The original British version of the quiz show that's become a worldwide hit. Host Chris Tarrant asks hopeful contestants a series of questions, each more difficult than the last. As the ... See full summary »
A group of five strangers, each an amateur chef, compete to host the best dinner party, each party solely for the competitors and to be held on consecutive evenings. With a set amount of ... See full summary »
The show originally ran from 1972-1997 on BBC1 with Magnus Magnusson as quizmaster. Due to popular demand it was resurrected in 2003 on BBC Two, following exactly the same format, with John Humphrys as the new quizmaster. See more »
Mastermind certainly has a cult following but to be honest it was not every bodies cup of tea. It was dull and slow and broadcast on a dull Sunday night too. What made it worse and a frustrating show to watch was that 95 % of the questions asked were just beyond the average person. It was understandable for the specialized topics i.e. " Chinese art between 1435- 1702" or "Greek mythology between 800 and 600 BC but general knowledge come on i.e. " what is a how many brothers and sisters did the queen of Sheeba have? That's not really general knowledge!
Yes it was original with its quirky setting with the big chair, the dimming of the lights and the ugly sounding buzzer when a contestant ran out of time. Also, it had it's clichés " now I've started" etc and "pass" The secret to mastermind from a contestants point of view was to call "pass" on a question if you had any doubts about the answer. You could them move onto a new question. If you were wrong you would be given the long-winded answer from Magnus and thus use up valuable time.
To what I recall nothing really stood out on the show apart from the fact that occasionally a taxi driver and train driver won the series of mastermind at some time during it's run. Or that from time to time some poor contestant fell apart under the pressure of the situation and embarrassingly made a fool of themselves. You would certainly feel for them when they flopped in front of millions of viewers; very similar to an actor on stage fluffing his lines at the theater.
In fact the most memorable thing I remember in it's heyday was not actually on the show but a mickey take on the a Morcame and Wise show poking fun at Mastermind. It had the same dark setting with Magnus Magnuson asking the questions (good sport that he was!) to a confident looking Eric Morcame where every answer to the Question was "pass" much to the bemusement of an irate Ernie wise.
I.e. on the game of monopoly to collect $200 you have to ----- through go?
Eh "pass" ---- correct!
What is it called when one footballer kicks the ball to another teammate? "Pass" ---- correct
The very famous crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan is called the Kyber? "Pass" ----- correct
You get the picture. Magnus Magnison was very likable and dignified and compared to the garbage on TV now at least mastermind did have some decorum and class.
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