The Crystal Maze
Few TV series deserve to be described as ‘legendary’, but The Crystal Maze is undeniably one that does. A gameshow like no other, it first appeared on Channel 4 back in February 1990 and quickly claimed a special place in the hearts of British television viewers.
The Crystal Maze originally ran for seventy-eight episodes across six series (and five seasonal specials featuring kids as the adventurers) and weathered Richard O’Brien’s departure after four series (his replacement, the actor and musician Ed Tudor-Pole was also a big, big, character) but eventually came to an end in August 1995. Except, of course, The Crystal Maze never really finished – the dream of the maze was kept alive by repeats, the board game, puzzle books, quiz machines, live attractions, YouTube, and, moreover, love from the British public.
In 2015 long-time fans of the show Little Lion Entertainment proved what an appetite there was for The Crystal Maze by successfully crowdfunding a live immersive experience in London. This generated enormous publicity and upped the interest in a television return. In November 2016, this finally happened, with a charity special in which celebrities entered the maze for the very first time. Hosted by comedian, writer, and co-creator of The Office, Stephen Merchant – and featuring a cameo from the original Maze Master Richard O’Brien – it made a huge impact with viewers, raised a lot of money for Stand Up To Cancer, and opened the doors for the new series.
The show is now presented by Richard Ayoade who welcomes both civilian and celebrity guests though the maze for Channel 4.
2019 saw the launch of the first ever kids version for Nickelodeon in the USA
- Nickelodeon (USA) entered the maze with a cool new family version, consisting of 10 episodes
- Original version on Channel 4 (UK) – #2 rating entertainment series with audiences as high as 4.3m
- A hit live event spin-off in the UK