Oblivion ‘Lord of Darkness’ on Fanta sponsorship

Renny Krupinski portrayed the Lord of Darkness character that appears on video screens in Oblivion’s queue

For those of you not aware, Oblivion at Alton Towers has become something of a talking point this season after the decision was taken to have the ride sponsored by the soft drink Fanta.

The product’s branding is now displayed prominently around the X Sector area of the park in which the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster is located.

This has received considerable criticism from Alton Towers enthusiasts, who say that the ride’s intimidating, dark atmosphere has been damaged by the sponsorship and its ensuing flashes of orange.

One of the most striking elements of the ride’s original theming was that of the pre-ride videos displayed on television screens throughout Oblivion’s queue line and boarding station.

Lord of Darkness

They feature a character called the Lord of Darkness in dispute with his alter ego the Lord of Light regarding the nature of the ride. They argue over the ride’s nature and safety in an effective form of intimidation towards the park’s guests.

The Lord of Darkness is portrayed by the actor and fight scene choreographer Renny Krupinski, who was not aware of the new Fanta sponsorship until we contacted him today.

“I am the last one they’d contact and although I tend to go every year with my children, I’ve not been this year so far,” he told us.

But he seems to have no bugbears over Fanta’s presence and is proud of how his excellent portrayal of both Lords enhances the whole experience of the ride.

“I was paid well and having bought my services, Alton Towers are at liberty to do what they wish with their property. It’s really not my place to criticise or comment on what was a very pleasant job, which has brought pleasure to thousands over the years and about which I am very proud.”

Changing times

He recalled the early days of the ride’s phenomenal impact on the Alton Towers guest.
“It’s very pleasing that Oblivion is still considered a great ride by lots of people and I suppose my part in that has helped create the atmosphere and success of the ride,” he said.
“There was a time when I would be recognised at the turnstile, but the high profile of that has now passed.
“There was a time when Oblivion was the key ride at Alton Towers and when the queues were long and the videos played throughout and my voice said “don’t look down!” before the big drop, but on my last few visits the videos were hardly on and the voice over didn’t happen. It’s a shame, but I guess Alton Towers have moved onto other rides and the importance of Oblivion has waned.”

We would like to thank Renny very much indeed for his quick and detailed response to our contact.