|Index||8 reviews in total|
(Scottish accent) Gladiator Ready! Contestant Ready! Micheal you will
go on my first whistle! David you will go on my second whistle!
I loved the gladiators I thought that this programme made classic British Saturday nights possible.
Where else can you see HUGE grown men in liatards running around an arena trying to hit each other with giant cotton buds. I mean the person who invented this programme is either crazy or a genius...Either way the government has probably captured him doing all weird experiments on his brain.
Gladiators definitely ROCKED me!
So, Gladiators, the hit of the early 1990s. An striking example of how
strong physical fitness can be a benefit to you, or an excuse to watch
grown men and women running around in tight lycra shorts?
Initially this was good - it was new and it was interesting and, well, it looked good. An excuse for cheap kicks though, watching beautiful women in lycra which might explain the ratings.
The show was slow though - it was really struggling to fill its 60min time slot in some places. There was far too much talking and not enough action - I mean really, six games in 52 minutes of programme, I ask you? Fun House (the UK version) was able to cram five events (three sixty second games, a go-kart race and a two minute fun-house dash) into the space of just 25mins.
And that show lasted longer than Gladiators!
Thre's only so much one can take of John Anderson going "Contender, rrrrrrrready?! Gladiators, rrrrready?! Threeeee, twoooooo, oneeee, *blow whistle*. Likewise, there's only so much one can take of The Wolfman running around breaking all the rules, getting told off and making Ulrika Jonson quake in her boots. And when they started getting other officials to start talking down the microphone to announce stuff such as "You completed the danger zone in 25.9 seconds which is under 30 seconds" it became obvious where the show was going to go in terms of target audience (and it was confirmed when they made Junior Gladiators as well).
The games got dafter and more unimaginative as the years went by and the powers that be decided to almost totally drop all the earlier games. There was only so many ways to see contestant and gladiator compete against each other and stay transmittable for Saturday Night television. Of course, they'd used them all up by about the third series so games after that were rehashed versions of what had gone before. So then of course there was no variety. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
Would have been better I reckon if there wasn't so much talking! I personally wasn't really that interested in hearing what Diane from Somerset thought about bashing Phoenix's brains out with the pugal stick, nor was there any real point in getting John Anderson to ham the audience up with the previously quoted phrase before every event, a clear sign that the warm-up man wasn't doing his job properly. Gladiators had just about lost its way altogether by the time it finished its run and we'd lost all interest by then. More variety needed, take note for whoever decides to revive this in the future.
When this series was first advertised back in 1992, I honestly didn't
know what to think. It looked like a bunch of oiled up men and women
wrestling and pushing their chests out.
However my mind was changed after watching the first episode. It was something I had never seen the likes of before. Action, entertainment, funny, sad and so much more. Gladiators was everything a Saturday Night TV show should be and it remained this Way for 8 seasons! Gladiators came and went, some good some bad some already famous in their own right. All in all over the 8 years the show had a total of 34 Glads (I would list them all and show what a geek I am, but I don't want to bore you all!). Quite a big turnover for any show, but it was good to see new faces, this was dismissed by some fans but I though it was a good thing! At its peak in 1995, this is a show that was pulling in 15 million viewers, those of you who keep a eye on viewing figures will know thats unheard off these days. It was massive not only in the UK, but overseas with several countries making their own versions (Australia, South Africa and Finland to name a few). As well as this the UK series had many spin offs including 2 International Series, 2 Ashes Series, 2 Springbok Series and 4 Train to Win series (Junior Version). This obviously shows how big it was at one time! However the shows downfall in my view, and a few others I have talked to started in 1997 when things started to get a bit sloppy. Poor new events, to many new Glads, same events week in week out, as much as it pains me to say this about a show i adore it was getting stale. However 1998 was the clincher and the nail in the coffin. It was obviously decided a change was needed and some new factors were borough in, 3 new events instead of only 1 like the past few years, new costumes for the Glads, new behind the scenes footage etc but this was hated by the majority of fans and didn't work whatsoever! This was simply the end.
The problem was the changes were left too late to make a impact, after 6 years, the die hard fans had become used to things being a certain way, the changes were seen as a act of desperation and too little too late.
For those of you still interested in the show, it hasn't gone away! The show and us die hard fans are still around! There is a very active online site and forum as well as replays on UK Digital Channel Challenge TV every weeknight and weekends! I have been asked several times should the show come back! My answer has always been and still is NO! Sadly TV has moved on and it wouldn't fit in anymore. Lets leave this show as a classic fond memory. Thats what it deserves!
If there's one thing I loved about this programme, it was the
atmosphere in this studio, which was often fantastic. The games were
great to watch, and with an extensive list of gladiators everyone will
have had their favourites.
Sadly, the show got a bit repetitive later on in the run, with no fresh challenges and seemingly samey format, but it still entertained on the odd occasion. It had a good run, it was always an adrenaline packed show with a clash of dozens of personalities. Who can forget Wolf's antics, Shadow's (almost) unbeaten Duel run or John Anderson's piercing voice? The original run lasted, only just into 2000, with the last ever episode going out on New Year's Day. For me, it will forever conjure positive and nostalgic memories.
Having not seen the new series (due to lack of Sky One), I cannot pass judgement on the revamped version, though if the original was anything to go by it should be worth a look.
Gladiators was one of quite a few TV programmes that were perfect for
Saturday night television in the UK.
Unfortunately, the 1990's are over, and the one surviving programme from this era - 'You've Been Framed' - is the one we all wish was axed before the others.
Jim Davidson's 'Big Break', followed by his 'Generation Game', with 'Noel's House Party', 'Bullseye', the excitement with the intro of the 'National Lottery' in 1994, along with 'Gladiators' were perfect for Saturday nights. They were rubbish at times, repetitive, yes... however the light, chicken Nugent entertainment was perfect for everyone to wind down to after a tough week.
In this era even 'Grandstand' was worth watching! However, looking at Saturday Night TV now is very depressing - on the odd night I'm in I struggle to find decent Saturday Night Entertainment, and often end up watching a DVD.
I'm not saying bring Gladiators back, but this formula was successful for drawing a wide audience.
The mid-1990's was the peak for Saturday night TV as a whole, at the moment it is on a rapid decline.
Two men and two women compete against same sex gladiators in a series of
physical challenges. Points are awarded for different levels of
achievements in each game. At the end of the show points are converted to
time, with the most points giving one contestant a head start over an
assault course (The Gauntlet), the winner in each sex went through to the
next round of shows leading to the grand final.
Once this was an original idea - game shows with real physical competition! Real people facing off against larger than life Gladiators. This allowed the competition to be intense and exciting, allowed for the Gladiators to be characters and over react to everything - treating every game like it was the World Cup Final! For a while it worked, we forgot that the Gladiators were steroid pumped and really lacked character, and we forgot that the games were a bit daft and were pretty much the same every week. As a bit of Saturday night entertainment it was up against the unbeatable (at the time!) Noel's House Party and actually did pretty well. And of course we all pretended that we watched it for the competition and not to see beautiful women, sweating in small shorts!
However as the years went on the presenters became less capable, the Gladiators were revealed as basically pantomime dames with muscles and the games became either tired (due to endless repetition) or silly (as they searched for new ideas). Now (2002) the idea of fighting as a game show has been done so many times (with paintball, with robots etc) that it no longer has a novelty value.
Overall it was OK at the start but quickly became camp and uninteresting - how many times can you watch Wolf shouting at a referee before being ejected from the game with an air of daftness. Gone and forgotten!
STAR RATING: ***** Jodie Marsh **** Michelle Marsh *** Kym Marsh **
Rodney Marsh * Hackney Marsh
Gladiators was a hugely popular show at weekends on ITV when I was a bit younger. It was even filmed in my home city (Birmingham) and (cringe!) I actually remember going to see it with my family. As a younger viewer, it has a certain appeal but seeing it endlessly churned out nowadays on Challenge TV I am only able to see it for the rather corny and cheesy show it is.
For some kids in the early 90s, the 'gladiators' with their superhero names (e.g. Panther, Saracen, Wolfman) and larger than life physiques must have seemed like great role models to look up to until the penny dawned and it became clear that many of them were just pumped up steroid abusers and in fact one or two even got found out and were penalized by the show's producers. The corniest character being the 'wolfman' who would frequently shock by getting aggressive with contestants or referee John ('contender reeeeeeeeady!!! Gladiator reeeeeeeeeeeeady!!! Three two one......wheeeeeeeeep!!!') Anderson before he did it so often it ended up becoming clear that it was all for show and the whole thing was basically just set up. The very premise of the show, wherein the main eventers were selected because of their 'ability' to carry on training for long periods of time without stopping and taking a break was rubbish because obviously the human body (male or female) can only carry on training for so long before they have to stop for a bit or risk dehydration, spraining ligaments or whatever.
As a kid, the show had appeal, but as many other reviewers have noted, 15 or so years on you can just see it in it's true colours, cheesy, corny and now even a little dated. Amazingly it ran from 1992 to 2000 when really everyone had become disillusioned and bored with it around 1995. **
Gladiators was touted as the next big thing when it started in 1991. People
said it was going to be big and become more popular than other forms of
entertainment such as wrestling. It is now 2002 and Gladiators is a distant
Gladiators was a repetitive and monotonous show which had an intriguing concept but fell short in many areas.
Ulrika Johnson and ex-footballer John Fashanu presented as each week, four contestants (two males, two females) would pit their wits against the Gladiators (such as Wolf and Shadow) in a series of games which were designed to push the contestants to their physical limits. Points from the games would convert into seconds to be used in the final game where the competitors would race each other over a huge assault course in order to try and win a place in the Grand Final.
The series hardly changed-they did bring in different games at times but it was quite boring and repetitive. The Gladiators themselves were not exactly high on charisma (with the exception of a couple) which didn't help the show. You never felt the Gladiators were real people when you watched the show-they were more like robots. You could watch one episode of this but if you watched any others, they were all identical to the one you watched. A few more interviews with the Gladiators and different games each week would have been the answer.
Gladiators has been off the air for awhile and is dead and buried. It ran it's course and I feel that the show did a lot of things wrong and didn't do anything really memorable. Not one I would recommend.
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