Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let's Get Some News Out Of The Way First...

  • Wheel Of Fortune's "Vanna For A Day" contest has been won by Katie C. from Savannah, Georgia. Yes, they aren't telling us her last name. The episode featuring her will air on March 24.
  • Bill Nimmo, a former sidekick to Johnny Carson and host of a few game shows in the early years of television, has died at age 93.
Now, since I don't have much to say about either of those, I'm going to finally review that CBBC show that I said on January 27 was "even more 'out there' than The Slammer." The show is called Trapped, and if I were to describe it in terms of other shows, it would be the game play mechanic of The Mole (a show I adore) crossed with the fantasy atmosphere of Knightmare. Yes, it's every bit as bizarre - and in my book, as awesome - as that makes it sound.

The premise, as relayed to us by the Caretaker (played by Simon Greenall): six kids wearing earpieces start out on the top floor of a tower (think Rapunzel). They are being held prisoner by the Voice (played by Faith Brown), an evil witch that the viewers never see clearly. On each floor, the kids are set a challenge that they must work as a team to the start of each game, one kid is told via that goofy looking earpiece that he\she must try to sabotage. Unlike most shows of this sort, the viewer can hear everything the Voice is saying through those earpieces; thus, not only do we know who the saboteur is, we can hear all the inside information the Voice is feeding him\her.

If the team wins their challenge, the saboteur failed to do his\her job and is thus eliminated, trapped presumably forever on that floor of the tower. If the team fails, they must vote on who they thought the saboteur was, and whoever gets the most votes is trapped, regardless of whether or not he\she was the saboteur (and even if the saboteur is not eliminated, a different kid is the saboteur on the next floor). When only two kids are left on the bottom floor of the tower, they play a quiz of questions about the rest of the game - who was the saboteur on this floor, did you win or lose on that floor, you get it. The loser of this quiz is trapped, and the winning kid is shown walking out of the tower over the credits. There are, as far as I can tell, no actual prizes.

As with Knightmare and The Slammer, this is quite a brave concept for a kids show - the sort that doesn't come along often in Britain and would probably never get on television in America. It's pretty clear that a lot of kids would find this too much, but I thought it was great and I like to think an eight-year-old me would have agreed. Yep, British kids get Trapped and The Slammer, and American kids are stuck with Hole In The Wall and Pictureka. Maybe I should just concede that the British are better than us.



  1. It's Katie Cantrell. The story's here:

  2. Thanks. I feel pretty stupid now.