ITV Granada, 1990-91 (12 episodes in 2 series)
Back in the day, when the ITV service was made up of numerous franchises, and when regional programming was embraced, rather than being viewed as a burden, a variety of regional programmes were rolled out in the peak, but difficult Tuesday 7:30pm slot. Broadcasting to the Granada region in the North West of England, Quest was one such programme.
The outward-bound programme took the familiar form of solving a series of clues to ultimately lead you to the finish line. What made Quest a little different however, was the fact that there were two teams competing - red and blue - and each team consisted of a family of 2.4 children, no doubt broadening the programmes appeal somewhat to all members of the family. Each week the contest would take place in a different location within the Granada area. As well as making each programme different, it also acted as something of a travelogue for the region, and what it has to offer.
Once the teams had set-off with their initial clue, they would have to work together to solve it and discover the location of the next clue (and as children were involved the clues were never overly difficult). When arriving at the location of their next clue, there usually entailed a short task before they could retrieve their clues. These tasks were engineered in such a way that over the course of the programme, each member of the team could participate in at least one, either as an individual, or as part of a group effort. For example, in the first episode set in Blackpool, the youngest member of the team had to go paddling in an open tank at the Sea Life Centre to retrieve the clue, while the whole family had to ride the Ferris Wheel before retrieving that clue. During the course of the each programme, 4-5 clues would need to be solved, with the last clue, once solved, leading them to the location of the finish line, where the first team across the line would be declared the winners.
On the whole, Quest wasn't bad at all. While it was obviously inspired by other successful programmes, perhaps most notably Treasure Hunt which had done good numbers for Channel 4 in the years before Quest's arrival, it offered enough interest in itself, and performed well enough against ratings juggernaut Eastenders to earn it a second run the following year.