Thursday, 2 January 2014

Raven – Series 9 Last Stand

For those who never caught the excellent CBBC series Raven – you missed something very special! Okay, the first series was a bit shaky, and the spin-offs were poor... but essentially, from series 2 they were edge-of-chair brilliant and completely gripping, from James Mackenzie's masterful portrayal of Raven, and including those wonderful maps, David Brockett's hauntingly evocative music, and the superb effects; right to the challenges themselves (including Way of the Warrior and The Last Stand), this was an exceptional concept and production.

I had my favourites among the challenges, including where pairs of the six competitors each week would try to knock each other off rickety towers using long, soft staffs; and putting out fires by catapulting 'ice rocks' at the flames. Some challenges required a more delicate touch, such as not spilling green liquid carried on a wide hand-held contrivance, or were against the clock as the exit door notched its way closed or a volcano was about to erupt. The programme was a real gem. and all involved deserve huge praise for something of which they can be truly proud.

Here we have one of the best Last Stand contests, where Dyrel and Bertar (not their real names) face the evil Nevar and his demons, working flat out to be the first toreach the portal and success. Bertar starts at a two-lives disadvantage, affording him a time penalty so that he has to catch up if he can. Watch his spirited efforts here and see just how close the eventual outcome was...

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