Fever Media for BBC One, 24 March to 23 June 2007 (12 programmes in 1 series)
Nationwide contest to find the country's leading quiz player and give them £200,700. However - twist ahoy! - all the questions and answers to the initial rounds are published in advance to generate some kind of level playing field. Except not the 200,700 the pre-publicity has led you to believe.
It's The Quiz Factor and pretty much as good as you can imagine that being. In the early audition stages, people were invited to answer ten questions correct in a row. The questions were mainly fired off from researchers, unless you were "a character" in which case you got to face the quiz gods that are William G. Stewart, Myleene Klass and Kate Garraway. And if you were successful when facing a researcher, you got your bit on telly with Kate Garraway's voice overdubbed asking a question. Anyway, success meant going through to the next stage, an edited out telephone qualifier and the successful people from THAT went through to a boot camp stage where they were split into three age groups and individually tested, answering as many questions as they can against the clock. The top eight from each group go forward to the main game proper.
But before the main game proper, the 24 people battled it out in an off-screen fastest finger first competition to determine the order they make it on to the show. Ten people play in each episode, one person from each episode goes through to the final, one is knocked out of the competition completely. That means eight return for another go and two new people join them the next week.
The main studio show has three rounds, of which the first is Only the Strong Survive. Our ten contestants start in the green zone (i.e. their buzzer podium is green). One person is asked a question, if they get it right they nominate the next person to get the next one. If they get it wrong their podium turns red and they're out of the round and the person next to them clockwise faces the next question. After two minutes, whoever is still in the green faces a first on the buzzer question. The correct answer puts them through to the next round. Everyone else is back in play and the game begins again, and continues until four people have qualified.
Those four play the Brain Chain, the Four-in-a-Row round from Going for Gold writ large. The person who qualified for the round first gets to make the decision as to whether to go first or last (strategically it's best to go last) and then the order of play is determined by reverse order of qualification.
Each player is given 90 seconds to get as large a chain as possible of correct answers. However, they must shout "bank", sorry, "save" before the next question is asked to save the chain. A wrong answer breaks the chain and they have to start again from zero. The longest saved chain wins.
Whoever has the longest chain gets to play Do or Die and they must select one of the other nine contestants to take along with them (and in true X Factor) style, the three judges will give their opinion on who the weakest players were. The winner will go through to the final, the loser is knocked out of the competition for good. The winner of the main game will pick first from twelve categories - behind five of them is a Q, the other seven nothing. A buzzer question is asked on the category, whoever gets it correct gets to find out if there's a Q behind the category. If there is, they're one-third the way to ultimate victory. If not, never mind, pick another category and try again. The first to win 3 Qs is the winner.
Whatsmore! One of the final places will be determined by a sister "Wildcard" show.
It's a surprise the haven't figured in some way to put in a phone vote element, really. Although rather less surprising when you note they've recorded all the episodes except the final in advance.
James T. Lundie
After the opening episodes received a critical slating, The National Lottery removed its name from the programme's titles, and pulled its draws from the show. The show's website began to give recaps of each episode, but these stopped after three games.