Interceptor was a short-lived adventure game show produced by Chatsworth Television for the UK-based ITV broadcast network in 1989.
The show featured two contestants (usually a couple of some description) carrying backpack briefcases, one holding £1000 and the other being empty, attempting to find the keys to their partner's backpack and meet up with each other in a trek across the UK countryside. The show's host, Annabel Croft, would guide them over radio using her map of the area the game was taking place in. Two elements to the show added challenge: a 40-minute time limit, and the titular Interceptor (played by Sean O'Kane), who would track down and attempt to lock the contestants' backpacks by shooting their IR receivers with his wrist-mounted infrared zapper.
Why It Rocks
- The show's main theme, Rock Revolution, is considered an iconic track.
- Very compelling premise of a treasure hunt mixed with "The Most Dangerous Game".
- The Interceptor himself was a compelling villain - a loud, boorish Scotsman who frequently mocked the contestants and used his cunning to perform some truly devious tricks on his quest to antagonize them.
- Acquiring keys was done via performing stunts, and would frequently finish in a frantic escape from/stand-off with the Interceptor if he chose to go after that contestant.
- Transport was provided to contestants, but usually as the result of solving a small challenge along the paths suggested by Annabel. These small diversions were fairly interesting themselves and helped to add an organic feel to the show.
- The time limit (purported to be in real time, but in practice was fudged slightly whenever filming became an issue) added significant tension to the proceedings and led to some very gripping finishes.
- The Interceptor's helicopter (G-MEAN) added to his intimidation factor and gave him a dangerous edge against contestants, though he was rarely successful at fly-by zappings.
- Interceptor was ranked #12 on UKGameshows.com's 2010 Gameshow General Election poll.
- An American iteration of the format was attempted and supposedly aired on television, but no footage aside from a network promo has surfaced.
- The Interceptor was not allowed to make physical contact with contestants, thus, "stand-offs" where the contestant would make their backpack unzappable by standing with their back to a wall would semi-commonly occur.