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July 27, 2010 / Nick

Trapped! (TV Series)

When I was growing up in the 90s, gameshows were quite sweet and innocent. You would never hear ‘you leave with nothing’ or ‘Carol – 10p. Thanks for playing’. There was always a consolation prize. A mug or a Teasmade or a chequebook and pen (which regardless of Blankety Blank branding, must have been worth a maximum of £1.80 to produce).

No puffa-jacket and baseball cap to be won here.

Winning consolation prizes were essentially the aim of the game for most children’s TV gameshows. Nobody would ever leave Fun House, Finders Keepers or Get Your Own Back without a few dozen board games, a remote-control car and a computer for their school. But not anymore, kids.
In CBBC’s Trapped!, there are no prizes to be won and you might lose a few friendships in the process.

I don’t know when or why I first saw Trapped! but I know that, for a programme made for kids, I found it hugely entertaining.
The premise of the show is:

  • A group of 6 children have to perform different games.
  • All the kids are given earpieces through which an evil voiceover tells one of the group that they are the saboteur and must destroy the group’s chances of winning.
  • If the team win their game or the real saboteur is detected, he or she will be ‘trapped’ on that level while the rest of the team progress to the next level.
  • If the saboteur is cunning enough to get his or her team-mates to believe someone else is the mole, they will get away with their deviousness and move on to the next game while the group’s chosen saboteur will be falsely imprisoned instead.

The Voice (the evil voiceover that helps sabotage each game through the contestants’ earpieces) is one of the unintentionally funny parts of the show as she gets exasperated explaining to the children why they aren’t doing enough to trick their mates. And that’s another great thing about the show. Children betraying eachother for the sake of light-entertainment.

Also providing light-relief is The Caretaker who watches over all the games. Played by Simon Greenall, You may remember him as Geordie petrol station attendant Michael in I’m Alan Partridge. He looks a bit different in this, mind you.

My favourite part of the show is the Fight For Freedom, where the last 2 contestants have to answer questions about the entire game so far. Asking the questions is The Voice, quite blatantly reading from a sheet as you can hear the concentration and confusion in her voice as she asks such questions as:
“What colour were the cakes on floor 3?”
“Who pulled out the first tooth in Extraction?”
“Who got trapped on floor 3 with the werewolf?”
“Who was bitten twice in Snake Attack?”
“What colour was the hand that burst out of the pot?”

Like all good children’s shows, its wasted on the kids. I’d love to see a grown up version. It’d be like Friends Like These meets The Mole. But for now, I will continue to ‘accidentally’ stop on the CBBC Channel whenever this is on.

Review: You don’t have to be 10 to enjoy this show. Everyone’s a winner (except the contestants).

Trapped on CBBC


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