Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Series 4
Knightmare's fourth series, first shown on Children's ITV between 07/09/1990 and 21/12/1990, was quite different from its predecessor Series 3. It featured both notable ends and important beginnings, influencing the four series that followed.

According to the forum, a preview of Series 4 was given via Saturday morning children's show Motormouth: 'Treguard took presenter Andy Crane for a walk along the battlements of Knightmare castle and discussed the special effects and new rooms for the series.' This event has proved difficult to verify. (Andy Crane would later host a successor to Motormouth, What’s Up Doc, alongside Yvette Fielding and Pat Sharp.)

Series 4 was also previewed in print, specifically in Look-in magazine's 08/09/1990 issue.

 [Related Image]

Series 4 (sometimes referred to as Season 4 or S4) brought many changes. The first to be evident was the remixed theme music, which was also used for the next series.

The Dungeon Master was no longer unassisted: he gained Pickle the elf, who remained in his service for a further two series.

In addition to Pickle, Series 4 had over a dozen new named characters, with only one of those newcomers (Brother Mace) being seen more than twice beyond Series 4. (The Boatman and Oakley from S4 were seen twice and once respectively in Series 5.) The only Dungeon characters to remain from Series 3 were Merlin, Mogdred, Mellisandre, Ariadne (if it's assumed that Series 3's unnamed spider was she), Motley and Hordriss, with the first three (i.e. actors John Woodnutt and Zoe Loftin) departing at the end of Series 4.
 [Related Image] The antechamber gained a wall-mounted "magic mirror" (i.e. large viewscreen). Life Force and the Helmet of Justice did not alter, but the knapsack did, becoming fabric instead of leathery in appearance.

More significantly, a new piece of dungeoneering equipment was introduced in the form of the eyeshield, enabling pre-recorded video footage (also termed passive paths) to be used to show the dungeoneer's journey between places, replacing Series 3's dwarf tunnels. The eyeshield became a permanent fixture of Knightmare's TV episodes.

A status board, showing details of the team's progress in an Amiga computer-generated banner on the top of the Watchers' screens, was introduced too.

Although the basic structure of quests was the same as before (i.e. one dungeoneer and three advisors having to traverse three levels to redeem a quest object), their look was significantly different from the painted rooms of the first three series. Tim Child explains in his History Of Knightmare (published on

'Knightmare series 3 had explored the limits to be achieved by a solitary dungeoneer being guided around a double-garage sized dungeon chamber, blindfolded by a bucket-shaped helmet.

And these limits weren't just imposed by the number of chambers David Rowe could paint, or the number of scenes which Robert Harris and his computer graphic artists could animate.

The Greater Game demanded a greater fantasy world and the current graphic sources could not deliver it.

So it was to Britain's own rich history of medieval castles and ruined abbeys that we turned. From Kent to Wales, the Knightmare team plundered, filmed and photographed.

... On screen, the results, however, were mixed. Try though we might to 'treat' the real material with digital effects, and thereby blend them into the graphic treasures that had so far sustained Knightmare, we could not prevent the style clash which followed.'

(The discoloured appearance of the photography, sometimes referred to as solarisation, proved off-putting to many fans.)

Quests, then, changed in Series 4 to encompass a range of new settings, including a tavern (the Crazed Heifer), a wood (Dunkley Wood) and a lake (the Dunswater, filmed at Leeds Castle). However, there was little variation between quests regarding which locations were seen and in which order, contributing to many Knightmare fans' dislike of S4.

Many character encounters were similarly repetitive and predictable, especially the Weeping Doors. Overall, with so many new elements for the production team to integrate, quests seemed slower (a single level could occupy an entire episode) and less challenging (every Series 4 team got at least as far as Level 2, and half reached Level 3) than in other series of Knightmare. This is yet another reason why many people have expressed negative views of Series 4.

The end-of-series scene, where Merlin sent Team 8 of Series 4 "home for Christmas", is also worth mentioning as a much-disliked facet of S4.

On a positive note, the Corridor of Blades, first seen in Series 4, attained great (if not universal) popularity among Watchers, as has an amusing blunder by a Team 4 advisor relating to sidestepping.

A promo for Series 4 featured Fatilla breaking the fourth wall with a giant reptile behind him. It was shown at least once on Children’s ITV, on Wednesday 5th December 1990 after Mike & Angelo.

In 2014, clips covering all quests of Series 4 were uploaded to the ITV Children's Classics channel on YouTube.

In 2021, all episodes of Series 4 were added to BritBox in the UK.
 [Related Image] Eight teams appeared in Series 4, and the sixth (with Dickon as dungeoneer) were winners, redeeming the Crown.
The following Lexicon entries offer specific information on aspects of Series 4 (and further entries mentioning S4 can be found by browsing):

Actors: Erin Geraghty

Characters & Creatures: Treguard, Pickle, Tickle, Boatman, Fatilla the Hun, Gundrada, Mellisandre/Melly, Milly, Molly, Mistress Goody, Door Monster/Weeping Door, Dooris, Doorkis, Dooreen, Ariadne, Little Acorn, Ogre, Behemoth/frightknight, wellway guards, cat, dwarf, Oakley, Motley, Hordriss ("Malefact"), wolf, giant reptile, Assassin, Brother Mace, Malice ("Merris"), goblin, Merlin


Objects: knapsack, banana, reflector, aniseed, potion, Etruscan brandy, poison, rope, Grow-Me-Quick, pills, Downers, Uppers, Gut, Slash, flail, magnifying glass, pillory, spectral weaponry, Small, SNIFF, Stealth, cheese, silver, horn, key, spanner

Contestants: Dickon, Giles

Teams: Team 1 of Series 4, Team 2 of Series 4, Team 3 of Series 4, Team 4 of Series 4 (see also Simon, sidestep to your left), Team 5 of Series 4, Team 6 of Series 4, Team 7 of Series 4, Team 8 of Series 4

Locations: Antechamber, Block and Tackle, Corridor of Blades, Dunkley Wood, Dunswater, Tower of Time, (Leeds Castle), Crazed Heifer, Chamber of Opposite Extraction, web, wellway, Transporter Pad, Place of Choice, Castle of Doom, Dungarth, Ariadne’s Lair, Conveyer Belt/Moving Walkway, Falling Bridge, (Framlingham Castle), (Castle Rising), (Orford Castle), (Castle Acre Priory), (Oxburgh Hall), (Dragon Hall), (Little Hall), (Hockering Wood)
 [Related Image] Miscellaneous: dominus, Passive paths, The Tragical History Of Doctor Faustus, Shakespeare, The Endless Quest, Abesse, Gordian Knot, Christmas, algiz, Colchester

NEXT: Series 5
PREVIOUS: Series 3 links

[Earlier versions: 2006-11-25 21:14:00, 2006-08-08 15:35:02, 2007-04-19 15:34:05, 2007-10-27 18:13:54, 2012-10-01 16:59:18

Look-in magazine cutting courtesy of Jamie Hall]

Provided By: David, 2021-03-23 18:16:46
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