Total Wipeout is a British television game show based on the American show Wipeout created by Matt Kunitz and Scott Larsen, in which contestants compete in a series of challenges in an attempt to win £10,000. These challenges are based in large pools of water or mud and generally involve large assault courses that participants must cross.
The series aired in the UK on BBC One from 3 January, 2009 to 31 December, 2012. There are 69 episodes in six seasons.
Total Wipeout premiered in South Africa on DStv's BBC Entertainment channel on Sunday 25 July 2010, at 17h45. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 3 premiered with a double bill on BBC Entertainment on Sunday 8 May 2011, at 17h00. Thereafter new episodes broadcast weekly, at 17h00. There are 12 episodes in the third season.
Total Wipeout is hosted by Richard Hammond, who commentates as the contestants attempt to complete the challenges. He is also seen in a studio to provide certain links within the show. Although the main footage is filmed in Argentina, Hammond records his sections from a studio in Britain.
Meanwhile, Amanda Byram interviews the contestants during the show and continues to stay on the sidelines as they make their way through the course.
During Total Wipeout, contestants are put through a series of obstacle courses and challenges. After each one, a certain number of them are eliminated from the competition.
After the fourth and final round, the fastest of the remaining three competitors around the course wins the game and cash prize. The eliminated contestants can be seen sitting at the side throughout later challenges.
The Qualifier involves 20 contestants attempting to complete a short obstacle course in the least time possible; the eight contestants with the slowest times are eliminated, with the fastest 12 advancing to The Sweeper.
The Qualifier contains the dominant Sucker Punch and Big Balls. The first and last obstacles change every week, however the first obstacle is set over either a pool of water or mud, and the final obstacle is always a 'swing' to the goal.
The Sweeper/Crash Mountain
The Sweeper involves the 12 remaining contestants standing on 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) podiums, over water, whilst a robotic arm spins around in a circular motion. The contestants have to jump over it, with the arm getting faster and higher after every rotation.
While the game continues until a single player remains, the winner does not receive a prize, unlike the American version.
The six contestants who are first to fall are eliminated, whilst the rest carry on and move on to Dizzy Dummies.
In Season 2, the rules were modified so that only the final five advanced instead of six (depending on the next challenge). Season 2 saw modified versions of The Sweeper, including "The Crusher" and the addition of Potato Sacks.
Season 3 introduced a brand new challenge, in the form of Crash Mountain. Crash Mountain involves the 12 remaining contestants standing on 10-foot-tall podiums over water, while two robotic arms swing round in a circular motion.
One arm is designed for the contestants to jump onto to reach the centre of the mountain. The other arm is designed to knock the contestants into the water. If any contestants falls into the water, they must go to any unoccupied podium, climb and attempt it again.
Contestants do not have to attempt to reach the mountain on every rotation of the arm. The five who make it to the centre first advance to Dizzy Dummies.
In the American version of the show, this challenge is titled "King Of The Mountain".
Dizzy Dummies involves three rounds with one contestant being eliminated in each round.
The six contestants are strapped onto a "human merry-go-round" and spun at speed for 40 seconds. When they are released, the contestants must make their way over to the finish line by crossing the obstacles in their way.
The challenge has two different routes. Rounds One and Three use the first route, while Round Two uses the second. The final contestant who reaches the finish line, or the first contestant to withdraw in each round, is eliminated.
The rest spin again and take part in the next round.
Examples of obstacles in Dizzy Dummies include the Tippy Tables, Teeter Totters, Dock Maze, Crazy Beams, Doughnuts or the Barrel Crossing.
In Season 3, Dizzy Dummies was upgraded, including the addition of The Spinner (from the American challenge Dizzy Dummy 2.0) and further new obstacles.
The Dreadmill also involves three rounds where the six semi-finalists are paired up. There are two challenges on the dreadmill; which change from show to show.
In the first challenge, the participants must stand on two parallel treadmills, and when the klaxon sounds, they must duck to avoid a giant swinging wrecking ball, which is being lowered and getting faster with every swing.
The first person who falls from The Dreadmill is eliminated.
In the second challenge, when the klaxon sounds, the contestants must lift up three rubber doors, to reach the end of The Dreadmill. The last person to reach the end of The Dreadmill, or the first to fall off, is eliminated.
In both challenges, the dreadmill is going against them, making the challenge even harder. The winners of each of the three heats advance to The Wipeout Zone.
The Wipeout Zone
The Wipeout Zone is the final stage of the competition. The three remaining contestants must complete the "toughest obstacle course in the world", in the quickest time possible.
The contestant that completes the zone the fastest wins the grand prize of £10,000.
The series is exclusive to BBC Entertainment
Season 1 (9 episodes)
Premiere: 25 July 2010 | Finale: 19 September 2010 | Sundays, 17h45
Season 2 (12 episodes)
Premiere: 24 October 2010 | Finale: 9 January 2011 | Sundays, 18h30
Season 3 (12 episodes)
Premiere: 8 May 2011 | Finale: 17 July 2011 | Sundays, 17h00
Season 4 (12 episodes)
Premiere: 30 October 2011 | Finale: 15 January 2012 | Sundays, 18h00
Season 5 (12 episodes)
Premiere: 12 January 2013 | Finale: 30 March 2013 | Saturdays, 18h00
Season 6 (12 episodes)
Premiere: 6 April 2013 | Finale: 22 June 2013 | Saturdays, 18h00