Fort Boyard 2016

boyardlogoSaturdays on France 2 from July 2nd,
1955 UK/2055 France

Incredible, we’ve hit series 27 of Fort Boyard, the show that we’re still quite excited for despite the fact we’re in our mid-30s and probably ought to know better.

At time of writing it sounds like a few structural changes this year – the assault on the fort looks like is gone, teams will need to get NINE keys now – it’s been seven for all but three of the previous 26 series (four if you want to count The Cage shenanigans last year) so this is quite the departure. The adventure section begins with a trip to a mysterious room where the team will get visual clues as to what’s coming up and Pere Fouras’ gives them a ‘joker’ to change one they don’t like, and it sounds like there are BIG changes to the Council this year, new room, new elements?

I reckon they’re also going to double down on game variants (like they did with Boyard Academy and Gagarine TV) which should keep us on our toes.

We just hope they aren’t going to increase the length of the show, it was already pushing it at two-and-a-quarter hours last year and occasionally with really disappointing payoffs for the viewer effort put in (a losing team is interesting, a team that wins but only 1:30 in the treasure room feels like quite the swizz).

There is ongoing discussion of this year’s novelties being revealed as filming proceeds here.

163 thoughts on “Fort Boyard 2016

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    I’m not getting to watch until later, but this topped the ratings again last night. I thought the Olympics would have been more popular.

    Reply
    1. Alex

      I’m guessing this means that Hamacs has been given its marching orders, that, Salle de Tortures and Balles de Coton had the jungle theme, and now there’s only one left I guess it makes sense to just call it that.

      Reply
      1. Jack B

        And it’s still a pointless automatic lock in game, sadly. I really don’t get what the point of that was, especially since the team were already guaranteed to need Blanche by that point.

        Reply
        1. Alex

          If they absolutely must have a lock-in on there, I’d rather they did it like Corniche and had a physical high wall to get over instead of a pithy gate. Flip the obstacles around and have it so you’d enter, the door locks behind you, the key’s right there, and the actual task is in getting out.

          Reply
        1. Alex

          It’d be weird if they played it in France still now there’s a name change. Would it be “the other Jungle one”?

          Given the amount of what was basically cheating that happened on it in 2015 I’d not be surprised if they didn’t do it in France again.

          Reply
  2. Brig Bother Post author

    One of items at Chez Willy’s this week appears to be Belgian waffles with vegemite, which would be unusual but not that bad surely.

    Reply
    1. Matt C

      Yeah, I was yelling “I could do that!”. Not sure about the… fermented shrimp, was it, on the other?

      I was impressed by the Manoir performance, I have to say. Ridiculously speedy.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I think that’s the best way to do it – just get on with it and not allow yourself to get startled. Easier said than done I’m sure!

        Next week is looking particularly exciting by the way, looks like we’re getting the Shooting Gallery, and many games they haven’t played so far this season.

        Reply
  3. Mika

    Cool to see they kept Compteur with the new setup. That was one of my favourite newer duels.

    Wonder if we’ll EVER see Garage won. This was about as close as I can remember it getting (wonder if he could have gotten it if he tried, seemed pretty close to the top)

    Also wonder if next year (if it comes back), they add side walls to Araignée. Pretty clever to just sneak out the sides, but that seems highly against the spirit of the game.

    Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        That shows you how much editing goes on in the French show, they used to show pretty much all of a game, now it’s always three goes and done.

        Reply
        1. Brig Bother Post author

          Just ended up watching a full ep of Azerbaijaini Boyard – actually I really like it, like a show made with 2003 editing sensibilities but with 2015 graphics.

          The Cage looks rubbish without the French direction though.

          Edit: Morocco not Azerbaijani. Ahem.

          Reply
          1. Lee

            Is Morocco. Azerbaijan didn’t do a series last year or this year. (To much of my sadness).

    1. Jack B

      Re Araignee, cheating the games has been part of Fort Boyard for years now (The guy running in and out of the anagram game is probably the best known example of this), usually they’ll accept it if people do it but then change it up the following year.

      Also, last year this wasn’t possible as the floor was flat (rather than the slope this year) so they may just change that again.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Yes I expect it’s something the designer didn’t consider would happen, which has led to some great moments. It’ll get tightened up if it comes back next year.

        Reply
      2. Michael

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they reduce the slope slightly next year to combat this – it’s practically impossible for anyone to win (outside of last week, when the slope wasn’t in place) unless they actually want someone to be locked in.

        Garage is another game where they pitched the difficulty a little too high, and I’d assume they would want to make changes to a game that didn’t have a winner in its first two years in France.

        Reply
  4. Brig Bother Post author

    Just a heads up but tonight’s episode should be really good, not only several games not played for a while but Bruno Guillon is leading the team. He’s always good value, but last time he was on he did the snake pit and it was one of the most epic three minutes of television all year. Tonight (spoiler) he’s got the Abandoned Library…

    Reply
    1. Mika

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgmrpm3x2I0 – If anyone wanted to watch.

      (Completely unrelated but noticed it looking for the clip, fort-boyard.fr updated how they display their game list, so that Epreuves and Adventures are now on the same page. Guess they gave up trying to differentiate where Cerce went? 😛 – Actually a really nice update, though.)

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I gather behind the scenes the sections are now Epreuves pour Cles and Epreuves pour Indices rather than Epreuves and Aventures, so it probably makes sense in a way.

        Reply
    2. Jack B

      Looks like tonights episode is also scheduled to run 10 minutes longer than the usual- hope it is as entertaining as it promises to be if its that long..

      Reply
  5. Brig Bother Post author

    Right, fun things tonight:

    * Thierry Olive in everything. He’s clearly a great sport but someone on the production team was clearly having a laugh putting him in Alert Rouge, but I was *desperate* to see what would have happened if he had to do The Great Escape. He wouldn’t have fitted through the exit surely. Yes I can talk, I know.
    * Elliot taking a minute to get off the conveyor belt in the Great Escape.
    * The shooting gallery game (feels like a reversioning of that pantry game whose name escapes me) was *rubbish*. They should have given Mister Boo a crash helmet and the projectiles should have had a bit more form.
    * I love that Vincent got his letter to Pere Fouras he wrote as a kid read out on telly twenty years ago and now he’s a celeb and on Fort Boyard and they bothered to fish the clip out. I miss the old Host/Pere Fouras end of show double handers they used to do. I also miss the team collecting their gold up at the end and going back to their boat, but that’s because I am old and still have an attention span.
    * AND! Someone won Garage.

    Edit: That game was called Reserve. And also did they really show Olivier checking his phone during Boyard Academy? Amazing.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Also I should rescind some criticism I had after the first couple of shows, I think the current levels of treasure room time are fine and it’s unfortunate they probably showed the biggest two first.

      Reply
  6. Brig Bother Post author

    2.6m/17% last night. We may never know why it spiked for a few weeks a few weeks ago, but it still topped the slot. Series average about 400k up on last year.

    Only just over a million watching the Olympics at the same time.

    Reply
    1. Mika

      Kinda funny, was re-reading your retrospective yesterday, and seeing how many times it was “Oh, it was close to cancellation cause of low numbers,” and here it is, still around, topping the slot, beating out the Olympics…

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        In the top ten shows of the week as well normally.

        I can’t get my head round French numbers really – bigger population than us but really nobody watches television, I can’t get my head round the Olympics only getting barely a million. Perhaps I’m missing something.

        Reply
  7. Lee

    While not part of this week’s Fort Boyard.

    Back in 2006 there was once a longer than 4 minute treasure room in Russia. One team failed to get the correct code and the other team took over and guessed. However because the host had to make his way down the stairs to announce the tiger’s head the producers decided to let them continue for another 20 seconds past the 4 minute clock.

    https://youtu.be/4EtT9iVUlx4?t=4200

    Reply
    1. Chris M. Dickson

      The host is Treguard, except that he has to follow a “business casual” dress code and is thoroughly pissed off about it.

      Also, seeing the alphabet grid use the Cyrillic alphabet is amusing, when even the South Korean uses the version of the alphabet that we’re familiar with.

      Reply
  8. Michael

    Last night, it was so obvious again that the production wants 1 – and only 1 – prisoner. Mister V got “Platines” for his judgment game, which is nearly impossible to do (Played 5 times, 0% success rate!). The other 2 candidates got easy games, which only a very clumsy person can fail (success rates 100% and 86%). It’s a shame, I’d love to see what happens when 2 candidates have to do the escape.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Apparently they have run it with two in rehersal and the results are quite funny, so no idea.

      I do find myself cheering when the first judgement game is lost on the hope that a second loss *might* happen.

      Good stats there btw.

      Reply
      1. Mika

        I won’t lie I was happy when Platines was back just because that guy was annoying the hell out of me.

        Good to see they didn’t fully drop Mr Boo as a game (didn’t they not do that version last year?) – I wonder if he’ll ever win it.

        Interesting that this team has the season record so far despite being… er… a man short… (I’ll show myself out) – I wonder if anyone’s done stats about time vs treasure (possibly vs carrying style too)

        Mini-Maitre was funny to see. Figured he was gonna do something like Compteur or Awalee, so seeing Poids was all “What, that won’t be… oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh… Cool.”

        Reply
        1. Mika

          Do wonder if Mini-Maitre might be brought back for next week’s show with the kids.

          Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Almost certainly I reckon – Mini-Maitre has turned up in previous series. PF also mentions when ti’s a female Maitre when a woman plays Poids.

            I quite liked the gag about PF offering the Passe uniform to the short guy.

            Absolutely grab-and-run is a better technique than carry someone and pile them on, although it certainly helped that they had a pretty large clock to work with.

  9. Brig Bother Post author

    We’ll all be playing that coin spinning game at work on Monday, I’m sure.

    Viewers up on last week (2.9) but looks like it was beaten by the Olympics.

    Reply
    1. Matt C

      Was there some significance to the central circle in that one? I missed it if there was.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Don’t think so, I expect it’s just an empty table and that circle is where you stick the apparatus setting up.

        Reply
  10. Lee

    Intrestingly. In Czech they are only using passe-muraille (The messenger) to do all the jobs passe partout does.

    Reply
  11. Brig Bother Post author

    A precis of all the brilliant observations I made on Twitter this week:

    * It didn’t seem fair that the kids ages were shown but not the ages of the celebrities.

    * The Shooting Gallery is still rubbish. It’s probably better than Fort Boyard’s worst ever game Pivot from 2004, but only very slightly.

    * Moundir would probably be a brilliant permanent Guardian of the The Cage, plays it up really well, but as Rouge exists I guess they have to keep up the rotating guests.

    * Will Blanche and Passe-Muraille finally snog in the season finale? The tension is unbearable.

    * The first time Mister Boo wins a game, like, ever and it’s against three kids. On the one hand, as Fort Strongman Mr Boo is a bit useless, but Andre Cyril plays the character really well so I’m not sure I’d change him.

    * In Willy’s Kitchen the clue cannister is in a food processor. If the contestants lose the challenge he should switch it on and blend it.

    * It seems a bit unfair for them to earn so much time only the production to slow down the “release mechanism”.

    * What a pity, Grab And Go is way way better than Human Bucket (too many people taking too much time for too little reward – one to hold, one to be carried, at least one to load). They probably had hands small enough to reach through the bottom bit of the cage as well.

    * Next week’s finale is the annual Old Person Special it looks like but rejoice! Because a press shot suggested the return of Course d’Armour.

    * I still hope we’ll get to hear the full version of the show’s new theme arrangement at some point. The credits suggest one exists!

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Most of the points i’ll agree with.

      Pivot was never won in france but was won elsewhere. it also had a lockin too.

      Did think the delay release of the gold was harsh as well. i guess they decided to do it so it was fair to any 6 player teams. (Don’t forget in the 2009 episode with tony parker / Eva they made one person actually sit out.) I guess having one of the kids sit out would have been more harsh.

      Also wish that there “next week on boyard” would stop containing spoilers. Sadly knew about the museum lock in was going to happen all the time.

      Amazing playing of Dizziness and dependency. Happy they won.

      For Stand de tir it looks like you need to shoot down the marked plates. (I guess they decided to help them out at the end for the key)

      Reply
      1. Jack B

        I haven’t bothered with the “next time” ads since last year, when they showed someone in the great escape. Same with the press photos- one of them gave away the entire outcome by showing them collecting coins in the treasure room..

        Reply
        1. Brig Bother Post author

          It will never beat the press shots from 2009, the year there was a sort of status track down one end of the fort, and invariably the shot would be taken after filming with all the results on the track in full view. Cheers then.

          Reply
          1. Lee

            Have to agree. the 2009 wall of progress really did ruin alot in the next episode/promo shots.

  12. Jack B

    Slightly dissappointed in last nights episode:

    1) While it was nice to see museum for the first (and probably last) time this season, clearly it was put in to force a prisoner and require Blanche- this is the first time a team gets 2 automatic lock-in games out of 12. The productions obsession with Blanche is probably one of the most annoying things in the show these days- is having her in the romantic Passe-Murraille running gag not enough?

    2) Same with the delayed “mechanism”, which seemed a really harsh way of saying “we don’t feel like giving away €20,000 this week”. They probably would have managed it anyway had they done Grab and Go- the extra pair of hands probably would have come in handy.

    3) Shooting Gallery is probably the worst game in recent years- 2 playings in and I still can’t tell what they need to do in order to win. On the other hand, Dizziness and Dependency is probably the best new game in recent years.

    Waiting for the finale next week, hoping for a decent show to finish the series off well.

    Reply
    1. Alex

      I think the pre-game spiel said they needed 5 plates. Good luck with that…

      Reply
        1. Lee

          Would have thought they would be the ones with the tiger face’s on. Since thats what is shown on the key device thing

          Reply
  13. Brig Bother Post author

    2.4m 14.4% last night against the premiere of The Voice Kids on TF1. Still, did well this year without much competition.

    Reply
  14. Mika

    On today’s menu: “Poutre jets d’eau”. Huh? Oh… yeah. Forget that one’s sometimes done for a key.

    Chez Willy would’ve been funny if it was the kids, and the food was one of those “foods kids hate”, like brussel sprouts or something. Alas.

    While I agree usually “Grab and Go” is better, I think in this specific case the bucket method was probably better.

    Hope Shooting Gallery gets cut next year. Bad game, and doesn’t even “feel” like a Fort Boyard game. Love Vertige, wish it got more plays this season. Kinda feels like one that WILL get cut next year, though.

    Reply
  15. Lee

    In international news.

    Swedish use the momie but bring it along with a twist. Outside the team have the time it takes the person to become a mommy to do that 2009 triangle puzzle thing.

    Couple new duels too in sweden.

    The abandoned library is played for a key with a clepsydre (still have to unlock the book get code to and grab the key) not like the clepsydre seemed to matter on the episode.

    Reply
  16. Brig Bother Post author

    Summer officially ends.

    Fun episode (although a bit disappointed The Great Escape wasn’t allowed to become a complete disaster – would have been memorable!), fun season (although should have played Dizziness and Dependancy more).

    See you next year!

    Reply
  17. Jack B

    2.69m/14.6% last night, 3rd place in the slot.

    Average rating for the entire series is 2.84m/16.77%- the highest average since 2013.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yeah, The Voice is strong opposition.

      Still, best numbers in years (albeit without much competition some weeks) so can’t see it being dropped soon. I reckon we’ll get a Youtuber on the team on a weekly basis next year as it seemed to work out pretty well this year.

      I thought they’d double down on unique games like last year so was surprised to see it didn’t really happen outside of Boyard Academy. New council a triumph. New games were largely very good. Better ‘feel’ than it’s had for sometime, it’s interesting that my favourite episode of the series, the Keen V one, was both the first one filmed and the one that felt rawest.

      I wish I couldn’t see the joins quite so much, but meh it’s not aimed at 35 year old British guys, I doubt the average French viewer will care.

      Reply
  18. Michael

    Moreso than the last couple of years, it’s nice that we’ve seen so many different games this year. Unless I’m mistaken, only two games – Restaurant & Boyard Academy – appeared in every episode this year. Excalibur, which has only appeared once a season for about five years, appeared in three episodes.

    The Council feels essential again (although the intros to Willy/Blanche/Rouge feel like they’re dragging more and more each week) and it’s nice to also not see every team just use the Joker on Saut de l’Ange.

    It feels like Fort Boyard is hitting its stride again, and with two complete MESSES at the end of episodes this season (failure to get a codeword & failure to get the house minimum), it’s way more unpredictable than it has been in a long time for me.

    Oh, and Shooting Gallery is crap.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Was From the Earth To The Moon only played once this year right at the end? Felt like it.

      I know the producers have said they want to find some sort of balance between old style Boyard for the fans (presumably classed as games of skill and dexterity) with modern Boyard for modern audiences (comedy and pratfalls, presumably). I think you can see this in this year’s new games.

      Although yes, Shooting Gallery is crap.

      Reply
      1. Michael

        Weirdly, I did think with about five minutes left on the clock, “We’ve not seen From the Earth To The Moon this year yet”. They hit the balance pretty well this year for me.

        Reply
        1. Lee

          I remember it was pretty common to be the last game on the fort in 2015 too in some episodes.

          Reply
  19. Mika

    Aww… another summer over.

    Pretty much in agreement this has been one of the best seasons they’ve had lately. Everything just felt a lot more “right”. Most of the new games were really nice (though still don’t like Train fantome, and no one likes Shooting gallery). The Danger Room was a neat touch that made the adventures seem more important. (Not a huge fan of the Joker. It’d be kinda fun if next year they got to switch an actual adventure, but always get something ‘worse’ instead). Chez Willy Rovelli only done once a show, and always an adventure (yeah, was only once a show last year, but it switched around)

    Hoping Narcisse Lalanne comes back next year, really liked his Boyard Academy games. (Maybe bring back Vincent or another magician. Don’t much care for the brothers)

    Even the little complaints from previous years seemed fixed. Judgement moved along nicely, and never felt forced. Council had some classic key games brought back as duels, and everything was sped up that little bit (dropping most games’ ‘best of three’ really works).

    Kinda sad Tete Chercheuse was only played once.
    Rather surprised Tyrolienne didn’t show up at all. Wonder if it’s gone for good. (Though it did take a break in 2014)

    Wonder if Poutre jets is coming back. Went from the hardest game on the fort to beaten both times cause people finally bothered to crawl on it. Conversely, kinda glad they fixed Coton-tige from being one of the easiest to one of the hardest.

    Well, see y’all next year.

    Reply
  20. Lee

    Pretty sure i posted this already but its not appeared.

    Czech Boyard is on saturdays started this week.

    The show follows a foreign format but feels really slow compared to others (alot of post game talk) and doesn’t edit the games.

    Reply
  21. Lee

    Few thoughts on 2016.

    Good
    They are playing to the strengths. Although did feel the producers intervened to get some prisoners (Jungle and that alerte rouge).
    Cage no longer requiring a key to enter.
    Joker idea was good. But would like to see some sort of mini gold bag awarded if they keep it at the end of the adventures.
    Council being a straight up 15 Seconds per duel.
    New games

    Bad
    Want to see more key game and less of it edited
    Want to see the return of classic clue games such as Pont de Singe, Catapillar.

    Reply
  22. Qusion

    Definitely the best series we have had in a while, but it’s still suffering from a couple of things.

    1. Laziness. There are many, many heights games on that fort, and yet we get Angel Jump and Unstable Chair all the time. We still have a brand new jumping game from two years ago that hasn’t been used. The same goes for the underwater games. Only Submerged Cage and Flooded Prison this year – we didn’t even get Submarine Training!

    There must be the best part of 100 games available to them, yet we only see about 30 in a series. Using more of them would also help protect the value in their newest games.

    2. Editing. Editing for time and fluidity is fine, but if it’s as noticeable as it has been this year, something is wrong. If the games are too boring and repetitive for the time limit – make better games. Too many games are basically do the same difficult thing a number of times gradually getting better at it. Garage, Ketchup Factory, Recycling, Casino and Spider to name a few.

    3. Lack of Fear. If you don’t give the contestants time to be afraid, they wont be afraid, adrenaline will take over instead.

    Compare the drama of Tightrope Walk to Unstable Chair, or Cycle to Inverted Cycle. Shaving time of the time limits by editing is all well and good, but you aren’t building the drama.

    That being said, the new adventures this year do rather suggest they are learning this lesson.

    The council is much improved, the new adventures are amazing, the new games are OK and shooting gallery has the most ridiculous weapon in game show history.

    Finally, I would so very much like Rouge to present Cage, I like the idea of there being places in the fort where Olivier may not go, and I feel Cage would work better if it were one of these. Olivier is very genial, even more so as Pere Fouras has become less so, and Cage should be rather more visceral.

    We love this show, this is why we pick it to pieces every year and then celebrate it’s return.

    Reply
  23. Lee

    Not 100% sure on when the foreign series of Fort Boyard was recorded.

    In Czech last week it was shown that passe muraille the messenger was the main character with the team and passe partout was no where to be seen.

    It turns out that passe partout is also missing in some Swedish episodes because of a injured foot (Not on the fort). I do believe hes back for Morocco tho.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.