Ambassadors episode 2 review

Space Cadets review Channel 4

Published by jamdog on 15th December, 2005.

 Space Cadets review Channel 4

Space Cadets

Channel 4

This time they Really Have Gone Too Far. That’s the consensus anyway. With Space Cadets Channel 4 are attempting to fool a group of contestants into believing that they have gone into space.

"The contestants answered an ad looking for "thrill-seekers". That would suggest perverts to me, particularly if it was on Channel 4 headed paper but still they came.."

The contestants answered an ad looking for "thrill-seekers". That would suggest perverts to me, particularly if it was on Channel 4 headed paper but still they came.

Nine contestants and three planted actors (taking the Channel 4 shilling) took an aeroplane from Norfolk to a Russian air base. Except it wisnae. They flew around in circles and went to a disused American airbase in Suffolk cleverly disguised as a Russian airbase. There is authentic Russian litter strategically placed around the base, the electric sockets are Russian and the shampoo in the showers is also of the Ruskie.

Ex jailbird Johnny Vaughan hosts, laughing his monkey ass off in the studio at the dupes. He can barely contain his glee and he does have a tendency to over-egg the pudding. We get that you’re excited, that it’s a hilarious jape and that you’re living on the edge Johnny but please, show some dignity.

You wonder about the psychological effects of such an experiment on the fragile minds of the clueless participants. Some have this as reality TV sinking to a new low – they obviously never watched Back To Reality. Channel 4 perpetuating the cruelest hoax since the Kelly Brook Is A Tv Presenter fiasco.

“One of the contestants says the experience is "like Chessington World of Adventure times 10,000". High praise indeed.”

The contestants were selected for their gullibility – any potential troublemakers or questioning intellects were weeded out during the selection process, leaving behind a higher quality of cabbage to confuse.

One of the contestants says the experience is "like Chessington World of Adventure times 10,000". High praise indeed. In fact, Chessington World of Adventure’s new slogan is "like Channel Four’s Space Cadets divided by 10,000".

But going into space is a serious business even if you’re not actually doing it. So, a former KGB agent supervises their physical training. Here, the show turns into SAS: Are You Tough Enough? as the bozos are put through their physical paces by a barking Russian loon who’s probably spent most of his career torturing dissidents and the like. This is strange television.

The meat of the con is the space shuttle experience itself created by Hollywood visual effects specialists, Wonderworks, (The Day After Tomorrow, Apollo 13). Sound-effects and hydraulics give the physical sensations of take off and flight while state-of-the-art visual effects give them the view of a distant Earth as they look out of the cockpit window.

You may well wonder about things like G-force and zero-gravity – neither of which feature in the space cadet experience. But like a child wondering why he has two daddies, the space cadets sweep such concerns out of their mind and into the large box marked Somebody Else’s Problem.

""The Fonz and Rambo sharing a high-five"

In space, no one can hear you scream. Apart from Henry Winkler apparently."

For entertainment value they show lectures where the contestants are told increasingly ludicrous lies about the history of Russian space travel and take part in some hysterical "space exercises" like relaying bizarre flash cards of activity in space.

"What can you see?"

"The Fonz and Rambo sharing a high-five"

In space, no one can hear you scream. Apart from Henry Winkler apparently.

Where are the ethics in all of this? Is it OK to cruelly exploit morons in this manner?

I think we can let this one slide this time. Aerial Telly has a laissez faire approach to TV ethics though even he will occasionally baulk at some of the shady practices employed on reality TV shows. Desperate attention-seeking turds they may be but it’s a feature of civilisation that we protect those people who need protecting from themselves.

“Self-harmers, drug addicts and reality TV contestants – start differentiating between them and you’re on a slippery slope.”

Self-harmers, drug addicts and reality TV contestants – start differentiating between them and you’re on a slippery slope. To say that one group is more pathetically desperate than another is to make a judgment call I’m not qualified to make. Yeah I know, like that’s stopped me before but still, the point remains.

All such phoney concern comes as one of the contestants, supposedly an electrician, is revealed as an actor.

So who’s fooling who? Can it be that Channel 4 are pulling a double bluff and making us the fool? You wouldn’t put it past them but it seems like quite a difficult thing to pull off and they’re having trouble enough pulling off the single bluff.

Should the subterfuge be uncovered the programme will be off the air and be replaced with Jamie’s School Dinners. Now that really is taking things too far.

The best thing about it: The Fonz and Rambo moment.

The worst thing about it: It’s a little too pleased with itself.

The verdict on Space Cadets: Trust no-one.

Marks out of 10: 7

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Tags: , Categories: British reality TV

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