Creators remember Knightmare, the pioneering VR adventure show

Knightmare was a fantastic childrens' adventure show that ran on British TV in the 1980s. A youngster, wearing a vision-blinding helmet, would be guided around a giant virtual reality castle by a team of his or her peers, which issued instructions from dungeon master Treguard's chambers. Though defined by its technical limitations, Knightmare built a cult following thanks to its pioneering blue-screen setup—hence the blindfolding—and merciless treatment of contestants. The Guardian's Ben Child interviewed creator Tim Child and star Hugo Myatt and found that the production was itself something of a bad dream. Embedded above is the show's intro and a short documentary about it. Then you may enjoy a a selection of deaths.


  1. Without question the most unashamedly difficult game show in the history of children’s TV, and arguably adult TV also.  (The only remotely similar adult game I can think of, Crystal Maze, was a cakewalk by comparison.)

    I also can’t think of any TV show more beloved in my early teen years, or more influential in my later interest in game design.  Thanks, Tim Child, and to Hugo Myatt, who early on had to memorise not just a script but effectively an entire Choose Your Own Adventure book.

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  2. I used to love watching Knightmare as a kid, though sometimes I’d have to hide behind a cushion when the floating “hunger” skull came on screen and started disintegrating. 

    It’s the first show I actively remember shouting at the tv as well as if they’d magically hear my “help” through space and time and do the right thing. I understood it wasn’t real and yet I just couldn’t help myself.

  3. I used to watch this as a kid.  I don’t recall anyone ever winning it.   It was the Takeshi’s Castle of it’s day.  I’d fancy my chances more against the vortex and an angry Aspidistra way more than the skull of hunger…. “Warning Team!”

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