When this series was first advertised back in 1992, I honestly didn't know what to think. It looked like a bunch of oiled up men and women wrestling and pushing their chests out.
However my mind was changed after watching the first episode. It was something I had never seen the likes of before. Action, entertainment, funny, sad and so much more. Gladiators was everything a Saturday Night TV show should be and it remained this Way for 8 seasons! Gladiators came and went, some good some bad some already famous in their own right. All in all over the 8 years the show had a total of 34 Glads (I would list them all and show what a geek I am, but I don't want to bore you all!). Quite a big turnover for any show, but it was good to see new faces, this was dismissed by some fans but I though it was a good thing! At its peak in 1995, this is a show that was pulling in 15 million viewers, those of you who keep a eye on viewing figures will know thats unheard off these days. It was massive not only in the UK, but overseas with several countries making their own versions (Australia, South Africa and Finland to name a few). As well as this the UK series had many spin offs including 2 International Series, 2 Ashes Series, 2 Springbok Series and 4 Train to Win series (Junior Version). This obviously shows how big it was at one time! However the shows downfall in my view, and a few others I have talked to started in 1997 when things started to get a bit sloppy. Poor new events, to many new Glads, same events week in week out, as much as it pains me to say this about a show i adore it was getting stale. However 1998 was the clincher and the nail in the coffin. It was obviously decided a change was needed and some new factors were borough in, 3 new events instead of only 1 like the past few years, new costumes for the Glads, new behind the scenes footage etc but this was hated by the majority of fans and didn't work whatsoever! This was simply the end.
The problem was the changes were left too late to make a impact, after 6 years, the die hard fans had become used to things being a certain way, the changes were seen as a act of desperation and too little too late.
For those of you still interested in the show, it hasn't gone away! The show and us die hard fans are still around! There is a very active online site and forum as well as replays on UK Digital Channel Challenge TV every weeknight and weekends! I have been asked several times should the show come back! My answer has always been and still is NO! Sadly TV has moved on and it wouldn't fit in anymore. Lets leave this show as a classic fond memory. Thats what it deserves!
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