Takeshi's Castle has been shown around the world in many different countries. It's been renamed, edited, and dubbed in many ways.
Some countries have also remade the show in various formats.
Takeshi's Castle aired from 9th November 2002 to 1st January 2004 in the UK on Challenge. There are 4 series, 10 specials, and 13 best of episodes. It was an unexpected hit when it aired to the UK and became one of the most popular shows on the channel.
For the first four series and specials, the show was commentated by comedian, actor, poet and TV presenter Craig Charles (best known for playing Dave Lister in the British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf), who provided his own catchphrases and long running gags. Sharp eyed viewers may notice in a few Series 1 episodes that had winners, Craig failed to spot this and just continued as if there were no winners, footage of Tani giving the contestants the prize money was edited out of the show until the 4th series.
In September 2009, the show returned after a 5 month break with new animated opening titles featuring a samurai with the castle in the background-replacing the four manga characters in the original titles. The UK series has been used abroad in other countries like France, Italy, India, Germany (2007 version) and many others.
The normal episodes were edited down to 30 minutes (with ad breaks) and the specials down to an hour, which meant the contestants interviews and comedy sketches with Takeshi and his assistant were all cut, although we did get to see small bits of character sketches and interviews in most of the one hour specials. Other UK channels that used to air the show were Trouble, FTN, Virgin 1 (re-named Channel One in 2010), and Bravo.
Takeshi's Castle, with other Japanese game shows such as Sushi TV, Drunken Businessmen, Iron Chef and Extreme Endurance, have been shown in Challenge's own themed programming and programming blocks, such as the 'Japanese Christmas Cracker' (Dec 2003 + Jan 2004), 'Japanorama' (Jan 2004), 'Japanese Day' (2005) and 'Sushi Sundays' (2005).
Takeshi's Castle Rebooted:
After lots of demand from fans in a petition set by the Keshi Heads fan site, Takeshi's Castle returned to Challenge with a brand new series titled Takeshi's Castle Rebooted on 8th March 2013. The six-part series promised to contain games footage never been broadcast in the UK version before, a rebooted version of the A-Z clip show(the original one from 2004 is now sadly a lost episode) and a Best Of/Awards Show. The new A-Z special was presented by the original General Tani/Lee with english subtitles, although he would introduce the games in english. While filming with Tani in Japan, Challenge also did an exclusive interview with him using questions sent in by fans.
However, the UK fans were less than happy with the series: even though Craig Charles was asked back and said yes, Challenge decided to replace him with Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood (better known as Dick and Dom) as the commentators. It was very obvious the new production company didn't have a clue what they were doing: as well as Rich and Dom replacing Craig, there were other bad changes such as a new theme tune, new graphics, too much previously seen footage...and not enough unseen, which could of easily been sorted as they had the episode footage to do this.
'Rebooted' never made it in to the top ten rated shows of Challenge in any week. After Rebooted finished it's run, repeats of the classic Craig Charles series returned and went straight in to Challenge's top ten rated shows of that week, despite being repeated for over 10 years.
In America, the show is known as Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (or MXC for short). The show is completely dubbed for comic effect and none of the audio from the original Japanese series can be heard.
The show is edited down to 30 minutes (with ad breaks) and about 4 or 5 games are shown in each episode. All the characters's names and challenges are all renamed. Each show involves 2 teams of contestants, e.g. 'Meat Handlers vs. Cartoon Voice Actors', that would attempt to pass the challenge to win points for their teams.
The show is presented and commentated by 'Vic Romano' (Takeshi) and 'Kenny Blankenship' (Higashi), the other cast members are 'Captain Tenneal' (General Tani) and a member of the 'Le Douche' family (the battlefield reporters). Each show ends with 'Kenny Blankenship's Painful Eliminations Of The Day', where Kenny counted down the top 10 moments of the episode.
The cast members who provide the voice overs for the characters and contestants are also the writers and producers of MXC. They are: Victor Wilson (Vic Romano), Chris Darga (Kenny Blankenship), John Cervenka (Captain Tenneal and Guy Le Douche) and Mary Scheer (the female contestants and sometimes the female members of the LeDouche family).
In 2004 a live special was filmed in Universal Studios, Orlando in Florida (scroll down the page for more info). MXC was also avalible on DVD box sets. MXC first aired on TNN/Spike TV on April 13th 2003 and went on for five seasons.
(For the later German version aired in 2007, scroll down to the More Edited International Versions section).
A German version of the show aired on DSF in 1999 untill 2001 and was voiced over by Armin Berger. All the regular 120 episodes were broadcast, however there was a tiny snippet of Boulder Dash from the Monsters Special seen in a 'best of' show.
The German version is one of the few international versions that is almost the same as the original show (along with the Arabic and Thai versions), however all footage of the battlefield reporters was cut. Episodes lasted for 33-34 minutes excluding commercial breaks.
Some of the characters were given the wrong names, like Makoto was named 'Matoko', Kibaji was 'Oniji', and Hayato Tani was 'Hayati Tani'. The last new episode shown was Japanese episode 101 (best of episode) on 17th February 2001, after this repeats ran untill August 2001 in the morning.
DSF no longer have the license to the show. However on 21st February 2008, a Takeshi's Castle DVD Box Set was released in Germany, with 12 randomly selected episodes. 2 more volumes were planned but has sadly been axed (you can still buy Volume 1 off the German Amazon).
In Spain, the show is known as Humor Amarillo (Yellow Humour), which started airing on Telecinco from 1990-1995, it was commentated by comedians Juan Herrera and Miguel Ángel Coll.
In January 28th 2006, a brand new version of Humor Amarillo was made and was aired on Cuatro (Four). This version is commentated by Fernando Costilla and Paco Bravo, they also dub the voices of the characters (but the original Japanese audio can still be heard). The last episode was on 9th June 2007. This version of the show has also been repeated on LaSiete in 2011, and Energy in 2012.
Most cast members were also given new Spanish character names, for example Michiru Jo was known as 'Pinky Winky', the Popcorn twins were 'The Duo Pirate', Junji Ingawa and most of the other battlefield reporters were known as 'Pepe Livingstone', and Higashi was known as 'Takeshi Junior'.
Arabic Countries: In Arabic countries the show was renamed as The Fort (الحصن). It aired in the late 80's. Commentary was provided by Ryadh Shararah, and later Jemaal Reyaan.
Australia: A version of the show was produced by The Comedy Channel, called Castle Sports. It was redubbed, but still kept to the real plot of the original show. Also an Australian cable music network called Channel V has shown the American dub.
Czech Republic: In Czech Republic, the show was called Takešiho hrad, it aired somewhere in the 1990's, it was very popular to the younger viewers. Years later, the UK edited version was broadcast on Prima COOL.
Denmark: The UK version of the show is aired on TV 2 Zulu.
Finland: Takeshi's Castle started to air in Finland on 7th January 2008 on the JIM channel, this version of the show is renamed as Hullut Japanilaiset (The Crazy Japanese). It's edited exactly the same as the UK version and Craig Charles's commentry remains untouched-although it's subtitled in Finnish. The opening titles at the beginning of each episode has also changed, apart from that it remains exactly the same as the UK version.
France: The UK series is aired in France, given a comedic voiceover by comedians Vincent Desagnat and Benjamin Morgaine. It first aired on the W9 TV channel October 2006, in a program called 'Menu W9' which also shows the French version of Sushi TV and Ninja Warrior. It's also on the channel M6.
Germany (2007): On 3rd July 2007,Takeshi's Castle returned to the country with the UK version airing on the RTL II Channel. From 9th November 2009, the series was reshown on Comedy Central. For details on the original German version done by DSF, see further above the page.
Greece: In Greece the UK version is aired on Skai TV, the show was known as 'το κάστρο του Τακέσι'.
Hungary: The American dubbed version of Takeshi's Castle (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge) was first shown in Hungary on VIASTA6 on 16th May 2011. Hungarian actors Joseph Kerekes and Karoly Kassai replace the commentry of Vic and Kenny, and the show is renamed into Extrém küldetés (Extreme Mission). Yep, that's right...it's a dub of a dub!
Indonesia: A version of the show had been aired on the TVRI channel, which was renamed as Benteng Takeshi (Takeshi's Fortress), keeping much of the show's original elements. From late 2013, the show aired on Global TV.
India: In India, the UK series is aired on Pogo TV, with Hindi voiceover by comedian and dancer Jaaved Jaffrey. Other Indian comedians who have done the voice-over are Raju Srivastava, Sunil Pal, Navin Prabakar and Ahsaan Qureshi.
Italy : In Italy,a TV show called Mai Dire Banzai (Never Say Banzai) featured footage from Takeshi's Castle followed by another Japanese game show called 'Za Gaman' (also known as 'Endurance'), making the two shows into one. The voiceover was by Gialappa's Band. It was shown on Italia 1 in the late 1980s.
In 2005 the UK version was shown on 7 Gold and then it was being broadcast on an encoded satellite channel GXT. There are many versions of the same UK edit that have been broadcast with different commentators, Lillo and Greg were the first ones to do it. The show has also aired on the Italian versions of Fox Kids and Cartoon Network.
Lithuania: In Lithuania, the show is known as Takeši pilis. The show was dubbed by Fumito Tomoi.
Malaysia: The show in Malaysia was known as Istana Takeshi and aired on NTV7. It was edited down to half an hour and a Malay overdub was added (the original Japanese audio track is still audible in background). It aired around the early 2000s but has now stopped airing.
Mexico: In 1993, the show has aired on Azteca 13 and Azteca 17. The show had it's own story lines similar to MXC (USA) and Humor Amarillo (Spain). From 4th May 2015, Challenge's UK edited version aired on Canal 5 with the name Castillo Takeshi.
Netherlands: In the Netherlands, the UK edited version is shown on Comedy Central.
Philippines: Takeshi's Castle first aired in the Philippines in the early 90's, and then again from 2006-2008. As well as showing footage from the original Takeshi's Castle, the show featured actors Anjo Yllana and Smokey Manoloto playing their own versions of Takeshi and his assistant, and they would perform comedy sketches and mini games. It has aired on lots of TV channels including IBC, SBN 21, IBC 13, QTV11 and GMA 7.
Portugal: In Portugal, the show was known as Nunca Digas Banzai (Never Say Banzai), it aired on SIC somewhere in the 90's where it reached some popularity. Voiceovers were provided by two hosts, including José Carlos Malato.
Russia: In 2007 a Russian dubbed version of the original show (titled Замок Такеши Китано) aired on REN TV.
Challenge's UK edited version of the show first aired in Russia in April 2012 on the 2x2 channel. It was renamed into 'Японские забавы' (Japanese Fun). It remained exactly the same as the UK version, except it was given a Russian voice over-even though you can still hear Craig Charles' original commentry in the background.
Serbia: The UK edited version airs over in Serbia on FOX TV, the show is simply known as Takeši.
South Africa: The UK edited version was shown in South Africa on Animax, before the channel got pulled off the air.
Thailand: In Thailand, the show was dubbed and renamed โหด มัน ฮา (Hod, Man, Ha) (also known as Cruel, Thrilling, Fun). It aired on Channel 5 in the late 80's and was one of the first international versions of the show.
Ukraine: The original show was given a Ukrainian voice over on QTV that aired from 2008-2010. The show was renamed to Реготня з Такеші Кітано (Laughter With Takeshi Kitano).
Brazil 1: Brazil had their own version of the show called Olimpiadas Do Faustao (Faustao's Olympics), it aired from the late 80's until 1998 on the Rede Globo Channel. Some of the games from Takeshi's Castle that were remade for this version included Rice Bowl Downhill, Knock Knock, End Bell, and Bridge Ball.
Brazil 2: In 1998, SBT copied a version of Olimpiadas Do Faustao, which was presented as Hot, Hot, Hot. A legal action by Rede Globo and TBS banned the show from being broadcast. But in 2008, SBT got the license to do the show in a segment called 'Gincana' starting from 1st June in a programme called 'Programa Silvio Santos'. It was hosted by Silvio Santos and features remakes of the best Takeshi's Castle challenges, followed by obstacles from ABC's Wipeout and their own games.
China 1: There's a Chinese game show called Just Go! (智勇大冲关), featuring remade versions of games from Takeshi's Castle, along with other shows like Ninja Warrior, Viking, Wipe Out and All Star Athletic Games. It is broadcast on Hunan TV in China.
China 2: Very simular to Just Go!, is another Chinese obstacle course based game show called Boys And Girls To Dash Forward (男生女生向前冲), featuring remakes of challenges and obstacles from Takeshi's Castle, Ninja Warrior and Wipeout. It is broadcast on Anhui TV.
China 3: A childrens game show named something like Ahead Of The Olympic Games Baby was made in China, where two children take on an obstacle course which featured Takeshi's Castle games like Slippery Wall, Walk The Plank, High Rollers and Dragon Lake.
Germany: There was a show called Entern Oder Kentern (Board Or Capsize), which aired on the RTL Channel in 2007. It was a pirate themed competition with pirate themed games, some Takeshi's Castle games that were included were Slippery Wall, Skipping Stones, Wipe Out and Bridge Ball.
Holland/Netherlands: A version of the show was made in the Netherlands, which was called Way Of Life. It started to air on TROS Network in 1988. In Takeshi's Castle episode 106 ('Battle of the Countries' Special), the Way Of Life set was used for a qualifying round for Dutch contestants to storm the castle in Japan.
Iran: A Persian version has been made, which is titled "مسیر طلایی' (The Golden Path) which started to air on Channel 3 in 2009. Challenges that have been recreated for this version include Single Roller, Slip Way, Wipe out and Skipping Stones.
Korea: A Korean version of Takeshi's Castle existed during 1990-1993. The show was named Thermal! Running (열전! 달리는), and it aired on KBS1. Games that were remade included Bridge Ball, High Rollers, and Big Bird.
Taiwan 1: The first Taiwan remake of the show was called Ever Victorious (百戰百勝) that aired on CTS from October 16th 1988 to March 1998. Games from Takeshi's Castle featured in this show were Honeycomb Maze, High Rollers, Rice Bowl Downhill and Wipeout-followed by their own games. In Takeshi's Castle episode 106, the Ever Victorious set was used for a qualifying round for Taiwanese contestants to storm the castle in Japan. The original show met Ever Victorious once again in ep 130 (Takeshi's Castle Returns/'Best of Japan' Special), where the winning contestants from each of the 4 locations flew to Taiwan to play the challenges to win a place in the Showdown back in Japan.
Taiwan 2: Determination Derby (百戰大勝利) was the name of Taiwan's second version. Contestants would be made up of five teams of 20 people, they had to win points and prizes by winning the games. The show has aired on ETTV Asia, and PCNE Chinese.
USA 1: A version of the show was made in America called King Of The Mountain, it was created by FOX. Only two pilots were made and only the second pilot managed to make it on the air in 1990. In Takeshi's Castle ep 106 ('Battle of the Countries' Special), the King Of The Mountain set was used for a qualifying round for American contestants to storm the castle in Japan.
USA 2: A pilot called Storm The Castle was aired in 1993. This version, by Vin Di Bona Productions and hosted by Michael Burger, pitted 30 families against each other and against well known monsters in a quest to win $15,000. Some games in this pilot included the Honeycomb Maze, Walk The Plank, Mushroom Trip, and The Gauntlet.
USA 3: This was a one hour special which began the third season of Takeshi's Castle's American dub, MXC, the special was titled as MXC Almost Live, which was aired on April 22nd 2004 on Spike TV. The episode featured skateboarder Tony Hawk and snowboarder Tara Dakides as team captains. The special was filmed at the Universal Resort in Orlando in Florida, using students from nearby colleges.The special edition didn't use any Takeshi's Castle footage except for Vic and Ken at the beginning and the end,and also the usaul conversations between the challenges, and small sections for Captain Tenneal and Guy LeDouche. Actors were hired to play those who would replace the roles in the challenges, which were 'Gip LeDouche' (Eric Esteban) and 'Major Babe' (Michelle Sorrell.). The games that were featured in MXC Almost Live were Wall Bangers (Knock Knock), Sinkers and Floaters (Skipping Stones), Wall Bugger (Velcro Fly) and Log Drop (High Rollers).