Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Snapper-Jack
From TES issue 67 (January 2011)

Series 8. Level 2/3.
 [Related Image] When I first read Paul McIntosh’s review of this character back in issue 7, I was quite surprised how much hatred for the man with the butterfly net it exuded. Yet it seems that this is the popular opinion of Snapper-Jack – a ridiculous and pointless character who should never have been allowed on the show. I suppose he is ridiculous in many ways – the voice, the net, the sock-puppet snapdragon – but perhaps he would have been reviled slightly less if he had actually bagged (or netted) himself a victim – thus eliminating the notion that he was not a genuine threat – which he was practically on the verge of doing a couple of times, as some teams just managed to sneak through with a marginal two out of three.

Despite the fact that I’ve never been a fan of the whole “my arm was bitten off and grew back as a snapdragon” aspect of the character, I really didn’t mind Snapper-Jack when I first watched series 8, and I still think he’s no more or less awful than many other aspects of the series. I do like the way he introduced riddles back into the programme, asking the teams three at a time in very much the same way as the wall monsters had done, right back at the very beginning. (You could argue that the Brollachan did this in series 7, of course, but I don’t think it counts because he didn’t know the answers himself.) Some of Jack’s riddles contain interesting subject matter and are quite cleverly phrased (“Give me a coin you can keep animals in”) so although I’m not exactly a fan of the character, I do think there are some positive aspects to him.

Whatever Snapper-Jack’s shortcomings, we mustn’t blame Bill Cashmore, who doubtless did as much as he could in the role. It’s a shame that playing this character didn’t really allow him to improvise proper conversations with the dungeoneers, as Bill proved himself very adept at this whilst playing Honesty Bartram, which he sadly got to do much less than playing Snapper-Jack. This, then, is a very strange character, but one whose role in the quest did remind me of the early days (bringing a slight smile to my lips) and who, in a series literally overflowing with interesting ideas pulled off very badly, doesn’t particularly stand out to me as being very bad!

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2011-02-05 10:57:54
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2. Snapper-Jack
In February 2003, the Knightmare Discussion Forum gained a member named snapperjack. He has made no posts there since his 13th in January 2005. In one of his posts, he recounted an anecdote related to the character from whom he took his username:

'i whent down the local sainsburys to get some snack a jacks i got free coupon out the paper isearched high and low for the snack a jacks and i could'nt find them. i asked one of staff members if he knew where they were instead of saying do you know where the snack a jacks are i said do you know where the snapper jacks are he looked gone out and said oh you mean snack a jacks he said he was that character off knightmare he was saying he used to rush home from school to watch it.. :-)'

[Previous version: 2007-12-12 17:47:39]

Provided By: David, 2008-11-02 20:39:53
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3. Snapper-Jack
From TES issue 7 (June 1997)


As with all new characters in the blink-and-you-miss-it series 8, Snapper-Jack was given little time to establish himself as a favourite, but from the glimpses we were given, I have rarely seen anything worse in Knightmare's history !

Played by Bill Cashmore, Jack seems to be a guard of some sort, who tested dungeoneers with riddles before they could pass. However, it was very hard to take him seriously with his over-exaggerated 'sinister' voice, and the truly bizarre 'snapdragon' (a green sock with eyes !) which was meant to be what was left after Jack's arm was bitten off by a snapdragon !

Complete with man-sized 'catching' net, he looked every inch the fool, and never once came close to being scary or funny.

So why was Snapper-Jack such a disappointment ? I don't think Bill Cashmore played the part particularly well, although to be fair, he can only be as good as the script he is given !

Overall, I think the main problem was that Snapper-Jack just didn't fit in. Clearly, as a guard, Jack was intended to be intimidating, yet he was far from fearsome.

Even more bizarre, Jack actually crept into level three on occasions ! In years gone by, only the toughest, most powerful inhabitants of the dungeon could even go near level three !

Maybe, in my eyes, Snapper-Jack represents a lot of what went wrong in Knightmare. I always liked to see aggressive, fearsome guards patrolling the levels, and I prefer special effects and graphics for monsters, rather than a sock over an arm !

Fear Factor : 2 Well would you be scared of a sock !?
Humour Rating : 3 Sometimes funny, but for all the wrong reasons.
Killer Instinct : 0 We never got to see that giant net in action!
Oscar Standard : 5 Shame, because Bill Cashmore is a good actor.

Written by and submitted with the kind permission of Paul McIntosh.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2007-12-11 17:29:14
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