Darkness (Discovery)

Darkness

Darkness (Discovery) – Premieres 2nd August

Survival competition vaguely in the style of Naked and Afraid, three individuals are given basic survival items and enter a cave system at staggered intervals. The three then have to find each other, and when together, have to find the exit all within a 6 day time limit. All with the added stipulation that they can’t use any lighting in the pitch black caves.

Like Naked and Afraid and other such survival shows the contestants can bring along one additional item with their set pack to help them with the challenge. Along with showing the three perform the task, the programme shows their backstory and to why they decided to do the challenge, as well as interviews with army personal who have actually done similar as part of their training explaining what the three could be expected to go through.

As a survival competition it isn’t as watchable as something like Alone, nor is it as good as a military based training challenge like The Selection: Special Operations Experiment. That said, it still does a job.

5.3/10

Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery)

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Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery) – Premieres 1st August

Drama based on the FBIs hunt and capture of the Unabomber in the mid-90s, where it follows freshly graduated criminal profiler Jim Fitzgerald who is recruited by the task force to produce the definitive profile of the Unabomber to help with his capture.

After a spate of bombings after a 6 year break, the FBI team are no nearer in finding who is behind them and Fitzgerald discovers that the current profile they are working from is almost incorrect in every aspect. After creating a new report the team leaders instantly disregard the insights until Fitzgerald is proved correct as the Unabomber releases his manifesto.

The show splits between the FBI hunt, and fast forwards a couple of years to just before the trial, where the Unabomber requests a meeting with Fitzgerald who has since lived a reclusive life since solving the case.

For an opening episode it sets everything up nicely, and is well worth a watch.

6.7/10

Epic Mancave Builds (Discovery)

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Epic Mancave Builds (Discovery) – Premieres 7th June

Renovation show where Brandon Ruff and his misfit team of employees go around the country where they are contracted to convert various spaces into custom built mancaves that are based on the owners interests.

After having a consultation with the client, Brandon is given a short deadline for the renovation to be completed. The show then follows Brandon as he develops the plan on what to do, while also making sure most of what is needed is made at the company warehouse before it’s shipped out to the location for the final build.

Along with the usual DIY/renovation show goings on, the show also has a fair bit of the team joking about with each each as they get the job done. It’s a bit like a property show version of Sacred Steel Bikes.

3.2/10

Devil’s Canyon (Discovery)

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Devil’s Canyon (Discovery) – Premieres 6th June

A mix between Curse Of The Frozen Gold and Alone, three gold prospectors set off to separate sites in the challenging terrain of Devil’s Canyon in British Colombia for 6 weeks, as they try to find a bountiful amount of gold.

Like Alone, the three film their own footage as they search the areas they believe large amounts of gold will be found. Where along with their hunt for riches they also have to survive in an area known for bear attacks, and that has limited food resources.

As a mix between a treasure hunting and survival show it makes it stand out from other similar programmes that normally descend in focusing on the backstory of the area and mythical curses to set up any of the drama. It’s an entertaining piece of TV.

6.0/10

Cooper’s Treasure (Discovery)

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Cooper’s Treasure (Discovery) – Premieres 18th April

Treasure hunting shenanigans that follows Darrell Miklos for a year after he received multiple shipwreck locations from his recently deceased friend and astronaut Gordon Cooper.

The wrecks were discovered by Cooper as he was on a 122 hour space mission using instrumentation placed on board to discover any Russian nuclear sites. While looking for the sites he noted that other places were being highlighted over sections of water and made the link to them being shipwrecks.

As Darrell tries to link the individual maps to real world locations he quickly realises that finding the right location to the right map is nigh on impossible, leading him to get in contact with his estranged treasure hunter father in the bid to get the master map that Cooper gave him.

As treasure hunting shows go it’s more interesting than Billion Dollar Wreck, with both the actual search of the locations and the family backstory.

5.1/10

Car Saviours (Discovery)

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Car Saviours (Discovery) – Premieres 17th April

Racing and stunt driver Andrew Comrie-Picard and the chief brand officer of Hoonigan, Brian Scotto pick up forgotten car makes and repurpose them to do things they weren’t originally intended for.

After meeting up with a client they are given a project to complete within a short deadline, so they pick up a cheap car and begin reengineering it to fit its new purpose.

The show itself while being similar to other shows like Diesel Brothers, has a Top Gear challenge vibe to it all along with them dicking about in a similar vein to Sacred Steel Bikes making it an entertaining watch.

4.8/10

The Wheel (Discovery)

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The Wheel (Discovery) – Premieres 13th January

Survival show where six participants have 60 days to survive in the wilderness on their own where no prize is on offer to anyone who can finish. Each person is placed in a different South American ecozone out of Rainforest, Mountain, Wetland, Tundra, Bush Plains and Island.

As they go about their Alone-esque self preservation, they are moved to a different ecozone after a night that has either a half or full moon, where they have to start over again.

For a survival show it’s not as good as Alone or Naked and Afraid, yet better than Remote Survival or The Great Human Race.

4.9/10