The Crystal Maze
|The Crystal Maze|
Title card used from Series 3 to 6
|Created by||Jacques Antoine|
|Theme music composer||Zack Laurence|
|Opening theme||"Force Field"|
|Ending theme||"Force Field"|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||7|
|No. of episodes||104 (inc. 6 specials)|
|Location(s)||Lee International Studios, Shepperton (1990)
Aces High Studio, North Weald (1991–95)
The Crystal Maze Live Experience, London (2016)
The Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol (2017–)
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Production company(s)||Chatsworth Television (1990–95)
Fizz in association with Little Lion Entertainment (2016–)
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Picture format||PAL (576i) (1990–95)
1080p (16:9) (2016–)
|Original release||15 February 1990– present|
The Crystal Maze is a British game show devised by Jacques Antoine and shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. The show is set within "The Crystal Maze" - a labyrinth consisting of four different "zones" and its centrepiece called "The Crystal Dome". Each show has a team of contestants travel across the zones, competing in a range of different challenges, with a "time crystal" won for each challenge successfully completed. Upon reaching the centre dome, a time limit is calculated based on the crystal’s obtained and the team have to collect as many gold tokens as possible in the allotted time to win the prize.
The first four series, including three Christmas specials, were presented by Richard O'Brien, followed by two series and two specials hosted by Edward Tudor-Pole with a one-off, celebrity edition hosted by Stephen Merchant in 2016. On 13 January 2017, it was confirmed that Richard Ayoade would host a new 20 episode series later in the year.
- 1 Creation
- 2 Format
- 3 Hosts and characters
- 4 Hiatus and Revival
- 5 Reception
- 6 Commercial replicas and merchandise
- 7 Transmissions
- 8 The Crystal Maze: live immersive experience
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Originally Chatsworth Television intended to make a British version of the French show Fort Boyard. The original outlined concept was, according to Richard O’brien, "kind of like Dungeons and Dragons" with the host acting as the "Dungeon master", O'Brien's name "was thrown into the hat at that point". A pilot of Fort Boyard was filmed, hosted by Richard O'Brien, but After Channel 4 commissioned a full series it became apparent Fort Boyard's set would be unavailable in time for filming. Producer Malcolm Heyworth contacted Fort Boyard's creator Jacques Antoine about developing an alternative format using themed zones as a means to keep the show visually fresh. The Crystal Maze concept was developed in “two days” creating a show which although similar to Fort Boyard, was substantially different in presentation and style.
The Crystal Maze was filmed on a very large custom built set designed by James Dillon, For the first series H Stage in Shepperton Studios, a 30,000 sq ft space with a water tank was used for filming. After the first series the production decided to expand the maze, moving to an adapted aircraft hangar- Hangar 6, operated by Aces High Studios at North Weald Airfield in Essex. Each series of the show featured its own portfolio of games: 37 different game designs in series 1, and between 46 and 49 games in each subsequent series.
The 2016 celebrity special was filmed at The Crystal Maze: live immersive experience in London, as the original set had long since been dismantled. For the 2017 revival Dillon was once again given the task of designing the maze, this time built in a 30,000 sq ft warehouse at Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol.
Filming would take two days for each episode, with three episodes shot a week, an entire series took about five weeks to film; each episode had a budget of about £125,000 in all. The team would tackle all the games and discover their fate in the crystal dome "as live" on the first day, followed by multiple cameras. Then on the second day team members would return to games they had already won or lost, and a single camera would be used to get additional close up shots of gameplay and footage from inside the dome of the team grabbing for tokens.
The theme tune for The Crystal Maze was composed by Zack Laurence and is entitled Force Field. It was used through all six series. The original track is 1 minute and 5 seconds long; however it was shortened to roughly 50 seconds for the opening titles and varied between 40 seconds and 1 minute and 40 seconds for closing credits. The "Underscore" remix of the theme tune played during the show itself was also composed by Zack Laurence.
The objective of the show was to amass as many time crystals (golf ball-sized Swarovski glass crystals) as possible by playing the games in each zone. Winning a game secured a crystal, worth five seconds of time for the team in the Crystal Dome. When the team reached the Crystal Dome, they had to collect as many gold tokens as possible in order to win a prize.
The Maze and The Zones
The set was divided into four zones set in different periods of time and space. For the first three series, the revival and in the live experience, the zones were Aztec (ancient village amidst ruins), Futuristic/Future (a space station environment), Medieval (a castle set where the host purportedly lived), and Industrial (a present-day chemical plant). From series four onwards Industrial was replaced by Ocean, set on the S.S. Atlantis a sunken ship. The maze itself was not literally a maze, but rather four interconnected zones with the Crystal Dome at the centre. The dome was a giant geometric glass crystal where the final challenge is played.
There were a variety of methods to gain access to the starting zones, including rowing canoes in Aztec, opening a heavy portcullis in Medieval, answering the computer's questions in Futuristic and traversing a net ladder in Ocean.
Starting from a pre-determined zone, the team played three or four games of various types in each zone, travelling through the four zones in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. At the end of the show after playing all four zones, they entered the Crystal Dome.
In each regular episode, a team consisting of three men and three women (including a team captain and vice-captain) aged between 16 and 40, would enter the maze. The teams were put together by the production team and did not know each other before appearing on the show. 38,000 contestant applications were received for the show's final series. Gameplay was co-operative throughout, with the team captain choosing which contestant would play and which type of challenge the game would involve. The rest of the team were able to see what was going on inside the room through monitors or windows and give advice to the person playing.
From 2016 onwards the format was changed slightly, with each team having 5 members rather than the original 6 and the team-mates knowing each other rather than being put together by the production team. The presenter now tells the type of game before the team captain nominating the player, rather than the team choosing.
Each game involved a contestant venturing into a room on their own. The host advised the contestant on the time limit or special rules before allowing them to enter. As soon as the door was closed and locked, the timer was started.
There are four categories of game:
- Skill games, tests of dexterity and accuracy. These included target-shooting games, miniature vehicle driving games and timing tests to get balls into the correct holes.
- Physical games, tests of speed and strength. These included demolishing targets, climbing without touching the floor, using a zipwire and avoiding obstacles.
- Mental games, tests of brainpower. These included arranging 2D or 3D puzzles, solving a brainteaser.
- Mystery games, which did not fall into the previous three categories. These included treasure hunts, sliding puzzles and finding the location of a crystal in a room using clues.
Several games on the show were derived from familiar commercially available children's or fairground games, including shaky hand testers and sliding puzzles. Game designs tended to become more elaborate in later series. In series 1–4, the total number of games that a team 'had time' to play across the four zones of the maze could vary between 14 and 16. As a result, Richard O'Brien often encouraged teams to keep transitions as quick as possible with comments such as "It's your time". For series 5 and 6 the number of games per episode was reduced to a standardised 13.
A major hazard for contestants on the show is the risk of being locked in a game room. There were two ways a contestant could be locked in:
- Exceeding the time limit: The contestant was reliant on timecheck information shouted in by the host and/or their teammates outside. If the contestant failed to exit the game room within the time limit the host would keep the door firmly closed and the contestant would be locked in.
- Automatic lock-in games: In a minority of games, the contestant could also be locked in by committing a foul. Typically this meant either setting off an alarm three times or by touching the floor if this was forbidden for that game. If the contestant triggered the condition they would be locked in instantly, irrespective of whether or not they had obtained the crystal. In the Ed Tudor-Pole era a number of games were described as "automatic lock-in" which did not meet these criteria; instead, the contestant would not be able to come out without the crystal. Normally this was achieved by making the crystal easily accessible but blocking the contestant's exit somehow.
Any contestants locked in were unable to take any further part in proceedings until the team captain chose to buy the contestant's freedom at the cost of a previously earned crystal. Buying out a contestant could be done at any time by leaving the crystal in the game room in exchange for their team-mate.
A small number of games on the show 'broke the mould' of what viewers would have come to consider the 'normal' features of a game:
- Only one game ever featured a humanoid opponent, a quasar game in Futuristic Zone, Contestants had to shoot at a robot which shot back.
- Rarely, the contestants were given the crystal before completing the task. Taking the crystal triggered a 'trap' preventing the contestant's exit from the room until the puzzle was completed.
- A 'virtual reality' game requiring careful navigation around a computer-generated maze made the teammates outside the cell responsible for success in the game. Teammates had to shout directions into the cell.
- Occasionally a contestant's mistakes cancel out their previous progress during a game. For example, balls 'missed' in some games would drain off into a 'lose' basket counter-weighing balls in the 'win' basket.
- The revival Series version of Mumsey's riddles removed the time limit, making it the only game not to be time restricted.
The Crystal Dome
After competing in all four zones the contestants, excluding any still locked in, are led to the Crystal Dome, a 16-foot-high (4.9 m) giant replica of one of the show's time crystals, surrounded by a seven-foot circular moat. One of the Dome's triangular panels acted as a door, pneumatically opened and closed to let the team enter and then to shut them inside. After sending the team inside and closing the door behind them, the host would call for the fans to be switched on. Six fans were situated beneath the wire mesh floor of the Dome and blow around gold and silver tokens made of foil. Once the fans were up to speed with all the tokens swirling around the host blew a whistle to start the clock. The team's aim was to grab the flying gold tokens and post them into a plastic container mounted at waist height on the outside of one of the dome's panels.
The team have to collect at least 100 gold tokens in the Crystal Dome to win, but each silver token collected would cancel out a gold token. In the first series, a final balance of 50–99 gold tokens entitled team members to a runner-up prize, but this was dropped in later series. In the case of the Christmas specials, featuring a team of children, they were awarded the prize regardless of their performance in the Dome. Originally, prizes consisted of individual adventure days out and contestants chose their own gold and silver grade prizes in advance of filming the Crystal Dome part of the show. From series four onwards, the contestants would choose a single prize (usually adventure holidays) shared by the whole team. Richard O'Brien frequently mocked the prizes on the show in his introduction to each show, referring to them variously as "inconsequential" or "underwhelming". All players who participate win a commemorative crystal saying "I Cracked the Crystal Maze". This acted as a consolation prize for the vast majority of teams who failed to win the grand prize: only 19 of the show's 84 teams (22%) were successful in winning the grand prize. In the 2016 celebrity edition, playing for the Stand Up to Cancer campaign, the team played for money, collecting 100 gold credits earned £15,000, with more collected earning more.
Hosts and characters
The host guides the team between the zones and game rooms, he acts as timekeeper for every game and for the Crystal Dome. The host also provides specific assistance to the team during a game, usually after a team member has spent some time failing to understand an element or persistently makes a mistake. During each game, the teammates crowd closely around the game room windows or viewing monitors, This allowed the host to wander a short distance away from the team and deliver a monologue to a camera. This allowed the host to be more disparaging about a contestant's attempt at a game 'privately' to camera. Props were occasionally left around the maze which the host could talk about or use, and fictional 'side stories' relating to the maze's zones and its other 'inhabitants' were developed. According to the production team, the asides originated when O'Brien began joking with the cameramen; when the production team reviewed the footage and realised what it could bring to the show they "asked him to do it all the time". O'Brien felt that looking straight at the camera, "unknowingly added a complicity between me and the audience at home".
Richard O'Brien brought a very individual and distinctive style. This started with his physical appearance: he always wore a long fur coat (leopardskin in series 1 and 2; black and white in series 3 and 4), paired with a brightly coloured shirt, skinny fit trousers and long, sleek leather boots.
O'Brien was always broadly welcoming and encouraging to teams, and congratulatory on their successes. As a guide around the maze he displayed what has been described as an "infectious... enthusiasm and manic energy", often shouting at teams to catch up. From series 2 onwards, he encouraged contestants to use every second of their time effectively, often giving harsh-sounding rebukes to any contestant he perceived to be dawdling or hesitating, or to any watching teammate who shouted that there was lots of time left. On occasion he would show visible frustration with a contestant for a particularly sub-standard attempt at a game. However, O'Brien also "often appeared detached from proceedings, bordering on deadpan". Many of his comments were comic "light-hearted quips at contestants". He also sometimes made subtle jokes related to the show itself and its production according to h2g2, "his improvised jokes and little wisecracks on the contestants' stupidity were enough to keep the Maze going. He hammed it up marvelously and introduced a certain amount of campness into the show."
Once or twice in many shows O'Brien would produce a harmonica from his pocket during a game, he only ever played one short and repetitive tune which he called "excitement music". Other times he would 'find' other musicals instrument in the maze which were used to provide a showcase for his actual musical talents, even briefly bursting into song on rare ocassions.
O'Brien announced his departure from The Crystal Maze after the broadcast of series 4. In the 1993 Christmas special that preceded series 5, O'Brien appeared for the final time in a short pre-credits sequence cameo appearance, in which he and "Mumsie" leave the maze for a new life in America.
O'Brien has said in subsequent interviews that his time doing the show was "a lot of fun". In a 1998 BBC interview, he said that he "never imagined I'd go down that particular byway" and it was only a "diversionary kind of sideline". He explained that after four years as host he was thinking, "If I stay here much longer I'm not going to be able to do anything else", suggesting that the film work he was in that year would not have come his way if he had remained on The Crystal Maze. O'Brien has said that he "didn’t want to get to the point where they said goodbye before I did. The show went on for 2 or 3 more years and it began to dip, and my credibility goes down doesn’t it? So I left." "I did four movies shortly after that and I don't think I would have been allowed to have done them if I’d stayed as a game show host, so it was the right decision for me anyway."
In a subsequent article for The Independent newspaper, O'Brien wrote that he had been frustrated with Channel 4's attitude towards the show and towards him as its host. Despite The Crystal Maze being Channel 4's top-ranked programme, O'Brien claimed that "they never waved the flag for the show or tried to woo me as a Channel 4 person in the same crazy manner as they wooed Jonathan Ross" despite the ratings for Ross's show at the time being much lower than The Crystal Maze's. O'Brien felt that "Channel 4 people... should have taken me on board as a viable Channel 4 personality. And when... I'd had enough of Crystal Maze they should have asked if there was anything else they could have found me."
Tudor-Pole sported a look that has been described as "Georgian" and included an elaborate waistcoat and tunic, off-white sleeves and trousers, and long black boots similar to O'Brien's. He has acknowledged that the producers "bent over backwards to accommodate" him and this included allowing him to design his own costumes, as well as write his own on-screen material.
His style hosting the show was similarly energetic to O'Brien's. His air was somewhat less detached and more sympathetic towards contestants than O'Brien, commonly commiserating them on their failures. Tudor-Pole talked up the 'time travel' element of the show, often using nonsense words such as "trignification" to describe the "process" of travelling between time zones. According to h2g2, "pale and looking a little emaciated, Ed Tudor-Pole gave The Crystal Maze a dark and intimidating feeling".
Since leaving, Tudor-Pole has been less keen to talk about his time on the show. Responding to questions about the show during a 2009 interview for DemonFM, he commented: "You've got to bear in mind I did it for five weeks about twelve years ago," and revealed that he only ever watched one and a half episodes of the completed show, "so I'm not an expert on it". Shortly afterwards he tersely moved the topic of conversation back to his music career with the comment, "Frankly I wasn't sent to this world to present game shows." A painting of Tudor-Pole can be seen in the 2016 special located in the Industrial Zone.
"Mumsey", referring to herself as 'Madam Sandra' in her earlier appearances, was a genial fortune teller played by Sandra Caron. She appeared only in the Medieval Zone, said to be Richard's "home", and hosted her own recurring mental game involved receiving 'brain teaser' questions. At the end of the game O'Brien would usually talk to her briefly before moving on, sometimes continuing a conversation which was presented as starting between episodes. In series 3 we are told that Mumsey is away but "Auntie Sabrina", an ageing hippy also played by Sandra Caron, is helping out. The Mumsey character returned for series 4 before leaving the maze with Richard during the opening segment of series 5. Mumsey returned again for the 2016 special, played this time by actress and comedian Maureen Lipman. Host Stephen Merchant stated that he found her “Out the back rummaging through the bins.” 
O'Brien confirmed in a 2013 interview that he "invented Mumsey" himself. A fortune teller asking brain teaser questions had been an ordinary game concept by the production team for the first series, and O'Brien "built up the image" of the character from there, with Mumsey becoming a regular throughout his four series as host. O'Brien felt this "just added silliness and intrigue" to the show.
The Computer: For series 1 the computer's voice was male and acted antagonistically toward Richard, in the second series, the computer's voice was female and very flirtatious, Tudor-Pole also flirted with the computer. He called her Barbara and built up a backstory for the character. Barbara had been a scientist, and as part of her work her soul was input to the computer’s memory. In the 2016 special, the computer was moved to the opening of the Aztec Zone and portrayed by O'Brien in a short cameo appearance.
Off Screen Characters: A number of characters were often mentioned but never seen. Mumsey's affair with "Ralph" is an ongoing source of conversation during series 1 and 2. In series 4, Ralph's place is taken by a character named "Dwayne". As series 4 progresses O'Brien makes it increasingly clear that he disapproves of Dwayne. This culminates in O'Brien's final episode with an on-screen argument between him and Mumsey about Dwayne, followed by 'tears' from O'Brien. Tudor-Pole often referred to unseen companions in the maze, such as his horse "Bert" in Medieval Zone, and "Starbuck" the cat, who survived the sinking of the SS Atlantis (Ocean Zone) and still lived on the vessel.
Game Characters: In series 1 of the show, male contestants playing one 'maze' game had to kiss the princess at the centre of the maze in order to wake her. In series 5 a guard in a Medieval Zone game instructed the contestant to build "the king's seal". In series 6, three 'guardians' inhabited a 'maze' game in which the contestant needed to ask each of them for a verbal clue to the crystal's location.
Hiatus and Revival
The show ended in 1995 when Channel 4's contract with producers Chatsworth TV expired and was not renewed. The large set remained up in Aces High hangar until 1999, when it was dismantled. Eventually, Challenge bought the rights for all six series in 1998 and has frequently shown all the episodes.
In November 2016 it was revealed by a spokesperson for Channel 4, that the broadcaster plans to revive the show for a full series, to air in 2017. It was also confirmed that the host of the 2016 special, Stephen Merchant, would not be returning to host the new series. On 13 January 2017, it was confirmed that Richard Ayoade would host the series.
40% of the show's viewers were children aged 16 or younger. O'Brien has said that this was a great surprise to him, but once he became aware of it, he adapted his performance to "think like the kids and I'd invent treasure in the sand for no particular reason".
The show was nominated three times for a BAFTA award. The first nomination was in 1992 for Graphics. Further nominations followed in 1993 and again in 1994 for "Best Children's Programme—Fiction or Entertainment", specifically for the Christmas special show. The show was also once nominated for a Royal Television Society award, for series 5.
Contemporary commentary on the show has suggested that O'Brien's performance was the show's biggest single attraction for many viewers. In 2012 The Guardian's TV & Radio Blog listed O'Brien as one of the six "most loved" game show hosts, describing him as "an unconventional choice for an unconventional series... [who] looked more like a dandy gazelle than a game show host". A blogger for The Independent referred in 2012 to O'Brien's "zany charisma" on the show. According to popular culture website Popshifter, he "managed to transform a good concept into something more. He was your genial guide, a fearless adventurer with a wink and a smile and a verbal knife in the back of those poor saps [contestants]... His style and wit was sardonic, yet never exclusionary, and pointed, yet never bitter." The same commentary has sometimes suggested that although Tudor-Pole's performance as the replacement host was considered good, he had an almost impossible task in living up to O'Brien's popularity. The Guardian claimed "It was no surprise that the show went downhill after his exit."
The makers of the children's TV show Jungle Run openly acknowledge The Crystal Maze as an influence, particularly the last host, Michael Underwood, who was the team captain in the first Christmas special.
The Crystal Maze was named "Greatest UK Game Show of All Time" in a 2006 poll by the UKGameshows.com website and again in 2010. Due to its popularity, it was featured in the Channel 4 at 25 celebration season which showed popular shows from Channel 4's 25-year history.
The perceived stupidity of the contestants was the central target of a parody sketches of 'Various British TV sketch shows ran parodies of The Crystal Maze:
- Various elements of the show were parodied by Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, Rob Newman and David Baddiel in a sketch on The Mary Whitehouse Experience, most prominently the perceived stupidity of the contestants.
- Comedy duo Adam and Joe also parodied The Crystal Maze on Channel 4's The Adam and Joe Show using their well known style of using toys. This time, the Crystal Maze was hosted by Yoda. The team was led by Emperor Palpatine and consisted of Jabba the Hutt, Princess Leia, C-3P0 and a drunken Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- On 18 February 2006, a parody called The Crystal Muck appeared on Dick and Dom in da Bungalow, featuring a character called Richard O'Muck. The character played the harmonica at moments where the contestants needed to concentrate.
- Children's comedy show Maid Marian and Her Merry Men featured a parody of The Crystal Maze in the series four episode Tunnel Vision. Robin played the part of host "Robin O'Hood" in a bald cap.
Commercial replicas and merchandise
The Cyberdrome Crystal Maze was an attraction usually found in larger bowling alleys and video arcades in the UK. It allowed fans an opportunity to "play" the Crystal Maze for themselves in a computerised format. There were a few differences from the show itself, e.g. there is no player choice of game category, and there is no locking in (instead, failing to quit a game would immediately cost the team a crystal). Five of the first six locations were in Britain, while the sixth was in Japan. All of the Cyberdrome Crystal Mazes have since closed. The locations of the Cyberdromes were Sandcastle Water Park (Blackpool), Oakwood Theme Park (Pembrokeshire), Southampton Megabowl, Coventry Megabowl and next to Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, (Berkshire). The last one, at Canaston Bowl, Pembrokeshire, ceased operations in June 2010. Encounter Zone, an indoor theme park found at Wafi Mall in Dubai, has a cyberdrome too. Opened with the rest of the theme park, the attraction was built due to the popularity of the television series in the U.A.E. after having been run and re-run several times on the now-defunct, local television Channel 33. Currently many companies offer team building sessions to other companies in the style of The Crystal Maze. Some companies have developed an inflatable crystal dome which can fit a full team inside.
A computer game based on The Crystal Maze was developed by Digital Jellyfish Design and released in 1993 by Sherston Software for RISC OS on the Acorn Archimedes and the PC. A game for mobiles was released in 2008, and later for iOS in 2010. Developed by Dynamo Games, it contains some of the games from the 1993 version.
Chatsworth Television licensed a number of popular SWP gambling machines based on the TV series. In 2009, Cool Games created a 3D video version for the UK SWP market. Remaining true to the original show, using touch screen technology, the game achieved widespread coverage in the UK and remains one of the most popular SWP games launched.
|Release name||UK release date||Author||Publisher||Notes||Ref|
|The Crystal Maze||15 February 1990||Peter Arnold
and Gill Brown
1 October 1990
|Crystal Maze Adventure Gamebook||7 February 1991||Dave Morris
and Jamie Thomson
|Crystal Maze Challenge!||21 May 1992||Dave Morris
and Jamie Thomson
21 May 1992
|The Crystal Thief||15 April 1993||Peter Arnold||Mammoth||Puzzle Books|||
|Tea at Rick's||15 April 1993||Peter Arnold||Mammoth||Puzzle Books|||
|The Sacred Necklace||16 December 1993||Peter Arnold||Mammoth, London||Puzzle Book|||
|Phantom in the Tower||16 December 1993||Peter Arnold||Mammoth, London||Puzzle Book|||
|The Crystal Maze||1994||Unknown||Mammoth|||
|Crystal Maze Mystery Pack||25 February 1994||Peter Arnold||Heinemann Library|||
|The Crystal Maze Puzzle Book||13 June 1994||Peter Arnold||Mammoth|||
|The Crystal Maze Puzzle Book: Bk. 2||30 October 1995||Peter Arnold||Mammoth||Puzzle Book|||
|Crystal Maze A1 Poster||13 June 1996||None||Mammoth||Hardcover|||
In 1994, a video cassette, The Best of The Crystal Maze was released by Wienerworld Presentation. The video included three episodes: the 1992 and 1993 Christmas specials, and an episode from Series 4. It also featured the clip of O'Brien and Mumsey leaving the maze.
|Release name||UK release date||Notes|
|The Best of Crystal Maze||16 May 1994||No announcements of any future releases.|
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Recorded||Presenter|
|1||15 February 1990||10 May 1990||13||November – December 1989||Richard O'Brien|
|2||21 March 1991||13 June 1991||13||December 1990 – January 1991|
|3||23 April 1992||16 July 1992||13||January – February 1992|
|4||1 April 1993||24 June 1993||13||January – February 1993|
|5||12 May 1994||4 August 1994||13||January – February 1994||Ed Tudor-Pole|
|6||18 May 1995||10 August 1995||13||November – December 1994|
The Christmas specials featured teams of children instead of adults. Most of the games featured would also be played by adult contestants in the new main series, but a small number of easier challenges were also devised and made specifically for the Christmas specials. The team's captain on the show's first Christmas special was Michael Underwood who would go on to present Jungle Run, a show very similar to The Crystal Maze in style and format.
|1 January 1991||November 1990||Richard O'Brien|
|24 December 1991||November 1991|
|27 December 1992||November 1992|
|24 December 1993||November 1993||Ed Tudor-Pole|
|24 December 1994||November 1994|
In the 2016 one-off revival of the show (as part of Stand Up to Cancer 2016 telethon), all the winnings collected by celebrity players will be funded for the Cancer Research UK. Contestants were Captain: Rio Ferdinand, Michelle Keegan, Jonnie Peacock, Sara Cox and Josh Widdicombe and featured a surprise appearance from Richard O'Brien. This was filmed at The Crystal Maze: live immersive experience not on the original studio set.
|16 October 2016||29 September 2016||Stephen Merchant|
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Recorded||Presenter|
The Crystal Maze: live immersive experience
In June 2015, the interactive theatre production company Little Lion Entertainment announced that a "live immersive experience" of The Crystal Maze would be taking place in late 2015, funded successfully through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The intention is for a maze to be built in London where the general public can buy tickets and play the Maze for themselves. Four teams, each guided by their own host, would enter the maze at once, one in each zone, and would rotate around the four zones simultaneously before competing against each other in The Crystal Dome. Each game room is expected to have a camera feed for spectators, The group found a venue for the Maze in the King's Cross area in late 2015, and it opened for contestants on 15 March 2016.
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