The Quest Episode 1: Bridge to Everealm

The Paladins learn about their first objectives on ABC's The Quest.
The Quest (Photo: Rick Rowell / ABC)

ABC’s bringing us The Amazing Race meets Game of Thrones (with a pinch of Survivor thrown in the mix) in this summer’s The Quest.  After episode 1, is it worth making the rest of the journey?

ABC seems to be the king of fun summer reality competitions – besides The Mole 1, there was last summer’s ridiculous but fun Whodunnit? and now this year’s The Quest, which looks like it’s going to try and mix scripted fantasy drama with reality competition.

Opening

We open on…a DVD special featurette about the behind-the-scenes of the show?  I think they’re spelling this out for us because a few too many people took to Twitter after episode one of Whodunnit? because they thought a contestant had actually, y’know, been murdered 2.  It’s nice to see such a talented team behind the show, but it’d be even nicer to actually get immersed in the fantasy world before seeing how it was created.  Strap yourself in, we’re about to get a loooot of exposition.

Finally, after all the opening blahdeblah from producers (including a few contestant sob stories off the bat), we get into the meat of the story.  12 individuals, chosen by the Fates to journey to Everealm and prove they are the one true hero, are shown as a narrator spells this out so we don’t get confused3.

Our 12 paladins4 are introduced, giving a little information about themselves and a What Fantasy Means To Me sort of speech.  After all are gathered, they’re quickly whisked further underground to a mystic river where the Fates (in the shadows) explain how these chosen warriors will be given pieces of a Sunspear and to look for a follower named Crio.

Emerging from a cave, our Paladins quickly find the Sunspear pieces AND Crio (“The Dreamer”, according to an on-screen overlay), who sounds like a German person trying to do a British accent.  We then get MORE narration about our contestants being led through a forest under the cover of night5, with a few brief clips of contestants walking through a forest.  One of the NPCs walking with the contestants gets pulled away by an ogre hidden in the forest.  This would be cooler if we were allowed to see it for more than a second!  I’m sure that ogre makeup took time!  Paladin Shondo (a cage fighter in the real world) gets mad that the team let the NPC get carried away.  We then quickly cut to MORE NARRATION while the contestants smear mud on themselves (for no reason that is explained) and suddenly we cut to a shot of what we’re told is Castle Sanctum before the main titles appear.

  1. AKA The Reality Competition Show I Keep Trying To Make Every Other Similar Show Turn Into  
  2. this is why we can’t have nice things.  It’s also why later episodes ended with the eliminated contestant from the previous episode post-makeup talking about how much fun they had  
  3. seriously, ABC, we’re smart people.  We’re watching a reality show that’s essentially an expensive LARP.  We can tell what’s happening.  
  4. that’s a fancy name for “contestant”  
  5. why show when you can tell?  

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About Ben Smith 232 Articles

Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at GoodAtInter.net. E-mail: ben@whatelseison.tv