Now, Paul Radford gave us the Apollo space programme. This is a subject which I liked the look of. I was an impressionable 5 years old when I was woken in the middle of the night to get up and watch the Apollo 11 moon landing on TV, and so it’s been something I’ve always had a little bit of an interest in. I got 6 of these questions, and I don’t think you could claim that the average person might have got them through general knowledge in this case. These were pretty testing , I thought, and Paul did well to get his 12.
Mark Wyatt was answering on the Life and Music of Nick Drake. I can only apologise to his fans that I am afraid that I knew nothing about him. So at least the fact that I couldn’t get any of these questions right shows that it probably wasn’t a round padded out with GK questions masquerading as specialists. Mark’s 18 from 18 was as fine a perfect display as we’ve seen all series. Unless final contender Chris Forse could manage a high score, then the show as a contest was already over.
The Cold War – 1946 – 64 – was our final subject. I haven’t studied this period specially, and it’s over 30 years since I read about a lot of these things in O level history. I still managed 11. I know that this is going to add fuel to the fire about the debate which has gone on in some recent posts and comments about the use of GK questions in specialist rounds, but I have to say that I thought that this round was a lot more accessible to the home viewer with a decent GK than any of the others. For which I don’t blame Chris Forse at all. His 15 was a fine performance – he can only answer the questions that he’s asked, after all. The fact that he did manage 15, as well, meant that at least the show would not be decided until Mark’s GK round.
Kate returned to the chair. I can only judge by facial expression and tone of voice, but it did seem like a number of Kate’s correct answers were not certain, only guesses. What she did well was in most cases, to go for the obvious, or the only thing you can think of – so who sulked in his tent in the Iliad – well you know Achilles was a greek hero, so go for him. It’s a perfectly valid tactic, and together with the answers she did know for certain, she put on a good score of 12 points. Her total of 19 meant that she did lead the contest, even though this was only going to be for a couple more minutes.
Paul Radford started his round confidently enough, but the passes and wrong answers started to set in after the first half a minute. I can’t say that I thought his questions were particularly harder than the other rounds – my lowest score was 15 out of 19 on Kate’s set. On Paul’s I managed 18 from 20. Paul answered 9 correctly, which gave him a total of 21, Which at least meant that he , too , would be in the lead for at least another two minutes.
Chris got through more questions in his round, but unfortunately this was because nerves seemed to get the better of him, and he fell into a nasty pass spiral. I made it that he was asked 22 questions, of which I answered 18. He managed double figures by the end of the round, but the 8 passes told their own story, I’m afraid. He finished with 26, and took the lead himself. With only 9 needed for an outright win, it seemed highly likely that Mark would overtake him.
Mark started impressively. The thing about Mastermind is that you get into a rhythm. If you answer quickly, then John askes quickly, and you can really build up ahead of steam. Granted Mark didn’t maintain this cracking pace throughout the whole of the round, but he’d already won by the time he began to slow down. For the record I had my best performance on Mark’s round with 21 from 23 questions. Mark himself managed 14, a good score by anyone’s reckoning.
So well done ! A performance which suggests that , should he get an equally good run at the specialist round in his semi, Mark can certainly get to the final.
|Kate Foley||The Archers 1980 – Present Day||7 - 4||12 - 2||19 – 6|
|Paul Radford||The Apollo Space Programme||12 - 4||9 - 5||21 – 9|
|Mark Wyatt||Life and Music of Nick Drake||18 - 0||13 - 3||31 – 3|
|Chris Forse||The Cold War 1946 - 64||15 - 0||11 - 8||26 – 8|