In a time where survival and preparedness shows seem to reign supreme, with the exception of Survivorman, starring Les Stroud, I’ve never liked any of them. So, when Naked Castaway aired on Discovery, I wasn’t expecting much. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed it and found it quite the departure from all the survival shows currently airing… Discovery, you hit a homerun!
From the Discovery Website:
Former British Army Captain Ed Stafford was the first person ever to walk the length of the Amazon River, but surviving completely alone on a deserted island is his biggest adventure yet. Can he last 60 days on an uninhabited Fijian island with absolutely nothing? No survival tools, no rations, no clothes, no film crew. It’s a daunting challenge and nobody’s ever done it before.
In fierce tropical heat Ed has only hours to find water before dehydration ends his attempt before it’s begun. He must master the island – and his fears – to find food and water, light fire, build a proper shelter, and progress from mere survival to the point where he could stay forever.
Filmed entirely by Ed himself, there’s never been a more authentic survival series on TV.
The last sentence in the above statement is so true.
The episodes show Ed experiencing all the highs and lows of a survival situation. From the emotions of crying, sadness and desperation, to the physical tolls of dehydration, weakness, sickness and hunger. Of course you also see him experience the overwhelming joy of simple achievements.
I’m always amazed at how people constantly put down inexpensive knives by saying things such as, “I want a knife that I can depend on when my life is in jeopardy” As if that is some sort of justification for that 300 dollar knife purchase they made. Here we are with Ed Stafford, a man who by what is depicted on the show only seems to have basic skills, yet he is left to fend for himself, using nothing more than stone tools which he uses to fell trees, make a bow, start fire and more. And while he does make the statement how he would like a knife, it did not prevent him from moving forward in his situation. When he split a piece of wood for a hearth, using nothing more than stone tools, his excitement was overwhelming.
The voice over really ties together what couldn’t be captured by the video as he’s performing some of the tasks. He’s not afraid to share his emotions, including crying, which is really refreshing and adds to the shows realism.
The show does an exceptional job of depicting Ed’s life over a period of 60 days on a deserted island, with nothing more than his camera gear and his wit.
If you haven’t seen the show yet, do yourselves a favor and do so
Good Job Discovery! After some of your other debacles, you hit a home run.