Gladiators Review

Gladiators Review

This week 10 has brought back a blast from the past to kickstart 2024 – Gladiators.

Times may have changed since the original series in 1995, but the premise remains essentially unchanged – two male and two female Contenders must take on the mighty Gladiators in a series of heats if they want a spot in the quarter-finals.

We are introduced to our Contenders, tall and lanky student Ben, courier Johnny, full-of-energy Ana, and superfan Makedona  

With five rounds per episode, we kick things off with some classic Gladiator challenges. In ‘Duel’ the Contender and Gladiator are each placed atop an elevated platform a short distance apart, armed with a stick and 30 seconds to make the other fall from the platform. In ‘Powerball’ Contenders have 60 seconds to place balls in the five scoring baskets while the Gladiators tackle them to prevent them from scoring. In ‘The Wall’ the Contenders must climb up a wall with hand and foot hold, having only a seven second headstart on the Gladiators. Finally in ‘Pyramid’, two Contenders and two Gladiators face each other on a giant pyramid, with the Contenders aiming to reach the summit and the Gladiators aiming to stop them.

In each of these challenges, Contenders must try to acquire points which will go towards a time advantage in the elimination challenge – a tough obstacle course.

The Gladiators themselves are a mix of costume that includes athlete Harriet Roberts (Arrow), bodybuilder Jaymii Morris (Chaos), athlete and TED speaker Damien Gilber Rider (Cobra), two-time Ninja Warrior Tatyanna Pogonza-Dumas (Comet), fitness coach Blessings Chilufya (Cyclone), UFC Champion and MMA fighter Tyson Pedro (Dragon), Commonwealth Games and CrossFit Games athlete Alethea Boon (Elektra), stuntwoman and MMA fighter Chanique Greyling (Halo), bodybuilder Kwame Duah (Maximus), former NRL player Sandor Earl (Phoenix), CrossFit Games athlete and former Australian hockey player Katelin Marks (Raven), CrossFit Games athlete Khan Porter (Spartan), and Australian ironman Jett Kenny (Viking).

Standouts in the first episode are Phoenix and Choas, meanwhile overseeing the challenges and keeping everything fair is Referee Hammer, one of the original Gladiators. Adding to the fun is commentary by Matt Russell.

Hosting duo Beau Ryan and Liz Ellis work well together as they interview Contenders before and after each event, keeping things moving throughout the episode.

Sometimes a hit of nostalgia is a good thing, and the first episode of Gladiators is enjoyable and provides a taste of the fun still to come.

3.5 Stars

Gladiators airs 7:30pm Sunday-Wednesday on 10.


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