Ice Road Truckers Review: Trucking Hell!

March 2, 2010 by  
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ICE ROAD TRUCKERS: Tuesday 2nd March, FIVE, 8pm ALERT ME

From the moment you hear the Ross Kemp-style narrator and witness the montage of bashed up trucks, you know this is no Dawson’s Creek.

This is extreme trucking in Alaska, where drivers earn a living on thin ice. I take the Dawson’s Creek thing back, though; each “trucker” is introduced individually via hard-hitting graphics and background music reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto. Tragically, the excitement ends here.

Oh, but the narrator tries. “George and Tim are caught in a brutal storm on the deadly Dalton Hall Road.” Looking at it, you’d think they were on a college road-trip to Newcastle (OK, so there is a lot of snow). The voice over is so busy trying to create tension he’s almost unaware that they have, in fact, made the trip alive. Yawn.

It’s a shame the programme was too PC to ridicule Deadhorse and Coldfoot. No – not extras from Dances With Wolves but the areas truckers constantly drive between. With things so apparently morbid they create competitions based on the number of miles they can clock up.

“Don’t make me get my log book out,” Hugh tells Drew. Or is that Drew and Phil? These truckers look uncannily alike. As we see them compare stats over a giggle, it’s like we’re let in on a private joke. Except that it’s not funny – it’s blimmin’ boring.

Lisa, the first female “heavy hauler”, is approaching ‘The Taps’, a stretch consisting of 56 miles of icy hills and sharp turns. “If Lisa misses this shift, she could stall and slide all the way back down to the bottom,” el narrator warns us sadistically.

Back on planet Earth, Lisa loses control of the gear stick for all of a few minutes before heading on her way with a simple, ‘That’s awesome!’ The search for death drags on.

After an oddly-placed cameo appearance from a historian describing the Yukon River bridge (I wouldn’t trust the voice-over with that job either, I suppose) and the dodging of some cutesy sheep, 42 minutes in, the man finally gets what he wants.

“A truck caught the edge of the road and WRECKED in the ditch,” announces our narrator. But when the cartoon re-enactment is more threatening than the whole show put together (bar opening graphics) only so much excitement is generated.

It ends without so much as a broken finger – although I can’t promise your TV will remain quite so intact.