2 items from 2015
The ever-popular Crystal Maze finished its live run some 20 years ago today and is set to make a comeback soon in the form of a "live immersive experience".
So while we're all getting out our multi-coloured tracksuits in preparation for the live event, which is still having its set built, we cast our minds back to just why the Channel 4 game show was so brilliant.
1. Richard O'Brien was the perfect host
Whoever thought of picking Rocky Horror writer Richard O'Brien as host of this quirky game show is a TV genius. When picturing The Crystal Maze, O'Brien is most likely the first image that comes to mind; topped up to the nines with leopardskin fur coats and leather boots.
Constantly making quips to camera at the contestants' expense, »
When his flying spell backfires, Catweazle arrives in 1969 and encounters colour TVs, people talking into the “telling bone” and a lonely teenager called Carrot
Most of the shows from your childhood are rubbish. The odd YouTube moment aside, you probably won’t be able to revisit one episode of T-Bag or Worzel Gummidge without squirming. Catweazle, a Worzel precursor from 1970, was different, never taking its eye off its characters’ fragility while offering the necessary mayhem to keep both kids and grown-ups hooked. Inspired by a word on a gate that writer Richard Carpenter made note of, Catweazle told the adventures of an inept medieval magician whose flying spell backfires, sending him forward in time to Hexwood Farm circa 1969. Here, he encounters colour TVs, fridges and people talking into the “telling bone”. He also, very carefully, breaks your heart: think of the end of The Snowman, or Gromit leaving home in The Wrong Trousers. »
- George Bass
2 items from 2015
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