Son Of Sun Tzu blog

Son Of Sun Tzu blog

They keep saying my audience will find me…

12 Feb 2024

The Traitors TV show - but 2004 style

The Traitors but concentrated.

The Traitors TV show but so much faster

Considering my interest in the recent series of The Traitors TV show in the UK, I recently looked at this similar show on YouTube from 2004. It’s a short series called “Traitor” - five programmes were aired on the BBC in the UK over one week. Much, much snappier than the current version, it has a couple of aspects in common with The Traitors, such as the way players are excluded. I assume the two formats and programmes are unrelated, just that the terms used are relatively obvious.

If you’re interested in game formats it’s worth watching. I’ve a few thoughts, especially in comparison to The Traitors, but there’s no real spoilers:

  • The participant introductions are incredibly brief. While modern TV does tend to make the most out of any personality any player has, maybe some quick introduction videos would have helped us care a little more about who won or lost.
  • I realise it’s essentially a pilot series, but the format seems quite haphazard. I’m as surprised as the players by when accusations were made, or the Traitors could eliminate a Citizen.
  • There was a lot of cross-talk as the players argued with each other and interrupted each other, especially for an edited version of the show. This just made the discussion difficult to follow.
  • I really like that the presenter didn’t know who the Traitors were, and especially that we the audience were given a choice to look away and not see who they were, and so could play along. I’m not sure that this would work now, with the prevalence of “second screening” - maybe you wouldn’t give the audience that option and let them see who the Traitors were? Or alternatively the game could be played live, with the audience as bemused as the players, but with the audience at home submitting votes to advise those in the studio?
  • Overall it was interesting, but also it was just watching nine people argue without any real affinity for any of them - if I wasn’t discussing it with my partner I don’t think I’d have sat through it. But in the light of social deduction games becoming more popular, I think it could work with some modifications.
  • I think some kind of quick interview with the departing player would have worked, as per The Weakest Link. Although that would preclude a live game.
  • I also like the idea of secret voting during the game, quick electronic submissions by players on who they do or don’t trust, with that score being displayed live.

I’m interested to see if someone picks this up. I’ve potentially pointed you at this blog from somewhere on social media, comments welcome on whatever site that was.