Frances Dodge, Angelo Abela (Gerard) or Sabra Williams
Joe Hall as "Barry Mafia"
Tyne Tees for CITV, 1991 to 1992
Skull was a segment shown within the Saturday morning kids show Ghost Train. Kept in-line with the storyline within Ghost Train, the aim is to battle against the evil Barry Mafia in a series of games in order to win a Ghost Train jacket.
A messy game involving "scunge" (or gunge, to you and me) where the host and a contestant would leap into this smallish pool of ankle-deep coloured water. Whilst being squirted by four of Barry Mafia's followers (called "Mafiets" or "Mafiettes" or something) wielding gunge guns, the contestant was to find a skull hidden in the murky pool. The host made an act in helping in finding this, but was usually more a nuisance than a help, slipping around the place a la Peter Simon. The skull, once found, would open up via a flip-top head, revealing a card containing general knowledge questions. The searching and squirting would cease at this stage, by order of the host.
In the second part of this first round, the contestant would attempt to answer the set of questions, each being read out by the host. For each incorrect answer, more squirting of the contestant and host as a punishment would take place, as well as the unfortunate addition of a Mafiet in Round 2 (more about this later). During the question-asking and answering session, Barry Mafia would most likely be taunting the contestant at any available opportunity.
Following the completion of the three questions, a fourth and final one would be set by Barry himself, with a topic usually to do with his own self. Such an example would be: "What is my favourite colour?". As contestants were unlikely to get this right, they'd be always be facing the inevitable minimum of one Mafiet in the second round. However, it has been known that at least one contestant had actually answered correctly for this question, to the disappointment of Barry!!
Rules from latter series: In a small room tiled with large black and white squares, blindfolded Mafiets would spin around aimlessly, armed with maces. The contestant's aim was to reach the other end of the room (and to ring a bell) without: a) stepping onto a black square, or b) get smacked in the face by a Mafiet. Should the contestant lose in this round, Barry Mafia would come barging through the door, excitedly, and "claiming" the contestant to be one of his own. The contestant is then supposedly whisked away straight to the operating theatre for a brain operation, resulting in the "conversion" to become his follower. Lovely.
Rules from former series: Under similar rules, except there were no black and white tiles meaning the contestant was allowed to roam anywhere they wished as long as they didn't get hit by the spinning maces.
This game is similar to the Round 2, except it's a head-to-head with the Mafia man himself. Both would be blindfolded in this case, in yet another room. Once the game started, should the contestant get hit by Barry, the game would end and the contestant would be dragged out of the doors to a painful end (or beginning, depending on how you look at it!). Should the contestant whack Barry first, however, victory would be theirs, and the game would end with a Ghost Train jacket presented to them by the host.
All in all, this was a rather original game, but at the end of the day, was it really worth getting soggy and mucky, or dodging around to prevent your face from getting walloped by a large stick, and risking your precious mentality, sanity and dignity.. all for an overrated jacket?!
The host being transported from the Ghost Train set to the Skull set via... a shower cubicle!
Barry Mafia dragging defeated contestants away with great force.
The Haunted Dungeon, the game show segment from sister programme Ghost Train on Sunday.
Where is that skull?
Mafiets squirting host and contestant.