Fort Boyard 2018

Saturdays from June 23rd,
7:55pm UK/8:55pm France,
France 2 and naughty streaming

Summer is officially upon us with the new and 29th series of Fort Boyard on France 2.

Ten more teams of celebrities travel to the Fort to take on the challenges set by Pere Fouras to claim his treasure for charity. This year we have the usual new tests, new adventures and new characters – Megagaf with his flyboard, the Bodins with their village fair and sporty kids now guard the cage. Narcisse Lalanne returns to run the Boyard Academy.

New events include the Magic Theatre, Car Wars and the Bank, and plenty of existing tests have been modified to keep things fresh. And this year some new players on the fort – crocodiles!

Unfortunately the red clepsydres return. We absolutely approve of finding ways to replace watching people fumble with a combination lock but we’re not sure these really worked last year. Hopefully this year their significance will be explained properly.

Let the adventure commence!

227 thoughts on “Fort Boyard 2018

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    Right Gang, help me out.

    I was convinced recently I saw a playing of Rodeo-Dino that had Lady Boo poledancing stage left, only I now can’t find any evidence of it. Did it happen or did I dream it? It struck me as being quite unusual.

    1. Lee

      You are actually correct. They had a pole and lady boo was showing off during it. You can see it during this raw footage montage.

      The episode itself doesn’t show lady boo at all in the cell. There a bright light covering it.

  2. Lee

    Fort Boyard night on Saturday

    Return of Finland
    Episode 8 of Fort Boyard
    Behind the Scenes Episode 2.

    Believe Finland and Episode 8 conflict time wise tho.

  3. Matt Clemson

    Having just caught up with Saturday’s, one thing struck me: has anyone won the council shell game? It’s clearly a maitre with good sleight of hand. I’ve started to keep an eye out for the tricks and I’ve *still* got an awful success record.

        1. Mika

          Same guy as the last couple years it was played (aside from the last year it was a regular game).

          Regular game had a 34% win rate, but considering it had more chances to win (though you had to win more), seems about right.

          1. Lee

            Bonneteau is actually a game i quite enjoy watching. Find it a shame they can’t actually stick it in a corner of a room somewhere and still play it.

            Also looking at the stats it only ever had 1 prisoner. Which surprises me considering how often they would leave it to the last second before they get out. Although i guess the same could be said about Excalibur and that not had any in france.

  4. Lee

    German Boyard looks like it uses the cage, And uses the same elevator trick as the french

    1. Lee

      Looks like “Mr Boo” is the person they play against in the cage for Germany. And Manoir has a blue clepsydre

  5. Will Stephen

    Is Joyce considered the worst contestant in recent Boyard history? Had someone performed worse?

    1. Mika

      Came here to ask the same. Off the top of my head there was someone else really bad a couple years back, but geez. I’m surprised they don’t have an upper limit to the time they can lose.

      I suppose a small silver lining is they’d have lost anyway. Probably.

      Been a while since it’s been heard, but was that a new track for losing? Seemed even sadder than before.

      (‘Fun’ fact, one of the questions in Willymix was about how many time Boodier’s lost Fort Boyard. Now Bruno’s lost twice himself. Is there anyone who’s lost three times though?)

      1. Lee

        Not sure if shes the worst contestant but she participated which is what matters (and she didn’t give up her games).

        Not actually a fan of the great escape this year seems alot more designed to waste time. It be interesting to see what happens internationally considering they only have about 3 minutes to escape it.

        And i believe its a new track for the team losing.

        Behind the scenes show was actually more Willy answering questions from the viewers. We found out Passe Muraille walked more than Passe Partout. They also showed how they did manoir effects and beam jets.

        1. Mika

          Ha, based off Brig’s Twitter comment, Nelson Montfort’s actually been quite rubbish at the Fort, too.
          Completely whiffed (at least) three adventures (counting using the Joker this time)

          In four appearances, has only won three keys/clues:
          Tyrolienne – Where the other swimmer did all the work
          Rocket Man – Where the team did all the work
          Bonneteau – The only game he actually won himself

      2. Alex

        The loss theme HAS been heard before. They wheel it out when a team earns less than 3k in the treasure room (the last one being Keen’V 2016, which ALSO was the first episode filmed that year).

        1. Alex

          Also personally I think the worst ever contestant is Caroline Laborde (2012).

  6. Mika

    And hey, I’m posting enough, so might as well update The List since two got crossed off this episode:
    Verige et dependance
    Cotons-tiges exterieurs
    Cage immergee
    Tete chercheuse

    Unless you count another Eolienne cameo this episode. 😛
    Though speaking of cameos, only noticed this episode Entrainement sous-marin is still kicking about (in the Bodin’s intro video). Is it still played in other country’s versions?

    1. Lee

      Eolienne has been shown in the trailer to be played in Germany. I know Entrainement Sous marin is used last year too. Germany also uses Tete as well.

      Apparently according to Oliver on twitter there was alot of negativity to contestants this episode about there performance. And hes asking people to tone it down because they are ultimately there to participate and its not about winning or losing but taking part.

      “My friends I remind you that this is a game. I know that the issue is important for the association represented, but it is not useful to cover a candidate with insults on the pretext that she is not successful in the tests submitted to her. It can happen! #bienveillance #fortboyard”

        1. Lee

          I think its ok that we joke and have a general opinion on contestants. I don’t usually point them out (I tend to focus on the ones who do well like bruno) but we all know the contestants who don’t really add anything to a team.

          I must admit im less of a Fan of the great escape this year as oppose to last year. It seems unfair there the Digging sand version which takes alot longer than the treadmill. Not to mention it seems harder to get out of the actual cell.

          In terms of losses. Im fine that the show has a loss every couple of years. They still get 3 grand for charity just for taking part.

        2. Jason

          Running the images through Google Translate:
          Joyce talks about illness before the show and being advised to pull out – but as she’d committed to the broadcast she wanted to take part “at any cost”. She thanks the few positive messages she’d received, but also a lot of negative ones (including people telling her to kill herself).

          In that context, no wonder Olivier and others have stepped in!

          Watching the broadcast, a few times I found myself questioning her lack of urgency – if she was ill that would explain a lot. Unfortunately, Fort Boyard is the wrong kind of show to try and plod through, and I’m a little surprised the production team didn’t find an alternative (e.g. substitute her out and give them a key/clue, or a new sixth player).

          In the end, four clues should have been enough for the treasure room – once they’d sacrificed for clues five and six and *still* couldn’t get it (with 50 seconds left), that 1:17 deduction becomes almost irrelevant when you are talking a third sacrifice.

          On a positive note, the performance on Chambre Froide was outstanding – I don’t recall it being completed that quickly in a long time.

          1. Will Stephen

            Has there ever been an occasion that they’ve done a substitute due to illness/injury?

          2. Lee

            Wonder why the production team didn’t go more easier on her considering she was ill. unless she never told them. She was given alot of physical games. Maybe they could have been switched out for games such as Cloche. Rocket Man. A riddle. They often do that for the contestants who are alot older.

            Also while unfair to compare since its different escapes. A team last year did worst by 1 second in the escape. Taking 1:18 extra time. So Joyce wasn’t the worst.

          3. Lee Turn

            I think the teams don’t have a standby option. Usually when someone is injured a key is awarded or a clue depending on what part of the show it is. The French have actually not had many injuries as far as im aware either.

  7. Brig Bother Post author

    A couple of things of note:

    * Enjoyed Vaucher’s complete disregard of Casino’s set-up.

    * Quite pleased the maitres aren’t pulling punches this year and throwing games even if they’ve done badly.

    * I’m perfectly fine with people doing badly in the Great Escape, that’s where drama is and that’s what it’s designed for, as long as no penalty is possible. I wonder if limiting the penalty to one minute would make much difference but it’s rare for anyone to go over that anyway.

    * And I’m perfectly fine with teams losing, the possibility has to be there and the threat has to be carried out to be worth anything.

    I thought it was a good ep myself.

  8. Lee

    Also a note for Bank. The screen looks broke at the start of bank. and with this being the first episode shot. It must either been broke in testing or designed broke

    1. Mika

      Huh, so Delphine really does change that quickly.

      Hoping some kind person translates that “Why does Mr. Boo lose so much” portion. XD Didn’t catch enough of it to make sense.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Yeah, I find it baffling that if she’s dressed up for it she isn’t used more for it, especially as the cameo is so brief and everything else seems pre-recorded.

        I had no idea Francis Lalanne had been a contestant, and he has a sort of look you wouldn’t normally forget!

        This was pretty good for behind-the-scenes stuff, certainly lots I hadn’t seen before.

        1. Mika

          Still waiting for the ever-elusive “So what DOES ‘Tete chercheuse’ look like underneath…?” 😛

        2. Lee

          Must agree. I didn’t reconise Francis Lalanne.

          i also thought this was a great behind the scenes show. lots of new information

  9. Lee

    Theater in finland uses a jacket rather than a box. Plays more like asile from last year.

    1. Nico W.

      Don’t know, but one guy at the end says that Germany returns for a second time in twenty years, but it is actually the fourth. Every major ProsiebenSat.1 channel had their own version (with different rules every time) and now Sat.1 is giving it another go.
      By the way this version starts next wednesday. It is heavily promoted during Celebrity Big Brother and looks exactly like the French version in the ads. However it’s 2h 10min. including commercials, so I guess they might not do the council (hasn’t appeared in the ads yet imho). I hope they edit it without shortening the games too much.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I’ve just seen a promo with Lord Boyard (i.e. Pere Fouras) sitting on his Council throne, so maybe?

        I wonder if this will be the first German version to follow the graphics and presentation of the French.

  10. Mika

    Maybe. I thought the accent sounded vaguely Australian, but I’m terrible with accents. International promo tape makes sense though. Some of the shots of them filming seemed very “run-through”ish. And the host was kinda… eh… (Also, Everest hasn’t been played in France for over a decade, so why THAT game of all things XD)

      1. Lee

        Thats Finland. The Finnish were filming at the time. While they do speak Finnish in the current episodes out there slight bits of English.

  11. Lee

    German Fort Boyard (Based on Teaser clips) Looks like its using some of the French older graphics (last year clue timer was seen) And a mix of French music and its own.

    Also seems like rather than a list of adventures at the hall of adventures the contestant is told which one to expect.

  12. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Some interesting things this week:

    Magic Theatre finally returns and…it’s still alright considering the backlash from the great theming last year.
    It seems that the Kids of the Fort were dressed in Decathlon items (Mai-Linh was wearing B-Twin gloves)
    Lenni is only two years older than the oldest Child of the Fort.
    Narcisse’s game this week was great, although not the one I was expecting given the mouth restraints.
    Live Rouge sighting on the Fort! Definitely wasn’t Delphine though.

      1. TVs Michael Harmstone

        More thoughts:

        This year they’ve not shown people take their shoes and socks off pre-Lutte even though it definitely happens.
        Bank *definitely* had a longer timer than normal.
        Lenni was unlucky not to be undefeated on the key games. Guillaume however is now at 6 keys in two appearances (including his key from Blanche).
        Jeanfi however becomes the first person this year to become a prisoner in the key games and then not escape in Judgement.
        They really need to change that lift gag next year.
        Is this the year of second chances at Clue games? First Nathalie with Velo & now Tal with Saut de l’Ange.
        I’m not sure whether Willymix will work again if they do it next year. I do wonder what happens if someone refuses to play. Same with Spa – I feel like they can’t really do that exact game again next year because everyone’s expecting it now.
        Guillaume got a lot of straight-up questions rather than the two-option ones they tend to do. He got really unlucky to get the last four wrong in a row.
        Croco World really is a misnomer given they’re alligators from Mississippi. It also felt like a very long timer compared to what we’ve seen in Croco World in past playings.
        Poor Tal actually jumping this time then losing anyway.
        I do wonder what they’ll do for the Surprise du Chef next year, cause they can’t advertise it as five adventures again and then have the “shock” of Willy’s Restaurant also being played.
        This week’s team also had two clepsydre rouge games and none of the red clepsydre games this year have seen a lock-in (even Egout last week). At the risk of sounding like Brig, they’re kind of a waste although I guess the clepsydre rouge games mean that we don’t see the code boxes as much.
        Century Eggs are legitimately gross.
        2:39 is a decent Grande Evasion time considering. It’s a real shame that the two potential routes have such a difference in difficulty.
        The storm rolling in just as the treasure room gate opens was just delightful.

        1. Lee

          Id say Croco World Clepsydre is about the same as it has been.
          I agree that the Red Clepsydre seem like a waste of time. There only 2 games where they have really mattered in terms of tension (Egout and Underwater Prison) And that is only because they are both not easily escapeable.
          Agree with the surprise du chef. Although i would keep the team playing concept. (They could make it how they win the Joker)

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            I’m convinced Manoir should have a been a lock-in and there’s some fiddling going on, the clock has clearly run its course when you see the shot of the door opening. Don’t fear your format!

            It felt like there were a couple of odd edits during Araignee as well, although his method was very clever.

            I’m digging the second-chance redemption idea as a concept.

            The treasure room during an electrical storm was very very lovely. Loved the lightning, and the lightning. Noticed they didn’t do the usual ‘toujours plus fort’ crane shot.

        2. Matt Clemson

          I can’t help but feel that the team scored surprisingly poorly overall despite having quite a lot in their favour in the treasure room sequence – didn’t lose much time in the escape, won a couple of council games, got the codeword quickly. And they didn’t even do human buckets!

          First time I’ve ever actually managed to figure out the code word – I think in this instance it’s a case of being fairly poor at French being an *advantage*, in that the immediate association I made with the first word being the correct one (I literally said “I know that as in (thing), but I’m not quite sure what it actually *means*”)

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            I think it felt like a lot more than 13k when they were tipping it in. The scales seem to surprise like that sometimes. It does feel like the Boyard has a floating value quite often.

          2. Jason

            As you say, they managed to avoid all the pitfalls and still did average. I was rather surprised by the final total as well…

            The only thing I can think of was their pace was a little slow – perhaps hindered by the rain and storms? Saying that, they had nearly 2:30 to play with so shouldn’t have been that much of an issue?

          3. Matt Clemson

            So here’s a theory, perhaps somewhat tinfoil-hatty:

            It’s been mentioned that sometimes we can see the hand of production involved in shaping the narrative of the show; if a team’s losing a bit too much, they’ll get some simpler games, or suspiciously large amounts of time in some.

            I wonder if, behind the scenes, those are actually written up as rules, and if the production team *has* to do shaping of that nature, in the interests of being fair to teams that do perform well and need little such influence, that could manifest as a penalty on the final score in some form; it’s something that can easily be papered over in the final count for the viewer, but ensure the resulting show is reasonably satisfying.

          4. Brig Bother Post author

            Really interesting theory, it’d be interesting to see some sort of 3D plot with “amount won”, “amount it looks like they’ve won” and “how good the team was” to see if there was any correlation.

            I’m not sure I’d have that much of a problem with it either, if it was something definitive and mathematical.

            One of the interesting things that cropped up in the behind-the-scenes shows the last few weeks is that you saw Passe-Muraille’s production running order produced before filming, and that all his scrolls and costumes are neatly arranged in a room ready for use. I know that the choice of player is relayed into Olivier’s ear rather than written on the scroll (except for Boyard Bank where it’s on the map) which is one way to make a game easier/harder, and presumably they can change the time limits if a team is doing badly, but it doesn’t look like they change the games on the fly. Could be wrong though.

          5. Matt Clemson

            The one I had in mind for that was the ‘break the crockery behind Mr Boo’ game, given how that one inevitably ends!

        3. Mika

          “This year they’ve not shown people take their shoes and socks off pre-Lutte even though it definitely happens.”

          To be fair, they’ve been cutting this bit out for YEARS. Like, at the very least even dating back to when Sarah Lelouch was the cohost.

          Does make me kind of appreciate in The Crystal Maze when Richard does the joke “You will look slightly different when you enter this room; don’t worry, that’s just editing.” (Did they do that joke in the original run?)

  13. Lee Turner

    Overall a good episode.

    Bank Clepsydre was a tad bit longer than usual it seems. (Although we got to hear more music)
    Second Chance for Tal on the Bungee Jump.
    Croco World actually being properly played again.

    The Stormy Weather at the TR makes the fort look really pretty (Although i think made it abit more a safety risk during the collection of gold). Makes me hope they bright back some night time episodes next year.

    1st in the ratings again this week.

  14. Lee

    Sorry if this is a duplicate. Not sure why last comment didn’t go through.

    Good episode overall. 1st in the ratings this week.

    Bank Clepsydre seems to have been increased in this episode. (Although we get to hear more of the music)
    And the Fort looked really good in the Stormy Weather. Would hope for next year to bring back some night episodes.

    1. Will Stephen

      I mean we know 50 mins on the keys isn’t really 50 mins but the editing was quite abrupt on a lot of things. It looks like bank is genuinely that long and that other people spent so long searching that it got edited.

    2. Mika

      That really was some nice lighting. Kinda makes me miss, if not the night episodes in general, but at least the seasons where the treasure room was done at night. Had a really nice atmosphere to it.

  15. Lee

    Manoir should have probley been a lockin. They also confirmed that for safety they couldn’t use the crane during the storm.

  16. Lee

    I too was surprised to find the Game order seems to be fixed. Ive often wondered if the producers get any say in prisoners and that. There was an episode last year in Morocco of Passe Partout having to unlock the Rodeo Dino door to let someone out. (The Lockin lock).

    Also in terms of this year. Passe Partout is seen nodding to someone in the camera area while Bruno escapes the bank. Not sure if thats a sign that means something. to me it could mean “let him out”.

    Granted these days we have so many cutaway shots to different clepsydres as well as them hiding them altogether during some games and just sticking a 20 second timer on screen does raise suspicion.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’m deeply suspicious any time they crop the clock out of shot when someone’s exiting a door – there’s really no reason not to unless you’re hiding something. They were doing this *a lot* ages ago, in the prison cages era, and when the prisons became a proper thing again they were very happy to start locking people in again.

      The twenty second countdowns are lying most of the time as well.

      Now you could ask “does it matter?” and in topping the slot the answer is probably not, the object is to make an entertaining television show after all, and in that it succeeds.

      But this sort of thing does get noticed and it does feel disappointing. Whatsmore it’s the show’s central jeopardy! If it’s not played straight then it’s a bit meaningless.

      If the problem is you want bodies to make noise then find some way to suspend the sentence, so they still risk a prison penalty whilst not being in prison, for example.

  17. Mika

    Looking at the preview for next week, along with some of the photos available online, I’m going to be REALLY shocked/disappointed if what I think is gonna happen does. Not saying what cause it’s technically spoiler material, but it’s pretty easy to deduce if you look for it.

    1. Lee

      Im not sure what is being refereed to here. Hopefully can spot it during the episode.

      1. Mika

        At risk of getting into riddle territory by trying to avoid directly saying it (even though it really isn’t a “spoiler” strictly speaking…), it’s not something you’d necessarily spot DURING the episode, but probably come back after it airs and go “Oh, THAT’S what they meant…”

        Of course, that’s if this happens. It’s not 100%.

        1. Mika

          Aaaaaand it didn’t happen. Or did. 😛

          The previews and press photos showed four of the five adventures, and Tete Chercheuse wasn’t one of them.

          1. Mika

            Ho’crap, you’re right. I have no clue how I missed that.

            Probably didn’t recognize the background, forgot they use the goggles in-game now, and thought it was from Willymix or something.

  18. Lee

    Germany looks like its using alot of the clue games that havent been used this year. But also a return of the Caterpillar.

  19. ianfrontier

    Someone uploaded a couple of episodes of Fort Boyard Suomi on Youtube – &

    It’s more or less the usual two-team versus;
    – Each team needs to get 6 keys or they face the penalty of having to use a crank to get the rest of the keys at the treasure room, eating into their time.
    – A lock-in means that 100 boyards will be deducted from their final score.
    – Most of the music is unique, but it uses a few of the French tracks
    – Graphics for what are key games in the French version are the same, but the last 10 second beep is different. The games used for clues in the French version use the 2009-present gyroscope main clock.
    – Prison Escape is a standard game played for a key. Cage games are duels.
    – Almost all the games are the same, but the Magic Theatre has a pretty big difference. The contestant is handuffed, but wears what looks like a magicians cape with the balls on it (like the straightjacket from Aisle).

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      In many ways it’s a shame they didn’t jump into Magic Theatre in the first place and used the straightjacket as a standard piece of escapology equipment without the connotations. Unfortunately they rather blew it in making it an asylum.

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      This looks like some sort of Ultimate Challenge style tournament?

      Some impressive chandelier swinging in episode one.

      Never loved this version of the duel final, the winner tends to be pretty predictable.

  20. Brig Bother Post author

    Episode 1 of German Fort Boyard (requires VPN):

    It’s… interesting. Atmosphereless – no real sense of theatre to the whole thing.

    It feels like 21 discrete games being played in order rather than an adventure which the French do very well – do you remember when we used to complain that the French edited out all the running around the fort and it made the show feel a bit weird, but they then bought it back (albeit largely mocked up for cameras) and the show felt rather better because of it? It felt like Fort Boyard? This is like a throwback to those years. There are barely any characters, Lord Boyard barely gets a look-in at all. It’s a bit odd that they’ve revived Passe-Temps’ name for Passe-Muraille. The in-house music choices are… interesting. None of the BGM is loud enough really. The way the clock fades in and out is irritating. Thomas seems like a pretty decent host though.

    Team of five have fifteen attempts to get nine keys (this is the Schlusselrunde). Of those fifteen games, two are in the bizarrely atmosphereless Council and the final three are in the Cage (where they’ll face Lady Boo and two unknown Mr Boos). The penalty for not reaching nine keys will become apparent in the Treasure Room. There’s no Blanche, and the host takes the Boyard Academy assisted by P-M – the first episode was the underwater jukebox which also featured a massive toad that spent the entire time trying to climb out the water tank. The Mysterious Telephone Box had a brain teaser I would politely call “old”.

    The Adventure Round begins with the team travelling to the Danger Room, here they’re told what the five adventures are and interestingly who will be facing them which the jury is out on. Each adventure seems to last for three minutes.

    The Treasure Room is the most successful bit I think – the team get a flat four minutes, however to make up their key deficit they have to use the crank screw thing that many of the international duel versions use, so each key missing is about a 10-15 second penalty. The canister unlocker is actually INSIDE the Treasure Room so they can’t start solving until they have all the keys which is quite clever. They may sacrifice players for clues as usual. Here the codeword is the one word that can go in front of all the clues to make a familiar expression.

    If nothing else it was nice to see some games they don’t play in the French show these days (Underwater Training! Dizziness and Dependency!). The Council is odd without some PF character hosting it – surely the point of doing it at the end of the French show is that it builds up to the team meeting their nemesis face to face?

    1. Dale

      Agree with you whole heartedly. I was beginning to fizzle out of it towards the start of the adventures. The treasure room brought me back into it but the atmosphere was kind of weird. It just doesn’t feel like Fort Boyard. Its strange to have Lord Boyard as a character but he doesn’t interact with the players. Ill still watch but im slightly disappointed in what they have brought out. I am curious to see if there is a prison escape game played for locked in players though.

  21. Dale

    Just finished watching Boyard Germany and overall it was OK. It is different than what I am used to with the French version but what they did with it goes well. There is a few pacing things that feel weird like the “danger room” segment feels kind of out of place since they are not implementing the joker. It is also kind of strange to see the dark lord duels and the cage duels being played both for keys, but it works. I also wish they said up front how many key games they were going to play and how many they needed, it really wasnt mentioned until the cage duels that the needed 9 unless I missed it at the start.

    I hope that it does great and we can get another series next year and maybe they can add in a few more things.

    If anyone is interested in watching it I can get the episode post later may be a day or so ;D

  22. Nico W.

    You didn’t miss it, Dale, they really never said the amount of keys needed or what they were needed for.
    I feel the same like you all, and I don’t really understand this adaptation.
    I would have taken out the council entirely, because it is already a bit weird to me in the French version, but without Lord Boyard it really doesn’t make any sense. The Danger Room is useless and the cage is not really a good narrative thing for a first season. If you really wanted to use the cage (it might be a bit cheaper than complicated rooms, though I guess you just pay for the entire package rather than certain games being included or not) you should wait for the second season and say “You were too good last time, now Lord Boyard/The people of the Fort need/s some strong helpers to hinder you”.
    I think playing 15 games for 9 keys is a good idea, but don’t show it in that hideous new graphic. Instead use a (fake) timer like the French. And maybe explain the show at the entrance of the fort with the host saying something to build up atmosphere (a bit like a person telling fairytales) and then ask whether they want to enter or not and if they chose so (obviously everyone will) opening the door starts the time and they can get started with the first game without losing too much time. The games were fine, no problem there except with the council games, even the cage is okay, but uninspired. Once that time is over go to the Treasure Room gate to discuss the next part (just a short way for the host to create come atmosphere by stressing the abilities/fears adventures on FB are about) so we can get a glimpse at the big finale and the dangerous tigers and want to continue watching after a commercial break without some preview showing it all (though they didn’t use it here anyway). And the rest of the show was fine, keep it that way, it was also the best received part on twitter.
    Thinking about it: Why keep Lord Boyard if he doesn’t really appear at all? Couldn’t the host just say that this fort bares a treasure and the people of the fort want to test the adventurers whether they are worthy or not? Saves this terrible costume of Lord Boyard and could make a good show if the host is a good storyteller anyway.

    1. Nico W.

      And the ratings are in: 1,450,000 viewers for it, and a market share of 7.8% in the target group. It’s about the ratings level a green screen clip show got in that slot the weeks prior, so rather disappointing for the cost, but it won’t be taken off air prematurely I guess.

      1. Nico W.

        Interesting fact: When it returned in 2011 on Kabeleins (a smaller sister channel to Sat.1) the first episode had 2,050,000 viewers and a target group market share of 12%. However the second episode back then did worse than last night’s episode.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          Mmm. I’m not sure I can see it going up, unfortunately.

          It still strikes me as quite sad that the best German version was the very first one, which arguably hangs together better than the very first French series, really.

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      I think what I do if I’m the German producer is 12 games then EITHER The Cage or The Council for the final three, either chosen by production or by the team (duels of strength and dexterity OR mental agility and co-ordination?) and have Lord Boyard “host” both bits. Ideally it would be a 50/50 split in episodes.

      I don’t think there’s a great deal wrong with the format as it stands, its main issue is world-building. I think the French do a great job in this sense, fantastical but aware and without being too nerdy, this version just feels like a jumped up outward bound centre. Which is all Fort Boyard is reality but it’s pretty easy to hide that fact.

      1. Lee

        I mean it aint bad. Agree with the thought that it is all over the place. (Although i have little issue with the council being played for keys since most international do it for a clue). Its also pretty standard in france that they play 13-15 Key games for 9 keys. (Includes Cage)

        The Treasure room is actually one of the better parts of the show. Actually having them get the 9th key. and then getting the clue words in the Treasure Room.

        Overall not a bad episode and will probley watch the rest of them.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I’ve no problem with playing Council games for a key, but they’re not the most thrilling spectacles and would probably be better served towards the end when they’ll feel more meaningful rather than three games into the entire show.

          1. Lee

            Yea i agree they shouldn’t just randomly be in the middle. Actually like your idea of them giving a choice of either Council games or Cage Games.

  23. Brig Bother Post author

    And a fun episode to finish 2018 with. With the return of Tete Chercheuse! Also, a notable amount of close-up clepsydre shots this week (which is not quite what we’re after but I guess the footage was shot now), almost like someone from production is reading – if you are do say hello.

    It’s actually been a pretty decent season all told – whereas last year we were all going on about the new stuff didn’t really work and we were all finding it a bit of a chore to watch towards the end, this year has felt like a much easier, entertaining, flowing television show. I wish it wasn’t the best part of 2.5 hours, but at least it’s held my attention all season.

    Presentation wise Narcisse’s songs have pretty much all hit – they don’t feel like they go on for hours and they quite catchy and dramatic – even Narcisse’s song for the Boyard Academy is at least quite funny even if the source it’s taking off of isn’t exactly new.

    Megagaf and The Bodins both pulled their weight – Flyboarding looks genuinely cool and really impressive done with skill. The Bodins were amusing, although it’s a shame the game was shamelessly pilfered from Ellen’s Game of Games.

    The returning games from last year all improved tremendously (except for, ironically The Magic Theatre which seemed to work brilliantly as the Asylum but doesn’t seem to work quite as well now) and I can’t think of a single duff new game bought in this year, although I expect Boyard Bank and possibly Croco-World might get tweaked a bit (one of few games to have several refusals this year). The new restaurant works really well, and although I’m not sure Willymix is *necessary* at least it was *entertaining*.

    I think they’ve done a much better job with game rotation than they have previously with occasional surprise inclusions although it’s a real shame there wasn’t any underwater stuff this year – I think there ought to be one game an episode.

    The Cage is the weakest part for me – it’s usually the bit where I have it on in the background whilst I sort out my laundry. I understand why they’ve chosen kids – it’s a big watching demographic and it feels aspirational – I question how morally OK it is to use children to effectively deny charity – at least grown-ups are getting well paid to work for the production team whose priorities are making a good show.

    I’m still not bowled over by red clepsydres, although I appreciate that means less combination lock unlocking.

    It’s a shame there were a couple of dodgy lock-in calls I think, like I say, it’s the show’s jeopardy so you should play it up. I know you don’t want to lock people in because it means they are unavailable. I think you might want to look into virtual prison systems, the system I’ve casually jotted down works thus:

    * If a player gets locked in, a padlock mysteriously appears on the back of their hand. If they get locked in twice a padlock mysteriously appears on the other hand as well.
    * At judgement people with padlocks must play as effectively prisoners. A win, Blanche flicks her hand, and a padlock magically disappears. People who have to play two games must play a game of skill and a game of chance.
    * Failure to win at judgement (or being locked in in an adventure) as either a sacrifice or a virtual prisoner and the padlock on their hand magically turns red. They’ll be taken to prison by Mr Boo to escape before the final adventure. In prison they hold their hands under a light to make the red padlock disappear.

    It probably needs a bit of work – in explanation to viewers if nothing else (probably a list that comes up every couple of games explaining each player’s status), but it would mean everyone would be around for mostly everything and you don’t have to sleight the viewer.

    Overall, really looking forward to Season 30 next year, especially if it can keep this year’s momentum going.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      And whilst we’re here, my back-of-a-fag-packet solution to removing the combination locks:

      A steel-looking box tower outside each game maybe 4-6 ft high with the clue in an openable perspex container up the top, a flashing light on top of that and underneath it six symbols, each with a button. Simply push the correct button to open the box and take the clue. Push the wrong button and it explodes. The light flashes during the last ten seconds of a game so yes – the team could have a guess. The instead of finding a four digit combination, they aspire to find which symbol is the correct one to push – this can be done affirmatively (it’s the red tiger!) or through process of elimination (there’s a symbol in each chamber of Tete Chercheuse, for example, not unlike how it used to work years ago).

      That’s it. Again needs work, but frankly anything is better than watching someone fiddle with a combination lock.

  24. Lee

    Agree with most of what Brig says, Decent season with a nice flow of games. There wasn’t as many Clue games played as key games as there has been in previous years. Still think the show drops off a little towards the Council but that feels short and the new games actually bring it abit of life.

    While i enjoy the Narcisse’s songs apparently they don’t go down well in France with alot of people wanting them skipped. Megagaf and Bodins are actually nice additions especially since they are used as an alternative to Boyard Academy.

    The cage either needs to go or needs to change back to adults. I really feel its wrong to have the children stop the adults from winning money for charity. (Although i think all 6 of them should be on an episode next year).

    Red Clepsydres this year didn’t add anything. I dont recall them getting a prisoner. The only game they really have a possible chance is Underwater Prison and Egout. The rest of them are easily escapeable. I do like how they have added in the Automatic Clue boxes. And i do wish there are less padlocks (Espeically since it actually saddens me to watch a key/clue burn up while they enter it) Maybe they could replace more clue games like this. For example. if they grab the red ribbon in Saut de lunge its classed as a win and it opens. Or if they pull the string in Cloche/Chainse Instable.

    In terms of prisoners. I do believe the show try and edit out the fact someone time has ran out in a game. I dont mind the close up clepsydre shots but i want that in addition to the actual team with the clepsydre. Maybe if they got rid of the cage and went back to 7 keys it would allow them to be brave enough to get that extra prisoner per episode. (Plus we know they don’t mind getting a prisoner game 1 since they are willing to play Bank as Game 1).

    Few suggestions for next year if there keeping stuff from this year.
    Lose Willymix and replace it with Restaurant. Have the team play that for the joker.
    Give the Joker a speical reward for keeping it. Maybe a small bag of 1000 Boyards or something.
    Prisoners at Judgement only get 1 life in a game. Rather than 3.

    Overall a good season. And its the 30th next year so i expect them to play pretty safe. Just gotta keep an eye out on the international versions.

  25. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Thinking about it, would it be worth having the joker game be the very first one? As Lee said, Resto could be the joker game instead of Willymix (which I think may be the only actually weak game they introduced this year). It could then be used in key games as well and they could introduce a reward for keeping it all show which could be a final adventure for example.

    1. Lee

      In terms of the Joker being used for keys. I dont think many contestants have an issue with the Key games. Its more of a case they get the general idea too late into the timer to complete it. But i do think some reward should be given to Teams that do keep it.

      Was also thinking about the prison escape. Potentially going back old school like 2005 where the Team lost chances at duels after the allotted time rather than losing out on TR time.

  26. Mika

    Overall felt like an alright series. First season I didn’t mind the constant segment introductions, and some of them were pretty good even (Megagaf was oddly endearing after the initial WTFness). Does feel like the format is coming *close* to feeling bloated, with too many segments, but it’s not quite there yet.

    Not terribly opposed to kids in the Cage, really, but I think having sports figures worked a bit better. That said, not a fan of the Cage segment to begin with, and this year still didn’t really make it much better. The new council games were really nice, though.

    New games:
    Theatre – Asylum was better, but I still don’t really like the actual game itself either way. Just feels like something more interesting could be done with a spinning room than releasing balls and putting them in holes.
    Megagaf – Really liked this one. Would like to see it come back next year, maybe with a couple different versions based on other water activities?
    Croco World – Another one where I like the set-up, but the game itself feels kinda weak? Maybe a longer course, something more like the old rat cage game?
    Catapulte Infernale – It’s weird. This one looks absolutely terrifying, like an extreme version of Saut de l’ange, yet somehow doesn’t feel as dramatic somehow. I like it though.
    Car Wars – Not a fan. Seemed too difficult, and kind of hard to follow with the darkness, and the constant camera cuts.
    Cabine mystere – Liked it, but how are they gonna do it again since the joke all in the surprise.
    Banque – A great idea, but one that didn’t fully work. Will almost certainly stay next year, but probably with some retooling. Maybe an easier first segment, and a more lock-in-able second bit?
    Bal – Enjoyable, I liked the Bodins, and for a non-timed game it never really overstayed its welcome.
    Willymix – I like the idea of the game, but I’d almost rather it be a regular key game in the “guest character lineup” with Boyard Academy and so on. It just doesn’t really fit with the feel of the Danger Room, or the adventures.
    Chef’s Surprise – I like it, and how they did it this year, but might not work next year. A few people mentioned doing it as the Joker game instead, and I kinda like that idea.

    As next year is the 30th year, kinda agree with Brig, doesn’t feel like they’ll do any major changes. Probably bring back a couple ‘classic’ games, probably another ‘former host’ special.

    1. Lee

      Interestingly. In regards to the Bank. In Finland they have added 2 chains to hold the safe door shut. These are easily pullable off, but its one that just takes up a few more seconds.

      And also atleast we seen Car wars beat in Germany.

  27. Will Stephen

    Really did enjoy the series throughout, really helped actually watching this on the Youtubes via my TV to get more of an experience out of it. Certainly the escape was a lot harder for anyone that got the sandpit instead of the conveyor belt. The addiction has kicked in for this show again so i’m rewatching older seasons on youtube to see how much ive missed over the years.

    Brig’s informative retrospective was a great help. Any chance of updating this to reflect the seasons after 2009?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Very possibly. I wrote pretty much all of that in an afternoon years ago and I don’t doubt some of it might be inaccurate in light of new knowledge over the past ten years so might go through and rejig some of it.

      I wonder what led to them putting them all up on Youtube officially? I hope it worked out for them, much easier than messing about with a VPN in order to catch-up.

      1. Will Stephen

        Likely analytics. The whole game of Youtube changed last year roughly focusing more on retention times than actual hits. So for instance after watching one video of fort boyard (all two hours of it) my recommended feed is completely blitz with other older episodes from other channels. Where as before it was purely on how many people hit the video and left a like. Plus they stick a youtube ad every 8 mins or so! and hits well over 100k in a day which ain’t too shabby for something that isn’t in english that’s for sure.

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I think what’s interesting is that they could geoblock it and evidently have chosen not to. In which case I wonder what the country demos are like?

          Perhaps it’s an easy way to show it off to other international channels. I don’t know.

  28. Brig Bother Post author

    Watched ep 2 of German Boyard.

    Do we know what happens if they get more than 9 keys (bonus clues I’m guessing)? What happens if they don’t buy prisoners out, if anything?

    Laughed when it turned out there was no flare in the thing.

    I do think it’s a decent version of the format. I think it could be a better show – musically it’s a bit 8-10 years ago. I still think the Fort’s a bit ‘empty’ – really should do more with Lord Boyard at least. It’s nice to see some adventures bought back out of retirement.

    Glad to hear it’s doing promisingly and up on last week, anyway.

    1. Dale

      No they didnt mention what happens with more than 9 keys. And not sure about prisoners but in one commercial I did see the prison break game being played. But I know in some other versions they use the prison break as a normal key game so 100% cant say.

      I agree overall this ep was so much better than last week. The graphical changes and the explanations were good. Seemed to flow a bit better to me overall. I am mostly happy they shrunk down the air time of the danger room segment. I still think it is a bit dumb to have it with the joker not in play.

      I would still like to see some more complexity with the characters, I really do miss Blanche’s games

  29. Brig Bother Post author

    Really enjoyed ep 3 of German Boyard, nice to see some older adventures that don’t get played any more, and was the hold-on-to-the-rope version of the tightrope an original or has it been played as a duel like that internationally?

    Massive win as well.

    This would be a pretty good model for a UK reboot format wise, given a decent producer.


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