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Games Master was a British television show, airing from 1992 to 1998, and was the first ever UK television show dedicated to computer and video games. A large part of the show was the challenges, which saw gamers competing against each other over the course of the series to be crowned "GamesMaster Champion" through a variety of different games & challenges (For example, a Speed Run through Sonic The Hedgehog 3's Angel Island Zone), before focusing more on the actual sonic games than the challenges.
Debuting between the launches of the Sega Mega Drive and the SNES, the show orginally had a target demographic of pre-teens, but as time went on, the show shifted to targeting teenagers & young adults instead.
Two of the show's tradmarks were the setting changing changing each year, much like levels in a video game; and the titular GamesMaster, a disembodied head (played by Sir Patrick Moore) who dispensed advice on video games to those who needed it, albeit with a sharp tounge.
This show provides examples of...
- Biting the Hand Humour: The Offence-O-Meter from the last episode of Series 6.
- Canon Dis Continuity: Series 3, thanks to Dexter Fletcher and the Team Championship.
- Curb Stomp Battle: A Japanese Tetsujin faced 100 British challengers in consectutive games of Virtua Fighter. He won without much challenge.
- Darker and Edgier: Series 4 ended with a "Gore Special", focusing on games they couldn't show in the normal pre-watershed timeslot.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both Dominik Diamond and the GamesMaster.
- Executive Meddling: The McDonalds sponsorship that the show had in Series 3 & 4. At the time, it was rumoured (And later confirmed by Dominik in a 2008 interview) that this was the reason for Dominik's departure before Series 3 (Although he did return in Series 4) and would appear to be backed up by one of the first things Dexter Fletcher said being a shot at Dominik.
- There is also the infamous Mario 64 challenge where the "best games player in Britain" Dave Perry was in one of the show's challenges and at the last minute the game in the final was changed to Mario 64, at a time when he had never played the game (and vowed not to play it until it was officially released in the UK) and his opponent, Kirk Ewing, had miles of time to play it ahead of him, and it just so happened Kirk's best friend was show presenter Dominik. Dave certainly sulked about it afterward... and it made it on air just to humiliate him with Dominik's post-game chat
- Fake Brit: Inverted - Dexter Fletcher was best known at the time for playing Spike Thomson in Press Gang, a role which saw him using an American accent. When he began presenting GamesMaster in his genuine Cockney accent, he was accused of putting on the English accent.
- Follow the Leader: After GamesMaster became a surprising hit, several imitations popped up that used the same format; all of them were cancelled before GamesMaster, which was lampshaded during the final episode.
- One of which, Games World, was by the same production company.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: there were many double entendres from Dominik Diamond and also some from the challengers (including some quite young children).
- Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure: Kind of. In a 2011 interview, Dominik claimed to attempt to distance himself from games, to pursue a career in radio and get a "trendy music show". Years later, when he got such a show, he found that the reason he was able to command exclusive interviews with "trendy" bands at the time was because they'd grown up watching Games Master.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: Dominik Diamond left the show after Series 2, and was stated to have died in the Oil Rig explosion at the end of Series 2. A rather literal example, as when The Bus Came Back and Dominik returned in Series 4, the show was set in hell.
- The bus returned in Series 5's opening titles- hitting Dominik on the way out of a chippy, thus setting that series in heaven.
- Rearrange the Song: Every series featured a new remix of the GamesMaster theme; Series 2 & 3 using an altered version of the previous theme tune each time. From Series 4 onward, the theme was remixed to be more appropriate to the theme of the series.
- Screwed by the Network: Channel 4 weren't happy when the show shifted it's target demographic from children. As such, Dominik remarked at the end of the sixth series that it was his final series, as Channel 4 gave no indication that the show was returning for a seventh series. It turned out that the show had been renewed & budgeted for 18 episodes, but Channel 4 "forgot" to tell them until it was too late to make the scheduled slots; as a result, the final series was cut down to 10 episodes.
- Spin-Off: Games Master magazine. It's still going strong 14 years after the TV show ended.
- Take That: Frequently.
- Trash the Set: The final ever episode featured Dominik looking back over the past 7 years, whilst the set was gradually taken apart behind him.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Dominik has a fear of flying, which gradually got worse as he was flown around the world to shoot segments for the show. By Series 7, it had gotten so bad that Dominik refused to get on a plane again.