Fort Boyard (TV series)

"Fort Boyard" is a French game show created by Jacques Antoine, that was first broadcast in 1990 (as "Les Clés de Fort Boyard", shortened for the second series in 1991) and is popular to this day. It has been remade across the globe, most successfully in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Belgium, Israel, and the Netherlands.

Set and filmed on the real Fort Boyard in France, the programme appears similar to "The Crystal Maze" (which was indeed created by Antoine for Channel 4 after Fort Boyard itself was unavailable to film in, due to its then-on-going refurbishment). In both programmes the contestants have to complete challenges to win prize money. However, while "The Crystal Maze" varies the type of games quite considerably, "Fort Boyard" tends to focus mainly on physical and endurance challenges. In later years, although "Fort Boyard" was something of a pioneer in the area of gameshow fear and adventure, programmes such as "Fear Factor" have pushed things even further, requiring "Fort Boyard" to react and adapt with new twists and games - including for a couple of years (in the French version in particular) the contestants spending the night in the Fort. [http://www.bothersbar.co.uk/weekendspecials/fortboyard.htm Fort Boyard Retrospective at "Brother's Bar"] . Accessed 3 January 2008]

UK Cast

In the UK, two sets of presenters have been used for Fort Boyard. The first set appeared during the first four series of the show that was broadcasted by Five, with the second appearing in the 2003 Challenge-aired fifth series.

The leading presenters of Fort Boyard were Melinda Messenger (UK series 1-4) and Jodie Penfold (series 5). Their roles were to give advice and support for the teams, commentate for the viewers, and match wits with Boyard, the "Master of the Fort".

The other characters in Fort Boyard are:

*Boyard (played by Leslie Grantham in series 1-4 and Christopher Ellison in series 5) is the Master Of The Fort, who sets the challenges the team must follow to win. In the UK versions of the show, he is portrayed as a selfish, commanding and evil person who takes great pleasure in ensuring that fear and failure plague the contestants, although Grantham portrayed these traits slightly more strongly, with Ellison sometimes showing sympathy, or even being generous to the contestants.
*The Professor (Geoffrey Bayldon, series 1-4) is an eccentric scientist who has become mad over the years due to being kept prisoner by Boyard in the Watch Tower. His task is to ask the contestants riddles, which if answered correctly, will give the team a key or clue word.
*Captain Baker (Tom Baker, series 5) is the replacement for the Professor and whose character is an insane sea captain held captive by Boyard. There is also the resident Fort Boyard cast, who first appeared in the French version, and were subsequently featured in many of the other international formats, including (as here) the UK version:

*Jacques and Jules ( [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0990429/ André Bouchet] and [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1235442/ Alain Prévost] respectively), two dwarves who lead the team through the Fort to the next challenge. Deni replaces Jules later in the show. The three are called Passe-Partout, Passe-Temps, and Passe-Muraille respectively in the French version.
*Monique (Monique Angeon), who turns a statue shaped as a tiger's head to release the gold or close the gate in the Treasure Room. She is called Felindra in the French version. In the first UK series the unnamed Tiger Master performs this role.
*La Boule (Yves Marchesseau), who bangs the gong to indicate the start and end of time and locks the contestants in the cages when they failed to get out of challenge rooms in time.

Famous contestants

On December 26, 1999, a celebrity edition of Fort Boyard was broadcast featuring Gabby Yorath, Frank Bruno, Sharon Davies, Samuel Kane and Glenda McKay as contestants [ [http://www.memorabletv.com/quizshows/quizshowsftoh.htm Memorable TV's Guide to Quiz and Game Shows] - "Memorable TV" - Retrieved September 27, 2006] .

Another celebrity episode was also broadcast during the 2003 series by Challenge. It featured
Doug Williams, Paul Birchall, Nikita (now stars in WWE), James Tighe & Sweet Saraga, all of whom were wrestling stars from British promotion FWA. Doug Williams captained the team.

Since 1997 teams on the French version of the show consist entierly of celebrities. These include: cyclist Laurent Fignon, figure skating champion Brian Joubert (appearing on July 18, 2004), Marseille striker Djibril Cisse,R&B singer Leslie, and others.


= Production history [ [http://www.fortboyard.net/article.php?id_article=22&id_rubrique=11 fortboyard.net] ] =

*flagcountry|Algeria - 2006
*flagcountry|Argentina - 1999, 2000
*flagcountry|Armenia -Fact|date=September 2008
*flagcountry|Australia -Fact|date=September 2008
*flagcountry|Austria -Fact|date=September 2008
*flagcountry|Belgium - 1991, 1999-2001, 2006-Present
*Balkans (joint production of flagcountry|Bulgaria, flagcountry|Serbia, flagcountry|Turkey) - 2008 [cite news |title=Балканска война на остров в Средиземно море |publisher=24 часа |date=2007-04-27 |accessdate=2007-05-01 |language=Bulgarian ]
*flagcountry|Canada - 1993-2001
*flagcountry|China -Fact|date=September 2008
*flagcountry|Denmark - 1993-1997, 1999-2002
*flagcountry|France - 1990-Present
*flagcountry|Finland - 1993 [http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seikkailujen_linnake]
*flagcountry|Georgia - 2004
*flagcountry|Germany - 1990, 2000, 2002
*flagcountry|Greece - 2004-Present
*flagcountry|Hungary - 2000
*flagcountry|Israel - 1998-1999
*flagcountry|Italy - 1992 (only a pilot was made)
*flagcountry|Japan -Fact|date=September 2008
*flagcountry|Lebanon - 2002-2003
*flagcountry|Netherlands - 1990-1991
*flagcountry|Norway - 1993-1996, 1999-2000
*Flagcountry|Poland- 2008-Present
*flagcountry|Russia - 1998, 2002-2004, 2006
*flagcountry|Slovakia - 1998-1999
*flagcountry|South Africa -Fact|date=September 2008
*flagcountry|South Korea - 2003
*flagcountry|Spain - 2001
*flagcountry|Sweden - 1990, 1992-1997, 1999-2000, 2002-2003
*flagcountry|Switzerland - 1995
*flagcountry|Turkey - 2000
*flagcountry|Ukraine - 2004
*flagcountry|United Kingdom - 1998-2001, 2003
*flagcountry|United States - 1992 (only a pilot was made)

Some countries, such as The Czech Republic, aired the original French version dubbed as opposed to producing their own. Poland did this before producing their own. [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/8092/lacles.html]

Format

Fort Boyard’s format varies from country to country but that basics are the same. A team of friends enter the Fort with the intention of winning Boyard’s gold. To do this, the contestants have to successfully complete a series of challenges set by Boyard himself.

The first thing done in the game is the sounding of the Fort’s gong by French character ‘La Boule’, once the gong sounds the game time begins ticking down. In the UK version the game lasted for 40 minutes, in the French version it lasts for 60.

The show's format is outlined in the following sections, starting with 'Phase One'.

Phase One

The first set of challenges the contestants have to complete is to win a certain number of keys (in series 1-4 of the UK version four keys were needed; whereas five were need in series 5. Five were needed in the Canadian version, and seven in the French version). These keys, once won, are used to open the gate to the Treasure Room, a central room in the Fort where the gold is held.

The challenges that are set to win the keys are located in small rooms around the Fort, with small water-timers outside to give the contestant a time limit. If the contestant fails to leave the challenge room before the time runs out then they are locked in a cage and not allowed to continue with the rest of the key games.

During this phase of the game, one contestant will go up to the Watch Tower to win an additional key for the team (see below)

Once the contestants reach the end of Phase One, usually half-way through their game time, there is a trip to the Treasure Room with all of the keys that they have won so far. If they have enough to unlock the Treasure Room Door then the keys are entered and the gate is unlocked. However it will not open until later in the show.

If they are short of keys to open the gate then team members are 'sacrificed' for keys, one team member for each key short. The 'sacrificed' contestants are then placed in an underground cell and locked in. These team members remain for the rest of the game, and are therefore unable to contribute any more for the team.

If the team has more keys than necessary to unlock the gate then any extra keys gained can be swapped for free clue words to assist the team in the next phase of the game.

Phase One challenges

Since 1990, 139 keygames have come and passed. Here's a selection of some of these challenges:

Arm Wrestling (1990-2008): the contestant has to arm wrestle against the strongman, whilst trying to grab the key which is in a little box with his other hand. Between their hands is a lever, so as they push the strongman's arm down, the key is lowered so it becomes accessible to grab.

Ball Surfing (1998-2002): to release the key the contestant has to get one ball into the bucket at the end of the runway, however four sections of it are not in position. The contestant stands on a surfboard which swivels these sections, however if they don't move quickly enough they can't line up the next section in time and the ball drops to the ground, so they have to start again.

Barrel Maze (1999-2000): The player must move a barrel from one end of a maze to the other where the key is locked in a vice. On the barrel is a tool which releases the key and the maze consists of 20 barrels including one that cannot move and these barrels must be moved so that the key can be freed.

The Barrier (2000-2001): inside the room the key is locked in a perspex cube which is easily opened, however when it is tampered with a door slams down blocking the exit. To get out the contestant has to remove the boxes which make up the barrier until there's a hole big enough for them to get out of. A very easy game.

The Burglary (1996-2008): the contestant climbs a ladder and enters the cell via its window. Inside are a number of obstacles, such as ladders and nets, which the contestant must climb over to get to the key. If they touch the floor an alarm will go off; the contestant automatically loses and gets taken away to the cages. The key is in a locked cylinder which they open using a tool given to them at the beginning. They must leave the way they came, still not touching the floor with themselves, the key or the tool.

Bungee Web (1998-2000): The contestant jumps into a revolving web made up of a series of bungee cords and must make their way to the end to retrieve a tool. This device is then used to access the key half way back along the bungee web. This last stage is the hardest because, as the web revolves, the player must release the key which is going from below to above them very quickly. As a consequence, some players have been known to have been locked in due to running out of time.

Buzz Off! (1998): the contestant has to carry a heavy machine which vibrates violently along the wire without touching it, just like in the classic game. Jaba the Pirate stands in the background trying his best to put them off, but his rather pathetic efforts are usually in vain. If they successfully get it to the end of the wire the key is released.

Cannonball Seesaw (2000): A simple yet rare challenge where the contestant must bounce cannonballs of various weights into differently sized barrels by jumping on a device simliar to a seesaw.

Ceiling Boxes (1994-2008) : in the cell the female contestant has to climb onto the male contestant's back and grab the baton which hangs from the ceiling. Then using this tool she must bang the white latches on the ceiling boxes to open them. There are various things in each box, such as flour and gunge, however from one box a key shall fall.

Chicken Room (2001) a very rare challenge, in which a female contestant transports corn from a holey bucket from a barrel to a pair of scales. The corn must weigh down one side of the scales to lift the key which is on the other side. Inside the room are chickens.

The Descending Rope (1998-2008): A fairly easy task where the player must climb a rope and guide the key through a maze but the trouble is the rope descends back down on them as they try to go up it.

Excalibur (1991-2008): the mighty sword is stuck is a wooden stump. The contender has to pull the sword out (the best technique being to swing it side to side whilst pulling) and then use the sword to cut a rope on which the key is attached. The cutting is actually the harder part, due to the relative bluntness of the sword, and it is this point where people usually fail the game.

The Fan (1995-1999): the two strongest male contestants are sent into a room at the end of which is giant fan. They have to slot a perspex cover in front of it to stop the fan and release the key. As the fan is so loud the contestants are unable to hear anything; a red light goes on when there are 10 seconds left to get out.

Gas Pipes (1996-2008): the contestant is handcuffed to a pipeline which runs around the cell. They have to guide the cuffs along the pipes, overcoming valves and so on which screw off, to the end where they can grab the key and run out of the room. The contestant cannot escape the handcuffs until the end of the pipeline, so if they're not at this point when time is up, they're stuck in the cell!

The Handbike (2000-2008): A tricky challenge where the contestant has to pedal a handbike (above their head) across the cell to push the key along. The key is only accessed if the hanbike reaches the end and the key falls to the floor. Although there is a stool to rest on along the way, if you fall off you have to start over again.

Jars of Fear (1990-2008): there is a long row of large jars in one of the Fort's cells. The contestant has to feel inside each jar, which contains things such as worms and rats, until they feel the key. This is an easy game, however the key is often missed because they don't examine the jars thoroughly.

Moving Monkey Bars (1993-2008): the contender has to hook the metal bars into slots in the wall and ceiling to climb the overhang and reach the key. However there are only two bars at the bottom, with another two hanging down, so the bars have to be re-used. This is very tricky.

Mud Wrestler (1990-2006): a female contestant takes on a strong woman, who wrestles them in the mud. The contestant must reach the key which hangs from the ceiling at the other end of the room. The mud wrestler challenge is very difficult if the contestant is not a strong fighter.

Neon Water (1999-2005): the contestant has to fill up a long tube with green neon water which lies just by the cell's entrance. They must then carry the water through an obstacle course and fill up three cylinders with the luminous liquid. Obviously the player has to cover up both ends of the tube so that little water is lost, however the course requires them to crawl on their back so it isn't easy.

Rolling Cylinders (1993-2008): the contestant must work their way along a series of variously sized rolling cylinders to get to the key. They have to move very slowly whilst lying low with their weight evenly balanced, otherwise the cylinders rotate and they fall off.

Sand Boxes (1999-2003): A contestant enters a chamber that is full of sand, with wooden bars blocking the way. The contestant must slide under holes in the bottom of the bars to reach the key. The contestant must then use boxes (also pushed under the holes) to reach the key.

The Shrinking Room (1992-2008): on the ceiling of the room are many keys. The contestant has to use these keys to try to open a wooden box which has three locks on it. Each lock requires a different key. The drawback is that the ceiling is continually lowering. This game is rarely completed as the players often forget to try each key for each lock, or lose concentration due to fear of the shrinking room

Sucking Key (2001-2006): The key is attached to a string inside a narrow chamber. A contestant is locked into stocks, and must use only their head to pull the key through the chamber and into a tunnel, where the other contestants collect it. The chamber is full of creatures such as scorpions, spiders, maggots and millipedes.

Tube (1990-2008): at the top of a long perspex tube that winds up to the ceiling is the key. The contestant has to crawl up, grab the key and then slide back down. It sounds easy enough, but the time limit is quite tight, and the game often results in a prisoner.

The Turnstile (1998-2008): the contestant has to unscrew a panel to get to the key, whilst avoiding the revolving paddles of the turnstile. In 1998 there was also a metal grid which meant they had to run forwards, but that went in 1999.

Wall Walk (1995-2008): the contestant climbs through the cell window where, on the outside wall of the Fort, they find a row of very thin ledges. They have to climb along these to the next window, grab the key, and shuffle back again. Like in the Tube game, you have to be speedy, as it's not a case of just running to the door when time's almost up.

Water Buckets (1995-2008): above a treadmill hanging on the ceiling are a series of buckets containing water. The contestant has to jog on the treadmill, lift down the buckets and pour the water into a tube. This tube leads into another, so that the key is pushed upwards by the water. The buckets are hard to unhook and unless the player stays facing forwards they will lose their balance. Also spilt water makes the treadmill very slippery.

Window Weights (1990-2008): hanging at the bottom of a rope out the cell window are some weights, and the key. The contestant has to pull on the rope until the rope locks into the pulley. Then the contestant must climb out of the window into a cage on the side of the Fort, where he can reach out for the key.

Monkey Bridge : One of the challenges which has the format of a duel. A contestant, usually female will compete against a gymnast where they must move along a rope bridge, grab a sack with a key attached and move back to their end of the bridge. Then,using the key, the contestant must unlock a box and retrieve a code before the gymnast destroys it. The code will enable the team to retrieve the key.

Mr Chan : Mr chan replaced The monkey bridge in 2007 and is still going in 2008. Mr chan chooses someone to be a Scarfice. Mr chan will then show a patten which the team must make out of little blocks in a box full of Creatures. About half way into the challenge, Mr Chan will give a hint. When the time runs out Mr Chan will do a jump and the person will be a Prisioner. This game is hard because of the patten and the time limit. This has only had 2 wins out of 20. With no teams winning in 2008.

Phase Two

Once again in this part of the game the contestants have to complete a series of challenges, but instead of playing for keys they are playing for clue words. In addition, these games are more physically and mentally challenging to the contestants than those played in Phase One. Before these challenges, one contestant goes to the Watch Tower to try to win a clue word.

The objective in this phase is to try to figure out the password, which if answered correctly, will release the gold. To do this, they must try to win clue words to help them in working out the password.

These clue words can be placed either before or after the password to make a common phrase. For example: if the clues words were "hall" and "line" then the password would be "dance", as in "dance hall" and "line dance".

Of course, Boyard had to make it even more difficult to get the clue word, so a time limit is placed on each game. The clue words are usually written on pieces of paper and kept in canisters filled with gunpowder, and if the contestant fails to reach the canister in the allotted time the clue word explodes and the contestant loses the challenge. Unlike the First Phase, players are not locked in a cage if they fail to win the clue word.

Phase Two challenges

This section details some of Fort Boyard’s most famous games. Examples of the clue games, or ‘ordeals’, are listed below:

The Swing (1999-2008): One person is strapped into the Fort’s giant swing which is hung at a right angle to the inside Fort wall. The rest of the team pulls on a heavy rope, which moves the swing back and forth. The clue is hanging so that the swing must be horizontal in order for the contestant to grab it. The person in the swing seat has no control, so even if they want to stop, they can't unless their "friends" let them. Some players have been known to cry and scream for the team to stop the swing.

Bungee Bounce (1991-2008): the contestant stands at the top of the Fort looking down into the centre. They then have to jump off their platform, and grab the canister which contains the clue when they bounce back up again.

Bungee Jump (1996-2008): the contestant has to do a bungee jump off the side of the Fort. After they have jumped, and are hanging upside down, they have to climb partway up the rope, and undo the canister which contains the clue word. A lot of the time people refuse to do this one, and once the clue blew away in the wind after they'd made the leap.

The Catapult (1995-2004): in the centre of the Fort sits the contestant, attached to bungee chords. Another member of the team stands with an axe, whilst the rest off the team turn a wheel which takes the strain of the bungee. The person with the axe then has to cut the rope in front of them, which catapults their team-mate up into the air. They have to look out for the clue word which is written on a large blackboard somewhere on the top of the Fort.

Flooded Cellars (1991-2008): the contestant climbs down a hole into a series of flooded cellars. They exit the first two chambers underwater, and then climb a ladder and crawl along a low corridor, on the floor of which is a word written in sand. This word is washed away by a torrent of water after a few seconds. The contestant climbs down another ladder into another chamber, where underwater are a series of boxes. One box has the sand word on it, and in here is the clue. They then have to swim out via an underwater corridor. From the fourth series, the contestant instead has to guide a spanner tied to a chain through obstacles in the flooded cellars to a bolted cylinder, which the player must open to reach the clue.

Lobster Pot (1991-2008): two contestants, one male and one female, zip-line down from the top of the Fort's bastions into the sea. One of them, usually the female, then swims to the pontoon, whilst the other has to swim over to a buoy, where he dives down deep to reach the lobster pot. Once he has it, he swims over to the pontoon where the second contestant opens the lobster pot, takes out a key and opens a box which contains the clue word. Once they have it they shout it out to their team using a megaphone.

The Searching Head (1996-2008): the contestant moves along through a series of small chambers, with only their head exposed. In each chamber is a word which they have to shout out to their team, who cross it off a list of similar words. The one left is the clue word. Each chamber is filled with a number of creatures to scare the player, which are in order: Frogs, stick-insects, rats, cockroaches, and flies.

Snake Pit (1991-2008): a contestant is lowered into the snake pit, via a ladder. The clue word is split in two, each half being written on a snake. The contestant much find the two halves to make a whole, and to do so they have to pick up each snake and check its belly to see if one of the two halves of the clue is on it. There are literally hundreds of them, however the clue is always written on the big ones, one half usually being in a barrel and the other half in one of the small cupboards at the side of the pit.

Tightrope (1997-2008): a simple game, the contestant has to walk from one end of the tightrope to the other where the clue hangs in a canister.

The Cable Cycle (1998-2008): cycling along on the upside-down bicycle, the contestant comes to three rolled up flags. When unrolled each displays a letter, which the rest of the team must key into a combination lock to open a safe and gain the clue.

The Darkness: The player must go through a series of chambers which are in complete darkness and follow a string and their fellow player's directions (with use of a map) to reach the end. Along the way, the contestant went through some water, coal, a skeleton and such features to eventually meet a room filed with light by a flame held by 'naked' man/woman (opposite gender to player)'s hand. The clue was somewhere written on their body but some players have been known to miss the word due to the multiple 'tattoe'-like prints on the body already. When Fort Boyard was aired before the watershed sometimes, the naked body's 'features' were blurred for viewing.

The Watch Tower

In the Watch Tower of the Fort lives a usually eccentric character that sets riddles for certain contestants, if the contestant gives the correct answer they receive a key. In the case of the clue riddles the answer to the riddle is the clued word, so even if the contestant didn’t solve it in the Watch Tower they could still think about it during the rest of the game. If the contestant gives an incorrect answer to a key riddle, the key is thrown in to the sea, and another contestant has to swim for it (removed in series 5 of the UK version).

Since 2006 The key is no longer swam for. It's just put back. The clue word is also different and is not the same as the riddle. Therefore they must work out the riddle in the time limit otherwise they get no clue.

The Treasure Room

The Treasure Room is the climax to each episode of Fort Boyard. The gold is stored here, which is guarded by Boyard's tigers.

Once the Fort’s gong sounds for a second time the end of the game time is signified; when the gong is struck the tigers are taken away by Monique and the gate to the Treasure Room rises and will only stay open for 3 minutes.

If by this time the team has still not figured out the password from the clues won, they can "sacrifice" players in exchange for extra clues to help them. The "sacrificed" players have to reach the clue by putting their hand into one of the tiger-shaped hand traps around the Treasure Room entrance; once their hand is inside they cannot release it and participate in collecting the gold.

The contestants now have to spell out the password on the giant alphabet on the floor of the Treasure Room by standing on the corresponding letters on the grid and using cannonballs if there are not enough players. The team must also ensure the word is spelt correctly as a mistake could cost them the prize.

Once this is done Monique rotates the tiger's head (a statue) and the word will either be declared correct or incorrect and the gold is released if the word is correct.

Then the contestants have the remaining time to collect as much gold as they can (if the word is correct) and place it in a bucket outside of the Treasure Room. It is only what is in this bucket that they get to keep; any that land on the floor are not counted. When the time is nearly up in the Treasure Room, a bell rings, and the gate begins to close slowly. The contestants have to leave before the gate shuts completely because when the door shuts the tigers are released back into the Treasure Room.

If however they declare an incorrect word, the gold is not released and instead the gate to the treasure room begins to close immediately, prompting the contestants to make a quick escape, and they complete the game with no winnings.

The won gold is then weighed and converted into currency; this makes the contestants’ prize money. In most countries, the money won by the team is given to a charity.

Some countries, including Spain, Argentina, the U.K. and Belgium, give the money directly to the members of the team. Some give vacations instead of money, dependent on how much the team won.

In France, between 1990 and 1992, the treasure was given to the team, but since 1993, the whole prize goes to charity.

Broadcast

Fort Boyard has aired on many networks around the world, including:

Algeria- ENTV and Canal Algérie

Belgium- RTL-TVI

Bulgaria - bTV

Canada- TVA

Czech republic - TV Nova (1994-1995)

Denmark- TV3

Finland - YLE TV1

FranceFrance 2

Georgia- Rustavi 2

Germany- Sat 1 (1990) Pro 7 (2000,2002)

Greece- STAR

Hungary- TV2

Israel- Channel 2

Norway- TV3

Poland - TVP2

Russia – NTV (1998) Russia TV Channel (2002-2004,2006)

Serbia - Fox televizija

South Korea- SBS

Spain- TeleCinco

Sweden- TV4, TV3 (1999)

Turkey- Star TV

Ukraine- Channel 1+1 and Channel TET

United Kingdom – Five (1998-2001), Challenge & Ftn (2003), Virgin 1 (2007-2008)

From a broadcasting perspective, Fort Boyard itself was refurbished during 1988-89 to become, essentially, a large outdoor television studio. The Fort has its own doctor, catering facilities as well as production gallery and veterinary centre.

The Fort is equipped with 10 portable television cameras, 1 camera crane for overhead shots, 1 under-water camera as well as a number of smaller cameras which specifically cover individual games and challenges around the Fort.

The majority of shows are filmed in the 4:3 aspect ratio although some shows, for countries including Sweden, now use the more common 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. PAL is the favoured recording format for Fort Boyard, offering the highest quality pictures.

Variations to the format

In 1996, at the height of the French versions popularity, a mini-series entitled "Fort Boyard at Night" was shown in the autumn. Filmed entirely at night, the teams also had slightly more time in which to complete the challenges. In 1997, there were three nighttime specials, at Halloween, Christmas and New Year.

In some seasons of the French (Seasons 14-16, 2003-2005) and Russian version (2003-2004), the contestants stay overnight in the Fortress. During this time, they could variously play endurance, mind and psychological games both for the release of any prisoners they may have had, and for keys to, or time in, the Treasure Room at the end of the game.

In some seasons/programmes of the Swedish (during 2003-2004), Russian (2006), Greek (2006), and Balkan (2008) versions two teams would play in the Fort at the same time, with only one of them winning at the end.

Although most seasons have seen changes (not least in hosts), recent changes to the French version of Fort Boyard include:

* The number of keys determining how much access the team has. 5 keys is the minimum to open the gate, but the gate will only open to a certain height, which makes carrying coins through the gate difficult. A 6th key will open the gate roughly halfway, but it is still not easy to get through. To open the gate fully, 7 keys are needed.

* In the council, teams are no longer playing to free prisoners, rather, they are playing for up to 60 extra seconds in the treasure room, in addition to the 3 minutes guaranteed.

* There is a new section where 1 member will don a diving suit and dive down to the underwater control centre. There, he/she will guide the team through an underground passage filled with traps and coded doors towards the "Hall of Imprints", freeing their prisoners along the way. Once all members(except the diver) have reached the Hall, they will use their right hands to release the crystal, which they need to enter the council.

* In 2008, the diving section has changed. All members except the diver enter the control centre. They have to put 9 colored cubes in the correct order, using clues provided by the host. Once the 9 cubes are in place, the trap door for the diver opens. The diver enters a flooded room, with a treasure box, a drawing and a maze with various colored keys in it. He has to describe the small drawing to his team members. The drawing corresponds to a drawing on one of the 9 colored cubes. The color of the matching cube determines the key to retrieve from the maze. The team members have to guide the diver through the maze, as the diver only sees it from behind. After the key has been freed, it is used to unchain the treasure box. The box is then lifted from the water, but cannot be opened, yet. The key to open it is inside the Treasure Room and falls down together with the gold.

* If a team member does not get out of the Treasure Room in time, a portcullis will be activated which stops the tigers, but the money collected will be lost forever.

Music

The music for the original French version of Fort Boyard was composed by Paul Koulak, a French music composer. He composed the main themes for the show as well as the incidental and game music that is used throughout the show. His music has been used for every version of Fort Boyard around the world except the German version, where they composed their own music for the show and games.

Some of the original music for Fort Boyard was released on CD in France, both on CD single and CD album form. Tracks that featured on these CDs include:

*"Fort Boyard Main Title Theme"
*"Fort Boyard Main Theme, Dance Version"
*"March of the Tigers"
*"The Cable Cycle"
*"From One Point in the Course to Another"

"Fort Boyard: Takes On The World"

Broadcast in 2004 by Challenge and Ftn, "Fort Boyard: Takes On The World" was a ten part documentary introduced British viewers to various different versions of the show from around the world. Clips of Fort Boyard episodes from other countries were shown while Tim Vine provided humorous voiceovers. The show was spilt into sections including "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", "Heroes and Zeroes" and "The A-Z of Fort Boyard".

There were also amusing interviews with various characters of the Fort (with the humour provided by the fact that Tim cannot speak French and the characters cannot speak English). [ [http://www.ukgameshows.com/page/index.php/Fort_Boyard Fort Boyard] - "UKGameshows" - Retrieved September 27, 2006]

References

External links

* [http://fort-boyard.france2.fr/ Official Fort Boyard website (in French)]
* [http://www.geocities.com/fboyarduk Fort Boyard UK]
* [http://www.fortboyard.foxtv.co.yu/ Fort Boyard Serbia]
* [http://www.fortboyard.ru Fort Boyard Russia]
* [http://fort.btv.bg Fort Boyard Bulgaria]
* [http://www.bothersbar.co.uk/weekendspecials/fortboyard.htm A Fort Boyard Timeline]


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