Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. TimeBusters
 [Related Image] A children's television series produced by Broadsword, the company behind Knightmare. It had a Sunday morning timeslot on BBC2 and ran for three series (a total of 37 episodes), from 17th January 1993 to 22nd January 1995.
 [Related Image] Timebusters was a time-travelling adventure game with a role-playing element similar to Knightmare, but shot on location instead of in a TV studio. Each week, the villainous Doctor Paradox (played by Bill Cashmore's comedy partner Andy Powrie) and his Time Vandals travelled to a different point in history and caused problems by altering an established timeline. A team of children would then be transported back in time on a red double-decker London Routemaster bus, to investigate and restore the original timeline. This involved interacting with characters from that time period, solving puzzles and following clues in order to find Dr Paradox's hidden Time-Capsule, a white tube which had to be brought back to the bus within a time limit in order to heal the Time-Rift. The mission was divided into separate gameplay sequences which were completed when the contestants pressed a 'Time Out' button. The initial format of two rival teams (Red and Yellow, each representing their school) was simplified in the second series to just one team per episode. Each team of four included a "guider" or "controller" who remained in the Timebus and used its scanners and mapping devices to guide the other adventurers, aided by one of the game hosts.

The show's original host was a character named Professor McNulty, played by Michael Troughton (son of Doctor Who actor Patrick); his first name was believed to be Augustus. Described as being "very clever about some things", he was Regius Professor of Temporal Studies at Clifton University. His assistant TJ, played by Tracy-Jane White, was said to be "not quite as important" but "very clever at all the things which Professor McNulty is not very clever at". They were later replaced as hosts by Buster, "the navigational computer with a personality disorder", played by Nicholas Collett who went on to appear in KMVR (voicing Lissard and Despair) and the 2013 Geek Week episode of Knightmare (as Sylvester the Jester). More detailed recollections provided by Jake Collins can be found in Issue 69 of The Eye Shield.
 [Related Image] A number of Knightmare actors also appeared in Timebusters. These reportedly included Cliff Barry (Lissard), Michael Cule (Brother Mace), Stephanie Hesp (Elita), Iona Kennedy (Sidriss), Mark Knight (Lord Fear), David Learner (Pickle), Clifford Norgate (Hordriss), Samantha Perkins (Gundrada) and Paul Valentine (Motley).

David Rowe, who painted the original Knightmare dungeon, also provided illustrations for Timebusters.
 [Related Image] Teams who applied for Knightmare in 1992 were also invited to appear on Timebusters; some letters from Broadsword and behind-the-scenes photographs were shared here by forum user fivegoldstars, who was selected to be a contestant on the latter show. A guestbook entry by dungeoneer Barry Thorne mentioned that Team 2 of Series 7 and Team 7 of Series 7 competed against each other in the first season of Timebusters.

Tim Child says the show was nicknamed "Tim-busters" by the production team "because one series almost killed me". Whilst it featured "some superbly exciting interactive sequences" and was "genuinely scary" for the players, he feels the programme suffered from his attempts "NOT to make it like Knightmare". He has also expressed frustration about each mission being limited to a single 25 minute episode, without the rolling gameplay of a Knightmare quest.
 [Related Image] Timebusters was axed by the BBC "just as it was getting really good", in the opinion of its creator. According to a forum post by Illusion (Nicholas Lam), Child wanted the show to be given a weekday afternoon slot where it might achieve better audience figures, but his request was denied.
 [Related Image] The general consensus among the watchers seems to be that Timebusters was reasonably entertaining, but not in the same league as Knightmare. It has never been repeated or shared online, though some brief clips from a 1994 episode can be seen in this YouTube video.

Provided By: Canadanne, 2017-03-16 17:50:35
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