Tuesday, 21 October 2008

TV Watch - Tuesday 21st October

TV Watch

Mastermind - Friday 17th October

The details

NameSubjectSpecial scoreGen ScoreTotal
Martin BrownStax Records 1960-7216 - 0 passes11 - 0 passes27 - 0 passes
Gillian TaylorRomney Marsh novels of Monica Edwards 18 - 0 passes9 - 0 passes27 - 0 passes
Ray DriscollThe battleship 'Bismark'13-0 passes14 -1 pass27 - 1 pass
Kathryn PowellThe Welsh Castles of Edward I5 - 1 pass11 - 3 passes16 - 4 passes

Once again 4 Mastermind virgins take to the chair. Gillian Taylor's 18 on her specialist subject is probably the finest specialist round we have seen in this series so far, although at the halfway stage its by no means guaranteed that she's going to win, because Martin Brown is only 2 points behind. I venture to say that if he'd answered just a little faster he might even have sneaked another correct answer in. While its important to retain great respect for anyone brave enough to face the chair, I have to say that I think Kathryn Powell must have had a different conception of the boundaries of her subject than the setters of the questions did, for she had a bit of a disaster, only scoring five. Still, she rallied a bit, and did at least score double figures in the general knowledge. I noticed that John Humphry's chat in between rounds seemed very short this week, and wondered whether this meant that we were due for a rare tie break. It did, and we were. Ray Driscoll must have been kicking himself. his was by far the pick of the general knowledge rounds, an impressive 14, and only a single pass kept him out of the tie break. You'd have put your money on him to win if he'd been in the tie break. As it was, both Martin Brown and Gillian Taylor inched their way up to 27, but no further, each of them missing out on several questions on the trot as the buzzer approached. Respect to both of them for having had the presence of mind not to pass.

So we came to that rarest of rara aves - the tie break. Gillian Taylor was escorted from the studio, and Martin Brown managed to answer who was the Sun King, but nothing else, for 1. When Gillian Taylor returned, she also knew Louis XIV was the Sun King, and she also knew what a witchetty grub was. They were the only answers she knew, but they were the only ones she needed, and she squeezes through into the semis, despite having the lowest general knowledge score of this heat. I can't see her being a finalist, but then semi final form is notoriously difficult to predict based on first round performance.

Are You An Egghead ? BBC Two weekdays 4:30pm

I'm not. I wish I could be, but I'm afraid that even if I won, which I suppose would have been possible, but no more for me than many of the contenders, they weren't offering enough money per year for me to give up my job. Its a shame, because this is a decent show to take part in, and in my opinion a cut above the usual Eggheads mismatches. On Monday we saw Stephanie Bruce - winner of the BBCs biggest ever cash prize in 2007's The People's Quiz, taking on a chap I don't know, called David. I didn't see the start of the show, so I don't know his surname. The two players play standard Eggheads type head to head matches against each other in five categories. The winner of each category gets to pick one of the Eggheads to help them in the last round. So theoretically you could win all 5 categories, and still lose in the last round. The last round is a head to head again, with each contestant facing 5 general knowledge questions. Each Egghead they have won can be called on for help once. Its a good format. Apart from anything else its really quite amusing seeing Judith and CJ get picked last invariably. Having said that Judith provided David with a cracker of an answer about Tattersalls to win Monday's show.

Tuesday's show saw my friend, Mark Labbett take on quiz regular Jenny Ryan, who is also someone I know through the incestuous world of quizzing. If you didn't know either contestant it would have looked like Jenny was guessing a lot tonight, but they were all educated guesses. She edged out the fight for the Eggheads. Mark won the first pick, and chose Daphne over Kevin, which was an interesting choice. He also later on picked CJ over Judith. This gave Jenny a line up of Kevin, Chris and Judith. Goin into the general knowledge round, Mark was given a question about which island Nassau, capital of the Bahamas is found on. Having picked Daphne first he chose not to ask for her help, when she actually knew the correct answer, and guessed wrongly himself. On such small margins are shows won and lost.

Its a good show this. Much more of a match, and therefore much more interesting and exciting than the Eggheads show itself. Mark made my week when he was asked the answer to the question about which actress won the BAFTA for her part in Cranford. Mark and CJ are quiz friends, and Mark knew straightaway that this was the sort of thing that CJ does learn for quizzes. When CJ supplied him with the correct answer, Mark replied words to the effect of " Thanks CJ. You're not a great quizzer, but you're a great researcher !" Good on you Mark !

Only Connect - BBC4 - Monday 8:30pm

This seems to be my week for watching my quiz friends and acquaintances to make appearences. Up this week were a trio containing Dave Roberts and Nick Lewis, both of whom I have played against many times. Dave plays for a team in the Pill Harriers in Newport on a Monday Night. They are given, and accept a head start every week . Dave, along with Nick, also play for a team in the social quiz in The Dyffryn Arms on a Sunday night. Regular readers may remember that John and I stopped going to this quiz because we were killing it by winning the majority of the time. On the occasions when we didn't win, Dave and Nick's team invariably did. So from what I know of the two of them they're good, but not great quizzers. Well, they thrashed the opposition on this one. With barely fifteen seconds to go they hadn't assembled one set on the connection wall. Ten seconds later and they had the lot. Well done guys ! Good luck in the next round.

Haven't caught University Challenge yet, I'll catch up with it when I can.

Daftest answer of the week

Yes - its the return of the daftest answer of the week, since I caught the Weakest Link tonight. There were two which stood out. I couldn't choose between them, so I shall include both.

Question: The geographically incorrect title of a 1957 film about a volcanic disaster is - "Krakatoa - East of " where ?
Answer : - Pompeii ?

Question - which game, played on a chequred board with black and white pieces is named after a play by William Shakespeare ?
Answer : - Draughts ?

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