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Narrator [Mark Halliley]: In the 80s, computer games began to emerge as an important player in the world of children's entertainment. As an answer to games like Dungeons & Dragons, ITV broadcast Knightmare, described as the world's first virtual-reality TV show. It was presented by Dungeon Master, Hugo Wyatt [sic].

Children playing computer games

Tim Child: [on Hugo Myatt] He was probably at the time, in the late 80s and early 90s, in any school playground in Britain, he was probably the most imitated person. There would be kids going around saying 'Ooh, nasty', which is his famous catchphrase for whenever a team died in the game.

[Series 8, Team 5 dies.]

Knightmare's Hugo Myatt (Treguard) interviewed for Children's TV on Trial (2010)

Hugo Myatt: The set I was in was real. It was a real set. And the advisors went into that, and so did the dungeoneer originally, so they never, ever saw the blue set.

[Series 8, Team 6 begins.]

Blue screen set on Knightmare

Narrator: The lone dungeoneer was blindfolded by a large helmet and set into a blue-screen set. Through computer graphics, a hazard-filled fantasy world was created around him. Three teammates in a separate room directed the dungeoneer through an imaginary maze in search of treasure.

Hugo Myatt: The technical aspect of Knightmare was quite incredible. I didn't know how it was done, or what was going to happen very often, and things would appear that would absolutely amaze me.

Use of chromakey to create a dungeon room on Knightmare

Tim Child: Some of the gameplay was really quite complex. It was always challenging, and also, it was quite scary. A dungeon is a dark, dank, dangerous place. It's not the sort of place you would send six-year-olds in. Even in fantasy terms with drawn environments, it's pretty convincing. We scared an awful lot of children. But they made for great gameplay once they'd been scared.

Hugo Myatt: You get them calling "GoLeftGoLeftGoRightGoLeft!" The poor thing is out there, going "well what -#- do you want!?" We didn't actually get -#-, but near enough.

[Series 4, Team 2 perishes in the Corridor of Blades.]

Hugo Myatt: [with reverb] Ooooh, NASTY!

Hugo Myatt reenacts the famous catchphrase from Knightmare

Download this file (Children's_TV_On_Trial.wmv)Children's_TV_On_Trial.wmv[Knightmare on the 1980s instalment of Children's TV on Trial (BBC Four, 2007)]9659 kB

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