- Christopher Biggins (Porridge, I'm a Celebrity, and many, many, many pantomimes)
- Chris Kamara (Football pundit and has a habit of saying 'Unbelievable')
- Frankie Bridge (The Saturdays singer and wife of previous celeb contestant Wayne Bridge)
- Deborah Meaden (Dragons Den entrepreneur)
- Jamie Laing (Made in Chelsea and heir to the McVities biscuit fortune)
Saturday, 1 December 2018
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
I loved seeing not only the Zones transformed into a festive wonderland, but the amount of work that went into individually Christmas themed games as well. This is something which wasn't done as extensively in the original series. The episode featured Carol Singers in the Medieval Zone, Winter Tundra in Aztec and spinning Christmas Puddings in Industrial. Absolutely fantastic stuff. As well as my usual Christmas Home Alone fix, I truly cannot wait to tune into The Crystal Maze Special to see how they've transformed the Zones and games this time round. The Christmas Special would of been recorded a few weeks after I tested the games at the set in April this year, so it will be pretty fascinating to see how they adapted the set for Christmas again.
I am really grateful for this year, not only have I fulfilled my main childhood dream by working on the Maze testing the games at the Studio and meeting all the lovely crew - (my highlight was playing a water game in Aztec) - But I have recently discovered I am going to become a dad in June 2019, so this year has truly exceeded my wildest expectations. Dreams really do come true.
We will keep you posted with The Crystal Maze Christmas Special air date as soon as we have it.
Sunday, 11 November 2018
"Les Mondes Fantastique" - because Fort Boyard is too obvious.
After The Crystal Maze had been on UK screens for a couple of years, in 1992 Jacques Antoine (the brains behind TCM) brought a cross between TCM and Fort Boyard to French television. Primarily a children's game show, it borrowed a few elements from TCM such as the colourful wireframe map to show where the contestants were, as well as a very familiar lightbulb themed steady-hand game (see below from 2:00). The show was so closely related it even took the original board game for The Crystal Maze and repackaged it under the LMF name.
Scavengers - Someone got horrifyingly close to creating "Alien - The Game Show"
That's not me being facetious, this show started off as a chapter of the Alien universe, and it was as underwhelming as Prometheus ended up being. Look up episodes on Youtube and it still mentions 20th Century Fox in the credits. Thankfully Ridley Scott stepped in and said "err... no".
Hosted by "Commander" John Leslie, turning the star of Blue Peter and other stuff that could be called blue into a sci-fi
Incredible Games - "MOOOVVVVEEEE"
Before CBBC had the likes of Raven and Trapped, they had this little gem. Simple concept, a team of 3 kids (or celebrities at Christmas, including Keith Chegwin, I'll taint your memories forever with him in a bit) go up a skyscraper in a sentient lift with different games on each floor. Simple.
The lift was portrayed by David Walliams who has done plenty since then, including the video for Vindaloo by Fat Les which also featured Ed Tudor Pole in the crowd.
There were two games that always lingered in my memories of this show. One was from a later series and had a ghostly teacher asking the kids a series of questions in a Victorian classroom and having to answer the previous question, just imagine the Two Ronnies Mastermind sketch with gunge. The other is the game that this show is always remembered for, when it is remembered, and it's the Dark Knight (not that one). A large darkened room, a grid of squares, a man in black at the far side with a helmet more akin to Spaceballs. The kids and the Knight would take turns to move across the grid, having to alternate between forwards and sideways moves, and the Knight could only see where the kids had been from the illuminated square of their previous move. If the Knight caught a kid, he would open his cloak and the kid disappeared in a flash, and the team got points for every contestant that made it across the board unflashed.
Full episode below, Dark Knight starts at 10:10
Jungle Run - and Keith Chegwin's spin-off of sorts.
There's not much to say about Jungle Run, the format borrowed heavily from TCM, a team do challenges to obtain bananas/monkey statues. the more they achieved in the earlier games, the more time they'd have in the final game to win prizes. Even lock-ins were possible as were buybacks from those lock-ins. Three hosts took charge through the years: Dominic Wood of 'Dick and Dom' fame, Chris Jarvis who now may be more familiar to some from CBeebies shows, then Michael Underwood. Underwood started his television career after winning a role on CBBC through Saturday night game show 'Whatever You Want' hosted by Gaby Roslin, where the idea was people could win whatever they wanted. That wasn't his first TV appearance though. That, as far as I know, was the first Crystal Maze Christmas Special where he was the team captain.
Jungle Run had a purpose-built set in an aircraft hangar (a familiar idea) in Nottingham and it's that set I may be about to scar your memories of. In much the same way the SU2C special for Crystal Maze used an existing set in the Live Experience London venue, Channel 5 used the existing Jungle Run set to make their own adventure game show...for nudists.
A naked Keith Chegwin took naked contestants around the jungle to do virtually the same games the kids did. There was no focus on body parts or an attempt to obscure them but a starkers Cheggers, and little Cheggers, was headline news in the summer of 2000.
Here's that set in 2000, with Dom (No Dick, that was a different show) (ok, now I'm being facetious)
Sunday, 4 November 2018
Since 1990, The Crystal Maze has had SIX Physical locations! (3x for TV sets - Shepperton, North Weald and Bottleyard, 4x if you include SU2C Special filmed at Angel) and now 3x for the Live Experience - (London Angel, Manchester and now London's West End). That's before counting all the Cyberdrome Crystal Maze interactive attractions from the 1990s, and even the Maze that was in a Dubai Shopping Mall. Who can think of a TV programme which has been so popular and has spawned in so many different forms? (TV Show, Board Games, Pub Machines, LCD Game, Puzzle Books, Jigsaw Puzzles and Live Experience Venues). It is incredible, and another reason why I love The Crystal Maze so much - maybe it is here forever now? Let's hope so.
It just comes to show how enduring the show still is. The new Maze will host 32 brand new games, a Maze bar and will be bigger than the existing Angel and Manchester Mazes. Finally, we will get a full scale Live Experience Maze. The Mock up drawing below does show two Zones and the Crystal Dome on the ground floor. The other two Zones will be upstairs. The question on a lot of Crystal Maze fan's lips is - Is Ocean Zone returning? I would love to see it back, because Industrial has been done to death, and it was replaced for a reason in the Original TV series. Obviously we cannot expect Water tanks and such like in an era of Health and Safety madness, but a lot of the Ocean Zone games didn't actually involve water at all. Ocean Zone was one of my favourite Zones. I cannot see Ocean coming back anytime soon, but we should be grateful for this awesome new venue. I cannot wait to visit in Spring 2019. Tickets are already on sale.
Head to The Crystal Maze Live Experience Website to book tickets for the new West End Maze. The Angel Maze will be closing as of 27th January 2019. Myself and Adam have snapped up our tickets for the Opening Day of the West End Maze, 29th March 2019.
We will be one of the first guinea pigs once again to test this Maze. We have already tested Manchester, Angel and the real Studio Maze. We look forward to testing this West End one and blogging all about it here with a first review! Next month is Christmas, and that means another Crystal Maze Christmas Special as well. It's a good time to be alive.
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
The BBC posted an article yesterday on TV reboots, what with an impending return of Blockbusters, and it featured the line "Channel 4 have now ordered more episodes for 2019." Until Channel 4 themselves say it, I'm not jumping the gun but it's better than zero lines online saying it.
I also found a tweet reiterating the news but they wouldn't give up any sources
Good news the crystal maze has been renewed by c4 for a new series in 2019— TV Reality 👁👁👁 #SAVEBBUK 👁👀👀👁 (@Tv_reality93) October 24, 2018
In regards to the remaining shows from series 1 (everything filmed in spring 2017), there are some left and they are due to be broadcast but when they'll be on is a mystery. Thanks to an on-demand service for the show's broadcaster in Australia, SBS, remaining teams include a team of midwives, the Ali family, and finally the Sasani family and friends who are listed as a group of police officers, so make up your own naff joke about being locked up. Also yes, Australia got some episodes before we did back in Britain.
Friday, 12 October 2018
Thursday, 11 October 2018
To play it properly, you'll need a timer and there's an accompanying app to do just the job available on Google Play or Apples App Store
There's no games in the app itself, but it makes a great timer for not just the board game. For example, if you want to add some tension to doing the washing up or you want to make sure the kids brush their teeth for a full 2 mins.
Wednesday, 3 October 2018
The all new, bigger Maze will also include a bar area and will be located minutes from Picadilly Circus Tube Station in Shaftesbury Avenue. I am very pleased, as the Manchester Maze was quite a trek for me and the original London Maze was quite small in comparison. Will we see Ocean Zone in this new London maze is what we are all asking ourselves? Apparently, the Manchester Maze was originally meant to have Ocean but this was switched to Industrial. However some Ocean Zone games remain. Let's hope so.
Details can be found here:
In other Crystal Maze news, the Brystal Maze Gromit is up for auction this evening at Aerospace Bristol. You can bid online. He is currently at £2,000 with 17 watchers. I'm rather jealous as I want him. The board game is also expected to hit shops this weekend. The tie in timer app is now live on Google Play and Apple Store.
** UPDATE 07/10/18: The Brystal Maze Gromit sold at auction for £15,500 for Bristol Children's Hospital. Secondly, I have just received a stock email alert, the first copies of the new Crystal Maze Board Game have just been made available on WH Smith website at a reduced price!!! I have already ordered!! **
Friday, 28 September 2018
A simple Google search shows that they've recently acquired a former Casino space, some 21,000 sq foot near Piccadilly Circus in London. (Only 9,000ft smaller than the real Crystal Maze Studio at Bottleyard, in Bristol). We must stress that this hasn't been officially announced yet, it will in four days - but we think this is what the announcement will be! What else could it be? The link to the venue is here: http://blog.lorenzconsultancy.com/21000-sq-ft-former-casino-lease-assigned-to-unique-leisure-occupier?utm_campaign=News&utm_content=77725347&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
It even states that the Crystal Maze has acquired it. One of our Blog contributors, Liam found this link online, after some detective work.
The current London Maze is in an old office block and is not really fit for purpose. They will either relocate there, or open a second venue - let's wait and see what's announced next week. Exciting times to be a Crystal Maze Fan!
Monday, 24 September 2018
We have been told that copies of the game will be available for £35 from Debenhams, John Lewis, WH Smith and Amazon from October, bringing all the adventures of this iconic TV show to the living room with a host of perplexing puzzles and tricky challenges for friends and family. Suitable for ages 10 and above, and for 2 or more players, teamwork is paramount as players voyage through the four themed time zones in one of two teams competing against one another.
Packed with an assortment of mental, mystery, skill and physical games, The Crystal Maze Board Game is sure to challenge and excite even the bravest of adventurers with success being rewarded in the shape of precious time Crystals. For each Crystal won you will earn time scrambling for gold tokens in the dome finale.
Thursday, 20 September 2018
However owing to reasons, the team are unable to take their tickets and exchange them for a day at a heavy plant themed theme park, watching a JCB display team. So they're auctioning off their 5 tickets here with all proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support, happy bidding.
for more information on the wondrous majesty that is Diggerland: https://www.diggerland.com/
UPDATE: as well as the 5 tickets, the show's producers have added some things to the auction:
A Crystal Maze Crystal
A copy of the soon to be released board game
and a copy of the book The Crystal Maze Challenge by series producer (and all-round magnificent bloke) Neale Simpson
Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Last Friday myself and Adam met up with Mike Park at the Crystal Maze Live Experience, a contestant on the first series of the revival. He is as mad about the Maze as us. We had a good time talking about all things Crystal Maze. I even dragged my girlfriend along to play and she loved it. Our team won a total of 9 Crystals. Nice to see a good mix of brand new games in the Manchester Live Experience since our last visit in March. Worth doing again. No new Maze Merchandise on sale but the board game is due out anytime now.
Interestingly, Little Lion Entertainment, the company behind the Live Experience, have recently posted on their social media about a "mystery announcement" coming soon. New Zone? New Maze Venue? New type of Live Experience but based upon a different show? Who knows! I would love to see Ocean Zone back or a brand new Maze Venue. (Hangar size in scale like the original). But I expect it is something different to the maze. Go to www.littlelionmystery.com to sign up for updates about this mystery announcement!
Monday, 20 August 2018
Much like I always fawned over in the back of the Argos catalog after the original series 2, this year will see the release of a board game.
Other future licensed items in the future are set to include apparel, nightwear, and underwear.
Sunday, 19 August 2018
And if you haven't seen what I made for last years series...
Monday, 13 August 2018
A brand new Crystal Maze Board game is currently nearing final production and will be available on the shelves to purchase from many retail outlets as of end of September/Early October. The rest of the merchandise will soon follow thereafter.
With regards to The Brystal Maze Gromit, he is still on display near Bottleyard Studios for another 2-3 weeks until 2nd September, so get down there to check him out, he is awesome. I visited the Gromit Shop at Cribbs Causeway at the weekend and asked if they plan to release a minature version of the Maze Gromit, like they have with other designs. Apparantly an online poll on the Gromit Unleashed website will determine what additional minatures get the go ahead for release, so get voting for The Brystal Maze Gromit please.
I am aware they will be Exhibiting all of the Gromit Statues in the Cribbs Causeway mid September, and then shortly after auctioning them all. I would love the Maze Gromit, but expect he will reach between 15-30k at auction for charity.
This week we see the Vikings team on Channel 4 take on the Maze.
Tuesday, 24 July 2018
Last Friday, the civilian portion of series 2 started and it was a personal sore point as I'm fairly confident that it was the all white, all male group that made it on screen in place of the world famous (maybe not in this reality but in some reality somewhere) Superfans team.
It's currently just gone 5am and I'm sat waiting in Milton Keynes, Crystal Maze testing photos, book and Twitter competition Crystal in tow to bore the arse off my stepdaughter. I know there's only so many times I can talk about it without being an irritant. However its still the coolest thing (to me) I've done in a very long time so I'm hanging on to it for all it's worth.
Joking aside however, well done to the Gamers. 9 crystals (including a win on a game we struggled with in testing: the coloured cooling towers). The only loss being the airgun maze, which was the other game we 100% failed at in testing too.
The gamers episode marked the halfway point of series 2, and with 5 civilian episodes and a christmas special left, there's still one game we tested we haven't seen yet so at least there's still new fresh games for viewers to enjoy.
Now, the scene everyone's going to remember, Tipping Point. I didn't mind it, it was something a bit different. A novelty, and there's nothing wrong with that. What with TP being made by the same company and being filmed in a studio next door at the same time, why not use the available resources to do something a bit different. When we were testing, TP was filming at the same time and we ended up getting fed early to accommodate their lunch schedule.
The other bit I liked was Ayoade's interaction with Jarhead. Harking back to O'Brien's interactions with Mumsey, after the team had won their final game, the little conversation referring to Ayoade being king of the nerds (which he is, we had a meeting, there was a buffet) gave me something I've been wanting for a while: for Richard to live a little in the fiction of the Maze. I, personally, don't mind him destroying the 4th wall, it fits in with the dry persona he's maintained through his career. However it was nice to see him talk to Jarhead as Jarhead, not Adam Buxton.
So, in 2018, a 2nd series of the Crystal Maze hosted by Richard Ayoade was comissioned, and I entered a team along with 4 friends – little did i know that I was actually quite close to competing on the show itself, as we were invited to attend auditions in Bristol! As for myself, I had to go through the ringer TWICE as both my teams had been picked to audition stages!