The BBC Orders Campy, Zombie-Themed Game Show
The BBC announced it has ordered a Survivor-style game show in which contestants will test their survival skills in an environment set up to reenact the imagined conditions of a zombie apocalypse. The show, titled I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse, is set to air on the British networks’ youth-oriented BBC Three and will switch to online-only in 2015.
The show will involve eight contestants trapped in a shopping mall, surrounded by hordes of the walking dead. “The contestants must live by their wits, make difficult decisions, and use urban survival tactics. Their ultimate goal is to avoid the lethal bite of a zombie and stay alive,” the network said in a press release. “The threat will be constant: one bite and they will leave the show in grisly style.”
The contestants will have to perform various tasks that put them at risk of coming into contact with the ‘zombies’ and develop their urban survival skills. “It’s nice to finally have a game show where if you get a challenge wrong, you get your arms ripped off and your brains eaten out,” said executive producer Andrew Brereton.
I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse isn’t the first survival show to take advantage of the zombie trend spurred by AMC’s hugely popular horror-drama The Walking Dead. Last fall, the Discovery Channel premiered Apocalypse Preppers, a show that follows the extreme tactics of some real-life people known as “preppers” who believe for various reasons that some sort of society disintegrating apocalypse is near, and so they must prepare to survive upon a collapse of the social order. One clip features a man drinking water from his toilet bowl through a LifeStraw.
Before Apocalypse Preppers, the Discovery Channel also had a reality show called The Colony that sounds very similar to I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse’s premise, which aired from 2009 to 2010. On The Colony, the show’s ten contestants had to create a sustainable living situation in a location that simulated the collapse of society due to some sort of epidemic. The first season took place in Los Angeles, while the second was filmed in Chalmette, Louisiana. Contestants on the show were also threatened by gangs of outsiders played by actors, though the antagonists weren’t explicitly zombies.
Where I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse could differentiate itself from other post-apocalyptic shows is by embracing humor. The Colony and its contestants took themselves very seriously, but I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse promises to play up the camp. “This is a tongue-in-cheek game show that will really test one’s mettle. I think people will die to be a part of it,” said the BBC’s Entertainment Commissioner Ruby Kuraishe.
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