The Nightmare of Knightmare

Enter, stranger, to a world where you are a sightless dungeoneer who must embark on a medieval quest, guided only by friends who must rely on 80’s era CGI and a friendly Saxon Knight called Treguard of Dunshelm.

Just writing the sentence above sends shivers down my spine, such was the love I had for the 1987 ‘Knightmare’ childrens programme. I wasn’t yet 10 at the time of the shows premiere but I still remember the first episode vividly, or rather I recall the conversations I had with school friends in the days that followed as we discussed the show to the nth degree. Here was a show that used amazing CGI effects in a really cool format, and it was a lot of fun too!

The concept was simple, place one blinded participant in the ‘dungeon’ and have his teammates instruct him to reach the exit. Of course , the dungeon was nothing more than a blue room, filled only with a child and actors to torment him. The magic was all thanks to a dollop of computer imagery that helped flesh out this nightmarish world. Playing the game would have been familiar to anyone who had played a text adventure game on their computer with phrases like “where am I?’ being commonplace.

Watch the first episode over on Youtube:

The series was hugely popular on British screens, running for 112 episodes until 1994 when CGI had obviously moved onto greater things. Embracing its cult following, Youtube revived the show for a one-off special in 2013 for its Geek Week:

The show lives on in the wilds of the internet thanks to sites like knightmare.com and knightmarelive.com. There is even a convention, especially for the show!

If you’ve lived without Knightmare in your life, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. Now, in the words of Treguard – D-I-S-M-I-S-S.