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I’m a Gladiators superfan – but the BBC needs to make some big changes to up the ante in season two

BRINGING a show full of nostalgic memories back for a new audience is always a risk – but the BBC definitely pulled it off with Gladiators.

My childhood memories as a kid in the 1990s included watching the original series every weekend with my family, and who didn’t attempt to recreate their own version of Duel at home with pillows and a willing pal or sibling?

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I’ve loved the new series of Gladiators on BBC One[/caption]

BBC

I’m glad they brought back some classic events like Duel[/caption]

I was underwhelmed by Sky‘s rebooted version in the late 00s, but I have absolutely LOVED the latest incarnation of the show on BBC One every Saturday.

The producers got off to a great start by taking the contest back to an arena rather than in a studio, and overall, their selection of Gladiators has been great too.

Tonight’s final topped off a great first outing for the BBC version of the show, and I was delighted to learn it has been renewed for a second series.

But with this in mind, here are a few of my thoughts on what is needed for Gladiator’s sophomore season to exceed the first.

NEW EVENTS

I’d love to see other classic events like Atlaspheres return
LWT

While it’s been great to see classic events like Duel, The Wall and Gauntlet return, along with new events like The Edge, I ended up starting to feel like the episodes were a bit repetitive.

I’m sure part of the reason for the smaller selection of events was because it was the debut series and budgets had to be kept in check, but hopefully the success of the show will mean bosses get an injection of cash to introduce more variety in series two.

Personally, Swingshot, Atlaspheres and Skytrak would be my top three events to see back on screen.

Swingshot saw two contestants and two gladiators attached to bungee cords. The contestants had to bounce to grab points from a pole hanging in the middle, with more points available for the balls nearer the top, but the gladiators were there to try and block them.

Atlaspheres were iconic on the original series and saw two contestants and two gladiators in individual metal spheres which they had to roll around the floor of the arena and try and hit four pods, which would release a plume of CO2 to show they had hit the sensor and scored the points.

Meanwhile Skytrak saw two contestants and two gladiators turned upside down and placed high above the floor of the arena. The contestants pulled a detonator behind them and the gladiators chased them round the track to try and hit it and end their race.

Other events I’d like to see again include Pendulum and Pyramid.


MIX UP THE GLADIATORS

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I’m a complete Sabre stan after series one[/caption]

BBC

But I think some gladiators, like Viper, need developing or changing somehow for series two[/caption]

While I’m an official Sabre stan after this first series (I even copy her signature leg pose whenever she is first introduced), there are some gladiators I think we need to see more of in series two, after being left a little underwhelmed by their first outings.

Obviously Comet was out of the competition early due to injury so I hope to see more of her, and I also think Athena didn’t really get the chance to prove herself in many events.

Show bosses seemed to use the same gladiators for events, with Sabre, Diamond and Fury getting plenty of airtime.

While I really like all three of them, and hope they all return, I think they need to mix things up a bit more going forward, again to avoid episodes becoming too samey.

As for the male gladiators, the one who has really left me cold is Viper.

I know the show needs a token ‘baddie’ but the fact he doesn’t get to speak – bar one comment – and doesn’t seem to have the best track record either, makes me feel like they need to rethink his character for series two and give him a bit more to work with.

Look at Legend, the show’s anti-hero, who plays up his character perfectly with a wink and kiss to the camera, he’s a bit of a baddie, but likeable, and most importantly, has a good track record in the events.

CANDID CAMERA

The locker room moments have been a bit hit and miss for me

The gladiators locker room scenes have been a new addition to the show, with mixed results in my opinion.

I know it gave us a chance to get to know the new gladiators, but some of the scenes felt particularly staged.

I preferred the ones where the gladiators were seen being genuinely frustrated if they failed to catch or take down a contestant, so I think series two needs more of that, otherwise drop the locker room bits all together.

Meet the Gladiators finalists

The Gladiators final takes place on Easter Saturday at 5.30pm on BBC One.

After ten gruelling weeks facing the superhuman Gladiators, four contenders have made it through to the grand final.

The Gladiators 2024 finalists are:

Finlay AndersonArmy officer Finlay, 34, from Edinburgh has made it to the final despite being injured in the quarter-final.

Wesley Male – Even though he joined in the quarter-final stage, part-time Leeds wrestler Wesley, 35, has proved a force to be reckoned with on the Gladiators gauntlet.

Bronte Jones – This 23-year-old firefighter from Sheffield is the youngest contender in the final.

Marie-Louise Nicholson – Hailing from Dublin, Marie-Louise, 28, is a fitness coach who has scored maximum points five times on Gladiators.

NEW TRAINERS

One repeated problem on this year’s series was the contestants trainers coming off during events like The Wall.

Maybe the show needs to rethink which brand they use for series two, or at least get them all to tie their laces tighter!

Gladiators is available on BBC iPlayer.

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