Alex Thompson (non-broadcast pilot)

Andrew Castle


Target for ITV1, 11 April to ? 2005


Hey ho, it's another attempt at an ITV daytime quiz since the last one, I'm the Answer, imploded on itself. You know, there must be something wrong with our video recorder because we could swear we saw the same thing over and over again.

Or is that the idea? It seems it is. One time tennis player and GMTV host Andrew Castle invites contestants to answer the same questions over and over again until they get them right, which is a novel way to save money on question writing if nothing else.

In the first half there are three rounds, and the same 24 questions are asked in each round. Round one starts with six contestants facing four questions each. They get a choice of four answers, with 2 points for a correct choice. If they get it wrong, they can persevere and try again for 1 point. The four least bad contestants go through to round two, where they face six questions each, which may or may not include one or more that they answered previously. Again, they have the multiple choices provided, but only one go at answering each question. The most unimpressively scoring contender is knocked out.

The third round is the same 24 questions again (getting tired of this yet?), but on the buzzer. One point for a correct answer but back to zero for a wrong'un. In other words, the quiz gradually changes from a test of general knowledge in round one, to a test of memory in round three. Which actually sounds quite good in theory, but doesn't quite translate to the screen.

The two highest-scoring players from round three come back after the ad-break for the head-to-head. Thankfully there's a new wad of questions at this point - 24 again, but split into four on each of six subjects. The players take turns to pick a subject from the board, then answer of their twelve questions in one go, with the subjects in the order they were selected. The "Wipeout" scoring system still applies, so it is tactically advantageous to leave your best subject until last. It's back to a multiple choice format here, with four possible answers to each question and two chances to answer.

The highest-scoring contestant goes through to a fairly typical endgame, in which they face all 24 questions without the help of possible answers. £500 for each right answer, but they are, ahem, wiped out for a wrong one or no response. Therefore, it's pretty tricky to end up with a decent amount of cash at all. They claim £12,000 is possible but anything over half that is remarkable. During the course of this endgame, ITV1 put up a plug for the next programme. Way to kill any possible tension, guys. This part of the show does, however, have one of the best tension music scores we've heard in quite a while.

Castle is excellent as host, but sadly it seems the ITV half-hour is not long enough to give him a chance to shine. Maybe someone's not done their sums quite right and tried to pack too many questions into the slot available. The graphics are bog standard and unanimated, and there's no smooth flow through the show, giving the whole thing an uncomfortable pace as if we're watching this in Fast Foward mode - or is that our video recorder playing up again?

Whether the contestants or the viewers have to use Perseverance to get through this show is not clear. Surely we've moved on from questions, categories and a race against the clock for cash, haven't we?


A pretty spectacular performance won £11,500 for a contestant called Matt ("it's pretty easy, really") on 2 September 2005, just one question (and about half a second) short of pocketing the maximum twelve grand.

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