Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia
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1. Gatemaster
From TES issue 57 (May 2009)

Series 5. Level 1/2.
THE GATEMASTER
 
 [Related Image] The name of this character sums him up accurately. The Gatemaster was to be found guarding gates at the ends of levels in series 5, and it was his decision alone whether anyone was allowed to pass through to the next level. He carried a large staff, and spoke in deep, resonating tones. His large, imposing form was provided by Michael Cule, who fitted the part very nicely.

We first met the Gatemaster in episode 6 of the series, when Sarah reached the end of level two. Her way to level three was by means of the Descender, which was to be found this time inside the tall, purplish Gate Tower. As Sarah approached the tower, the Gatemaster strolled in and started speaking to her in a somewhat threatening manner, which the advisors – and I’m sure a lot of the watchers, including myself – obviously found surprising and somewhat unnerving.

The Gatemaster went to great lengths to build up his importance as the one person who had the power to decide whether or not Sarah had earned the right to travel to level three: ”All you’ve achieved so far leads to me!” – Gatemaster. However, once Sarah had told him her name and the object of her quest, he immediately allowed her to pass and told her how to reach level three, by travelling five levels down, six levels up, and then two levels back down again. As the Descender only travels downwards (the clue’s in the name) Sarah and her friends had to work out that the Gatemaster was really telling them to go down one level, which they did fairly quickly.

Although the Gatemaster had been keen to stress his role as the sole authority for allowing travellers to reach level three, he never appeared at the end of level two again, for the very good reason that no team got that far in the series after Ben’s winning quest, which directly followed Sarah’s effort. In order to give the Gatemaster more appearances, the Gate Tower was moved to the end of level one for Duncan’s quest, in the penultimate episode of the series. The Gatemaster turned up for a somewhat pointless appearance, during which he scared Sylvester Hands away and then told Duncan that he was allowed to approach the Gate Tower. Here the Gatemaster demonstrated his authority once more by forbidding Hands to descend to level two for a further four hours, although Duncan’s team was cheeky enough to use a SESAME spell to open the Gate Tower even though the Gatemaster had specifically said that magic (along with combat and thievery) was not permitted on neutral ground.

The Gatemaster returned for a third appearance in the final episode of the series, although he decided to refer to himself as the Gate Keeper this time – perhaps he was trying out a new image. Dungeoneer Kelly had to present him with Gwendoline’s green arrow as a token that she was on the path of truth, which was enough to earn her the Gatemaster’s generous permission to travel to level two. This time it was not the Descender beyond the door, but Smirkenorff. The Gatemaster instructed Kelly to tell the dragon to land when they reached a castle, thus bringing to a close his three somewhat token appearances on Knightmare.

It was during the Gatemaster’s final scene, of course, that perhaps his most defining and pleasing moment occurred. As Kelly was about to present the arrow, Tiny the hobgoblin wandered into the room in a most threatening manner. This was the first time a hobgoblin had been seen since the penultimate episode of series 3, and I can still remember how exciting it was at the time. As this was the final episode of the series, Tiny wasn’t actually presenting a threat to the continuation of the quest, as the Gatemaster quickly and efficiently sent the creature back to Mount Fear with a blast of energy from his staff. However, it was a satisfactory, crowd-pleasing moment, even though it was really just a bit of filler to hasten the end of the series. It was probably the Gatemaster’s finest hour, as he was shown to be very powerful and ruthlessly efficient, just as he had always claimed to be.

Fear Factor: 8 Especially if you’re a hobgoblin!
Killer Instinct: 2 He seemed to respect the sanctity of the quest.
Humour Rating: 1 A tiny bit of mocking humour whilst addressing Hands.
Oscar Standard: 9 Not exactly a meaty part, but very effectively done.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2009-06-25 09:07:42
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