Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
The Crystal Maze
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

The Crystal Maze

The Crystal Maze was a game show, produced by Chatsworth Television and shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom from 1990 to 1995. The first four series were presented by Richard O'Brien, the final two by Edward Tudor-Pole. Each show was one hour long, including commercial breaks.

The show was loosely based on the French show Fort Boyard, but ended up substantially different. It was filmed on a very large set, divided into four 'zones' (originally Aztec, Medieval, Future and Industrial - Industrial was replaced by Ocean from series 4 onward). A team of six contestants would enter the 'maze', and choose to play games of various sorts - three or four in each zone. Games were classed as 'physical', 'mental', 'skill' or 'mystery' (usually one of the other three). These were typically puzzle games, often involving dexterity. One of the team would be sent into a chamber to play a game, and their team-mates could advise them from the outside. Successfully solving the puzzle would release a 'crystal', and the contestant would be released from the chamber.

These games were time-limited, and if the contestant took too long, or failed in such a way to void the game (for example, losing too many lives or touching the floor where it was forbidden), they were 'locked in'. The team could buy a contestant's freedom at any time with a crystal, or choose to leave them locked in.

After competing in all four zones, the remaining contestants went into the 'Crystal Dome' at the centre of the maze, in which gold and silver tokens were blown around. Their aim was to collect and post through a letterbox 100 more gold tokens than silver tokens to win a prize. Each crystal won earlier in the game - and not used to buy a contestant's freedom - earned the team five seconds in the dome. Prizes were typically activity holidays for the team.

The Crystal Maze was referenced in the movie Dungeons & Dragons;, which featured a maze with similar puzzles, with its owner played by Richard O'Brien.