As the Paradise Island set is slowly dismantled, Dominik Diamond hosts a special look-back on GamesMaster's seven-series run.
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Prior to cancellation, because Series 7 scored very high in the ratings, Hewland International were considering bringing back GamesMaster for an eighth series in late 1998, which would have been an adult-oriented programme that would air on a late night timeslot, and the setting would have been a pirate ship with buxom wenches as the Golden Joystick assistants.
However, Channel 4, which was run by Michael Jackson at the time, just wanted to wash their hands clean of both Hewland and GamesMaster, which was taken off the air for good.
Dominik: Hello viewers, and welcome to the last GamesMaster in the history of the world. Yes, after seven years of games-related hi-jinks, we are finally hanging up our pants for good. So, I'd advise you to uh, hold your television set gently but firmly, and squeeze as much enjoyment as possible out of the next twenty-four minutes. Now, when normal shows end, they invariably have a review of the best moments from their history. We've never been a "normal" show. So instead, we're gonna kick off with a look at some of the worst moments from GamesMaster's past, in a section we're calling, "Was That Really A Good Idea?" (a crew member walks past Dominik with one of the cameras)
Dominik: (referring to RoboCop's appearance from Series 4's Gore Special) A man can fight for many things: life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Me? I fought against an out-of-work film extra coming on my show dressed like a dustbin. Unfortunately for you, I lost.
Dominik: (referring to The Executioner's appearance from Episode 8 of Series 5) It's not just professionals either. Every year, I'm amazed by what the general public will do to meet me, even if it means dressing up like a git.
Dominik: (referring to Dave Perry's Super Mario 64 loss from Series 6's Christmas Quiz) Yes, our challenges are tough, but it struck me down the years how our unsuccessful contestants always shouldered their loss with good grace and the knowledge that their lives have been enriched by taking part... Well, nearly always.
Dominik: (as crew members dismantle the Paradise Island set around him) Now, as GamesMaster wended his merry way through the years, other channels tried to blatantly steal our winning formula, and our infinitives, to come up with rival video-game shows, none of which incidentally are still on the air. Uh, what we had that they didn't, apart from the dubious, uh, merits of a slighty overweight bald Scottish bloke, was one vital ingredient in our TV pie: the challenges.
Dominik: (during a montage of regular gamers appearing on GamesMaster over the years) Yes, the challenges. Seven long years of young boys and girls being turned into Olympian heroes. Seven years of waggling joysticks, beated brows, and lost tempers. Was it worth it? All I know is that in years to come, generations of men and women will turn to their screens and wonder, "What was on the other channel?"
Dominik: (referring to Martin Mathers' Virtua Cop 2 challenge from Episode 5 of Series 6) Proving once again that "bloke + glasses = hard", Martin Mathers attempted the impossible by playing two Virtua Cop 2 machines at the same time.
Dominik: (referring to the fighting game challenges from Episodes 2 and 6 of Series 5) If any one particular genre of games has ever tickled our contestants' collective fancies, it's the beat-em-up, and GamesMaster has always been home to little lads relieving their frustrations by forcing big men to slap each other.
Dominik: (referring to the Tetsujin's Virtua Fighter 3 challenge from Episode 13 of Series 6) But the greatest beat-em-up challenge of all came when a Japanese Tetsujin flew in to take on 100 of our home-grown champions. Suffice to say, English egos went limp at the prospect.
Dominik: (as crew members bulldoze the palm trees behind him) Now, although I do all of the work, you may have noticed that this programme isn't called "The Dominik Diamond Show" in spite of annual assurances from the producer, along the lines of "Why, of course next series, we're gonna change the title, Dominik! Now just sign here, or we'll leave you tied to that train track!" Oh no, over the years, one man has consistently upstaged me -- The Games Master.
The Games Master: The sun has set. The end has come. Goodbye, my friends. Remember me.
Dominik: After the break, famous people I have met and horribly compromised in our celebrity challenges, famous countries I have visited and infected with irony in our features. There now follows your last chance ever to view the most sought-after commerical break in the history of television. As you'd expect, the scramble for it was unholy! Let's see who got to the top of the pile. (the camera zooms out to reveal the near-empty set)
Dominik: (saying goodbye to the Girl Fridays after coming back from the break) Thanks very much, Helena. Take care, see you later. Thanks, Leigh-Ann. Ta-rah, love, take care. (to the audience) Welcome back to the final twelve minutes of the show that won, uh, the BAFTA Light-Entertainment Award for twelve consectutive years. One of the great joys of hosting GamesMaster has been helping to kick-start the careers of almost every single celebrity in Britain... uh, apart from East 17, who I vowed to destroy.
Dominik: (during a montage of celebrity contestants who appeared on GamesMaster over the years) It's long been said that this generation produces celebrites that represent the hopes and dreams of ordinary people everywhere, and that their very existence lifts our collective hearts and minds from the dreary workings of everyday life and provides us with the very stuff of dreams! Sometimes in addition, they're also fantastically attractive women.
Dominik: Back in the days when I could get on a plane without the deeply embarassing need for a mid-flight pant change, I travelled the world. Foreign dignitries fought to throw their arms around me in a welcoming embrace, little knowing that by the time I came to leave, their international reputation would lie in tatters. (the lights in the studio slowly go out)
Dominik: (as his face appears on every one of the monitors in the control booth, with one crew member switching them off one by one) Well, the life blood of GamesMaster is ebbing away fast. Over the years, there's been many moments that I'll cling to in my dotage. I won't diminish them with categorisation, but they're what I'll miss most.
Dominik: (outtake from Episode 7 of Series 7) Once again, the girls have given me crabs. Can't we have something else for a change?! (accidentally knocks the candle over, setting the flowers on fire) Today, we're asking you to munch on our TV pie. This is what's on today's show... (laughs as Leigh-Ann tries to put out the flames) Flowers on fire!
Dominik: (last lines, sitting alone in the dim-lit, empty studio) So, that's it. I would like to personally thank the many talented people that have worked on this show. They will all go on to bigger things, but somehow, none of them will seem quite as... self indulgent as GamesMaster. Uh... I know some people might have thought it's been flippin... To some people, it might seem as if it's been in bad taste, but... it was made with the total conviction that to you, the viewers, it meant something. So, I guess really now with the last link of the last series, I should come up with the funniest gag in the history of GamesMaster, but uh... I can't.
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