The Cube (game show)
|Created by||Adam Adler|
|Presented by||Phillip Schofield|
|Voices of||Colin McFarlane|
|Theme music composer||Nick Foster
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||9|
|No. of episodes||77 (as of upcoming 8 July 2015)|
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Production company(s)||Objective Productions|
|Original channel||ITV, STV, UTV|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)
|Original release||22 August 2009– present|
The Cube is a triple BAFTA Award–winning British game show which first aired on ITV on 22 August 2009. Presented by Phillip Schofield, it offers contestants the chance to win a top prize of £250,000 by completing challenges from within a 4m × 4m × 4m Perspex cube. The show is based on the idea that even straightforward tasks become extremely challenging when confined and put under pressure in front of a large live studio audience. Once inside, contestants can feel both claustrophobic and disorientated. Using "state-of-the-art filming techniques", the show aims to demonstrate the intense anxiety which contestants undergo as they progress through each task. Colin McFarlane provides the disembodied voice of The Cube, who explains the rules of the games.
Contestants are set a task to complete which can test their mental agility, physical ability, intelligence, observation or response; these tasks are played within a large metal cube. If they successfully complete the task, they will move up the money ladder. Each contestant begins with nine lives. Each time a contestant makes an unsuccessful attempt at a game, one life is lost and the contestant must repeat the game until they are successful. Any contestant who runs out of lives while attempting a game is defeated by The Cube and loses all the money he or she accumulated to that point, with the exception of celebrities (who leave with £1000 for their charities). Contestants may stop before attempting a game and take the money they have won but once a contestant decides to play, he or she cannot change their decision. Almost every episode features two contestants' games.
The seventh and final game, if the contestant makes it that far, is a harder version of a challenge the contestant has previously played and struggled at.
Contestants are given a simplify, which can only be used once and makes a game considerably easier (for instance, by giving the contestant additional time). Once the contestant completes their first game, they are given a trial run: a trial run allows them to play the game once without being penalised for losing or committed to playing the game (although they cannot advance to the next game if they succeed in the trial).
Before each game, there is a short demonstration by "The Body", a masked female character described as "an expert at all games played within the Cube". Her demonstrations show the contestant and audience how the games are played.
Phillip Schofield sometimes offers statistical information about the game the contestant is about to play. This may variously include the average number of lives the game takes from players, the percentage of players that completed the game on their first try, or whether a particular group of people (e.g. men or women, or taller or shorter people) are better at the game than another.
Objective Productions first approached Channel 4 in 2008 with the format. It was made into a non-televised pilot by the channel, and was hosted by Justin Lee Collins. Channel 4 eventually decided not to commission the show because it would have been too expensive. In February 2009, ITV purchased the rights to the show and filming began during April 2009 at Wembley's Fountain Studios. The Cube is one of the first shows to use the game freeze filming technique on a frequent basis, such as when a contestant jumps. This is Time slice. Using specially designed cameras, it allows the viewer to see one side of the Cube before the action is frozen, spun to another face of the Cube and then resumed. Slow-motion shots are again common to show action replays of the task a contestant just completed, or the critical moment of a game, to heighten the excitement of whether the contestant will succeed or fail. The show makes extensive use of CGI to project images onto the walls and ceiling of the Cube, while a screen on the floor is also capable of showing images. These film techniques make the seemingly simple tasks that are put before the contestants seem much more exciting than they would normally be.
For Series 8, which premiered on 1 March 2014, the show received a revamp. Including a new studio set, new opening credits, a redesign of graphics and several new games. The 7 game format and prize money structure however remain the same.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||22 August 2009||3 October 2009||7||7||0|
|2||19 September 2010||2 January 2011||12||9||3|
|3||3 April 2011||11 June 2011||9||8||1|
|4||30 October 2011||31 December 2011||9||8||1|
|5||14 April 2012||23 December 2012||9||6||3|
|6||2 March 2013||18 May 2013||12||12||0|
|7||30 June 2013||22 February 2014||3||0||3|
|8||1 March 2014||19 December 2014||10||6||4|
|9||3 June 2015||8 July 2015||6||6||0|
Since the first episode, The Cube has had a prize money structure starting at £1,000 and ending at the £250,000 jackpot. Below is a breakdown of the Prize money structure, showing the game number and amount of prize money that can be won for successfully completing that game. If a player loses all their lives at any point during the game they lose all the money they have accumulated to that point.
- Kelly Holmes
- Jenni Falconer
- Joe Swash
- Kelly Osbourne
- Jennie McAlpine
- Ricky Hatton
- Tom Fletcher
- Julie Hesmondhalgh
- Ryan Thomas
- Denise Lewis
- Sally Gunnell
- Mo Farah
- Fatima Whitbread
- Dai Greene
- Ashley Banjo
- Melanie Sykes
- Louis Smith
- Mark Wright
- Sherrie Hewson
- Lisa Maxwell
- Denise Welch
- Greg Rutherford
- David Haye
- Kian Egan
- Joey Essex
- Kym Marsh
- Mollie King
- Ben Cohen
- Charlie Brooks
- Paddy McGuinness (Text Santa special)
- Alesha Dixon (Text Santa special)
- Katherine Ryan (upcoming)
- Rob Beckett (upcoming)
- Rufus Hound (upcoming)
Text Santa special
- On 19 December 2014 as part of the annual ITV Text Santa charity appeal The Cube was played with a two player team.
The format was adjusted and consisted of only 3 games. £1,000, £50,000 and £100,000. The players were given 5 lives and a Simplify. 3 special Games were created for the show, as detailed below:
Game 1—£1,000: Barrier Buddies. The basic format was that of Barrier, but in this format, the contestants stand in opposite corners of The Cube. One contestant must cross the single Barrier, blindfolded as normal but when they reach the other side, they must pass the blindfold mask to their partner who must make the return journey. Both contestants must cross the barrier and return to the opposite corner to succeed.
Game 2—£50,000: Super Expulsion. Same format as Expulsion however both contestants must work together and remove 1000 balls from the container within 20 seconds. The container must be completely empty before the time runs out to win the game.
Game 3—£100,000: Couples Construction. Based on Construction but unlike the original version, the two contestants must take alternate turns to build a tower of 12 blocks. Once complete, the tower must remain standing for 3 seconds for the attempt to count. The simplify reduced the height of the tower to nine blocks.
|2010||Broadcast Awards||Best New Programme||Nominated|
|Rose d'Or||Best Game Show||Nominated|
|2011||RTS Awards||Best Entertainment Show||Nominated|
|Broadcast Awards||Best Entertainment Programme||Won|
|BAFTA||Best Entertainment Craft Team||Won|
|Best Entertainment Programme||Won|
|2012||Best Entertainment Craft Team||Won|
|National Reality TV Awards||Best Game Show||Nominated|
|TV Choice Awards||Best Game Show||Won|
|Rose d'Or||Best Game Show||Nominated|
|National Television Awards||Best Entertainment Programme||Nominated|
|2013||Best Entertainment Programme||Nominated|
|2014||Best Entertainment Programme||Nominated|
The format has been successful with international broadcasters. As of 2015, eleven countries have produced their own versions of the show. Some are still broadcasting, some have ceased broadcasting and in the case of the US version have not even been shown (only a pilot was filmed).
Below is a breakdown of the countries that have created their own versions along with other information including the Jackpot available and broadcast dates.
Legend:Currently airing No longer airing Non-broadcast pilot
|Country||Name||Host||Channel||Top prize||Premiere/air dates|
|Arab World||The Cube||Dhaffer L'Abidine||Dubai TV||Dhs250,000||2 February 2014|
|Cheng Lei||Dragon TV||To achieve the contestant's dream or ¥250,000||13 May 2012 – 4 September 2013|
|France||Le Cube||Nagui||France 2||€50,000||1 July – 30 August 2013|
|Germany||The Cube – Besiege den Würfel!||Nazan Eckes||RTL||€250,000||29 April 2011|
|Italy||The Cube – La Sfida||Teo Mammucari||Italia 1||€100,000||7 September 2011|
|Portugal||O Cubo||Jorge Gabriel||RTP||€30,000||16 May – 11 July 2010|
|Dmitry Kharatyan||Channel One||3,000,000 roubles||30 March – 30 November 2013|
|Faisal Al Issa||KSA 1||SR250,000||17 March – 8 July 2010|
|Spain||El Cubo||Raquel Sánchez Silva||Cuatro||€150,000||8 February 2012|
|Maksim Chmerkovskiy||STB||250,000 ₴||21 November 2011|
|Dmitry Tancovich||500,000 ₴|
|United States||The Cube||Neil Patrick Harris||CBS||$500,000||N/A|
- The UK version of The Cube is also currently being broadcast in Ireland by TV3, in New Zealand on TV1, and in Australia on the Nine Network. As of September 2014, old series are broadcast in Serbia by Ultra TV and in Singapore by MediaCorp Channel 5.
The German, Italian, Portugease, Saudi Arabian, Spanish and the U.S. pilot of The Cube were filmed at The Fountain Studios in London using the British set and games. Other international versions have created their own studio sets. The Chinese version of the show is filmed at the Zhabei Gymnasium in Shanghai; the Ukrainian version of the show is filmed at the Antonov Serial Production Plant in Kiev; the Russian version of the show is filmed at the Ostankino Technical Center in Moscow; the Arabian version is filmed at the Dubai Studio City in Dubai and the French version of the show is filmed in La Plaine Saint-Denis, near Paris.
Top prize winners
Across all versions of the show, 6 contestants have won the final game and taken away the Jackpot.
|Country||Contestant||Jackpot game||Jackpot won||Date|
|Arab World||Hamad Al Yahmadi||Blind Shot||Dhs250,000||20 April 2014|
|China||Chen Kun||Extraction||¥250,000||22 July 2012 (Charity special)|
|Wu Jing||Tower||¥250,000||2 May 2013 (Charity special)|
|Portugal||Vítor Costa||Barrier||€30,000||30 May 2010|
|Ukraine||Andriy Serko||Rapid Fire||250,000 UAH||29 October 2012|
|United Kingdom||Mo Farah||Barrier||£250,000||14 July 2012 (Charity special)|
An electronic board game based on the series was made available in stores from November 2010. As of June 2011, the game has been discontinued by most main retailers. The game comes with an electronic handheld system featuring games such as Time Freeze and Stop Zone, as well as 9 balls- six 18mm blow moulded balls, 1 30mm EVA foam ball, 1 25mm hard ball and one 50mm hard ball. The balls are used for different reasons and the foam ball is used for most games with a ball. For Multisphere, all balls are used unless it is being played in a room with hard floors, in that case eight balls are used. Tubes are used for almost every physical game for starting positions, voids, tubes, towers and columns. Other equipment in the board game are track pieces, discs, clips, z shaped platform pieces, cannons, blocks, a ball flipper, a beam and card pieces,and a 7x7x7 plastic cube for playing a series of sixty physical games. The cube is used for a container and to connect onto the cube platform for the electronic games. A reducer also comes with the cube allowing it to reduce the size of it. The Simplify for games with the reducer generally remove it. Many well known and classic games are here as well as new games such as Roller, Catch, Retrieval and Bounce, everyday life games and interesting and complex games.
Around the time of the release of the board game, a Game App version of the series was made available via the iTunes store for use on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. This app version originally featured sixteen games from the series: Balance, Cylinder, Descent, Drop Zone, Focus, Multisphere, Perimeter, Precision, Quantity, Reaction, Revolution, Shatter, Stabilise, Stop Zone and Time Freeze. The first update for the game came in April 2011 with Pulse added Another update for the game was made available in June 2011, adding a further free game, Succession, and making eight games available via in app purchase in 2 "packs" Exact, Pathfinder, Totalise and Tower in Pack one and Invert, Composure, Calculate and Navigate in Pack two. A Further update was made available in October 2011, adding a further free game, Axis. 2 further games followed in 2012, Eliminate in April and Symmetry in October. In February 2013, Chase, which at that time had not been shown on TV, was made available. Almost a year later on 21 February 2014 Avoid was added. The most recent update came on 19 May 2014 when 4 games new games were made available via In App Purchase. These new games were Reset, Plummet, Selection and Tally all which are new games from the most recent series. There are currently 35 games available to play in the App version.
On 9 November 2012, a Cube game was released on consoles for the first time. Released on Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo 3DS. 33 games are playable in this version including two unseen new games which are Flight Path (already played in international versions) and Retrace. If you beat the Cube, then you unlock Extreme Mode, Where you play more "extreme" versions of 5 popular games which are Revolution, Pathfinder, Perimeter, Rebound and Momentum.
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