The Krypton Factor is one of my favourite game shows and it seems that as well as the regular series, there were a lot of variations over the years, such as celebrity specials and champions specials, so I have decided to review a special edition from 1983, partly because it seems to be the oldest complete edition of The Krypton Factor online and I thought it would be interesting to see how the show evolved over the years.
This is a “Great Britons” special featuring people who had completed impressive endurance feats in 1983 and as usual it is hosted by Gordon Burns who hosted The Krypton Factor for 18 years. The first thing that is noticeable is the title sequence, using the best computer technology available at the time, but not featuring the green and red “K” symbol or The Art Of Noise theme as neither of those were introduced until 1986, the 10th series. Although the rounds are slightly different too the format is essentially the same as ever with four contestants competing in the demanding mental and psychical tests over five rounds.
In the first round which is mental agility contestants are given nine statements about events that happened in 1983, and they must pick the four that are correct. Then round two is the physical ability round, where the notoriously difficult obstacle course has to be tackled, but for these four talented sportspeople it shouldn’t turn out to be too difficult to complete compared to some of their achievements, even on a wet day in December.
In the third round it’s time to take the tracksuits off and return to the studio for the intelligence round, one round that I always found interesting to watch and the contestants have to solve a tough numbers puzzle as quickly as they can. Round four is observation. Contestants have to watch a short clip of a drama, then answer questions on what they saw and then also identify an actor who appeared in the clip from a lineup.
The final round is general knowledge. All four contestants are asked questions individually on their specialist subject, and then they compete against one another on the buzzer against the clock in the more familiar style, with all the questions being about events that happened in 1983. As it turned out, the eventual clear winner was the man who ran the Himalayas, Richard Crane, who wins some money to donate to the charity of his choice.
It was great seeing a vintage edition of The Krypton Factor featuring sportspeople as contestants and it really is remarkable to think that the first series was almost 40 years ago now. The show was also imported to a few other countries and a special edition featuring winning contestants from across the world has also appeared online so I’ll be looking back at that variation too soon.