10,000 BC (Week Two)

Never has a social experiment show been more predictable. Take twenty British volunteers, only a quarter of whom have any survival skills, and drop them in a hunting reserve in Bulgaria with only stone age tools. Tell me: what do you think is going to happen? Especially if you give them no training or supervision beyond day two of fifty-six?

There were two drop-outs across days one and two. Caroline collapsed with heat exhaustion before she could even change clothes and Perry was at a bad time in his life and simply needed to be home. So the reduced tribe of eighteen… erm… meandered. British people are peculiar. We don’t like treading on toes when we don’t have a formalised hierarchy, so without a nominated leader, we tend to mill around like lost sheep. On day two, the tribe did elect Steve as leader, but as most survival training is geared towards individual survival, there were several concepts that even by day nine had evidently not occurred to anyone.

Concept one: everything has to be a continuous process. On day one, four people stripped a deer, one person spent most of the day trying to light a fire, and the rest foraged a pretty meagre stock of berries and nuts. On day two, Paul and his lovely assistants made a half-baked attempt at setting traps not very far from the camp. These were not finished until day three or four. Sometime around day six (i.e. far too late) Steve decided a group should head out on a recce to find the lake they had been told about. On day two, not enough additional fires were set and no concerted effort was made to smoke the deer carcass. Two thirds of it was wasted. If you look at modern hunter-gatherers in Africa and the Amazon basin, in a day a small party will do the high-risk-high-reward stuff (hunting) while a larger group will forage concertedly, and another group will maintain the homes and fires and do other work in the village. Like sheep, this tribe have to do everything en masse.

Secondly: on screen, for the benefit of the viewers, archaeologist Klint Janulis said that the tribe would need to set several different kinds of fishing rod on the lake shore to find out which worked. Apparently, he neglected to tell them that. For two days’ work at the lake, the tribe amassed fourteen crayfish and a mouse to try to bring fifteen people back from starvation (Kym, Oliver and Terri having left on day seven).

In the meantime, the young and the dumb of the tribe couldn’t seem to get their heads round the fact that they were likely to starve if they didn’t start working to help themselves. They snacked selfishly on food rations and fart-arsed about while others worked. Yeah, they knew there was a safety net and they wouldn’t be left to die by the production team. The great British public, folks! I have no doubt that the two biggest culprits were picked because they were likely to behave that way, but that factor was bound to cause the team to collapse entirely in an experiment where inadequate training was given to start with.

By day nine, the tribe was down to twelve and the medics had been in to bail them out with food. Because modern gender divisions don’t encourage women to build muscle mass, naturally the women of the tribe were hit hardest by starvation. Kym was a vital part of the group’s dynamics, but had hit the end of her tether very early on. Terri hit the wall at the same time and her boyfriend, Oliver, left with her. Aamer, realising his own total uselessness, left after the bailout and Kam decided she couldn’t go on after the rescue, either. Josie, the resident vegetarian, was just plain too sick to go on. Unfortunately, at the end of episode four, the proactive part of the tribe are still stuck with a dead weight in the form of JP.

This whole debacle is the production team’s fault. If they wanted Big Brother Does The Flintstones, they should have kept Janulis around longer and watched the sparks fly as the cold of November kicked in – circumstances where the lazy part of the tribe were at least not endangering anyone. Likewise, if they wanted to see how modern man copes, they should have only taken people with outdoor hobbies. Instead, this over-egged pudding has failed as experiment and drama.


~ by Scary Rob on 17 February, 2015.

One Response to “10,000 BC (Week Two)”

  1. I don’t think it’s failed, but I suppose it depends on weather the experiment is to see if we could survive if we were magically transported back in time, or is it if we can adapt? If it is can we adapt then I suspect it’ll be a success.
    Can’t blame Paul B for kicking off though, there’s no point doing it at all if you’re smuggling modern stuff in.
    If/when JP goes it’ll be the last of the dead weight (if I never see Aamer again it’ll be too soon) and lead to a hopefully more functional group. They should have hunted him and eaten him while they had the chance.

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