Tonight (23rd of June), the Crystal Maze returns to our screen after a long absence (apart from the of special hosted by Steven Merchant). Following the success of the one off special, Channel 4 have commissioned a new series which will be hosted by Richard Ayaode (of IT crowd and Mighty Boosh fame).
Many fans of the original series which was hosted by Richard O’brien will be eager to tune in to see hoe the Aztec Zone, Future Zone and Medieval Zone have been brought up to date. If you are too young to remember the original format of the show, it involves a team of six people (all wearing shell suits), who have to negotiate a set of challenges in the maze in order to try and win a crystal. The more crystals that they win, the more time they have at the end to try and collect gold pieces of paper. If they collect enough gold paper they win a prize, although the very rarely happened in the original show.
The challenges that the team have to compete in are split into different categories including skill, physical, mental and mystery. One particular feature of the show is that if the contestant does not exit the room in time, they will get locked in there for the rest of the game (unless the team captain decides to buy them out using one of the crystals). Some rooms also have automatic lock-ins and if you fail the task, you are doomed to be confined there for a while.
The show was very popular during the 80’s and early 90’s and it’s reboot will no doubt garner a new set of fans who will be tuning in each week. The show has even spawned a real life maze in Manchester where teams have to pay around £50 per head to try and win.
O’Brien, the original host was also the man behind the hugely successful Rocky Horror Picture Show musical which was later made into a popular film. New host Richard Ayaode has some very large shoes to fill as he takes on this new role, although he is more than capable of the the task. His recent series of travel shows where he accompanies another celebrity to a city somewhere in the world is a very entertaining new slant on the traditional travel show format. His dry sense of humor and sarcastic delivery should be a perfect match for the Crystal Maze.