Interceptor

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Ha ha ha. I like it!

1989 Thames Television game show. It only had 8 editions, but is considered a Cult Classic and turns up in re-runs among the other vintage Game Shows on Challenge every so often. Hosted by Annabel Croft, a former tennis player and star of the not dissimilar series Treasure Hunt, from which Interceptor was a Spin-Off.

In essence, hide-and-seek with a helicopter.

Two contestants (one male, one female) were given two outwardly identical backpacks, each being a kind of wearable strong-box. One was empty, the other contained £1000, a respectable but not lavish sum in 1989. They were blindfolded, and dropped by helicopter six or seven miles apart with just a compass and a large walkie-talkie set. They then had to find the key to the other box and meet up, all within 40 minutes.

Standing (or rather flying, driving, riding and flipping over five-bar gating) in their way was The Interceptor, a Scottish dude in a black leather longcoat with an infrared zapper mounted to his left sleeve. He had twenty shots in it, with each back-pack having five separate receivers. One hit on any of them, and the box was locked permanently. The way to avoid this, of course, was not to show your back to him (infrared not being capable of going through a human body – try it with your TV remote at home), which was harder than it sounds and resulted in unintentionally amusing face-offs.

Two important things to note – the contestants weren't told what The Interceptor looked like (which resulted in something known as the "Derbyshire Tractor Ambush"), and no-one knew if either box was locked until the end of the show.

This was one hard game show to win.

Tropes used in Interceptor include:

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