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18 June 2014
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"Drogna, Drogna, Rangdo"

Dragons used to kidnap celebrities, and transport them by London Underground to the planet Arg, where they would be made to play games for the entertainment of a cross aspidistra called the Rangdo.

Look, is that mouse? This was the rough premise of the Adventure Game, a show which ran between 1980 and 1986. The brainchild of Patrick Dowling, the show belonged to an era that brought us challenge shows like Now Get Out of That and The Great Egg Race. The difference with the Adventure Game was that it showed celebrities thinking.

Some guests took to it better than others - Richard Stilgoe and the frighteningly intelligent Graeme Garden stalked the hallways of Arg, attacking the various puzzles with frightening tenacity, seemingly born to rescue eggs from tubes by inflating balloons, chewing straws and boiling kettles, and worryingly happy chatting to the Argonds in backwards languages or semaphore.

Unfortunately, for every Graeme Garden there was always an assistant weather forecaster, kids tv presenter or, in one episode, marketing executive. There was a perverse pleasure in watching terrifyingly dim celebrities hide behind their hair while they tried to work out the intricacies of the Drogna, the planet's incredibly hard-to-follow currency based on shapes and colour (basically a red circle was worth one drogna, but a blue pentagon was worth 25).

In this episode, Dr Graeme Garden heads to Arg with PlaySchool presenter Carol Chell, and Rubik's cube champion Nicholas Hammond. They're there to rescue Lesley Judd, not realising that the Blue Peter presenter has gone over to the dark side.


VIDEO CLIP:Titles Prepare yourself

VIDEO CLIP:Vortex Will she, won't she?

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