The sixth series of Only Connect has been a big success, having higher viewing figures than the show has ever had, and the final of this series was also its 100th episode.
Over the series I managed to get a few questions right (although they are hugely outweighed by the ones I didn’t get right). Because I am such a massive pop music geek, that was the subject I did by far the best on compared to any other subject. I go the connection of Jukebox musicals, and one where the connection was singers with jewels/gemstones in their name like Caro Emerald, Neil Diamond and Pearl Bailey. I got Eurovision acts Dana International and Lordi in the missing vowels round, songs with famous people in the titles like ‘Clint Eastwood’ by Gorrilaz, and on the connecting walls I got Madonna songs (‘Frozen’, ‘Holiday’, ‘True Blue’, ‘Borderline’), and UK number one singles of the 2010s (‘Wherever You Are’ by the Military Wives Choir, ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City, ‘Domino’ by Jessie J, ‘Forget You’ by Cee-Lo Green).
Elsewhere on the connecting walls I got a chocolate bars connection right (Bounty, Fudge, Fuse, Maverick). Doctor Who aliens (Weeping Angels, The Silence, the Ood, Macra), Blackadder Goes Forth (General Melchett, Captain Darling, Driver Parkhurst and Captain Flasheart) and Steven Moffat shows (Press Gang, Chalk, Sherlock, Jekyll).
Cartoons were probably my second strongest subject overall. I got connections of Pokemon (Bulbasaw, Jigglypuff, Snorklax, Ditto), cartoon dogs (Odie, Lady, Ren, Spike), ways Kenny was killed in South Park and a connecting wall of Family Guy characters.
Speaking of Family Guy, if you remember that episode where they referenced The More You Know and all Peter said about Canada was “Canada sucks?”. Well on this show I learnt that Canada invented Trivial Pursuit, instant mashed potatoes, paint roller and the wonderbra. That is one great thing about this show, is that you can find out so much. Over this series I learnt that one of the careers Barbie has tried was palaeontologist (!), Chopin’s heart was preserved in cognac in Warsaw after his death and that a zebra’s stripes, a dog’s nose and a whale’s fluke are all as individual as a human’s fingerprint.
The most ‘high-brow’ question I got right wasn’t even a question, it was in the missing vowels rounds it came in handy that as I’m also a bit of a natural history geek I knew that panther, cougar, mountain lion and puma are different names for the same animal.
Victoria Coren was on top form throughout the series.
“There are no prizes for coming second, and indeed no prizes for coming first, so if they’re here for their cash, their boat or their commemorative chequebook and pen, they’re not as bright as they’ll need to be”.
“If the questions seem easier, you’re getting smarter. Or you’re watching a repeat”.
In one episode she pretended that they were recording dozens of episodes one after the other as the BBC are so strapped for cash, then that she had been told through her ear piece to “Say goodbye to them? Goodbye to them” and collapsing while the credits rolled.
One of the best moments of the series was when one of her introductions turned out to be one of the sequences; things she claimed to not be allowed within 100 yards of (the DVLA in Swansea, the British saddleback pig, the Albion pub in London and Alex Guttenplan).
In the final she said to a team who were going to play the water wall as the previous had picked the lion wall, “I’m afraid I have to say like a stern bartender, it’s water for you”.
The final was a very good episode. I was quite pleased with myself that I somehow managed to get two questions right in the final, one was the coloured beards. Marty Feldman’s last film (Yellowbeard), Captain of Queen Anne’s Revenge (Blackbeard), Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Redbeard) and wife-murdering Perrault character (Bluebeard). Although I have to confess I only got this because of a of memory of an old Aardman animations Weetabix advert from my childhood, which is also the first time I heard of the Mary Celeste.
The other question I got right was one of the connecting walls which had Viz comic strips, (Black Bag, Tinribs, Mr. Logic, Eight Ace).
To celebrate the 100th episode there were seven glasses of sherry next to the trophy (as Victoria Coren put it “so I’m going to give out the trophy and then get on with drinking them”) and it was a nice touch that they ended with picture of the whole crew and a missing vowels message THN KY (THANK YOU).
So once again, it’s very pleasing to see that this show is doing so well, and I look forward to the next series.