Video marketing is, of course, a playpen of groovy new ideas. But it’s also a feast of nostalgia enough to make the wallpaper go soggy. Case in point: YouTube’s upcoming Geek Week will see the return of ‘80s after-school telly fave Knightmare.
Ah, Knightmare! TV from a long-gone era when four channels ruled the roost like a pantheon of titans who’d carved up the known world between them. From a time when video marketing meant a slightly dodgy bloke selling VHS cassettes to punters down the local.
For those too youthful to recall, Knightmare was a fiendish game show spin on dungeon-exploring board games like Hero Quest and computer games like Eye of the Beholder.
Each adventure involved a team of four schoolchildren (always boys) embarking on a mystical, mythical quest, where they would encounter copious creatures created via extremely rudimentary computer graphics.
Only one of the team would be ‘within’ the action; they were saddled with a horned, sightless helmet that meant their three watching comrades needed to guide them around.
What this usually meant in practice is that a significant amount of each episode was taken up by one schoolboy telling another to “Take four small sidesteps to your right” – often in a shrill, panicked tone, as they attempted to manoeuvre their friend away from a jobbing drama graduate pretending to be a wicked mage.
Knightmare never really went away, at least not for viewers of cable channel Challenge. However Geek Week’s Geekery Monday will deliver a first brand new instalment in many a long year.
Hugo Myatt will be back as helpful dungeon-master Treguard (no mention of the irritating elf sidekick they saddled him with in latter series), and he will be joined by Peep Show’s Isy Suttie and Harry Potter actor Jessie Cave for this comeback special.
Geek Week runs on YouTube from 4 to 10 August, and Knightmare is but one of hundreds of fan-centric content being released during it.
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