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This is a special “Odds & Ends” chapter of my GamesMaster TV Series Retrospective.

In case you haven’t read the retrospective yet, go back and check it out right now:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

You know, a lot of things have happened over the past two and a half years when after I first joined this site and did this retrospective, such as the death of Sir Patrick Moore in December 2012, Eurogamer doing an article on GamesMaster in June 2013, and Out-of-Print Archive conducting an interview with “The Games Animal” Dave Perry in November 2013. So, I’m here to tell you a few odds and ends of GamesMaster.

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#1.We all know that Dominik Diamond hates Dave Perry with a passion, but we still don’t know why. In fact, Dave doesn’t know either, as stated in his OoPA interview:

“I don’t know what started the friction between us. It definitely came more from his side than mine. I was pretty isolated. It perhaps wasn’t helped when [Dominik] left before Season 3 got under way, only to see me step in to co-host the show with Dexter Fletcher and help him get through a very difficult time. Certainly from that moment on, lines seemed to be drawn. I simply wanted to help make a great video-games show, that was my number one priority, a video-games show. What [Dominik’s] problem was with me, I guess only he will know, because he certainly never spoke to me about it. Just made faces behind my back. Schoolboy stuff.”

#2.One thing I never mentioned enough in the original retrospective was that certain challenges on the show were actually rigged, and I can name a few examples:

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1.Episode 2 of Season 1, Big Boy Barry fluffed the Sonic the Hedgehog challenge on the first take, which wasn’t the result Hewland International wanted, so they gave the future Videator another go.

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2.Episode 4 of Season 1, Richard Wilchar originally won the Road Rash challenge, only to be told that he had to be shown losing because everyone else had won that day.

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3.Episode 8 of Season 1, Martin Mathers (who went on to play the Virtua Cop games in Seasons 5 and 6) was actually told to lose the Terminator 2: Judgment Day challenge, but he managed to mess up on his own anyway without provocation.

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4.Episode 3 of Season 2, John Morrison actually beat Danny Curley on the Sonic 1 time trial, so Hewland kept re-filming the challenge until Curley won.

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5.Episode 21 of Season 2, the Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield’s Boxing challenge between the Munro Siblings originally ended with Craig defeating Kirsty, but producer Adam Wood asked for more takes until Kirsty won, which she did on the third take.

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6.Episode 26 of Season 3, aka the Team Championship Grand Final, where after they were eliminated due to a technical fault (which allowed the Mega Maniacs another chance to score points), the Elite 3 felt so cheated that they didn’t even want to stay for the prize giving.

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7.Episode 9 of Season 6, aka the Super Mario 64 Screwjob, which I’ve already covered.

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8.Episode 13 of Season 6, aka the Tetsujin challenge on Virtua Fighter 3. Here’s what Dave Perry had to say about it in his OoPA interview:

“The Tetsujin was supposed to be a Japanese champion, who had been flown over here to take on 100 UK Virtua Fighter fans. What he actually ended up playing against was 30 or so young kids that were just visiting from a local school. They didn’t have a clue what they were doing or even how to control the game in some cases. Lambs to the slaughter. I hated that kind of thing and told the production team so. It was sarcastically suggested [by Dominik and the crew] that I played [against the Tetsujin] instead, which to their surprise I said I would. It didn’t happen. What I struggled to understand was that GamesMaster was a TV show, first and foremost. It was an aspect of the production that I never completely came to terms with. It certainly wasn’t how I had conceived it. I wanted it to be just about the games.”

The revelation of all these fixed challenges had shocked Dave quite a bit, since he wasn’t aware that the audience realised that the challenges on the show were being rigged. In fact, Dave had never believed that rigging challenges on GamesMaster was the correct thing to do. It was certainly another area where he battled constantly with much of the production team. Here’s a great quote from series creator Jane Hewland:

“The challenges were never rigged. Sometimes if people failed too quickly or easily, they were given another go simply because there wouldn’t have been anything to put on TV. But we never influenced the results.”

It’s a great example of how, even today, many of the people behind producing the show try to deny it (surely giving people another go until you get the result you want is very definately “influencing” results). The simple truth is, you couldn’t always believe what you saw on screen. It was something that increasingly grated with Dave Perry as time went on, and while he always understood the need to present an entertaining and exciting show, it was a different matter when it was some contestants who were cheated out of their well-earned victories because it didn’t suit the producer and director, or when other contestants were unfairly given second chance after second chance to finish a challenge just so the cameras could get a shot of a particular level or enemy. Dave always felt that when you were dealing with people’s dreams, reputations, and aspirations, you had to be fair. He felt it was vital to the show’s integrity. Sadly, poor Dave was often very much alone in what was considered to be a naive opinion.

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But it wasn’t just GamesMaster that occasionally left competitors feeling cheated. In Hewland’s other show Games World, the Videators (the main characters whom the contestants always faced on “Beat the Elite”, the Friday portion of the episodes, which would be spread out in five parts from Monday to Friday each week) often practiced the same games over and over for months prior to the show’s tapings, while opponents often only had a matter of hours to perfect their skills. Some of the games used were often deliberately obscure to give the resident players a better chance at winning. And while admittedly some of the Videators were not games players at all, but just “actors” and so needed to be given an “edge” to help maintain their air of invincibility if the show was to work, Dave Perry never quite felt comfortable with how things were so stacked up against the entrants.

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Another obvious example of this “rigging” came in one episode on the fourth and final season of Games World. That week’s champion, “Guru” Larry Bundy Jr., one of many well-known personalities on YouTube, had just lost his first round game against Metro on Street Fighter Alpha 2 for the Sega Saturn in the week’s final, and now Larry found himself drawn against Lord Leslie Mathers (played by Martin Mathers), historically one of the better players on Games World, in a one-on-one race on 1080: TenEighty Snowboarding for the Nintendo 64. However, things didn’t go quite to plan, and Larry beat the supposedly invincible Videator. A great victory you would think, right? Wrong – Martin threw a major fit at losing and complained that “his joypad wasn’t working” – a classic excuse. However, because he was a Videator, the production crew at Hewland let Martin play again after giving him another joypad, and this time he won.

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Trouble was, when the episode was aired, you could clearly see the two different coloured joypads in Martin’s hands, as the footage was obviously cobbled together from both takes of the challenge, with the pre-match interview being lifted from the first take…

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…and the result coming from the second take where the Videator emerges “victorious”.

Now, while the fast pace of filming meant that not every complaint or gripe could be given undivided attention, the number of times that we have all have seen kids protest about dodgy joypads only to be curtly dismissed would definately fill a whole book in itself. Yet, when it suited the production crew of both shows to get a “result”, it would often be a completely different matter. It is ironic that Dave Perry would eventually become the victim of challenge rigging in the sixth season of GamesMaster.

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#3.To this day, rumours of a possible GamesMaster TV series reboot still fly around on the Internet. While Dominik Diamond believes that it will never happen, Dave Perry is still very keen on the idea, as stated in his OoPA interview:

“I have been asked a couple of times if I would be involved in a reboot of GamesMaster. The last time was by a huge production company, best known for running one of the biggest franchises on terrestrial TV. I can tell you with complete honesty that I said yes to them. I mean, why not? Of course it could never be the same as the original show, but it would be a great experience to see if I could help resurrect my baby. The games industry could certainly do with the TV exposure. It amazes me that the biggest youth phenomenon of the past two decades continues to go from strength to strength, yet no commissioning editors seem interested in bringing it to the TV screen. The advertising alone in this sector would make it worthwhile. Somebody is missing a big trick with this, and whoever has the [guts] and the vision to strike first is going to hit it big. It makes me more than a little sad that we blazed a trail for everyone, only to see it go cold once we stepped aside.”

You know, I’m with Dave on this one, because I certainly believe that GamesMaster needs to come back to our TV screens. Also, like I said back in Part 7 of my retrospective, Dave should definately play The Games Master, and the revival should be more about games and less about sketches.

That is all I have to say now. I hoped you’ve enjoyed my long review of GamesMaster,

#4.Here are the ratings all of the games reviewed on GamesMaster:

Episode #1
The Terminator (Mega Drive) = 87%
The Addams Family (NES) = 63%
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (PC) = 93%

Episode #2
First Samurai (Amiga) = 90%
Pit-Fighter (Amiga) = 59%
Double Dragon 2 (Game Boy) = 70%

Episode #3
Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 (Amiga) = 68%
Formula 1 Grand Prix (Amiga) = 89%
OutRun Europa (Master System) = 52%

Episode #4
Shadow of the Beast (Mega Drive) = 59%
Populous 2: Trials of the Olympian Gods (Amiga) = 94%
King’s Quest 5: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder (Amiga) = 62%

Episode #5
ToeJam & Earl (Mega Drive) = 70%
Top Banana (Amiga) = 65%
Bart Simpson’s Escape from Camp Deadly (Game Boy) = 89%

Episode #6
Alien Breed (Amiga) = 70%
SpeedBall 2: Brutal Deluxe (Mega Drive) = 85%
Wing Commander 2: Vengeance of the Kilrathi (PC) = 59%

Episode #7
The Immortal (NES) = 80%
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (PC) = 94%
Heroes of the Lance (Master System) = 65%

Episode #8
Birds of Prey (Amiga) = 80%
F-22 Interceptor (Mega Drive) = 72%
Knights of the Sky (Amiga) = 80%

Episode #9
Madden Football ’92 (Mega Drive) = 95%
NBA All-Star Challenge (Game Boy) = 69%
Graham Gooch World Class Cricket (Amiga) = 60%

Episode #10
Deluxe Strip Poker 2 (Amiga) = 60%
Geisha (Amiga) = 41%
Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work (PC) = 89%

Episode #11
Krusty’s Super Fun House (Mega Drive) = 87%
Troddlers (Amiga) = 46%

Episode #12
Dragon’s Lair (SNES) = 57%
The New Zealand Story (Master System) = 87%
Hook (SNES) = 76%

Episode #13
Drakkhen (SNES) = 46%
Darklands (PC) = 84%
Legends of Valour (PC) = 87%

Episode #14
River City Ransom (NES) = 32%
Fighting Masters (Mega Drive) = 65%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4: Turtles in Time (SNES) = 80%

Episode #15
Splatterhouse 2 (Mega Drive) = 57%
The Legacy: Realm of Terror (PC) = 87%
Barbie Game Girl (Game Boy) = 51%

Episode #16
SimCity (SNES) = 94%
KGB (PC) = 84%

Episode #17
Speedball 2 (Master System) = 91%
George Foreman’s KO Boxing (NES) = 54%
World Class Leaderboard Golf (Mega Drive) = 84%

Episode #18
Scrabble (PC, Amiga, & Atari ST) = 80%
The Legend of Ragnarok (PC) = 84%
Trivial Pursuit (CD-TV) = 68%

Episode #19
Another World (SNES) = 76%
Prince of Persia (Master System) = 80%
Flashback (Amiga & Mega Drive) = 94%

Episode #20
Test Drive 2: The Duel (SNES) = 61%
Super Off Road (Game Gear) = 84%
Jeep Jamboree: Off Road Adventure (Game Boy) = 84%

Episode #21
John Madden Football ’93 (Mega Drive) = 87%
David Crane’s Amazing Tennis (SNES) = 80%
Sensible Soccer, Version 1.1 (Amiga) = 97%

Episode #22
James Bond 007: The Duel (Mega Drive) = 73%
RoboCop 3 (SNES) = 61%
Universal Soldier (Game Boy) = 80%

Episode #23
Super SWIV (SNES) = 87%
Steel Talons (Mega Drive) = 57%
Comanche: Maximum Overkill (PC) = 94%

Episode #24
TORNADO (PC, Amiga, & Atari ST) = 91%
Harrier (PC) = 87%
Air Warrior (PC, Amiga, Atari ST, & Macintosh) = 91%

Episode #25
WarpSpeed (SNES) = 57%
Frontier: Elite 2 (PC & Amiga) = 87%
Eye of the Storm (PC & Amiga) = 84%

Episode #26
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Mega Drive) = 68%
Pirates! (NES) = 91%
Super Star Wars (SNES) = 87%

Episode #27
The Blues Brothers (SNES) = 51%
Doctor Who: Dalek Attack (Amiga) = 73%
Star Wars (Game Boy) = 80%

Episode #28
Xenon 2: Megablast (Game Boy) = 68%
Axelay (SNES) = 87%
Super C (NES) = 80%

Episode #29
Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing (Mega Drive) = 57%
Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour (SNES) = 80%
Front Page Football (PC) = 87%

Episode #30
Gods (SNES) = 84%
Two Tribes: Populous 2 (Mega Drive) = 84%
Utopia: The Creation of a Nation (SNES) = 76%

Episode #31
Track & Field (Game Boy) = 57%
Dropzone (NES) = 87%
Paperboy 2 (Mega Drive) = 32%

Episode #32
Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop (Lynx) = 46%
Best of the Best: Championship Karate (SNES) = 73%
Sonic Blast Man (SNES) = 76%

Episode #33
Star Fox (SNES) = 94%

Episode #34
The Lost Vikings (SNES) = 80%
Mega Lo Mania (Mega Drive) = 87%
Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja (Game Boy) = 65%

Episode #35
Eliminator Boat Duel (NES) = 80%
Micro Machines (Mega Drive) = 87%
Dirty Racing (Game Boy) = 54%

Episode #36
Dungeon Master (SNES) = 68%
Final Fantasy 4 (SNES) = 61%
Cyberspace (PC) = 91%

Episode #37, “Mortal Kombat Special”
Mortal Kombat (SNES & Mega Drive) = 81%
Street Fighter 2 Turbo (SNES) = 86%

Episode #38
Rock & Roll Racing (SNES) = 86%
Thunderhawk (Mega-CD) = 81%
Haunting, starring Polterguy (Mega Drive) = 75%

Episode #39, “Special Sports Edition”
Street Fighter 2: Special Champion Edition (Mega Drive) = 92%
Space Ace (SNES) = 70%
Garfield Labyrinth (Game Boy) = 28%

Episode #40
Lamborghini American Challenge (Game Boy) = 86%
Pac-Attack (SNES) = 81%
Fantastic Dizzy (Mega Drive) = 75%

Episode #41, “Beat-Em-Up Special”
Flashback (SNES) = 86%
Sonic CD (Mega-CD) = 78%
Captain America and the Avengers (SNES) = 43%

Episode #42
RoboCop vs. The Terminator (Mega Drive) = 86%
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SNES) = 75%
Zombies Ate My Neighbours (SNES) = 90%

Episode #43
Gunstar Heroes (Mega Drive) = 90%
Jurassic Park (SNES) = 81%
Out to Lunch (SNES) = 78%

Episode #44
Cannon Fodder (Amiga) = 90%
Top Gear 2 (SNES) = 81%
Dune 2: Battle for Arrakis (Mega Drive) = 92%

Episode #45
Young Merlin (SNES) = 86%
Spider-Man / X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge (Mega Drive) = 70%
The Fidgetts (Game Boy) = 63%

Episode #47
Aero the Acro-Bat (SNES) = 86%
Lethal Enforcers (Mega-CD) = 63%
Skyblazer (SNES) = 75%

Episode #48
Plok (SNES) = 69%
The Lawnmower Man (SNES) = 86%
FIFA International Soccer (Mega Drive) = 95%

Episode #49
Sensible Soccer: European Champions (Mega Drive) = 92%
Dennis (SNES) = 58%
Goal! (Game Boy) = 37%

Episode #50
Aladdin (SNES) = 78%
Cybermorph (Jaguar) = 81%

Episode #51
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Mega Drive) = 75%
World Soccer (SNES) = 69%

Episode #53
Boxing Legends of the Ring (SNES) = 78%
F-117 Night Storm (Mega Drive) = 67%

Episode #54
ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron (Mega Drive) = 90%
F1 Pole Position (SNES) = 78%

Episode #55
Eternal Champions (Mega Drive) = 81%
Total Carnage (Game Boy) = 58%

Episode #57
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES) = 81%
Alone in the Dark 2 (PC) = 90%

Episode #58
HyperDunk (Mega Drive) = 58%
NBA Showdown (Mega Drive) = 58%
NBA Jam (SNES & Mega Drive) = 92%

Episode #59
Virtual Soccer (SNES) = 78%
Empire Soccer 94 (Amiga) = 81%
Soccer Kid (SNES) = 86%

Episode #60
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Mega Drive) = 90%
Choplifter 3 (SNES) = 78%

Episode #61
Prize Fighter (Mega-CD) = unknown rating, possibly bad
Ground Zero Texas (Mega-CD) = unknown rating, possibly average
Double Switch (Mega-CD) = unknown rating, possibly good
Mega Race (Mega-CD) = unknown rating, possibly good

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