On the basis of the first episode, the reboot has taken the show back to its glory days and, perhaps, most crucially the original theme tune remains intact. Like many others, I’ll admit I got excited goosebumps at hearing the opening bars of a song that was the soundtrack to Saturday nights in front of the telly as a kid, usually sandwiched between Roy Walker’s Catchphrase and Cilla’s Blind Date. It’s testament to just how good the theme tune still is that, three decades on, I still remembered every single word!
There had been concerns that the BBC would have tinkered and tampered with a few of the original elements that made Gladiators the huge success it was 30 years ago but thankfully the theme tune, the foam hands and the blasts of Another One Bites the Dust at contenders’ expense were also present and correct… And while iconic referee John Anderson, quite understandably, given that he’s 92, was nowhere to be seen, even the shouts of “Contender ready…Gladiator ready!!!” were also in there, as Gladiators diehards were quick to voice their approval online. Gladiators became a top trend on X (Twitter) for all the right reasons and I watched the whole thing with a massive smile on my face.
Legendary events from yesteryear like Duel and Hang Tough have been dusted off and are every bit as thrilling as they used to be and, as far as TV competition finales go, there really is nothing quite like the Gladiators Travellator and sitting, slumped on the couch, wondering if you could get up it.
I agree with that summary - for a first episode, it was almost faultless (minus adverts, of course, which is a bonus). Everything looked more or less the same as the original except, of course, presenters, gladiators and contenders. Bradley Walsh was fine but his son needs to be replaced with a female to generate some interest in the “banter”. The gladiators will, I’m sure, display some personality in the coming weeks. Even the lovely Jet and Lightning were “reserved” when they started:
Aah! I see now Omah why the series was so popular with you back in the day and will be again. Not so much the competition, more the competitors. Did you spot the olympic sprinter among the male gladiators?
Just get me an invite to the Christmas party next year…
Yes, Nitro - Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
He’s not particularly tall, 5’ll’, but he’s stocky, 13st 5lb, so he’ll be well nippy …
He reminds me so much of myself…60 years ago!!
Watched a part of it, a glorified pillow fight. So I will give it a miss despite the eye candy
Well, ultra-violence with blood and guts on the arena floor would be inappropriate for a family show:
Nevertheless, the “games” involve risk - both gladiators and contenders have been injured in the past:
During the third series in 1994, Panther (Helen O’Reilly) suffered one of the worst injuries seen on the show when she fell from her platform during ‘Tilt’ and severely injured her back.
In 1995, Judy Simpson, known as Nightshade, also had to be taken away on a stretcher after suffering a bad fall during the Tilt event.
During the 1995 International Gladiators. Rhino tore a ligament in his right leg and was laid up for 12 weeks with his leg in plaster, after falling badly from the Pyramid.
Before filming of the fifth series in 1996 started, Jet (Diane Youdale) retired after being severely injured during a live show in Sheffield on Pyramid. Amazon (Sharron Davies) severely injured her knee during training, and had to retire from the show (she did however appear on all publicity material for this series). Zodiac’s (Kate Staples) appearances were limited to only two, both on Danger Zone, due to an injury on Pole Axe during training - she broke her neck in two places
True, but what I did see didn’t really do anything for me it seemed to be on a par with the staged wrestling series on the BBC years ago, ok it’s glitzy and aimed at the lowest common denominator in the viewing public but that’s about it
You may have noticed that it’s pantomime for the kiddies and sexual fantasy for the grown-ups …
Weren’t that impressed, liked it the first time around though.
Give it time and we will all be cheering for our favourite Glads.
Gladiators: Ex-star Hawk says remake lacks female presenter - BBC News (video)
A former Gladiator who starred in the original series 30 years ago said he was impressed with the remake of the popular show.
Alex Georgijev, who played Hawk, now owns a gym in Caerphilly and said it was “difficult to get crowds in” when the first series was filmed. There were empty seats everywhere because nobody knew what it was."
He praised the new Gladiator characters, but believes the line-up should have included a female presenter. (1)
(1) I agree with Hawk …
… and another thing which others have mentioned - there are no cheerleaders …
Cheerleaders, pictured in the 1995 version of Gladiators, have been dropped from the new series
5 episodes in …
Why are the contenders so tiny when the gladiators are so huge?
I don’t recall there being such a massive disparity in the original series …