Alone In The Wild

Once again, I’ve missed the lead up to a series finale, left only with the tail-end of a story. However, last night, I didn’t mind as I was tuning in for Alone in the Wild (Channel 4) and surely, all the really mental bits would be at the end?

If you don’t know what the show is, then the premise is an incredibly simple one: Send some bloke into the wilds to fend for himself and give him a video camera so he can chronicle the growth of his beard.

By the time I finally got ’round to joining him, his beard was immense. A proper chaps grizzy beard. I bet the punk has shaved it off now. Jessie.

Anyway, what unfolded in the show was a slow, gliding breakdown. We saw our Greystoke in the middle of some seriously arresting scenery shooting a porcupine and eating its liver. We saw him giddily staring at a swimming elk. We saw him being At One With Nature (aka Skinny Dipping).

Sadly, for an idiot like me, the decline wasn’t insane enough.

You see, I’d hoped that he would be hurling handfuls of his own crap at the sun whilst yelling gutteral swear words and an imagined fly-king or something. We didn’t see him cut off one digit. We didn’t see him having sex with a bee-hive.

We did see him crying a lot though, which wasn’t at all funny. The solitude was both his friend and nemisis. He told of how he had started having aural hallucinations that was like talking to his wife on the phone. Alas, this wasn’t caught on camera, so we got the fractured and frazzled story post the event.

That’s fine I suppose. The show wasn’t designed to make him look completely nuts and was a pretty honest portrayal of what happens when you’re left in the middle of nature with scant human contact for 50 days.

However, we’ve established that I’m an idiot and I think that they should’ve sent someone like me out in the wilds. Basically, that means someone who isn’t equipped to deal with living off the land in any way, shape or form.

I’d be crying within seconds of realising that I couldn’t go on the internet for ages. I’d weep when I realised there was no chippy down the road. I’d cry every time I had to take a dump in a hole. I’d blub like an infant if a fly went near my face. I’d be brilliant on it. You lot could tune in and laugh like drains as my brain went on critical lockdown and I offered myself up as a sacrifice to some false god.

The show? Oh yeah, it was alright actually. I wouldn’t mind seeing the whole thing in one sitting like a cool docu-film.

Thursday, September 24 on 4

Ed finds dealing with the extreme solitude almost too much to bear. Photographs of loved ones he brought with him prove too torturous to look at and he begins to have imaginary phone calls with his girlfriend. Finding food has become painfully frustrating and Ed’s last chance is the millions of salmon that swim up river to spawn, but this year there’s no sign of them. As starvation takes hold, his heart rate plummets and emergency measures are called for.

Thursday, September 17 on 4

The anxiety and stress of Ed Wardle’s first month in the Yukon are beginning to take their toll. The vast loneliness of the landscape and lack of human contact have left him feeling emotionally numb. He’s struggling to find food and Ed decides the only way to get back on track is to move on. After a long and gruelling hike hauling all his essential supplies on his back, Ed arrives at distant Tincup Lake, only to discover that it has even less food to offer than the camp he has left. With his weight plummeting and his energy slowly slipping away, Ed begins to question how long he can survive.

Thursday, September 10 on 4

A remarkable new series charting one man’s experiences as he attempts to survive alone in the wild. Adventurer Ed Wardle is dropped into the Yukon with just basic provisions. Filming himself, he is completely cut off from civilisation. In this opening episode, Ed is flown into the Canadian wilderness. As the plane disappears, he’s instantly overwhelmed by the realisation that he is completely alone. As the days go by, it dawns on Ed that the escapist dream is a lot harder than he ever imagined.

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