Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

#  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

[Home] [Login]
1. The Satellite Game
The success of Knightmare during the 1980s led to demand for a sister show: British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) commissioned Broadsword to 'produce a new form of TV adventure game in 1990'. The result was the sci-fi adventure gameshow The Satellite Game - which, to prove that Knightmare wasn't the last title to carry a play on words, featured a satellite.

 [Related Image]

The satellite was Enigma, a craft in Jupiter's orbit that threatened to take all the planets with it if it exploded. The game was for a crew of three children (commanders) to reach and deactivate Enigma's antimatter core via its network of tunnels, solving puzzles through teamwork en route. As on Knightmare, gameplay would pause at the end of one episode and resume at the start of the next. The cast included Alice Arnold, who went on to appear in another Broadsword production, Timebusters. The presenter of sorts was COCO (short for COmmand COmputer), voiced by Freyja Westdal. Much as Knightmare advisors remotely guided a dungeoneer, TSG commanders guided a hovering droid called LARI (Lightly Armed Robotic Investigator). LARI was voiced by David Learner, whose work with Broadsword and Tim Child led to his audition for the role of Pickle, which of course was successful.

 [Related Image]

Contestants included Julian Smith (now Jason Karl), following up his victorious dungeoneering with Team 10 of Series 2, who was a mission commander across four episodes. He revealed in an interview in TES Issue 7 that 'my time on The Satellite Game was more exciting to film [than Knightmare], as I had absolutely no idea what to expect'. [A photograph of the team in costume was at one time available here on Jason's website.] Locations visited by his team included the Island of Death at the centre of the Sea of Futility aboard Enigma.

 [Related Image]

David Rowe, who created artwork for Knightmare, did so for The Satellite Game too. This can be seen here on his website.

Rather than being a standalone programme like KM, TSG was a segment of a magazine show called Cool Cube, broadcast on BSB's The Galaxy Channel, which exposed it to very few viewers. Starting on Saturday 05/05/1990 in the afternoon, its 38 episodes ran over approximately 7 months, after which time BSB's merger with Sky brought proceedings to a close. In December 2013, Episode 1 was uploaded to YouTube. Prior to that, it was fair to say that TSG appeared not to have made a mark on the Knightmare fan community's collective memory.

 [Related Image]

Perhaps TSG's greatest significance, to a KM fan at least, was as a cautionary tale that prevented unwise decisions being made in its older sister's development. Tim Child explains how in his History Of Knightmare, available in full on

'SG was not completely awful, but it was fairly dreadful! It suffered badly from my own attempts to make it as unlike Knightmare as possible, and from the fact that early runtime Virtual Reality images, were just not up to the task.

VR may have been capable of delivering real choice, but it looked so disappointing that the exercise really wasn’t worth the candle.

However, just by learning that VR wasn’t ready to deliver atmosphere and high fidelity virtual scenes, we learned enough to save Knightmare from a disastrous early experiment with this emerging genre.'

In an article in Micro Mart magazine in September 2006 (Issue 919), Tim Child explained how TSG was not only influential on Knightmare's growth, but less important than its younger sisters too:

'The Satellite Game is really best forgotten. Its [sic] only a milestone because it was the first featured use on TV of real-time 3D software running live from a computer. We used an early version of Superscape, which we went on to use in Cyberzone and finally Virtually Impossible.'

Bother's Bar's review of episode 1 of The Satellite Game can be found here.

In 2016, more episodes were uploaded to YouTube.
 [Related Image] [Earlier versions: 2013-12-09 19:12:13, 2012-09-15 12:26:03, 2010-04-07 14:59:02]

Provided By: David, 2016-12-06 19:27:48
Thumbs up    Thumbs down
1 up, 0 down
login to vote