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Classic TV

The Adventure Game

Gronda, Gronda! Come say hello to Uncle, the vibrating aspidistra!

The Adventure Game was a gameshow set on a distant planet, called Arg, in which celebrities had to solve puzzles in order to get back home. They also had to speak to a teapot, (or an aspidistra, depending on what Uncle had transformed in to at the time,) before crossing a raised multi-pathed maze, suspended over space itself, and trying not to step into an invisible Vortex.

How did the celebrities get to Arg in the first place? Well, they were kidnapped by dragons who used to fly down the underground with them, obviously!


The beginning of the show was introduced in a very “Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy” type way, with simple computer graphics and even a Peter Jonesy-type voice describing The Planet Arg as “A small planet of little consequence”. Honestly, if they had flashed up the explanatory diagram of how a Babelfish works, it wouldn’t have looked out of place.

During the programme, under the initial guidance of Moira Stewart, celebrities had to solve deceptively simple puzzles. There was usually a “which symbols can we walk on” maze-type puzzle, followed by a maths related puzzle, and a puzzle involving a man talking backwards. They had to complete each of them to progress through to the Vortex.

When I was 8, the Vortex was absolutely terrifying! The rules were simple enough; contestants and the Vortex, a force that viewers at home could see but the contestants couldn’t, had to take turns at maneuvering across a maze of pathways. The contestant would move, then the Vortex would move. If the contestant stepped into the path of the invisible Vortex, they exploded and died an horrific death! (Ok, they just got teleported somewhere else.)

Those who managed to avoid the Vortex, and not be dissolved, were allowed to board a train back to Earth. Those who the Vortex ate were left in the depths of space, at a sign post telling them which way Earth was, and they had to make their own way back.

Cracking TV! Think of it as The Crystal Maze, but with less games.

All sounds and images, motion or still in this section © their original authors


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