The Weakest Link

Who thinks academia is a blood condition?

If ignorance is bliss, who’s in heaven?

Who should blog off?

It’s time to vote off… the weakest link!

The Weakest Link. It’s that show from 2000, where the host was really mean to the contestants, and even encouraged them to be mean to their so-called teammates!

Well, apparently that wasn’t even meant to be the case; the original intention was for the host to play it straight. However, Anne Robinson found herself getting so frustrated with the players’ poor performance and questionable voting that she just started “telling it like it is”, and that became the format’s unique selling point, imitated by others all over the world.

The nostalgia for Weakest Link, actually, doesn’t really come from the programme, which I rarely saw as everybody else wanted to watch Neighbours instead. As it was, the most I normally saw of it was the last few minutes before The Simpsons. No, the memories here are in the merchandise; fond memories of dark Christmas afternoons with the board game, which was good enough to come not only with several cards full of those pre-voting barbs, but also an Anne Robinson mask for the host to wear. The PlayStation game was a good laugh too, offering a good representation of the game with the added bonus of voice actors, who really hammed up their portrayal of the show’s contestants.

Initial success petered out naturally over time, but the show trucked along on BBC Two for several years, with the odd celebrity special at the weekend on BBC One. Link would see a belated full-time promotion to One in 2008 after they lost Neighbours to Channel 5. It would remain there for a few years before returning to its original channel, making way for the burgeoning Pointless, which has held the slot seemingly ever since. It was around this time that Anne decided she’d had enough of insulting strangers, and the show met a fairly quiet end in April 2012.

There were rumours of a comeback in 2017, in a bid to bolster lacklustre Saturday night schedules on BBC One. Alas, besides a one-off for Children in Need that year, this did not come true; if it was on the table then evidently Robinson didn’t want to do it, which is fair enough. She’s taking the helm of Countdown shortly, a choice I absolutely was not expecting. I would say the chances of her returning to Link any time soon are slim, but that’s not to say it couldn’t return with a new host – it might even help break in the inevitable shift in tone (there were instances where Robinson got a bit full of herself and went way too far). Robert Rinder’s Weakest Link, anyone?

I thought this would be fun in a “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire set, play with lights” kind of way. It turned out that the animations and lighting sequences in this show are much more complex than just dropping them like Millionaire. I had some peculiar hiccups too, with cloned lights deciding to fade out by themselves, but I managed to work around that, sort of, by taking them out of the cloner and making them follow moving targets. As usual, I suspect there was a much easier solution staring me in the face. So, really it wasn’t a huge amount of fun, but it’s productivity in what has been a most unproductive year thus far, so you can’t vote me off for that.

BANK!” – five seconds out of time, as usual.

I think the weakest link for me is this block editor… ugh!

13 comments
  1. Cool designs! I remember catching quite a few of those shows back then. Definitely Anne Robinson was a good draw. Did you ever see the Doctor Who episode with Chris Eccleston as 9, and they did this fantastic spoof of Weakest Link with Anne played by a robot – Anne-Droid 😂 A short clip here: https://youtu.be/1iZC7FGTmRc

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, TAM! 😉 I had heard about it before but not seen the clip. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite that dramatic! Also lol at one of the comments: “That’s the most humane Anne Robinson’s ever been.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • TVTA to TAM! Yes, lol, being laser killed by Anne-Droid is a fate still preferable to real Anne’s sharp tongue!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. memadtwo said:

    Agreed about the block editor. I have not heard one good word from anyone about it. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Me neither. I avoided using it for months but the Classic Editor seems to have been removed. What a shame that things have been made needlessly complex.

      Liked by 1 person

      • memadtwo said:

        I complained to them and they told me everyone likes it…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Pfft! I might write to them too, though I doubt it’ll make any difference.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jhay said:

    Good day there Jacob! May I ask if what software/program you’ve used to render the 3D studio of TWL? I’m planning to recreate the American set for a coded game soon. Stay safe and God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Hello Jhay. This was modelled and rendered in Cinema 4D. All the best to you and good luck with the game!

      Like

    • Jacob said:

      Aha! Nice job on the moody lighting. There wasn’t an audience on the regular WL but interesting to see one here. Have you seen any of the new series? I never got around to watching it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        Thanks! Ah I never knew there wasn’t an audience I’ll keep that noted for next time. I unfortunately haven’t seen the new series although I might give it a watch and see what the sets like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Yeah, no audience on the regular daytime show. Prime time episodes had an audience behind the contestants (along with a few set tweaks):

        Liked by 1 person

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