Friday, 10 October 2008

TV Watch - Mastermind Update - Comebacks

Mastermind - BBC2 Friday 3rd October

The Results

Ara Varatharaj
Medical student
The Challenger novels
of Arthur Conan Doyle
16 and 0 passesGeneral - 7 and 1 passTotal 23 and 1 pass
Edwin Hird
Support Service manager
Hector Berlioz6 and 8 passesGeneral - 9 and 3 passesTotal 15 and 11 passes
Roger Luther
The governments of Margaret Thatcher 14 and no passesGeneral - 8 points 4 passesTotal 22 points and 4 passes
Jack Robson
Stage Manager
The life and plays
of Bertold Brecht
9 and 3 passesGeneral - 10 and 1 passTotal 19 and 4 passes

Mastermind BBC2 Friday 10th October

The Results

John Beynon
Girgory Rasputin15 and no passesGeneral - 14 - 0 passesTotal 29 points 0 passes
Jeremy Pick
Communications manager
West Coast Underground
Comics 1961 -75
11 and 2 passesGeneral - 9 0 passesTotal 20 points 2 passes
Kathryn Price
The Gospels14 and no passesGeneral 7- 3 passes Total 21 points 3 passes
Olav Bjortomt
West Indies Test
Cricket 1976 - 1991
8 and no passesGeneral 14- no passesTotal - 22 points no passes

Yes , I'm back. Apologies for missing last week out. Family commitments meant that time was at a premium last weekend. So - what have we missed. Well, two Masterminds is a pretty good place to start.

Lets start with the 3rd October. This was rthe first show of this series with 4 Mastermind virgins - according to my list none of them have ever competed in Mastermind before. Ara Veratharaj impressed with 16 on The Challenger Novels of Arthur Conan Doyle, but only just managed to squeeze through on a modest 23. I know from experience that anything can happen in the semi finals, but his general knowledge would have to improve considerably to give him a realistic chance of getting to the final.

My heart went out to Edwin Hird, answering on Hector Berlioz. He got trapped in a pass spiral, and in the end did well to compose himself enough to take his score to 6 on the specialist.

Funnily enough tonight's heat also had 4 Mastermind virgins, but at least one of the contenders is a very serious quizzer indeed. For the benefit of those not in the know, Olav Bjortomt is widely reckoned to be one of the best quizzers in the country. He won the inaugural world quizzing championships. He took part in a team which won three shows of Battle of The Brains earlier this year, and was the first person to reach the final of the 2007 People's Quiz. A serious quizzer, whom I have met on a couple of occasions. All the more of a shock then, to see the wheels come off in his specialist round. Now, I don't know enough about cricket - West Indies or otherwise - to be able to say whether his questions were particularly hard or unfair. But I'm sure that Olav would have expected to score more than 8.

To be fair, Olav composed himself and scored a fast and impressive 14 on General Knowledge to take him to 22. At one stage it almost looked like this would be enough. Both Jeremy Pick and Kathryn Price failed to take advantage of the lifeline that Olav had extended towards them, and with only John Beynon left to go, Olav was still in the lead. John Beynon never gave the impression of answering particularly quickly, but he got a lot of correct answers , to score 14 and no passes. That's a serious score , and I have to say that Mr. Beynon looks more like a serious contender for the title than any other competitor I have seen so far this year. Well done sir. That's a hell of a scalp you claimed in this heat.

Comebacks worth noting
No time for reviews of the usual. University Challenge and Only Connect continue to deliver great entertainment on Monday Nights - I just wish the BBC would spread their quizzes over the week.

On their way back - ITVs The Krypton Factor - I have no details as yet.

Talkback Thames are reviving "Going for Gold ". Fear not. Garrulous old Henry Kelly is not part of the deal. The show will be presented by John "My brother is Poirot" Suchet.

Finally, the Production company Shine are advertising for teams for a new series of "The Battle of the Brains". Watch this space.

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