Alone In The Wild Review: Me, Myself And The Bears
ALONE IN THE WILD: Thursday 10th September, Channel 4, 9pm ALERT ME
Do bears s**t in the woods?
Yes they do. They also eat in the woods, which is bad news for Ed Wardle.
In the name of television, the cameraman has been dropped in the Canadian wilderness and plans to stick it out for three months with nothing for protection but a flimsy electric fence and a small rifle.
Sound familiar? Well it will be to most Channel 4 viewers, but we can safely say that for two reasons, Wardle comprehensively pisses on Bear Grylls’ campfire: First of all he is actually on his own (he does all the camera work himself), and secondly he doesn’t cut and run for some hotel after 36 hours of sleeping in the mud.
Admittedly, Alone in the Wild is not quite as spectacular as Born Survivor, but what it lacks in action, it makes up for in depth. From an early stage we get the feeling that this is not some piece of TV candy but an honest account of a serious experiment.
In large parts, the filming is reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project, but Wardle does well to capture some excellent shots of the Yukon and innovates effectively to vary the footage angles.
Understandably, he starts to lose interest in fish after a couple of days and as the hunger sets in he begins concocting detailed plans to catch himself a larger meal – all of which fail miserably. In the end he simply gets the rifle and shoots a porcupine.
Sometimes the circle of life turns too slowly anyway.
When not wielding a gun, Wardle provides an ongoing video commentary of events as they unfold, which makes particularly engaging viewing and is made poignantly clear in a moment that sees him watch a plane pass overhead and out of sight.
Wardle’s lament turns to fear a couple of days later when he catches his first sight of a bear and that’s when the realisation seems to set in that he is a very long way from help, in a very dangerous place.
As the episode ends we leave him staring into space silently, perhaps he was wishing he had brought a bigger gun…