Friday, 23 August 2013

Mastermind - Round One - Heat Three

I didn’t wiki this week, after the excitement of last week’s show. None of the subjects looked like bankers to me this time, and so apart from not really wanting to put the time into looking up any of the subjects, I wanted to set a benchmark for an unwikied show. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

The first of last night’s contenders, Darren Martin, is not unknown in these parts. Most recently you might remember that he was third in this year’s Brain of Britain Grand Final. In terms of Mastermind Darren was also third in the Grand Final of Andy’s 2003 series. You might have seen him fairly recently in that on Classic Mastermind. With that kind of pedigree he was very much the form horse in this line up. Darren was answering on the films of Peter Sellers. If there was one thing that this round taught me it was that Sellers made quite a lot of films, and I haven’t actually seen that many of them. I was happy with my 4. Darren, on the other hand, looked as if he wasn’t that pleased with his own 10. That’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, especially with GK still to come.

I don’t believe that any of the other three contenders have been on mastermind before, and so they were each of them something of an unknown quantity. Pat Ready , next up, was to offer us Orchids. Given the number of species that’s a pretty big subject. Under the circumstances I was pleased enough with my 3 points. Pat took a good 11, and already it was shaping up to be one of those shows where there’s not much to choose between any of the specialist scores. Having said that there were still 2 to go, and everything could still change.

Chris Kilbride, on the Life and Music of Paul Robeson, took a very calm and measured approach to his round. He considered each question on its merits, then gave his answer. However speed is not something you can forget about completely in a Mastermind round, especially if you get a couple wrong, as did Chris, and so he too finished with 10 points, but only 1 pass. Me? I had 3, although I did get Proud Valley, which was the one Chris passed on. There is (or was) a mural on the railway club, where I began quizzing, and part of the mural is a poster for that same film.

The Open Golf Championship 1960 – 2012 was the subject which promised most points for me in this show. There’s been a lot said about the Olympics round last week, and for what it’s worth I do believe that it ended up being easier than it needed to be, so I was really interested to see whether the same would apply to this sports subject. On the whole I’d say not. I managed 7 of these, and that was dredging two or three up from heaven alone knows where. Barry Nolan certainly produced the pick of the specialist rounds, although his 12 points and 1 pass only gave him a cushion of 2 points over the contenders in third and fourth. Everything would come down to GK, then.My specialist aggregate was 17 - which incidentally was only 3 more than I had on the Olympic round last week.

Darren returned to the chair first of all. Being realistic, I think it will take a score of 27 to give a contender hopes of earning a repechage semi final slot. In Darren’s case that would have meant getting a score of 17 on GK. That is certainly do-able, but it’s quite an ask. So it was all the more important to push the target for the other contenders as high as possible, to win and earn the semi final slot by right. He certainly had a go. Darren used the old hand’s tactic of only giving the surname when asked for a person’s name in order to save a little time. He answered quickly, but somehow it just wasn’t quite there in this show. By the end of the round he’d added another 11 points, but by the look on his face he knew that he’d passed on things that, on another day, he’d have answered. It was just a round that didn’t work out for him, and that’s tough luck. He finished on 21.

Chris Kilbride’s round provided a contrast to Darren’s. There was no concession made in the interests of speed, but the first half of the round was actually very accurate. The second half wasn’t bad either, come to think of it. Chris answered every question, and judging from the number he had right – 16 – and the breadth of knowledge he displayed I’d dare say that he is a quizzer. A target of 26 looked more than enough to put the other two contenders well into the corridor of uncertainty.

Pat Ready started her round well enough, but never looked entirely comfortable. As the round progressed what head of steam she’d built up certainly evaporated, and I’m afraid that she had that most uncomfortable of black chair experiences, a pass spiral. It was only with the very last question that she managed to pull herself out of her nosedive, and take her score to 8 for the round, and 19 overall.

Barry Nolan needed 14 and no passes to tie, or 15 to win. even in a two and a half minute round that isn’t easy. Much as he had with his specialist round Barry snapped out answers to questions he knew. As we moved into the last 30 seconds it looked desperately tight, and it stayed that way up to the end. Barry did indeed add 14 to his total, but he also added another 2 passes, and that, as they say was that. It was hard lines. 26 is a useful total, but if I’m honest I think it may prove to be a point or two short of a semi final slot. Well done to Chris Kilbride though, and good luck for the semi finals.


Darren Martin The Feature Films of Peter Sellers10 - 311 - 521 - 8
Pat ReadyOrchids11 – 28 – 7 19 - 9
Chris KilbrideLife and Music of Paul Robeson10 - 116 – 026 - 1
Barry NolanThe Open Golf Championship 1960 - 2011212 - 114 - 226 – 3

Repechage Table

Beth Webster 28 – 2
Barry Nolan 26 – 3
Ricki Kendall 25 – 4
John Berridge 24 – 3
Lauren White 23 – 4
Darren Martin 21 – 8

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