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The Crystal Maze: UK's All-Time Best Game Show is Making a Comeback

Updated on August 18, 2015


With all the reality and game shows that airs on our televisions day and night, I would say that only one really did impress me. It was The Crystal Maze; a British game show which aired in the early 1990s. Produced by Chatsworth Televesion and aired on Channel 4 in the UK,it truly is one of kind. From the various number of games, to the huge Crystal dome, many are stunned by such a creative idea. Having produced six successful series, many have not been glad that a seventh series will not be coming during its last airshow in 1995.

Richard O'Brien (left) hosted the Crystal Maze for Series 1-4 while Edward Tudor-Pole (right) replaced him as host for Series 5-6
Richard O'Brien (left) hosted the Crystal Maze for Series 1-4 while Edward Tudor-Pole (right) replaced him as host for Series 5-6

The Show's Hosts and Casts

The Crystal Maze was originally hosted by Richard "Rick" O'Brien. He was known for writing and acting in the musical The Rocky Horror Show before becoming the presenter for the Crystal Maze.Known for playing the harmonica and his hilarious hosting, he has hosted the show from the first series until the fourth series. Along with him on all four series was Sandra Caron who played Mumsy (Series 1,2 & 4) and as Auntie Sabrina on the third series.However, both Rick and Mumsy didn't make a comeback for the fifth series.

As a replacement for Rick, Edward "Ed" Tudor-Pole was appointed as the host for the fifth and sixth series. Although many still missed Rick's presence and hosting, viewers still can't stop comparing who hosted the Crystal Maze better.

The Crystal Maze Map (Series 1-3)
The Crystal Maze Map (Series 1-3)
The Crystal Maze Map (Series 4-6)
The Crystal Maze Map (Series 4-6)

Game Format

The team composed of six members do not really know each other and have met only on the night before the filming begin. The minimum age to be admitted will 16 years old. An episode takes roughly around two and a half days to be shot. The set used to erect the maze was said to be an aircraft hangar at North Weald Airfield in Essex.

The show is not a really situated in an actual maze, but in four themed-zones on different periods of history namely: The Medieval Zone(a Middle-aged castle setting that is also regarded as the home of the host), The Futuristic Zone (an abandoned space station), Aztec Zone (a jungle during the Aztec Empire in Mexico) and the Industrial Zone (a chemical factory and plant). Later on the series, Industrial zone was replaced by the Ocean Zone (filmed on a sunken ship known as the S.S Atlantis). In these zones are different games ranging from a physical(game of strength and toughness), mental (game of brainpower and complex problem solving), skill (games of agility,accuracy,timing and dexterity) and mystery(a game that mostly is weird and does not classify under the first three types). If a game played is successfully won, a contestant receives a crystal. However, there are twists on some games, which are called automatic lock-ins. They are games that have set rules and guideline which are not meant to be violated by the player. Some incidents would be ringing the bell thrice, falling from the platform of the play area, or opening the wrong casket from a set of it. This type of game is randomly given to contestants during their voyage at the four time zones.A crystal yields five seconds of time inside the Crystal dome, the heart of the maze and is the last zone to be played by the contestants to win a big reward.

When the team have reached the Crystal dome, they are instructed to collect only gold credits(which are actually golden sheets of metallic paper) and not silver ones. In the end, the total number of silver tokens will be deducted to the total number of golds and the resulting tally will be the team's overall total credits collected.

Plans for a Comeback

All you 90's people must be so excited for the production team of the show has decided that the Crystal Maze is making a comeback. But don't be so overwhelmed, for this doesn't mean it will be broadcasting on your TV screens. The said comeback will be a like theme-park attraction that is open for everyone. This means that you can try out the games in the four time zones as if you're an actual contestant of the game.But according to the team behind this project, they may have live filming of the games as well.

The project started out on call for a crowd funding to help in the cost of building the maze. By donating, it is said that the in maiden opening of the Crystal Maze, the donors will be highly prioritized to first experience the Crystal Maze. According to sources, it is said that the total funds raised has already reached £930,987(around 1.4 million dollars) since the campaign started last 18 July, 2015.

Whatever the outcome of this project will be, I'm very sure that the Crystal Maze has been missed by the early generations and is one of a kind in terms of gaming format and idea; that is why UK truly treasures this game show they've had for almost two decades now.

Should the Crystal Maze make a comeback at this generation?

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