Fort Boyard 2021

Saturdays from 21st June, 8:05 pm (UK)
France 2

For the 32nd time, teams of adventurous French celebs attempt to storm the Fort and take Pere Fouras’ treasure, but he’s got plenty of surprises and tricks up his sleeve.

This year PF returns to the watchtower in the name of SCIENCE, testing out potential new ideas for new tests in the BEEF (Bureau d’Etudes des Epreuves du Fort) whilst Willy Rovelli has been jailed for opening his speakeasy last year behind the dentist’s surgery, and hosts a new iron stomach challenge from there, as well as a new ‘mugshot’ game to replace Willymix. Cyril Gossbo’s role has been expanded, Slaime returns, but he’s also got a new show, BinGossbo, where contestants have to answer questions picking out balls in a rotating drum whilst also actually in the rotating drum, alongside nasty creatures.

Also promised: a new Trapper character Gary Boo, the return of MegaGaf, an upside down kitchen, a flooded Underground station, a new telephone booth riddle game and ski lifts. And probably more!

Hopefully it’s a return to form after last year’s COVID series which saw everyone stationed at the Treasure Room throughout, this series looks like it’s being filmed more traditionally. Eight of the eleven episodes have unnecessary Toujours Plus Fort! spin-off shows afterwards and doubtless there will be some interruptions for the late Euro 2020 taking it off some weeks. However, Fort Boyard‘s on so that means Summer is here!

36 thoughts on “Fort Boyard 2021

  1. Joey Clarke

    I’ve waited all year to say this but…
    It’s time to raid the fort and get the gold.
    Agent Oliver is awaiting at the fort to get the team and show Boyard who’s boss. ✊

    Reply
    1. Joey Clarke

      I think that was done on the original UK version too when it was on Channel 5.

      Reply
  2. Brig Bother Post author

    Well after last year, this is a bit of a return to form. Good stuff! Some thoughts on the new stuff below, bearing in mind there’s still quite a lot to see:

    Upside Down World: Quite a fun idea and genuinely quite hard to get the head around with the way it’s been shot, but it feels like you don’t have enough time to win this – unless today’s was an outlier and most people will get three goes through.

    Chez Tata Fouras: Feels like a more obvious game now, although brings the amount of “games where you have to fill a tube” up to just about all of them.

    BEEF: Fort Boyard Does Brainiac. Liked this.

    Rouge in the Cage: About time really, although a bit weird that she’s there in person to introduce the games, then it’s a video shot of her firing the arrow with the names on it.

    Ketchuperie: The tomato drawer is an actually ingenious way to get around “throwing them across” aspect – it forces multiple crossings, and if someone does fall in then it doesn’t really matter, they’ll find it hard getting back.

    Metro: Loved this – sure it’s ANOTHER menotte game, but extremely nicely themed and felt challenging in a good way.

    Gary the Trapper – could take or leave this, seems like quite a heavy set-up for a reversion of fishing for a key. I thought it was quite fun with the “storm” on the way back though.

    Willy The Prisoner – I liked the way this was set-up, that another contestant accidentally let slip about the Speakeasy. The Flinch game is fun enough, interested to see what happens if they get three fails, do they get to go and see Blanche? Still think the eating trial feels a bit imprecise as a Treasure Room time penalty game. Not quite sure of the story here – letting prisoner’s out as an Eff You to PF, but taking away Treasure Room time as if he’s still working for him.

    Ultimately I like what they’ve done with the prisons here.

    Abandoned Dungeon – Liked this, good reuse of the old prison escape and felt like a reversioning of the old mind game from Boyardland, felt pretty old-school Boyard although it’s a pity about the “search through the polystyrene” bit which was a bit dull (although liked Olivier’s face when she just pours the basket out), probably needs another element.

    TelephRisque – Decent, felt like difficult to pull off stunt, and even had a punchline.

    Surprised there were no new Cage or Judgement games shown off. Still, though.

    Reply
  3. Brig Bother Post author

    Blimey, 2.1m, almost 1.5m down on last year’s opener, third place in slot against a film and a TV clip show. I wonder why that happened?

    Reply
    1. Danny Kerner

      Well for once Football isn’t to blame as that kicked off at 3 pm.

      Reply
    2. Chris

      Last years opener France was locked down. Best compare it to figures from 2019

      Reply
  4. Chris

    I haven’t been able to watch the full show but from the clips I have seen my thoughts:

    Chez Tatas 2021
    I will start off controversial, I liked the simplicity of Chez Tatas last year. To me the fill the tube element looks clunky here. I would maybe like to see a puzzle element introduced.

    Bitzutage 2021
    The upside down room is visually good, but the camera work made my head spin. Have several thoughts on a more unique challenge that could be posed in the same design. (Even a chance to give Willi a new element).

    Mennotte 2021
    The metro looks like it has been designed to develop over the next few years. As with many new games it seems to be designed to bring a different challenge each year. This year being a basic design. I’m not sure what the horizontal box was suppose to be within the theme.

    Fishing for the Key 2021
    Gary Boo, I dont understand why they needed a character here. (Except to prevent the contestant trying to reach in for the key. An unclimbable void would have sufficed. Again, the elements can be redesigned yearly.

    The Watchtower 2021
    Glad that its back to the format of yesteryear. Having Fouras in the tower had to be a thought in trying to erase the struggles of last year.

    I see some innovative elements arrive elsewhere but so far I’ve just seen previous trials reimagined.

    Reply
  5. Brig Bother Post author

    I think there’s something interestingly mechanically limiting about many of the key games. Think to The Crystal Maze, in many of the games the release of the crystal is often nothing to do with the mechanics of the game itself – you perform the task, a man pushes a button to make the crystal accessable. How many games does this apply to in Fort Boyard? Off the top of my head, only two – Hotel and Zoo. All the other cell based games are *about* making the key accessable in whatever location it finds itself. Whilst things like Ketchuperie, Laverie and Casino are effectively man pushes button to release key, they’re still set-up as games of access.

    I think old school Boyard was much more mechanically inventive, modern Boyard’s games aren’t quite that clever. Clearly they’re much more geared towards action, and I think they do this well within the confines of the cells. But this comes at a cost, you rarely see games of hand-eye coordination or games built around intriguing bits of equipment, for example, and I think that’s a pity.

    Edit: actually Boyardodrome also fits, but it’s no longer on the Fort.

    Reply
  6. Brig Bother Post author

    Episode 2! Bruno’s tenth edition, and a running joke about him being the guinea-pig! New stuff!

    Vertiginous Cabin: fine. Amused when Olivier said “I don’t think we’re friends anymore” after the box collapsed.

    Suspended Course (in the Cage): OK, and it was OK when they did it on The Challenge: Double Agents as well.

    CONTROVERSY in The Cage, having set up L’Endurance to its max setting for Tibo the fitness Youtuber vs Little Boo, LB won by loads but didn’t do his crunches properly so got disqualified.

    Bingossbo: Enjoyed this, partly because I like Cyril Gossbo, and partly because Bruno wasn’t so much “scared” as “mildly pissed off”, which is funny. Sure, it’s a light version of an old I’m a Celeb trial, but with enough added bells and whistles to be worth doing.

    The story here, if you couldn’t follow, is that because of COVID business had been bad for Pere Fouras and he needed to find a way to make some money, and he decided the best way to do it would be a lottery, and who could he get to host?

    Also enjoyed the old-school FB moment of Amandine not wanting to do the Angel Jump and the rest of the team trying to spur her on.

    Reply
    1. Joey Clarke

      They should have kept the Joker and then Amandine would have nominated Sylvie to take her place and complete the Leap of faith adventure.

      Reply
  7. Brig Bother Post author

    Also the luck game in Judgement!

    It feels like with good play it should be possible to almost guarantee a win. Don’t know though.

    If you want to work it out at home – three blue balls, two white ones, place them in a row to match a mystery five-ball combination. After each go you are told how many blue balls are in the correct place. Three tries to crack it.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      There are, I think? ten different combinations possible, 2×4 reversible ones and two symmetrical ones:

      XXX–
      XX-X-
      XX–X
      X-XX-
      X–XX
      X-X-X
      -XXX-
      -X-XX
      -XX-X
      –XXX

      Reply
    2. Chris M. Dickson

      Off the top of my head I have a strategy which wins 70% of the time, but I’m not sure it’s not possible to do better.

      (1 in 10 chance you have 3/3 BB correct on 1st go and win, 9 in 10 chance you have either 1/3 or 2/3 BB correct on first go.

      1/3 BB correct: the correct one could be the left one, the middle one or the right one. Assume left is correct and swap the other two for the two missing. If this doesn’t work, swap the other two back, assume middle is correct and swap the other two for the two missing. This will lead to a win if left or middle were correct and a loss of right was correct, so a 2/3 chance of a win.

      2/3 BB correct: similar logic, but pick two correct out of the three, not one correct. Again, 2/3 chance of a win. Overall chance of a win is 1/10 * 100% plus 9/10 * 2/3.)

      Reply
  8. Brig Bother Post author

    Who could have predicted the key to winning Aragnee is to stand really close to the target?

    Good episode tonight – pity their brains couldn’t match their skills or they could have gone clear even without the Cage – the BEEF puzzle was certainly workoutable even if you didn’t know the properties of sodium (drinks come in aluminium cans and chlorine is put in swimming pools), maybe they were a bit unlucky in Slaime, although both questions were pretty quiz chestnutty (the joke on the wheel was that was category was “fear of losing”).

    I think capping the time penalty in Willy’s prison kitchen is a good idea (although I expect playing will fall into two categories – success or complete failure, with no gradations in between), I think there probably should have been a maximum penalty in the Great Escape previously, a minute would have been about right. I reiterate I think they’ve done a great job with Willy’s prison, I’m quite enjoying the joke that despite being in prison for a year he’s really annoyed to have company when he gets it (I LOLed at “oh good, she’s gone” when the player was trapped in the box), and during Toujours Plus Fort he goes to great ends to point out the failure rate of each game. And Olivier is really annoyed he’s around, threatening to report him to PF.

    Seems a shame Delphine’s been a bit more sidelined, even if she got her own segment effectively.

    Reply
  9. Brig Bother Post author

    Fun and eventful episode 4, many of the points I was going to make I’m likely to forget having to watch it in two parts.

    * Winning Metro and then forgetting to take the key! I’m sure there have been other examples of games being won and them forgetting to collect the prize but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

    * The boxer literally breaking the bank was hilarious.

    * Interesting to see they’ve imported the shoot-out game from Boyardland, and nicked from Taking the Tower making an appearance in The Cage. I *think* it’s probably better suited to the Council as a game, but perhaps it’s too silly/the area isn’t big enough to give it its due.

    * Megagaf! I enjoyed the story here – after failing to take over the Fort with his non-Superpowers, Megagaf just decides he’s going to hang up his costume and be a normal person, but feels a call to arms after yet another team fails in the Treasure Room, “every week since Megagaf stopped coming”. I don’t think the game is as spectacular or as funny as his original one, holding onto a dinghy for twenty seconds, but I suspect that might be the price of COVID.

    * I thought the bone that Olivier gave Phillipe for Rodeo Dino was quite small compared to usual, and then Elodie pointed out there were larger bones on the floor. I kind of hope this has been deliberately set up as a common sense hack.

    * TelepheRisque is a pun on Teleferic, which is a posh name for a ski lift.

    Reply
  10. Brig Bother Post author

    Also four eps in and it feels like they’re rotating the games a bit better this season – the new games are getting played more which is fine, Aragnee has only turned up once which is great, Ketchuperie the only one that feels a bit overplayed so far.

    Buuuut, but but but – Angel Jump, Ejection Cabin and Vertiginous Cabin in the same episode is a bit much.

    Reply
  11. Brig Bother Post author

    Episode six, fun team of comedians – seemed to take quite a lot of pleasure in each other’s misfortune, which was funny. Also, one of the most entertaining playings of The Doll’s House I can remember, classic old-school Boyard.

    But. But but but. You’re not getting away with that Treasure Room cut, Production. Why are you scared of your format? If someone gets locked in the treasure room, as would have CLEARLY happened, everyone would have been talking about it for *weeks*. It would have been terrifically exciting. I don’t get it.

    Reply
    1. Lee Turner

      Not going to lie. The Treasure Room thing doesn’t really bother me too much. Ive seen the gate stop near the bottom to allow people out so many times its just common. I think unless your really stupid and still at the fountain with 5 seconds left there not going to lock anyone in.

      Not to mention i feel those episodes where the time isnt a standard time (Like 2:23) they tend to be abit stranger with the gate.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Bollocks, there were two people who weren’t going to get out and they had to hide shenanigans by cutting to tigers. Nope, not having it.

        The idea that the producers can’t work out what 2m 23s minus 30 seconds is a laughable idea.

        Reply
        1. Lee Turner

          Rather they get locked in too. But then the charity lose out. And even if it makes the show look better then the charity misses out.

          Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Tough, the celebs should have taken it seriously. If the threat is never carried out then there’s no jeopardy, which is precisely why there’s an Indiana Jones shutting door and warnings to get out *in the first place*. Why not just give everyone ten grand for being splendedly entertaining and be done with it?

    2. Tom F

      I’m so curious about this – do you think they were properly ‘locked in’ and production just decided to give them a pass, or something else? I wonder if maybe one of them got an arm or a head halfway under and so they had to stop the gate for safety, and then didn’t know what to do.

      I don’t blame the team that much, if you’re in the small 4 figures range it makes sense to take risks with the gate given the 3k minimum (right?). They were cheerfully crap all the way through, I feel like if they had been locked in they’d have taken it in their stride too.

      Reply
      1. Lee Turner

        Watching the show alot internationally this is something they actually often do alot all over the place. There been times the gate just stops near the bottom to allow the people to get out. In a way it sort of feels like they actually don’t want any TR prisoners anymore. They don’t even have the switch they use to block off the tigers and lose the cauldron anymore.

        Reply
        1. Lee Turner

          Atleast in france they try and cut away from it. In Africa they just decided to show the gate suddenly stopping and letting 2 people get out before resuming closing.

          Speaking of the Treasure Room. It seems like alot of teams are now encouraged they can’t re enter the Treasure Room when the door is closing.

          Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Olivier still usually says during the run that they’ll lose it all if anyone doesn’t get out in time. Baffling.

  12. Brig Bother Post author

    Wrote this on Discord:

    When a show has been around for thirty plus years, it has to adapt to modern tastes and expectations to stay alive. Everyone prefers the version of the show they grew up with so it’s not surprising that people in their 20s and 30s who post on forums prefer older versions of it. I think the show currently is probably the best, or the most refined, it’s been for a while – pacey, games are good, funny. Yeah The Cage sucks but I bet the kids love it. I wish it was closer to 90 minutes than 135, but that’s a budgeting thing.

    Although I wish there was less production funny business, obv.

    Reply
  13. Brig Bother Post author

    Another fun team, with some absolutely superb performances (Sebastien) and some absolutely rubbish ones (Laurent).

    Really pleased they did so well in the Treasure Room – such a shame they needed two sacrifices, that could have been close to €25k, Seb using his big hands and long reach to shove all the coins to the edges really effective. It *felt* like they were collecting very efficiently throughout.

    Surprised we’re seven episodes in and we’ve only seen BEEF twice.

    Reply
    1. Lee Turner

      Surprised chambre froid has only appeared on a post show so far this year.

      2.82 Million viewers 15.9% Audience share. 24.8% on marketing share
      although 3rd place in ratings
      “Fort Boyard always stronger” (France 2): 1.32 million (13.6%).
      Those are the best ratings of the year

      Reply
  14. Brig Bother Post author

    Notes from this week:

    * I’m prepared to fight anyone who reckons Cyril Gossbo is rubbish. He’s excellent.

    * Fun team, my favourite bit of advice given was “eyes shut, mouth shut, stop whinging!” during Abandoned Cabin.

    * Nicole = the French Mel Giedroyc. It had completely passed me by she was Le Fee Roni on Boyard Land.

    Reply
  15. Brig Bother Post author

    Really interesting episode of Fort Boyard tonight:

    * A team that didn’t look like much on paper, but were each entertaining in their own way – Vincent off of Koh-Lanta is probably one of my all time faves and I enjoyed Paul the quiz champ looking baffled/overwhelmed by everything.

    * My stream broke down during the BEEF, were they suggesting how they make the clepsydre water? Discord suggests Caustic Soda, Ethanol and Thymolphthalein (that turns blue if the water is acidic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymolphthalein) – that’s been a well kept secret, but I kind of love it. Presumably there are other dyes they can turn a different colour? I knew it wasn’t “just” water because the glare wouldn’t work on camera.

    * Great old-skool Boyard moments during the adventures that were allowed to breathe in the edit – they might be most entertaining playings of Dolls House, Unstable Chair and Spa for ages. And what have they been feeding the pigeons this year?

    * Love a good old disaster ending, doesn’t happen very often, and it’s nothing for production to be scared of. Although it’s odd that they get Ketchuperie as a bonus game in TPF, one of the lowest win rates on the Fort.

    Reply
  16. Mark A

    I didn’t know that about the clepsydres. I just assumed it was tap water and blue food colouring!

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Heh, yeah, I think they had to find a way to make it slightly more viscose because otherwise it didn’t look very good on camera.

      Reply
  17. Lee Turner

    Watched the series. Enjoyed it alot. The new games were pretty good. Gary Boo was pretty entertaining. (Will be intrested to see if his game is played internationally)

    The ratings have been pretty good so i expect next year to happen but i have a few issues.

    1st issue – They need to be better at hiding spoilers. If your showing pictures of a contestant in the willymaton or the eating prison escape then you know somewhere they are going to lose and it ruins the atmosphere. Espeically in the last episode.

    2nd issue – The Boo’s have gotten very good at the cage, and i feel its time for it to go. I would happily keep them all to play the games around the fort but feel the cage has ran its course.

    3rd issue – It feel alot of the games on the fort are ready to either be revamped or removed. We seen like every expolit for araginee, laverie is edited down to 62 seconds.

    4th issue – They need to believe in their show. Show off the clepsydre which they are next to. Lock them in if they are a prisoner or add extra time to the clepsydres.

    On a postive note. The editing and paceing has improved massively. The intros lasting less than a mintue and games getting a good amount of screen time.

    Overall. Im happy and looking forward to next year.

    Reply
  18. Brig Bother Post author

    Great end to the series – Baptiste Giabioni never ever disappoints with his reactions, Brahim’s Metro performance was incredible (opening the door then going round was a brilliant tactic) and Nathalie Simone and Willy is a flatshare sitcom waiting to happen (also she was a surfing champion! Who knew?).

    Strong series overall, unusual in that it felt like a few games were underused more than anything (although 11/11 for Upside Down World in the main show and TPF feels like a lot for a game that feels a bit undertested). Tata Fouras still feels like a mechanic in search of a game, think they removed some of the fun surrounding it as well, probably should have made more “psychic energy” gags. “Tata Fouras! Tata Fouras! If I serve you your tea, will you give me your key?” Maybe they should make it a projectile target practice game.

    The Cage remains a weak point – it’s usually the bit where I nip to the toilet because it’s largely missable. The characters are good, but yes it doesn’t quite seem fair having to play against effectively event professionals.

    Given how I gave up on the series midway last year, watching 10/11 of them this year is a bit of a win I think.

    Reply

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