Judgement Day



Brian Conley


Endemol for ITV1, 28 June to 5 July 2003 (2 episodes in 1 series + 4 unaired)


On the surface, this show looked like a bigger version of Channel 4's surprise hit Without Prejudice?. Five people laid open their lives, competing for a sizable prize. Surface appearances can be deceptive.

Brian Conley hosted, and enter, stage right, five contestants. They each say hello to the audience, stand on a coloured spot, and one of their number is voted off. Short, brutal, and as arbitrary as the opener for Channel 4's show.

The comparison ends there. Each of the remaining four contestants moved to a pillar situated centre stage. This column revolved in a manner similar to the set of Blankety Blank, and was probably the best thing on the show. When one of the best things on the show is a twenty five year old prop idea, it's in a bit of trouble.

Along with the contestants, there were four or five objects from home. This could be a chance for the players to relate stories of their lives, their heritage, or their work. But no, it's a chance for the host to make some remarks, and a cue for the audience to laugh. All four contestants present their items in a sequence that drags on. The host can't help but make a song and dance about every item, and this becomes very wearing. Another song and dance that becomes very wearing comes after the audience vote. The losing contestant was dispatched with a snatch from a popular song, to which the audience had been taught some choreographed routine. Like the Blockbusters hand jive, only without the coolness factor and with added cringe.

Anyway, four became three by an audience vote, and we go through the keyhole for a look round each contestant's house. Again, this could be a useful insight into the player, but it's a foil for the host's jokes. Consequentially, the segment dragged out, and it's a blessed relief when the votes are in.

The show picks up a little towards the end: each of the last two contestants faced four questions from the studio audience, and these helped to sway floating voters for the final showdown.

Our winner donned a crash helmet with a large spike out the front, and knelt at a replica of the wheel from Wheel Of Fortune. The spike indicated which segment the wheel stops at, with the winner having the chance to win a car, a holiday, or a job completely at chance. Three people from the audience were up front. They had submitted their car, holiday, or salary as appropriate, and the one the winner picks is the one they go home with. If the chosen audience member drove a Rusti Skipp, then the winner will also go home with a Rusti Skipp. On the other hand, if the audience person was a £75,000 lawyer, the winner will go home with a cheque for £75,000. (Subject to top prize limit of £30,000.)

The show was boring, dull, tedious, dragged on too long, but did have an entertaining little end game. ITV chiefs agreed - after pulling in a very poor three million viewers, Judgement Day was axed after a mere two episodes, leaving the four unaired episodes in the black hole.

See also

Weaver's Week review


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