Wildest Dreams Review: Mildest Dreams
WILDEST DREAMS: Wednesday 22nd July, BBC1, 7:30pm Alert Me
Despite its widespread success, apparently someone at the BBC felt that The Apprentice would have been more interesting if it involved chasing wild animals across Africa.
It’s a reasonable bet that this person waited until the head of programming was quite drunk before putting forward his proposal.
Nevertheless, the cheque was signed and a confused TV crew – big game guidebooks in hand – were dispatched to the Serenghetti.
Wildest Dreams is a new series which tracks the progress of nine Brits plucked from the obscurity of everyday life in blighty, and dumped in the African wilderness to compete for a dream job as safari film-makers.
With Sir Alan fulfilling his parliamentary commitments, Nick Knowles (of DIY SOS fame) steps in to present this show which slides into the emerging sub category in which reality TV and light documentary merge.
In this first episode the contestants are split into teams and sent off with the task of capturing certain animals on film. Obviously the quality of the footage they produce is crucial, but the judges are keen to emphasise the importance of competitors respecting their surroundings and demonstrating a genuine passion for nature.
The programme is a slow-burner but improves as we get to know some of the contestants. Viewers are also left with a genuine understanding of how exhilarating it is to observe some of the planets largest animals, and there are some warm moments when contestants capture special shots.
Hardcore reality TV fans might be disappointed by the distinct absence of colourful characters – or idiots, as most people would call them. They were an ingredient certainly not in short supply in Sir Alan’s boardroom, and the absence of these vulgarians may be an important factor in keeping the programme firmly out of the tabloids.
For obvious reasons the producers don’t allow the contestants to take too many risks, which is a shame because when it comes to publicity, there are few things that can match a lion-attack.
This show is definitely has potential, but it leaves you wondering if there will be enough entertainment here to sustain a watchable reality show, or enough animals to support a nature programme.
If Alan Sugar brought it back into the board-room – when it went to take a seat it would probably fall between two stools.