Takeshi's Castle (2002–2004)

TV Series  -  Comedy | Family | Game-Show
8.2
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Comic highlights from a physical Japanese gameshow presided over and commentated by Craig Charles.

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Title: Takeshi's Castle (2002–2004)

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Ronald van Dam ...
 Himself - Narrator (2002-2004) (unknown episodes)
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Storyline

What can I say about this show? If you've ever seen a Japanese game show before, or have witnessed them on 'Tarrant on TV' then you should know what it is all about. With Japanese star Takeshi Kitano as the lord of the castle, one-hundred members of the Japanese public pit themselves against a host of crazy physical games in order to gain the ultimate accolade; to be one of the few who actually completed the game. Not only are most of the games virtually impossible, but if you do manage to get to the final round without breaking a few bones then you are pitted against men driving around in little buggies attempting to shoot you with lazers! It's quite insane and nigh on impossible to finish! Not that there is any point; contestants go home with nothing but bruises! All this craziness is narrated fantastically by Craig Charles of 'Red Dwarf' fame with choice replays and mud-galore. Perhaps this is the worse TV show in the world, but watch it once and you will never stop! Written by Adam Johnson

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Release Date:

9 November 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hullut japanilaiset  »

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1.33 : 1
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Followed by Takeshi's Castle Rebooted (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Maybe even more fun than the original release
8 June 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Takeshi's Castle (2002) is the re-dubbed UK release of cult-classic Japanese show Operation! Takeshi's Castle (1986-1989), an endurance-based game show in which 100+ contestants compete in a series of outlandish assault-course-like challenges until the numbers are whittled down to a select few. From here, the remaining handful of contestants can go on to battle the infamous "Count Takeshi" and his guards for the chance to win up to one million in Yen. The show is notable for at least two reasons; the first is the outright eccentric nature of the events and the seemingly dangerous falls, scrapes and mishaps that befall the contestants during their bid for glory. The second is the appearance of esteemed Japanese actor/filmmaker/comedian Takeshi Kitano, who here plays the titular count (though his appearance is edited down in this particular version). The format of the show mixes the bizarre events alongside some even more bizarre sketch-based moments of typically absurdist Japanese humour, as the contestants put themselves through some of the cruellest and most punishing events ever witnessed on national television.

What was great about the original show was the way that the contestants seemed to be having a great time, even when falling eight feet into shallow water, being smeared in mud or talcum powder and being knocked off a rickety suspension bridge by a barrage of rubber-ball cannon fire. It also benefited from a colourful, larger than life quality, in keeping with the tradition of early Nintendo video games and Anime films; as the overstated supporting characters and continual appearances from General Tani (here renamed General Li) give the events a sense of context and continuity. Ultimately though, the programme works because of its uniqueness; with the nature of the games, the imagination, the willingness and excitement of the contestants and the obviously low-production values (combined with the witty commentary from actor Craig Charles, with his bad puns and sly double-entendres) all adding to the bizarre, subversive glee.


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