Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Passive paths
 [Related Image] A term used by Tim Child in his History Of Knightmare (available on to refer to the parts of quests that consisted of prefilmed location footage: in other words, the eyeshield sequences seen from Series 4 onwards, and the Smirkenorff flights seen in Series 5 and following. Many Watchers found these less appealing than the room paintings by David Rowe that were the fabric of the Series 1-3 Dungeon, a viewpoint acknowledged by Tim Child:

'OK, so you could argue (and many have) that such location acquired journeys (we call them 'passive paths') offer less in terms of interactive choice, than the prospect of exploring one of DR's painted patios, and of course, you would be right.'

Indeed, seeing the same passive path played out quest after quest (particularly in Series 4) could prove a little tedious for viewers, but it was a necessary aspect of the production team's greater goal of making the Knightmare realm more expansive yet no less atmospheric.

It appeared that some advisors did not realise when they were being presented with a passive path, and tried to give directional instructions to their dungeoneers while the footage was in progress. In an interview with the website Bother's Bar in 2007, Tim Child revealed that 'we didn't tell [advisors that they were watching prerecorded footage], because it would have destroyed the suspension of belief. Very often the advisers did call out stop, go left, etc. But we just ignored them; and then edited down the sound track and shortened the linear walking sequence to make sense.'

Comments on YouTube in 2012 by Giles, dungeoneer of Team 8 of Series 4, give insight into what dungeoneers did while on a passive path. 'During the "Eye Shield" bit one of the producers would put their hands on my shoulders and walk me around in a circle in the blue room. The advisors would be telling me what they could see and the producer would tell me not to say anything so it wouldn't be picked up on the mics. Sometimes they would whisper funny stuff to try and make me laugh though. I think the whole eye shield thing was "padding" as it was cheap for them to make.'

Although the dungeoneer tended not to engage with his or her advisors until the clip was over, a number of the passive paths in Series 4 were brightened up with 'voiceover' banter between the dungeoneer and Gundrada (in her role as guide and protector).
 [Related Image] Occasionally circumstances would give a team a semblance of control over what was in fact a passive path: for example, Team 1 of Series 4 used a reflector to find an elf path in Dunkley Wood, though all it really did was enable a preset walk to continue. And although Treguard hinted to Series 4 teams that they had to find the way into Level 3 themselves, that too was simply a passive path. Likewise, Team 8 of Series 5 and Team 9 of Series 5 were instructed to tell Smirkenorff when to land, though the landing would have been prerecorded. Normally the pace of the prerecorded footage was fixed (i.e. even if advisors told their dungeoneer to go faster, nothing happened), but in Quest 8 of Series 4, a passive path clip was sped up to portray the effect of the spell DASH on dungeoneer Giles, who has revealed that he 'was made to jog like mad during that part.' The linear nature of a passive path tended to preclude any kind of character encounter, though two woodland sequences briefly played host to a bearded pooka (the second of which, from Quest 9 of Series 5, is pictured here). The end credit sequences of some KM episodes used what seemed to be left-over passive path material.

[Earlier versions: 2008-06-25 17:35:11, 2008-01-11 00:29:22, 2006-05-05 14:18:34]

Provided By: David, 2012-12-24 17:55:56
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