|Created by||Merv Griffin|
|Written by||Alexey Murmulyov, Vlad Listyev|
|Directed by||Ivan Demidov|
|Theme music composer||Lev Spivak, Vladimir Rackevich|
|Country of origin||Russia|
|No. of episodes||1375 (to 29.12.2017)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||VID (1990 - present), Studio "Experiment" (1990 - 1995)|
|Original network||Channel One (Russia)|
|Audio format||mono (1990s), Stereo|
|Original release||25 October 1990– present|
Pole Chudes (Russian: По́ле Чуде́с, IPA: [ˈpolʲɪ tɕʉˈdʲes], lit. The Field of Wonders) is a Russian adaptation of the U.S. game show Wheel of Fortune produced by VID, provided with elements of Russian culture and hosted by Leonid Yakubovich. Current rating of the show suggests it is intended for ages 16 and above.
Three contestants at a time compete by spinning a "drum" to determine a value or event, and then by guessing letters concealed in a puzzle to earn points. Unlike the U.S. version, all of the puzzles in a show revolve around a specific theme, and the puzzle is an answer to a question given beforehand as an additional clue.
If a player manages to guess three different letters in a streak (and during one turn), they can earn a permanent cash bonus by picking one of two boxes presented to the player. 0 points and bankrupt does not break.
Special spaces on the wheel include;
- Prize (П): A player who lands on this space can either take 1000 points, or take a secret prize as a buy-out to leave the game. In a black box, if a player is to take, may be a car, prize or some booby prize (sometimes it can be a vegetable). Or player can take some money à la Let's Make a Deal
- +: allows a player to choose a letter position, and reveal what letter is behind it and all other instances of it in the puzzle.
- Telephone (Ш): allows a player to phone a random viewer for help on the puzzle. If an answering person guessed the right letter or a word, he or she takes a prize. The player may change the answer and receives no points for it anyway.
- Bankrupt (Б): the player loses all his points and a turn. If hits twice in a player streak, he or she gets the prize.
- 0 points: The player loses their turn.
- x2: A correct choice of letter doubles the player's score. In earlier seasons, if more than one instance of the chosen letter was revealed, the player's current total was doubled for each instance of the letter (for example, if two letters, the points are quadrupled). More recently, the player earns their current score over again for each instance of the chosen letter.
A player may attempt to solve the puzzle during his or her turn either before spinning the wheel or while may call a letter. If that player correctly solves the puzzle at the time while he could call a letter, he or she receives the highest point value on the wheel for each instance of the un-revealed letter. The word must be read as shown, and correctly pronounced (though some variations in pronunciation are accepted).
Each one of the first three rounds uses a fresh set of 3 players, and players are removed from the game if they solve the puzzle incorrectly, or if they accept a prize. If one player remains in a round, the player does not automatically advance to the final, but is allowed up to 3 additional turns to attempt to solve the puzzle.
The final round is played by the winners of the three preceding rounds using the same rules. The winner of the final becomes the winner of the show and can then use the points earned to buy prizes. The points aren't shown during the game.
However, a player can also choose to participate in an additional bonus round, "Супер Игра" (the "Super Game"). In this bonus round, prizes are placed on the wheel, and the player spins to determine the prize they will play for. Then, a puzzle is presented, and the player says four letters to be revealed (if they exist) in the puzzle. The player then has 1 minute to solve the puzzle. If the player correctly solves the Super Game puzzle, the prize is won. Failure in the Super Game means that the player loses all of the prizes that they purchased.
Unlike the American version of the show, the Russian version places greater emphasis on the host interviewing and socializing with the contestants than figuring out the puzzle.
Russian cultural features
On the American show, the wheel spins fast and letters are guessed in a rapid-fire progression, whereas on the Russian show, the wheel is designed to spin very slowly so that the host can have lengthy conversations with the contestant. The candidates and the host are gathered around a well-laid table. An early tradition dating back to the first episodes of Pole Chudes involves the contestants bringing in gifts for the host. For example, a contestant that works at a factory would bring in that factory's most famous product, or a contestant from a far-away town would bring in some culturally-significant item to represent where they live. Eventually, the show's production company established a museum near their studio, where these gifts are now placed for public display. Most of the candidates also bring homemade food as gifts. The moderator often tastes something of the food and it is often given out to the public. Furthermore each of the guests brings along a musical gift, so that the guest himself or his friends, relatives, well-known, children perform on stage to entertain the audience, the other show participants and host through singing and dancing. Often traditional songs are performed.
- VID TV company - VID company official site
- Polé Chudes - Pole Chudes page (in Russian)
- Personal page of the Russian satirist Sergey Kondrariev - "The larches" monologue in Russian