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Games Master: Season 6
C4 6.00pm, Thursday's from September 1996 till February 1997
Number of Shows:

Although the different approach to the last series was seen by most fans as a brilliant change of direction, it was apparent that Channel 4 was not quite as keen on the new style of the show. After all, Games Master had made them a fortune from the sponsorship deal from McDonalds, but as the show had stepped away from the kiddie audience, C4 weren't as happy to promote it as much. The most radical way they showed this was changing the time of the show in the scheduling from 6.30pm to 6.00pm. Still, in September 1996, the series started and the audience were treated to a nice interlinking opening sequence of Dom falling from the Heavens and making a splash into the ocean. Frantically struggling to survive, two mermaids appear and drag him onto a beach and resuscitate him with Dom doing a trademark thumbs up gesture.

The series was set on Atlantis and featured a staggering set design with an old boat in decay on one side, two huge statues apart and a big circular plasma screen featuring clips of sharks and fish swimming. All looked very impressive and fitted in well with the classic style it was hoping to achieve.

Dominik introduced us to the show and indeed to the new Joystick Girls who were now mermaids. For the first time on GM the girls spoke to the camera and would be used for jokes such as having one mermaid saying nice, sweet things while the other would be more laddish. One of the mermaids, Theresa, also took part on a Ridge Racer challenge later on in the series to help a small kid whose foot couldn't reach the pedal.

The series set off in full swing by having the first challenge of the series on the most eagerly awaited game and console of the era, Mario64 for the N64. The Playstation was in full force and would be used for many, many challenges throughout the series. The Saturn, however, wasn't and only featured in a few challenges.

Like the previous series, the same co-commentators were used throughout the series and were in fact featured for a Christmas Special later on. It was a seamlessly harmless show to watch on screen but a different story off. You might remember a bit of a fracas regarding a final challenge between Dave Perry and Kirk Ewing on Mario64? Well, suffice to say that one of them wasn't happy with the end result and one was only too pleased. I think enough has been said about what went on with this show but if you're interested in more you can read both of their accounts in the Interviews section of this site. Before the final of the show, the rest of it was brilliant viewing and only on GM would you get 'Videogame related knowledge beginning with the letter 'P'' as a topic of choice from Kirk Ewing.

Another memorable show of the series to be talked about by fans was the Tetsujin show, where a Tetsujin was flown in specially from Japan to take on 100 school kids on the all-new Tekken 3 arcade machine. Much discussion has taken place regarding the validity of the challenge, and of the Tetsujin, but he was the real thing and flown over from Sega Japan. It was right that 100 school kids didn't take part but instead 50 who played the Tetsujin twice. It is also right that they hadn't played the machine before as the Producer, Jonny Finch, explains, "At the time the prototype machine had only just arrived in the country so nobody had (long negotiations with SEGA Japan to get it) - the unveiling of VF3. It was all part of the spectacle.
But we reasoned that since the graphics were the main advance whereas the game play was very similar to VF2, it was still the case that a kickass player would be bloody good at VF3. The simple fact is that the Tetsujin (absolutely the real thing and flown over at considerable expense) was in a different league from anyone in this country."

The final show of the series saw an 'Offence-O-Meter' which was a 'tongue-in-cheek' swipe at Channel 4 and so each time Dom said something rude, the scale would go up higher until it would go off the scale and the show would be cancelled. Channel 4 received quite a few complaints about the show and was often criticised. This is an example from the BBC News archive: "Another Channel 4 show, Games master, was criticised for including violent scenes from a computer game called Mortal Kombat IV."

Rating - 88% Season 6 Judgement Rating - 88%

This was a very entertaining series and featured some great games and some hilarious features (including the infamous 'Pants on Head' bloke). The challenges were top notch - remember Martin Mathers playing two Virtua Arcade 2 machines at once? - and the celebrities were quite cool with the likes of Zoe Ball and, er, Michael Fish appearing. At the end of the series, no-one was quite sure if it really was the end of Games Master, but as we all know, that wasn't the case.