1 9 8 6 (UK)
7 x 25 minute episodes
This computer-based quiz show debuted on Thursday 1 May 1986 and featured teams of whizz-kids from schools around Britain.
Enyon (Richard Worthy) was the mindlord of a thousand stars who was assessing whether to allow the Earth to join his confederation. First, though, the Earthlings must prove their suitability by using all their wit, guile and determination to complete a cycle of tests.
If they were successful, they were rewarded with a place in Enyon’s galactic confederation and won £300 for their school to spend on computer equipment.
Each week, two pairs of schoolchildren began their quest by being beamed onto a spacepod with two of Enyon’s subordinates: First Lieutenant Jana (Kate Newell) – clad in blue and sporting a gold headscarf – acted as a guide for the Earth children and helped to explain the challenges ahead, while Kerna (Steve Cooke) was a computer who kept a record of the scores, set questions and, most dramatically, plucked the contestants in and out of time tunnels.
The labyrinth of tests and tricks began with one of the teams being placed in a time tunnel whilst the other prepared to run Enyon’s gauntlet.
One of the contestants remained on the pod as the “operator” with Jana and Kerna and, from here, they guided their fellow team member (the “adventurer”) who was beamed to a labyrinthian location where they had to navigate dark, smoky corridors to collect location codes as their teammate relayed instructions and riddles provided by Kerna.
But the adventurer was not alone. Somewhere in the dark were two more of Enyon’s minions: The Wizard (Jeremy Curry) and the dwarf To-Lor (Mike Edmonds) who each posed general knowledge questions which had to be answered in order to win credits.
Every few minutes, the competing team was put into a time tunnel by Kerna to allow the other team to compete. Following these initial rounds, the contestants moved onto more interactive sections.
Taking a seat in an ancient chair, contestants were set three questions which they had to answer against the clock. The contestants then had to search for treasures and place them on an illuminated table. Each treasure was assigned a score with the aim being to scavenge as many of them as possible to boost the teams’ final scores.
Both teams were then reunited on the space pod with Jana and Kerna to evaluate the scores. The team with the most credits was granted the chance to search for Enyon and face his ultimate challenge.
The exploring contestant was then sent back to Earth where they had to find a final location code which would guide them towards Enyon, who had one last question to pose.
Treasures of the Mindlord was devised by David R Scott and David Drewery and produced by Television South West for Children’s ITV. The whole thing was done much better in Knightmare the following year.
Enyon the Mindlord