Wednesday, December 07, 2005
"Where am I gonna go? Ipswich?"
FOOLISH! Space Cadets, Channel 4, 9.00pm
To an extent, of course, all reality shows rely on the humiliation and extortion of their contestants in order to generate viewer interest. Very few, however, wear this fact as proudly as Space Cadets does. There can't be many people out there who haven't yet seen the TV trailer where Johnny Vaughan explains the premise of the show, and even fewer who haven't seen those ads and would still have any reason to visit this website, but we'll recap for you nonetheless: a group of naive members of the public are being trained to be sent into space. Except they're not; they're actually being sent to a simulator in Suffolk while the show tries to convince them they're in outer space, or rather "near space", which explains the lack of weightlessness.
It's tricky ground to be walking on, because as some people behind the show have admitted, they have absolutely no idea if it's going to work or not. The whole thing could implode in the very first episode (people who tuned in for the premiere of Celebrity Love Island will be familiar with that sensation) which could make for interesting viewing. Not as interesting, we'll admit, as a bunch of planks thinking they're in space when they've not even left the country has the potential to be.
We're a bit short of proper, fly-on-the-wall reality TV now that Carol Thatcher has been declared Queen of the Jungle, so this could be a worthwhile investment of your time. Especially since you can laugh at how you would never, ever be taken in by a scheme like that...right? If this programme proves successful, look out for the sequel Spice Cadets, in which five girls are tricked into believing that they are in fact the biggest girl group of the 1990s, regenerating pop music and amassing giant personal fortunes. That's going to be great.
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