The Wall is an event played in several incarnations of the television series Gladiators. In this event, contenders race against each other up a climbing wall with Gladiators pursuing them.
Two contenders race head to head up a climbing wall (around on average 36 feet high) and after a pre determined head start, are chased by two Gladiators who must pull them off The Wall. 10 points are awarded for the first contender to make it over the top and 5 points for the second. Should a contender remain on The Wall for the full time limit of 60 seconds then they receive 5 points.
Gladiators must only go after their assigned contender and not interfere with the path of the opposing contender and Gladiator. Whilst contenders are allowed to use the central part of The Wall to aid their climb, they must not cross onto the opposite side and get in the way of the other contender.
If a contender falls off The Wall, whether it be they slip off or are pulled off then they forfeit the event. Should the Gladiator lose contact with The Wall then they can remount it as many times as needed provided they start again at the base.
Only when a contender is completely over the top will they be classed as scaling the top of The Wall. Should a contender get half their body over but then be pulled of, the result will count as a win for the Gladiator. In the event of a contender tie, 10 points are awarded to both contenders.
Contenders may try to shake a Gladiator lose but must not kick out at the Gladiator or deliberately kick away their climbing harness. A contender may not deliberately loosen their shoelaces or apply excessive amounts of grease to their legs in order to keep the Gladiators at bay.
In most American versions of the event, male and female participants use the same Wall apparatus. In other territories, there are separate Walls for male and female contenders, in which there are two clearly defined paths to the top.
In South Africa, the event was known as the 'MTN Mountain' due to the sponsorship that MTN provided to the show.
In Finland the event was named with an English word 'Cliffhanger', due to advertising the show's director's Renny Harlin's new movie with the same name. In Finland, both the female and male participants used the same Wall apparatus, and in order for them to win they only needed to touch the top of the wall instead of getting over it. It's also worth noting, that the Finnish female Gladiators wore different costumes for this event than what they normally did, as seen with Flash in International Gladiators. All the 'Cliffhanger' costumes had pantlegs, supposedly to make the safety harness feel more comfortable.
The event was also played in Sweden (called 'Väggen' (The Wall)) and Denmark.
Years active: 1990 (second half of Series 1)-1996, 2008-
The Wall first appeared during the second half of the first season. The time limit for completion of the event was originally two minutes, reduced to 60 seconds beginning in Season 2, with The Wall being 32 feet high. During the first season, should both contenders be pulled off The Wall, then the contender who climbed the highest would receive five points. Until the end of Season 4, the male and female competitors had different walls.
In season 5, The Wall was changed in that all four participants started at the same time with their own separate lanes. The Gladiators had to climb up and cross over to their respective contenders lane in order to pull them off. A fifth lane was added in the middle of The Wall between the two contenders, who could climb this lane in order to escape the Gladiators.
In the 2008 revival, a pool was added to the base of The Wall and upon losing contact with The Wall, contenders would plummet into it. The 5 points for staying on The Wall for 60 seconds rule was adopted and The Wall measured 40 foot high.
In the second series of the 2008 revival, The Wall was once again extended in height, this time to 50 feet. The new Wall was redesigned to more resemble the rock face typical of the original UK version.
The following headstarts were given;
Years active: 1992-1999, 2008-
The Wall was one of the few events to appear throughout the entire run of the initial UK series, appearing in both the first and last shows. The women's wall featured one overhang and the mens two.
Between series 1(1992) & 2 (1993) a number of handholds were removed in order to make The Wall more challenging. For both series 1 and the heats of series 2, 10 points were awarded for any contender making it to the top of The Wall. This changed from the Quarter finals of series 2 onwards in which only 5 points were awarded to the seconds to reach the summit.
For celebrity specials, the women's wall was used with female Gladiators chasing after male contenders.
In the 2008 revival, the look of The Wall was changed. Instead of resembling a craggy rock surface with numerous juttings, it resembled a standard climbing wall with four slantng sections.
The following headstarts were used:
Years active: 1995-1997, 2008-
Initially, the time limit for The Wall was 30 seconds but this was later extended to 60 seconds, although it appears that there was at least one match in which the time limit was 40 seconds. The timer clock alternated significantly during the first series, sometimes counting down and at other times counting up. The headstart challengers received was 7 seconds.
For the 2008 revival, The Wall is much thinner and no longer has juttings out that resemble a craggy wall face. Instead, the juttings are made by rectangular blocks that line The Wall. Challengers now only receive a 5 second headstart.