ABC's The Quest - Reality/scripted TV Game show set in Medieval times

Guri

Sr Member
Has anyone else been watching this? It was created by some of the folks from the Lord of the Rings movies and I just happened to find it on demand while searching for something to watch while sewing on scale maille.

It's not just fun for all the same reasons I like Survivor, but to see it all taking place in the fantasy setting is a delightful change up. Turns out they did not even advertize for it except on social media - and I can't believe being such a big LOTR's fan that I haven't heard of it!

So let me fill anyone interested in a bit and see if I can get anyone to check it out...

There are actors playing scripted/ad lib parts, akin to what you would see at the Renn Faire, and the contestants are all people who love the Fantasy genre who are brought in as paladins and suited up in leather costumes from the era. The show is a story and they must compete in medieval type challenges (archery, sword fighting, mixing spells, horse riding etc) to discover a champion hero to save the kingdom.

It all takes place in a real castle and forest and there's a regal queen a sorcerer (dodgy guy) a helpful page type and a tough captain of the guard charged with training them.

At the end of each challenge, the three losers have to face 'the fates' who give them another challenge. Whomever wins that one, is sent back with the rest of the paladins to vote out one of the remaining two... they vote them out by standing behind the one they support and want to stay.

It's a bit like Survivor and it is interesting to see the way each of them is attempting to discover if they are going to help try to find the best warrior/hero among them or if they just want to align with people who will not vote them out.

Anyway - if you can get it On Demand, every episode is still there. We just finished episode 4 and I'm looking forward to the rest and trying not to get spoiled, so I haven't watched the videos and highlights, but here's a website of them:

http://abc.go.com/shows/the-quest
 

Dessa

Well-Known Member
I remember watching parts of it last summer when it originally aired. I felt it had a lot of potential, but felt too scripted and less reality to work. I don't even think that they aired the finale on TV, the ratings were so low.
 

mistymills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I was going to watch it but missed it at first and a friend said not to bother. I meant to go back and watch it anyway, which I probably will now that I am reminded to do it.
 

Guri

Sr Member
It is very scripted, but they say that up front - like I said, it feels more Ren Faire than reality TV. I will admit that the Fates are the worst part of it - concept wise it's fine, but I don't know - the actresses just don't seem to bring much to it. The other actors and the queen are pretty good with their roles, though... so far. We've only watched 4, so maybe it gets cheesier further into the season.

We're watching it more because we like the setting and these types of challenges. The contestants getting into their parts is part of the challenge.

I'm sure it won't be for everyone, but the ratings being low has a lot to do with it not being marketed at all. I didn't even hear about it... I'll have to check our On-Demand and see if they have the finale on there - I sure hope so!
 

Nismo

Well-Known Member
We have been watching it on netflix... I am nor big on reality shows but I kinda like this - yeah you have to expect some plot driven challenges but the "actors" do a great job carrying the story - and sometimes improvising moments with the actual contestants fall short.

I can only imagine it was great fun to the contestants and I like a few things about the reality show part

- No cash prize - people seem to get more underhanded when cash prize is on the line...you kinda feel they vote more up front.

also the voting -no hiding who you support so people trying to game the system get kicked off once they show their true colors.
 

Guri

Sr Member
Yeah, Christian was someone we really liked at first and then slowly his confidence turned into cockiness and we couldn't believe the others didn't see through him sooner.

I didn't think about the no cash prize aspect of it - I think the idea of being part of a fantasy story is enough for a lot of people to want to try out for it. And for the most part they do really seem to be trying to find the best possible hero and not just voting out the people they find threatening.

The story aspect of the challenges is made even more interesting when those who finish and win go back to help the others who haven't finished yet. I also really like the cliff hanger aspect at the end of each episode. It's really creatively done... and so long as I remind myself about the Ren Faire nature of it then I don't need it to be great acting or strict reality TV.

Sir Ansgar is really great at how he plays his character. At times he does seem to be searching for how to respond but it gives him a mysterious, thoughtful aspect.

We've got 2 or 3 more episodes left... I just joined the Facebook group - looks like there are a lot of people who want a second season.
 

Guri

Sr Member
Just found out that all the paladins are part of that Facebook group.... but since I haven't watched the finale I'm not reading what any of them might have said yet...
 

Nismo

Well-Known Member
probably watch the final show tonight-

kinda wondering how the final vote will be done....kinda hoping all the contestants are released from the fates to make their final stand behind the one true hero...but that's my theory
 

Guri

Sr Member
We finished it tonight - right after we finished the Survivor finale.

Having a mulch-facited fates challenge be the determining factor was an interesting way to do it - my husband and 13yo son were both not happy that there wasn't more of a strength element because a hero needs to be strong, but I personally thought the weaknesses of the competitors stood out as the reason they failed - being too hasty and not thinking things through. The person (trying to not give spoilers) who won did so by remaining calm, thinking and performing with skill. There not being any final vote to decide meant that it wasn't a popularity or political contest, and I liked that element of it, especially since they do have the whole 'stand behind who you support' throughout the game so they can get rid of those without character and they don't need to form alliances as much that would taint a 'hero' game.

Also, the ending choreographed battle was incredibly fun and what a reward for all of them to get to be part of something like that! And to be the hero and get to vanquish the villain was a fitting top reward too. Of course it isn't at all 'reality' at the end but that's okay with me... there was enough risk and suspense in the challenges... and I like that the show is set up as a story where they want to do the best, but they also want everyone to succeed as well for the sake of the kingdom.

It was also endearing to hear how all the participants grew as people to believe in themselves more, learn from each other and take that into their real life.

I hope this continues - it's a very different approach to reality television and I like it. :)
 

dbuck

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The wife and I watched this last summer. I liked the idea more than the execution, but man that looked like a tough production. There were some aspects and some challenges I really enjoyed, and some elements (especially the fates) seemed far too much like filler. I don't remember them having to figure any of the story (what there was of it) I think they just ran around doing what they were told. On the other hand, I get the feeling it was really fun for the contestants.
 

Guri

Sr Member
T I don't remember them having to figure any of the story (what there was of it) I think they just ran around doing what they were told.
Right, we discussed that too - like what if one of the paladins, instead of trying to get the scorpion to work, one or two went to help Asgar defeat the beast? I think to keep things orderly they have a basic script they have to follow and can't ad-lib outside of those bounds.

The one time they did go off-script was when they suspected the sorcerer and decided to speak up to Asgar. Immediately he said it was treason and they all backed down. If they had more freedom in the script Asgar could have engaged them more and they could have figured out not to trust the amulet the queen was wearing and avoided the cage challenge - or maybe they would have had to change the way to get to the cage challenge.

That sort of story line flexibility might be possible in future renditions of the show, once they figure out how to do it orderly, but it makes sense that the only thing truly unique in the story is who wins challenges and how the personalities interact.
 
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