Entry was designed around teams climbing down from the bridge into the boiler room via a rope ladder, with a hatchway at the top of a ladder leading to Medieval, and a ventilation shaft leading towards Aztec. The brain-teaser game was featured but operated slightly differently, in that there was no time limit, and the nominated contestant had to get two out of three correct to get the crystal. A pilot of the British version was filmed with O'Brien as host, yet it soon became apparent that the used by Fort Boyard on the west coast of France would be unavailable for filming due to its ongoing refurbishments between 1988 and 1989. At this point, the team enter the Dome, and upon the challenge beginning, they must collect as many gold foil tokens as they can and deposit them into a container along a wall of the Dome, while avoiding any silver tokens mixed in with them; these are blown about by fans beneath the floor of the Dome. The contestant was restricted from letting this marker touch the walls of the maze, being locked-in if they did this a third time, but could freely leave the cell once they had navigated round to the crystal's location and picked it up from the cell's floor. If the robot was defeated, the contestant then had to complete a second puzzle to secure the crystal, located behind the robot.
The set, designed by James Dillon for both the original run and the revived series, is divided into five parts - four of which are named as zones, set in different periods of time and space, which house the games that contestants take on, while the final part, called the Crystal Dome, houses the final challenge that the team tackle together towards the end of the episode. When Channel 4 made the decision to revive the show for a full series in November 2016, James Dillon was asked to design a new set at a 30,000-square-foot 2,800 m 2 warehouse at in Bristol. The original track is 1 minute and 5 seconds long; however it was shortened for the opening and ending titles. If the player dropped more than four tennis balls, the crystal's path would be blocked. All of the Cyberdrome Crystal Mazes have since closed. The broadcaster commissioned twenty episodes for the 2017 series, which consisted of fifteen civilian episodes and five celebrity specials.
The interior is designed with rails for the team to hold onto before the final challenge begins, with a mesh floor and a series of fans below the base which activate on the host's command, blowing foil tokens around. In the original series the Dome featured an encircling moat and the podium had two switches with which the host operated the door into the Dome, and raised and submerged a moat bridge. For each game, a member of the team is nominated by the team's leader, who can volunteer themselves if they wish. The same commentary has also suggested Tudor-Pole had an almost impossible task in living up to O'Brien's popularity. On 22 January 2018, a second series was commissioned with twelve episodes, which consisted of six civilian episodes and six celebrity specials.
In it, a contestant is given a special piece of headgear and had to be navigated around a maze by their teammates, who could shout commands on how they should move, seeing the maze on a monitor outside the game's cell, along with a special marker on the contestant's headgear that marked where they were. However, the one-off special stuck to the format of the captain choosing the type of game and nominating a member of their team to play it. While contestants may usually leave the cell whenever they wish, staying within a cell beyond the allotted time will cause them to be locked-in. During O'Brien's tenure except series 2 , the computer had a male voice and usually acted antagonistically towards him. In the revived series, this method was changed to simply answering a riddle to get a gate open.
I loved how his witty comments and the complexity of it all to get all the crystals to win stuff in a duration of seconds inside the Crystal Dome. The rest of the team watches their teammate's progress either through a cell's windows or via monitors, and may give advice to the contestant unless advised against doing so. I use to live in Hong Kong where the show was broadcasted. Throughout the run, 3D maps of varying sophistication were used to highlight where the host and team were. Each series of the show featured its own portfolio of games: 37 different game designs in series 1, and between 41 and 49 games in each subsequent series. Once the team is outside the dome, they, along with any members who were not present for the final challenge, are given the tally of their efforts by the host. The revived series uses a 'teleporter pad' to traverse between zones.
The plants that are used consist of artificial and real-life varieties; the latter being removed from the set outside of shooting, to receive adequate sunlight to keep them alive. If I were in England, I would watch this show endlessly and never get bored! When the broadcaster decided to make a one-off edition of the show for Stand Up for Cancer in 2016, the episode was filmed at The Crystal Maze live immersive experience in London, as it was no longer possible to use the original set. If the team's captain is locked in, the vice-captain takes over. A series of celebrity episodes was initially broadcast. If the team can accumulate a total of 100 gold tokens or more, after deduction of any silvers they collected, the team wins the grand prize that they chose for themselves before partaking in the show. The following day then focuses on acquiring close-up shots of gameplay with a single camera, requiring team members to return to games they had already won or lost, along with redoing the last challenge in the dome to get footage of them grabbing for tokens. In an interview in 2013, O'Brien confirmed that he had been responsible for inventing Mumsey, helping to build up her image after the first series and make her a regular feature on the show throughout his time as the Maze's host.
In the original run, it was designed as being slightly run down, with metal sliding doors, exposed wiring, and viewpoints that looked out into space, monitors spread over the station to view inside the cells, and cell doors having a keypad prop next to them that the host punched a code into to let the contestant in and out of. Like the one-off edition in 2016, the contestants taking part were given an extra crystal upon reaching the Dome to add to those that they had brought, and would earn cash for Stand Up to Cancer depending on how many gold tokens they got, after deduction of silver - £5,000 for less than 50 gold tokens, £10,000 for 50 to 99 tokens, and £20,000 for 100 or more tokens. Likewise, the new re-recorded version of the theme lasts for 33 seconds. The last one, at Canaston Bowl, , ceased operations in June 2010. Situated on White Lion Street in central London, the new Maze admits members of the public, who can buy tickets and play the show for themselves.
Ocean This replaced the Industrial Zone, being used between the fourth and sixth series of the original run. It was later revealed in November 2016 that there would be another live experience in at the , which opened to the public in April 2017. The show featured a revamped map which retained the same layout, as well as indicating the team's position. The zone's cells have sturdy oak doors with slide locks on, barred windows to look in. The roles of captain and vice-captain are still retained and the host now spends time at the start of each episode getting to know each contestant, usually asking them about themselves and giving or getting interesting trivia preceding the opening Zone.
This version of the experience is around twice as large as the London version; the zones are split in two parts, and the teams move through the maze one after the other, such that each half-zone always has one team in it. The team, which consisted of celebrities, was reduced to five members, and because the show did not take place on the original set, fewer games were played. This being a reference to the , the second album of his band. Industrial This is designed as present-day with metal barrels, warning signs, a bubbling chemical pool, corrugated roofing and panelling; cells had metal doors with bar handles, with some having office-like interiors. An entire series requires about five weeks to be filmed, with three episodes produced per week. Channel 4 announced the return of the show a month later, to be hosted by and featuring a revamped format.
Dillon went back to his original plans and sketches but took the opportunity to build and expand on several of his original ideas and concepts. For the revived series, the moat and switches were retired and the Dome redesigned to feature a set of flashing lights. The theme of each zone is not only reflected via its time period, but also in the time-keeping devices, the design of the games, and how the host and team entered and moves between the zones: Zone Description Method of timekeeping Aztec This is designed as an ancient village amidst ruins, with carved pillars, sand, various plants and a sky backdrop; the lighting for this part of the set is used to depict sunlight, thus can be altered to reflect other times of day. The exterior differs between the original run, one-off special and revived series, but always provided the host with a small hexagonal podium designed to hold the team's acquired crystals. In March 2016, opened, allowing the public to buy tickets and compete in a replica of the game show's zones and challenges.