Friday, 9 October 2009

Mastermind First Round - Heat 7/24

No messing about from the iplayer tonight, I’m glad to say. I switched on the laptop at 9 o’clock sharp and there Mastermind was all ready and waiting. 3 newcomers braved the hotseat tonight, but one of our contenders has some quite serious previous form.

Ian Scott- Massie kicked off the show tonight with the Life and Work of Paul Nash. Paul Nash was an early 20th century artist, who was profoundly influenced by his experiences serving in Flanders during the first world war. Mr. Scott-Massie finds his unconventionality very appealing. Well, Mr. Scott-Massie, I found your performance in this round very appealing too. This was good confident stuff, maybe not a perfect round, but a very good one, with quick confident answers bringing a total of 14 and no passes. A cracking good way to start the show.

Sarah Dakin lightened the mood a little with The Films of Tim Burton. Cards on the table time here. I mostly love Tim Burton’s films – although what on earth he was thinking with Charlie and The Chocolate Factory I have no idea. I was intrigued to learn that Tim Burton’s first film was “Peewee’s Big Adventure”. That one will come up again in a quiz sometime. After a confident start I think that Sarah Dakin had a slight attack of nerves, asking for a question to be repeated. I found that the way she apologised for not knowing an answer very appealing, although maybe she might have got another question in if she’d just passed.

If you’re wondering who out of tonight’s four was our previous contender , then look no further than Andrew Warmington. In the 2004 series Mr. Warmington took the unusual subject of Capital Punishment in the UK since 1945, and won to take aplace in the semi finals, where he lost to Jim Cook. Tonight he offered the rather more traditional Ancient Greece – 490 – 323 BC, a period which was characterised by the great struggle between the city states, and the Persian Empire, he explained. Like Mr. Scott Massie, he also produced a fine, quick round, although he did ask for one repeat mid round, ending on 14 and no passes.

So to Dave Taylor, who was to answer on The Life and Work of Paul Dirac. Mr. Taylor in his insert must have anticipated the cry of “Paul Who ? “ from the Clark sofa, since he explained that Mr. Dirac developed the equation of the electron, which forms the basis for much of modern electronics. Clever bloke, then. So is Mr. Taylor, who managed a score of 10 on some pretty impenetrable questions, which forced John Humphrys to admit that he hadn’t understood any of them. Its one of Mastermind’s particular qualities which means that someone like Mr. Taylor explained that he’s had a 30 to 40 year interest in Dirac, but he still ended up with a lower SS score than the other contenders, one of whom certainly wasn’t even born when he first became interested in his subject.

Not to worry, though. There was always the hurly burly of the GK round to look forward to. Mr. Taylor didn’t answer very quickly, which may have cost him a few questions, but he answered pretty well, and 11 took him to 21. Not a score likely to bring a win or a place in the semis, but a creditable performance nonetheless. Unfortunately Sarah Dakin struggled a bit on this round, but kept her composure, and managed to still seem like she was enjoying the experience. That’s important. It goes by so quickly when you’re in the studio that it is important to try to enjoy it as it happens.

Joint leader Ian Scott- Massie set about reaching the target with gusto, and did so comfortably, pushing the score up to 26. In most of the shows so far this series that score has been good enough. However Andrew Warmington is an experienced Mastermind contender, and he had the glint of battle in his eye as he strode to the chair. For me he put up possibly the best performance we’ve seen so far this season, not only managing to score an excellent 14 on GK, but showing that he can cover an awful lot of ground in the process. OK, you can only tell so much from first round form, but I say that Mr. Warmington is a potential finalist. Make no mistake, his was a terrific performance. Ian Scott-Massie showed himself to be a force to be reckoned with as well, and I shouldn’t be very surprised if he reaches the semis with this.

The Details

Ian Scott Massie The Life and Work of Paul Nash14 - 012 - 226 - 2
Sarah DakinThe Films of Tim Burton11 - 25 -216 - 4
Andrew WarmingtonAncient Greece 490 – 323 BC14 - 014 - 328 - 3
Dave TaylorThe Life and Work of Paul Dirac10 - 011- 121- 1

Current Highest Scoring Runners Up

Ian Scott Massie26 – 2
Les Morrell26 - 3
Colin Wilson25 - 0
William de'Ath25 - 4
Vishal Dalal23 - 4
Joe Docherty22 – 5

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