Friday, 10 January 2014

Mastermind - Round One - Heat 18

For once the sleb series has overlapped with the real thing. It’s always nice to see MM back after its Christmas break. First up tonight then was Patrick Mackintosh. Now, I’ve never been to the Isles of Scilly – nothing against them, just never had the opportunity, and know relatively little about them. Thankfully three of the facts that I did know were the answers to some of Patrick’s questions. With this show’s specialist subjects I was never going to get close to the 30 odd specialist points that I managed in one of the recent sleb shows, but at least I wasn’t going away empty handed. Patrick’s 10 looked a perfectly decent round, especially considering that the questions seemed no shorter-winded than usual.

Harriet Macmillan offered us the Life and Works of Lord Byron. Yes, it’s an English literature subject, at least in part, but I’m afraid that I never read as much of Byron’s work as I did that of his contemporary John Keats. So again, thee points seemed a fair return for a round which I approached with no confidence whatsoever. Harriet certainly knew aspects of her subject, but by the end of the round had accrued 8, which didn’t look as if it was going to give her a realistic shout during the GK round.

As it turned out my best specialist round of the evening came in the shape of RAF Bomber Command 1939-1945, the specialist subject undertaken by David Dutton. I can’t say that the Second World War is a consuming interest of mine, but I guess that I absorbed a lot of information when I was a kid, constructing Airfix kits and the like. Mind you, about half of my 6 points were gained from easy questions about Arthur Harris, 617 squadron and the like. David did better, but although he too earned 8 points, he managed to incur 5 passes, which showed that maybe his round wasn’t quite as successful as he might have hoped. We’ll come back to look at that a little later on.

Nick Harrison brought the first round to a close with the best specialist performance of the evening. He was answering on the feature films of Wes Anderson, not a subject about which I knew a great deal as it turned out. To put that into perspective, I managed 1, while Nick managed 13. That’s a terrific specialist score for this series, and put him three points ahead of Patrick, and no less than 5 points ahead of both Harriet and David.

Harriet at times seemed a little tentative during her GK round. I thought she gained more confidence as it went on, though, which certainly doesn’t always happen, and by the end of the round she had added 12 to take her score up to 20, and that’s a respectable performance. Now, David Dutton’s GK performance put into perspective just how important it still is to get a good score in specialist. Now, granted, in my opinion (as always, feel free to disagree) David’s GK round was the most user-friendly, and I scored a rare full house playing along at home. David himself though only missed three, and amassed a massive 17 in what was the best GK performance we’ve seen for several shows. It was a round worthy of a semifinal place. However . . . his relatively modest specialist score left him off the place for a runner up slot. If he didn’t win the show, then he was out, and Nick had a five point cushion.

Before Nick made his bid for the semis, tho0ugh, we had Patrick. I don’t know if Patrick was a little unnerved by David’s fine GK performance, but he never seemed at all at ease during his round, and was well behind the clock by the two minute mark. He finished with a total of 18. So only Nick could deny David a place in the semifinal lineup. That five point cushion he had after the first round looked like it could be a significant factor too. We weren’t a minute into his round and it was fairly obvious that Nick wouldn’t be posting a 17. He didn’t need to though, and it was just as obvious that he was still going well enough to post the 13 he needed to win. He kept answering what he did know, and guessing what he didn’t, and the 26th point was taken with enough time for another two or three questions to be asked. He didn’t get any of them, but then he didn’t need to. Congratulations on a well judged performance. Commiserations to David – that GK round deserved better, but Mastermind is a game of two rounds, and that’s just the way it works out.

The Details

Patrick Mackintosh The History of the Isles of Scilly10 – 08 - 118 - 1
Harriet MacmillanThe Life and Works of Lord Byron8 - 212 - 220 - 4
David DuttonRAF Bomber Command 1939 - 19458 - 517 - 325 - 8
Nick HarrisonThe Feature Films of Wes Anderson13 – 013 - 126 - 1

Repechage Places

Steven Broomfield 30 – 1
Beth Webster 28 – 2
Ron Wood 28 – 3
=Carol O’Byrne 27 – 2
=Peter Russell 27 – 2
=Chloe Stone 27 – 2

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