Saturday, 8 January 2011

Mastermind - Round 1 - Heat 17

Yes, dear John H, and the team were putting in overtime yesterday, for as soon as the last Sleb show died on our screens they had to rush over to BBC2 for the next in the first round of the original and best.

In what has become something of a rarity for me recently I didn’t know any of the contenders last nigh personally, or by reputation. So all benefited – or suffered – from equal support from the sofa tonight at the start of the show at least. Our first contender was Jenny Lycett. The Films of Alfred Hitchcock is a good Mastermind subject – I can’t swear to it hand on heart, but I’m sure it must have been offered before as well. Jenny started brightly enough, but there were a few gaps in her knowledge it seemed, and I think the nerves took over a little in the second minute of the round. Nonetheless 9 is a respectable total.

Tim Fenn offered us the Life and Works of John Hunter. I didn’t either until the round had begin, but from the questions it became clear that he must have been a gifted and influential 18th century surgeon and doctor. Quite appropriate really, since I believe that John said that Tim Fenn is a doctor himself. I can speak from personally experience when I say that scoring 17 in a 2 minute round ain’t easy at all. Well done sir !

Marryk Harvey’s subject is currently one of the one most often nominated as potential subjects by applicants for the show – if my sources are to be believed, anyway. Yes, its been a while since anyone took Harry Potter on the parent show, and you have to say, the team picked the right person to allow to do it. Yes, you could get a certain way just by having read all of the books. I managed about 11 on the round myself. But to get the 16 that Marryk managed required real, in depth knowledge. A good round.

Finally, Philip Evans, a retired teacher – prepare to receive support from the sofa – from Wales – support duly dispatched ! Philip was offering the Welsh settlement in Patagonia – and its surely the first time that this has been s specialist subject on the show. I will admit here and now that all I know about the welsh settlement in Patagonia is that the original ship carrying colonists was called the Mimosa – and Gabriel Batistuta, Argentinian striker of World Cups gone by, was from Patagonia and could speak welsh. Philip, needless to say, knew more than this. A lot more. His 14 was well earned, even if it did leave him in third at the halfway stage.

Jenny, still rather nervous, returned to the chair, and earned herself another 9 points and a respectable 18. Then we got down to the nitty gritty of the battle for the win, and potentially the spot on the repechage board. Philip put himself well into contention with a very good 14 to leave him on 28 and 1 pass. At the start of the show the lowest score on the repechage board was 27 and 7 passes. However to qualify for the repechage you have to finish second in a heat, whatever your score. With Marryk 2 points ahead at halfway, and Tim 3 , this was by no means a given.

You can’t say that Marryk didn’t give it a go. He didn’t answer as many correctly as Philip, but then he didn’t need to if he could get close enough. He too had 28, but couldn’t find that extra point to take him clear. So it was down to Tim Fenn. At this stage of the game you wouldn’t have been surprised if he too had finished on the same score, especially since he was edging rather than steaming towards the total. He kept his head, though, and while his 12 wasn’t the finest score we’ve ever seen, it’s a pretty good score to produce when you’re under pressure like that. He finished with 29. As for the repechage spot, well, very bad luck to Marryk, but it was my boy Philip Evans whose 1 pass to Marryk’s 6 was enough. Well done to all.

The Details

Jenny Lycett The Films of Alfred Hitchcock9 - 29 - 418 - 6
Tim FennThe Life and Works of John Hunter17 - 012 - 229 - 2
Marryk HarveyThe Harry Potter Novels16 - 112 - 528 - 6
Philip EvansThe Welsh Settlement in Patagonia14 - 014 - 128 - 1

Current Highest Scoring Runners-Up

Nick Mills – 34 – 4
Hamish Cameron – 30 – 2
Anne Skillen - 30 -7
James Collenette - 29 – 2
Philip Evans – 28 - 1
Duncan Byrne – 27 – 2


LisaH said...

I offered Harry Potter as a specialist subject for the 2009 series and was told no!

Londinius said...

Hi Lisa -

I'll let you into a secret. In my first Mastermind series I had all 4 of the subjects I put on the application form rejected, and I was asked to come up with some others in the audition. I flew a kite with Harry Potter, and it was rejected very, very quickly ! I think that one of the reasons why I actually might have got on in the first place in 2006 was my willingness to keep suggesting other possible specialist subjects. Sometimes desperation works !