Interceptor was a Game Show created by Jacques Antoine, who also created Treasure Hunt, Fort Boyard, and The Crystal Maze. The show only ran for one series however, on ITV in the summer of 1989. But despite running for only one series, the show was very popular, and continued to be popular thanks to many repeats, especially on Challenge! In a poll conducted in 2002 on UKGameshows, Interceptor was voted the UK’s 13th favourite game show.
Now, due to the show’s popularity, I probably don’t need to explain the show too much; but as I myself was only introduced to the show about less than 10 years ago, I shall explain it for those who are also unaware of this show.
Basically, former Tennis player Annabel Croft, would welcome a team of two people. And they would be given some basic orienteering supplies, and a backpack, and then taken away by helicopter to two secret destinations, that were a few miles apart. Then they would have the rest of the show, to meet up somewhere in the middle, coincidentally not far from where Annabel Croft was busy presenting the show from. In one of these two backpacks, was a lot of money, but the contestants don’t have the keys. So they would be directed by Croft to a location nearby where the Keys could be found. Once they met up again, they would try their keys to their cases, and see if they have won the money. At this stage the show might sound rather boring, as it mainly sounds like a hiking challenge; well, there was some real peril for these two contestants, in the form of a wild, and dangerous human being!
Sean O’Kane is a Scottish actor who has appeared in many TV Shows and Films, including Taggart, Cagney & Lacey, Sharpe, Million Dollar Baby, and Patriot Games. But in this show, he played a much more sinister role, that of The Interceptor! This ‘Interceptor’ person wore a long leather jacket, had a laser gun on his arm, and would frequently squawk like an Eagle for no apparent reason. He also had access to a helicopter (with a pilot who referred to him as ‘Guv’), a car, a bike, and money to bribe people with; such as the time he bribed a farmer to use his tractor, and dress up as the farmer. He also once caused absolute havoc in a museum gift shop!
So what has this crazy man got to do with this show? Well, the contestants backpacks have five sensors on them, and the Interceptor is trying to shoot at the sensors; because if he is lands a successful hit, then the backpacks permanently lock. So even if the contestants reach each other, and have the keys; their backpacks won’t open, and don’t win the money, and are made to put up with receiving some outdoor activity packs for consolation prizes!
So, the contestants are miles away from each other, they don’t have the keys for their backpacks, and a crazy man who makes bird noises is trying to stop them. It may seem like the odds are against our heroes, but not necessarily. The show was filmed all over the country, and made use of the friendly locals (including the real Army) and their forms of transportation to help out the contestants. Transportation included Boats (where contestants were made to wear paper thin life jackets), Cars, Trucks, Trains (including the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway), all sorts really. And much like an episode of Midsomer Murders, there always seemed to be some local fair on too.
It was truly a weird show, possibly the weirdest game show ever created, and after many decades of it not being on, its still so entertaining to watch this absolute lunatic roaming around scarring contestants and making eagle noises. It really is a shame that they didn’t make any more episodes, not even one off specials. But, I have an idea as to how they could do one!
Many years ago I came up with an idea for a reboot/special episode, featuring a new cast, which I personally think could be one of the most hilarious TV shows ever made; and it would be fantastically simple to make. Basically, we ask the former Top Gear trio, now The Grand Tour trio, to present it.
That’s right, I am suggesting that Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond create either a one off special, or hopefully a full new series of Interceptor. The way I have thought of it is like this.
- Jeremy Clarkson is the Interceptor,
- Richard Hammond (who has I believe does have a Helicopter License) is the helicopter pilot,
- And James May can be the new Annabel Croft.
Whilst James May does have the hair style to fill in the role, I do think he is the obvious host as the other two seem more well fit for the above suggested roles. Also, May’s cynical and often ranting approach would be comical in it’s own sense. Plus, as shown in an episode of James May’s Man Lab; he does know how to use an orienteering survey map.
The additional comedy would be in Hammond and Clarkson arguing inside a helicopter, with the two falling out whilst trying to work together to stop the contestants, with Hammond possibly blankly refusing to collect Clarkson. And in the meantime, Clarkson might switch from the contestants, to reviewing the car he’s driving around in an attempt to pursue them.
It seems like an obvious and simple choice, but I think it has all the hallmarks to be incredibly entertaining and funny, in the way these three know how to do. I do genuinely like this idea, and wish that they would make it, even if it was just a one off for Comic Relief or something; like they did for Ground Force back in 2008.
What do you think to my idea, should it be done, or are some game shows better left in the past?