Game Show Memories – Think Tank.

Think Tank (Channel 4, 1995-1996)

Think Tank was another effort to launch a long-running weekday Channel 4 daytime game show in the same tradition as Countdown and Fifteen-To-One that have served the channel so well for many years, but just like Backdate which launched around the same time it wasn’t to be a big success. The show has hosted by Mickey Hutton who now had a much nicer haircut since his CBBC Hangar 17 days. vlcsnap-01017

Every day two teams of three took part. The rules might seem a little complicated at first but the main idea was that there were three tanks. In the first round general knowledge questions were asked for 30 seconds for ten points each. Then after that the teams chose from six specific categories that they put into each tank. A question was then asked to gain control of the tank. Once had they control some more questions were asked for 20 points. Mickey would often say at this point “you have a think tank session available” which is just a fancy way of saying there was a chance to confer. vlcsnap-01018

There was also an opportunity at the halfway point of the round to change the categories of the tanks. The idea was that questions were asked until a team had filled a tank to the maximum 100 points. If by the end of the round they still hadn’t, some more general knowledge questions were asked for 30 points. The winning team was the first to fill two tanks. vlcsnap-01020

Now it was time for the final challenge. They were given six categories to put in order of preference. There were 90 seconds on the clock and a statement was read out of which a part was wrong. The contestants took it in turns to answer and the idea was to correct the statement, having to get one right for the first category, two right for the second and so on. If they manage to get six right in the sixth and final category and complete the challenge in time they win the star prize of a portable CD player, something that isn’t much to look at now but was rather decent 20 years ago. vlcsnap-01022

Think Tank was yet another game show that was produced by Action Time and I remember watching it on many an afternoon in the mid-90s. It was good seeing Mickey Hutton again and he hosted the show well even though he has something of a rather thick Geordie accent. Unfortunately it only lasted for one series as it wasn’t a hit with viewers, it’s not very well remembered now and it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry. It was an interesting attempt though a creating a variation on the usual general knowledge game.


2 thoughts on “Game Show Memories – Think Tank.

  1. Des Elmes says:

    The respective failures of this show and Backdate to set the world alight were what prompted Channel 4 to commission Fifteen-to-One and Countdown all year round, at 4:00 and 4:30 (later 3:45 and 4:15) respectively, instead of having the two alternate at 4:30 every three months.

    It says something that this arrangement lasted seven years, and that the only other game show to air in this slot during this period was Number One in summer 2001, which almost inevitably didn’t catch on. (I’m guessing you’ll be reviewing that one soon, Adam?)


    • Yes the only show to come close to Countdown and Fifteen-To-One’s success is Deal Or No Deal.
      I must admit that I never watched much of Number One at the time so I probably won’t be reviewing that one.


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