A successor to 'Treasure Hunt', this game show puts a whole new twist on the old game of hide and seek. Two contestants are each given a locked backpack - one containing £1000, the other merely weighted. No one knows for sure which contains which. The contestants are ferried to remote parts within an area of the English countryside. Within a 45 minute time limit, and guided by the host at a nearby base camp, they must move across the area, gain the key to the other contestant's backpack, meet up, and exchange keys. Trying to stop them is The Interceptor, who will spend most of the game trying to 'zap' the contestants' backpacks with a device that will jam the lock, making it impossible to open. Both the Interceptor and the contestants are allowed to use any mode of transport available - with the Interceptor's preference being his menacing black helicopter, piloted by his long-suffering servant Mikie. The contestants may have to perform a challenge to get their key, but if they succeed... Written by
High-octane adventure fun, from the makers of Treasure Hunt!
One early Saturday morning in 2002 i was looking for inspiration on the TV. Flicking through the channels I noticed nothing interesting, apart from the title of one show I had never heard of, on the Challenge Channel- Interceptor.
This was a brilliant but short lived British game show from 1989, made by Mal Hayworth's Chatsworth Television, the same people who made Treasure Hunt and The Crystal Maze. Whilst those two series went on to massive acclaim in the UK and syndication abroad, Interceptor never got a second series and has largely been forgotten. Like all good game shows, there was a simple (ish) concept.
Two contestants are given a backpack each. One of the cases contains the cash prize, the other contains a lump of plastic. Nobody knows which contestant has the money. Then they are dumped into the countryside, around 4 miles apart, in unfamiliar country. They have a radio link to a location studio, at which host Annabell Croft (the former tennis star) has a map of the area. By use of the radio, Croft must guide both contestants seperatley to find the key to the backpacks. The key the contestant has to locate will open the other case. Usually one of the contestants is male and one is female. They have to find their own transport, and have to meet up within 40 minutes.
That's the easy part! The biggest problem they face is the man himself, The Interceptor, a leather-clad peroxide bodybuilder is on their trail. He has a laser gun (operated rather like a TV remote) which he uses to zap the sensors on the back of the contestants' backpacks. If he does, the backpack lock will not be opened by the key when it is tried. He has the use of a Jet Ranger helicopter and its mild-mannered but sarcastic pilot Mikie to help him. No-one knows until the end, when the keys are tried on the case locks, if the Interceptor has succeeded in his mission or whether the contestants will get the money. The Interceptor also has a Mazerrati, a motorbike, and a manic and crazed Scottish accent to help him in his quest (the two former items are located at his 'lair.'
If it sounds complicated, when you sit down to watch it all becomes fairly straightforward. The highlights are the terrified expressions on the faces of the contestants as Sean o'Kane (the Interceptor) terrorises them, and the banter between Sean and Mikie. Although most of the situations are contrived (use of army facilities, farmhands, fishermen, navy helicopters, canoe clubs, railways lines, outward bound centres etc) and don't ring true, its always fun to watch the Interceptor trying to outsmart and surprise his prey in new and unusual ways - such as swooping down on them in the helicopter inside a qurray on one occasion! The use of varied locations, including Cornwall, Kelso, Chatsworth in Derbyshire, Great Yarmouth, and Kent meant that the backdrop was interesting each time.
Unfortunatley Annabel Croft is very irritating and ineffective as the host, the comms system is usually faulty, but overall this was a fun action series that should have been granted more than the eight episodes it got.
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