well. But the core of the show hasn’t really changed in over twenty years.

        Not sure I’d count Treasure Hunt, series two basically set the template every series after followed.

      2. Gizensha

        Turnabout did? I thought all the changes were comparitively minor…

        1. Qusion

          I was thinking of the change from having a set order for the spheres to cycle through, to just changing to the player colour – a minor change but one that changed the strategy of the game a great deal. (And irritated me because I’ve always been one for unusual team/player colours[orange])

          Have to admit I’m relatively new to French Fort Boyard, it’s felt like a change in the rules every year since I started watching. Although major revamps I’m sure haven’t been so common across it’s lifetime.

          Didn’t University Challenge have a weird format for a while? I suppose the seven million quarter finals they use now may count as a change in tourney format, if not programme format.

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Last year was a big shift in becoming a two team show but they’re dropping it. There’s normally one thing they do differently on a year to year basis, and it normally the bit between the keys and clues.

          2. Weaver

            Qusion asks,

            Didn’t University Challenge have a weird format for a while?

            Yes. The last few ITV series consisted of six weeks of heats. On Monday, the first two universities played a traditional match. On Tuesday, both sides were back for the highly esoteric Pass the Baton round. Highest score over the two days went through to the Friday final, alongside the winners of the Wednesday-Thursday heat. Six weekly winners went through to the finals fortnight, joined by three losing sides (judged on average score per episode played), and a best-of-three final.

            Prior to that, I think (and I’d welcome confirmation or rebuttal) that the winner of each heat stayed on to the next heat, retiring once they’d won three games. In true Countdown style, the top eight sides from the 30-or-so heats returned for the finals sequence. Would that be more entertaining than the current knockout-and-a-bit format?

            And returning to the original question: at one point, it may have been that starter questions were for control of the game, and scoring only took place from bonus questions. Again, I have no firm evidence to confirm or otherwise.

      3. Steve Williams

        Well, Masterchef has a radical revamp for that series with Gary Rhodes which turned out to be the last one of the original run. I know the version now is completely different still, but that was after a long, long break, it’s virtually a different show completely.

        Of course I didn’t see the revamped Krypton Factor at the time because I watched Telly Addicts, which has an even worse revamp a few years later. I don’t want to namedrop here but one of the creators wrote into Offthetelly when I mentioned the revamp on there and said the revamp was a disaster – “that is not sour grapes, that is a fact”.

        I suppose the only show that carried on successfully after a revamp was The Big Breakfst, and that’s only after they dropped virtually every aspect of the revamp and brought the old stuff back.

  2. Brekkie

    No issue with the first five rounds (the traditional rounds), but the Super Round was far from super, and not quite sure what the point of Penny Smith was.

    1. Steve Williams

      It’s hopeless, really, Penny does nothing Gordon couldn’t do. I don’t care much for the other rounds, having to introduce the contestants during the assault course is rubbish, you don’t know what the hell’s going on, and then it’s not about who finishes first but who does best compared to their “target time”, which given we don’t know what that is, is meaningless. All we see is contestants getting maximum points for finishing third. Similarly, in the flying-with-the-Red-Arrows Response round, you go from a simple climax – they’ve crashed – to being told they’ve screwed up via an unitelligble percentage score and a tiny dot on a tiny map. The only improvement is watching the contestants revolve around on that disco turtable during Mental Agility.

      And of course before you watch it tonight, turn on two hours earlier – or an hour earlier on +1 – for Konnie Huq on Blockbusters!

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        What’s most baffling about the target time is that it’s just the old headstarts done in reverse so the viewers and contestants have no idea what’s going on. The producers wanted to get rid of the assault course for the series, which is obviously a stupid idea and most of the long running members of the production team told them as much.

        Red Arrows thing is a bit dull in retrospect, but I can understand it at least gives an objective score at the end.

        I like the several turntables on display, not only the contestants one but Gordon’s as well.

        And I like the graphics and music.

        1. Steve Williams

          Yeah, the graphics are nice, I like the scoreboard pointing at everyone. Why did they keep in the Observation round, it’s always the dullest, and yet they even left it in the revival while Intelligence and Response went for a burton.

          1. Brekkie

            Observation Round though would be quite easy to film on the day – probably take 5-10 minutes top, whilst the Intelligence Test could take a few hours.

          2. Brig Bother Post author

            It’s also the second easiest one to play along with.

            But the Intelligence test IS The Krypton Factor, they should have fought for itblike they did the Assault Course.

  3. Alex McMillan

    Escape Game Dero! is fantastic, and I don’t even understand the questions! I’ve got the general idea of most of it, but the production value is top-notch.

    1. Gizensha

      From the two rounds I watched, seemingly “Contestants put into survival quiz situations where failure subjects them to simulated death be it from their chamber blowing up or them falling down a bottomless pit (Knightmare style, but even more temporary). Points are scored per contestant on a team who survives each round”

      The presentation, meanwhile, is seemingly Saw: The Game show.

      The pit round seemingly having a round of rebuses, followed by a round of ‘figure out what the tesselating image is’ followed by ‘name the two celebrities pictured and jumbled up’

      While the exploding room round being three ‘put these things in the correct order’ questions where any incorrect answer would eliminate that contestant (though that, on paper, made future questions easier)

      1. Alex McMillan

        There are a few after the ones I think you’ve seen which resemble Crystal Maze style mystery games, where clues are scattered around a room and must be found in a certain order. I think they explain the premise of different rooms quite well, but not knowing what the question is is a little disorientating.

          1. Alex

            Brilliantly, the next game has this in reverse.

          2. Gizensha

            I suppose that’s one way of putting it.

          3. David B

            I did a puzzle like this in one of my early books. You are sent a dinner invitation enclosed with an LED clock showing the time 7:31. How should you dress for dinner?

          4. Qusion

            Still got that one somewhere, good little training book for puzzling. Set me off on a quest for interesting colours ending in the letter ‘H’.

          5. Mart with a Y not a I

            Depends if the clock is showing the 07.31 AM or 7.31PM?

          6. Qusion

            7:31 as displayed on a standard twelve hour digital clock with no AM/PM indicator visible and seven LEDs either on or off displaying each digit. The puzzle preamble is about learning to use the information you are not given to help solve a puzzle.

      2. Poochy.EXE

        The second round puzzles in the pit game aren’t exactly rebuses. Rather, they take a picture of an ordinary object and replace each individual part of the object with a word or short description of the part, written exclusively in kanji (Japanese characters borrowed from Chinese) with all the grammatical particles and conjugations stripped out wherever applicable. The words/descriptions are still in the same relative locations and roughly the same shapes as the parts they replace. The contestant then has to guess the original object (as opposed to a phrase in most rebuses).

        For example, one puzzle has a giant “copper” in brown in the background, “country name” written in a roughly semi-circular shape across the top half, “numerals” written in another semi-circle across the bottom half, and “Phoenix Hall” (“Hououdou”, the name of a famous Japanese temple) across the middle. The correct answer is the 10 yen coin – it’s made of 95% copper, and one side has a picture of the Hououdou building with “Japan” written across the top in a semi-circle and “ten yen” across the bottom.

  4. David B

    EGD! looks brilliant. It reminds me somewhat of the Nintendo DS game Exit, which was great except that it took the character 40 seconds to climb one ladder.

  5. Chris M. Dickson

    Just watched the big KF; while large parts of it made little or no sense, it looked and sounded fantastic. I’m really glad that KF did go out with a bang, and that the ’90s had – albeit briefly – that sort of budget, back in the big-budget big-audience days.

    Hard to imagine any game shows getting this sort of big finish these days, though perhaps Fort Boyard really will do when it stops beating the odds. (Arguably series 20 might have been such a finale – though I’m glad it didn’t prove final…)

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’m intrigued to know what happened in ’94 – there was no 1994 series.

      I’d love Challenge to show really old KFs and I get the feeling there’s more chance now than perhaps there used to be, but the lack of adverts in the originals may prove a sticking point as I don’t think it’s very 9pm friendly really.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I should just add that I’m a compete tart when it comes to do good sound and graphics, I’ll forgive a lot if I would quite like the soundtrack for myself. It helps if it has some sort of tune (Fort Boyard 2007-2010 I’m glaring at you).

      2. El Condor

        Challenge have shown they’re more than willing to splice in adverts and use 35mm, to plug films etc and fill gaps. I personally would like to see them go all the way back to Series 1, if only to show the ‘Personality’ round

        PS. Look on Youtube for a user called ‘tgoacher’ – he apparently built the laser detection hardware for the Super round, and in the comments on his videos of the same he gives a bit of an insight into how the round was the logistical nightmare we all thought it was.


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