It was a cult classic in the 90s. Now, GamesMaster has been revived with three new presenters and Trevor McDonald as the sadistic cyborg. It’s as smart and silly as the original – if suspiciously like Top Gear
If you happen to be in your early 40s with a particular set of interests, no two words will strike fear into your heart like “GamesMaster revival”. Between 1992 and 1998, GamesMaster, a video game challenge and review show hosted by Dominik Diamond (and, briefly, Dexter Fletcher), was appointment viewing. It was smart, it was silly, it was pitched just high enough over the heads of its target audience to make it feel cool, and it tapped into the console boom like nothing before or since. So when E4 announced a GamesMaster remake earlier this year, the tired middle-aged men of the world collectively let out a prayer. Please Channel 4, don’t mess it up.
Reader, they did not. Miraculously, the new GamesMaster series has pulled off the near-impossible trick of modernising the show while retaining its core DNA. There are still game reviews and challenges, but all the faces are new. Patrick Moore – who in the original series played the titular sadistic, spherical cyborg – has been replaced by Sir Trevor McDonald, and in place of Dominik Diamond are three presenters; the comedy writer Rab Florence, the esports host Frankie Ward and the Instagram comedian Ty Logan. It stands as a cruel indictment of time that Florence is the only one of the new presenters old enough to remember the original (and its coveted golden joystick trophy). And it turns out he didn’t even watch it that much.