TV SAS Australia - Hell Week

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Vader

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UK version is very good. They also allow females when the govt passed the law that females can train for SAS. They also add a mole in a few seasons. UK Celebrity is also worth the watch. Only like 5-6 eps per season.
They had a mole in season 1, revealed at the end of episode 3.

I have little interest in watching the UK celebrity version. I generally avoid watching "celebrity" anything - even moreso when it's a foreign show and I've never heard of 90% of their celebrities. Each to their own, I guess.
 

Vader

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Whats a simulated beating?
They dropped sacks on the ground, to make noises like punches. They got the recruit to make noises like he was in pain - I'd have to re-watch, but it may have been "the mole" making the noises. Bumping into the other recruits, to make them think that a fight was happening next to them.

The other recruits were all blindfolded, so it was mostly making noises to trick the other recruits into thinking that a beating was happening.
 

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phantom13

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They dropped sacks on the ground, to make noises like punches. They got the recruit to make noises like he was in pain - I'd have to re-watch, but it may have been "the mole" making the noises. Bumping into the other recruits, to make them think that a fight was happening next to them.

The other recruits were all blindfolded, so it was mostly making noises to trick the other recruits into thinking that a beating was happening.
Sounds weird as...
 

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Vader

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Series 1, Episode 4 - Survival

Day 6 - 11 recruits still standing

The episode starts with a bunch of TQs, with the mole enjoying a cheerful breakfast with the DS. The plan is for them to ask for any VWs, and for him to step forward straight away. He's one of the strongest recruits, so seeing him calling it quits is designed to make the others wonder if they have what it takes. Still ****ing with their minds.

The cull begins with the mole VWing, followed by 2 more. The DS then cull 2 further recruits, bringing the survivors down to 6.

Before they can begin the next task, one recruit is called in to see the doctor. He has a severely infected ankle, and needs to go to hospital for an antibiotic IV drip. He's pulled from the course on medical grounds. And then there were 5.

Task: Escape & Evasion

This task is designed to simulate being trapped behind enemy lines, e.g. escaping after an aircraft is shot down, or if an op goes wrong (think Bravo Two Zero). Recruits are divided into two teams, A (2x recruits) and B (3x recruits), and driven to starting positions 3km apart. They have to navigate cross country to an RV point 30km away, in 9 hours, at night, with Hunter Force (including dogs) searching for them. The DS are patrolling the roads, aiming to quickly mop up any team stupid enough to try and do things the easy way.

Unknown to the recruits, Hunter Force aren't really trying to capture them - they're trying to force them off-course, to see how they react. Of course, they'll nab them if they're stupid enough to let themselves be caught, but that's not the aim of their game.

Those that reach RV 1 will then proceed to RVs 2 & 3. From RV 2-3 is 20km, but we're never told how far RV 2 is from 1.

Day 7

Dawn breaks, with both teams still on the run.

Team A is captured by the DS after 12 hours, 8km off course, having gotten lost overnight and started walking on the roads. One of them VWs upon capture, but is talked into rejoining the course by Ant. Team A is driven to RV2, and merged with Team B when they arrive under their own steam. The combined team then makes it to RV 3, with the Team B recruits having spent 24 hours on the run.

The recruits pile into the waiting vehicles, and are given food & drink - the main objective of which is to get them to relax.

SURPRISE!!! AMBUSH!!!

The recruits are captured and blindfolded. Roll the closing credits.

Next up: The most infamous phase of SAS selection - Interrogation.

Observations
  • The pansy parade has nothing to compare with this. The recruits have been on the run for 24 hours, and have probably walked close to 100km, cross country, with minimal (if any) sleep. The longest challenges on the pansy parade are only ~5km in length (the log carry & tyre/equipment pull). Rarely do the pansy parade's tasks go for more than 2-3 hours, this one went for a whole night & day.
 

Vader

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Series 1, Episode 5 - Interrogation

This episode comes with a couple of disclaimers at the start - it depicts methods which go beyond those authorised for use by British Military personnel, and that it is conducted under strict supervision.

The Interrogation is done under the control of "The Umpire", by a special group of interrogators (not the DS). Recruits are constantly monitored by psychologists & doctors at all times.

Recruits are given a quick medical, and asked two questions by the doctor - do they recognise him (the doctor), and are they fit/healthy enough to continue?

To pass, recruits must survive 24 hours of interrogation - without losing their composure, or revealing details of their mission. They were given a cover story before the start of the Escape/Evasion phase, and time for them to flesh it out (to make sure that their stories gelled together). Interrogators are looking for people who don't stand out (grey men), and/or have the ability to adapt mentally when circumstances change (i.e. another recruit breaks, dropping them in the sh*t).

** Note that they have already been without sleep for 24+ hours, as this phase follows immediately after Escape/Evasion.

The interrogation begins with "harshing". Recruits are pushed into a corner, and screamed at by 2 interrogators, who are 2cm from their faces. Over the course of the next 24 hours they are interrogated 8-9 times. Sometimes they're questioned individually, sometimes as a group, sometimes it's friendly, sometimes it's aggressive (but never as aggressive as the initial harshing).

Between interrogations, they are hooded/blindfolded and placed in stress positions for hours on end - with loud, repetitive, music blaring at unknown intervals.

The first VW occurs after 3 hours. It's no great surprise, given that he'd struggled to recognise the doctor before the interrogation even began. He probably shouldn't have been allowed to begin the interrogation phase.

The second VW occurs after 7 hours. This one surprised me. He'd been one of the two strong performers in the Escape/Evasion phase, and seemed to be doing OK with the interrogations. He just raised his hand while in a stress position, and called it a day. Completely out of the blue.

A 3rd candidate is pulled from the course after 18 hours. This candidate was your typical Alpha male, with an ego the size of a planet, and a brain the size of a pea. He'd struggled massively with the interrogation, breaking from the cover story early, and dropping his teammates in a world of sh*t. The DS decided to pull him from the course, on the basis that his performance was so bad that he would have endangered himself and the others if he'd done that in a real enemy interrogation.

The remaining 2 candidates made it all the way to the end, without breaking. Each adopted a different strategy. One was the grey man, who basically gave nothing away. The other tried to humanise himself in the eyes of the interrogators, making it less likely that they'd torture him. Both strategies were deemed valid & effective.

Both candidates not only completed the course, but passed it as well. Of the 30 who started the course, only 2 completed - and both passed.

Observations
  • I think this is what the Celebrities were expecting after their own Capture/Kidnap exercise. Ultimately, there was no way Ch7 was ever going to put their precious celebrities through this. This goes so far beyond anything the pansy parade has to offer, that there is simply no comparison.
This series bears only a passing resemblance to the pansy parade. Unlike the pansy parade, it's an endurance test - both physically and mentally. It's not a series of one-off stunts, which look spectacular on television, but which have virtually nothing to do with military operations. The tasks in this series are much more closely related to the real SAS training, are much more physically and mentally demanding, and much longer in duration. Comparing the two is like comparing completion of a PhD, with finishing 3rd grade of primary school.

I'll start Series 2 now, but I'll only give a summary at the end - rather than an episode-by-episode recap. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes they make relative to Series 1.
 

norway blue

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Series 1, Episode 5 - Interrogation

This episode comes with a couple of disclaimers at the start - it depicts methods which go beyond those authorised for use by British Military personnel, and that it is conducted under strict supervision.

The Interrogation is done under the control of "The Umpire", by a special group of interrogators (not the DS). Recruits are constantly monitored by psychologists & doctors at all times.

Recruits are given a quick medical, and asked two questions by the doctor - do they recognise him (the doctor), and are they fit/healthy enough to continue?

To pass, recruits must survive 24 hours of interrogation - without losing their composure, or revealing details of their mission. They were given a cover story before the start of the Escape/Evasion phase, and time for them to flesh it out (to make sure that their stories gelled together). Interrogators are looking for people who don't stand out (grey men), and/or have the ability to adapt mentally when circumstances change (i.e. another recruit breaks, dropping them in the sh*t).

** Note that they have already been without sleep for 24+ hours, as this phase follows immediately after Escape/Evasion.

The interrogation begins with "harshing". Recruits are pushed into a corner, and screamed at by 2 interrogators, who are 2cm from their faces. Over the course of the next 24 hours they are interrogated 8-9 times. Sometimes they're questioned individually, sometimes as a group, sometimes it's friendly, sometimes it's aggressive (but never as aggressive as the initial harshing).

Between interrogations, they are hooded/blindfolded and placed in stress positions for hours on end - with loud, repetitive, music blaring at unknown intervals.

The first VW occurs after 3 hours. It's no great surprise, given that he'd struggled to recognise the doctor before the interrogation even began. He probably shouldn't have been allowed to begin the interrogation phase.

The second VW occurs after 7 hours. This one surprised me. He'd been one of the two strong performers in the Escape/Evasion phase, and seemed to be doing OK with the interrogations. He just raised his hand while in a stress position, and called it a day. Completely out of the blue.

A 3rd candidate is pulled from the course after 18 hours. This candidate was your typical Alpha male, with an ego the size of a planet, and a brain the size of a pea. He'd struggled massively with the interrogation, breaking from the cover story early, and dropping his teammates in a world of sh*t. The DS decided to pull him from the course, on the basis that his performance was so bad that he would have endangered himself and the others if he'd done that in a real enemy interrogation.

The remaining 2 candidates made it all the way to the end, without breaking. Each adopted a different strategy. One was the grey man, who basically gave nothing away. The other tried to humanise himself in the eyes of the interrogators, making it less likely that they'd torture him. Both strategies were deemed valid & effective.

Both candidates not only completed the course, but passed it as well. Of the 30 who started the course, only 2 completed - and both passed.

Observations
  • I think this is what the Celebrities were expecting after their own Capture/Kidnap exercise. Ultimately, there was no way Ch7 was ever going to put their precious celebrities through this. This goes so far beyond anything the pansy parade has to offer, that there is simply no comparison.
This series bears only a passing resemblance to the pansy parade. Unlike the pansy parade, it's an endurance test - both physically and mentally. It's not a series of one-off stunts, which look spectacular on television, but which have virtually nothing to do with military operations. The tasks in this series are much more closely related to the real SAS training, are much more physically and mentally demanding, and much longer in duration. Comparing the two is like comparing completion of a PhD, with finishing 3rd grade of primary school.

I'll start Series 2 now, but I'll only give a summary at the end - rather than an episode-by-episode recap. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes they make relative to Series 1.
Jeepers. It’s like reading a book. Thnx .


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

muttley45

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Series 1, Episode 5 - Interrogation

This episode comes with a couple of disclaimers at the start - it depicts methods which go beyond those authorised for use by British Military personnel, and that it is conducted under strict supervision.

The Interrogation is done under the control of "The Umpire", by a special group of interrogators (not the DS). Recruits are constantly monitored by psychologists & doctors at all times.

Recruits are given a quick medical, and asked two questions by the doctor - do they recognise him (the doctor), and are they fit/healthy enough to continue?

To pass, recruits must survive 24 hours of interrogation - without losing their composure, or revealing details of their mission. They were given a cover story before the start of the Escape/Evasion phase, and time for them to flesh it out (to make sure that their stories gelled together). Interrogators are looking for people who don't stand out (grey men), and/or have the ability to adapt mentally when circumstances change (i.e. another recruit breaks, dropping them in the sh*t).

** Note that they have already been without sleep for 24+ hours, as this phase follows immediately after Escape/Evasion.

The interrogation begins with "harshing". Recruits are pushed into a corner, and screamed at by 2 interrogators, who are 2cm from their faces. Over the course of the next 24 hours they are interrogated 8-9 times. Sometimes they're questioned individually, sometimes as a group, sometimes it's friendly, sometimes it's aggressive (but never as aggressive as the initial harshing).

Between interrogations, they are hooded/blindfolded and placed in stress positions for hours on end - with loud, repetitive, music blaring at unknown intervals.

The first VW occurs after 3 hours. It's no great surprise, given that he'd struggled to recognise the doctor before the interrogation even began. He probably shouldn't have been allowed to begin the interrogation phase.

The second VW occurs after 7 hours. This one surprised me. He'd been one of the two strong performers in the Escape/Evasion phase, and seemed to be doing OK with the interrogations. He just raised his hand while in a stress position, and called it a day. Completely out of the blue.

A 3rd candidate is pulled from the course after 18 hours. This candidate was your typical Alpha male, with an ego the size of a planet, and a brain the size of a pea. He'd struggled massively with the interrogation, breaking from the cover story early, and dropping his teammates in a world of sh*t. The DS decided to pull him from the course, on the basis that his performance was so bad that he would have endangered himself and the others if he'd done that in a real enemy interrogation.

The remaining 2 candidates made it all the way to the end, without breaking. Each adopted a different strategy. One was the grey man, who basically gave nothing away. The other tried to humanise himself in the eyes of the interrogators, making it less likely that they'd torture him. Both strategies were deemed valid & effective.

Both candidates not only completed the course, but passed it as well. Of the 30 who started the course, only 2 completed - and both passed.

Observations
  • I think this is what the Celebrities were expecting after their own Capture/Kidnap exercise. Ultimately, there was no way Ch7 was ever going to put their precious celebrities through this. This goes so far beyond anything the pansy parade has to offer, that there is simply no comparison.
This series bears only a passing resemblance to the pansy parade. Unlike the pansy parade, it's an endurance test - both physically and mentally. It's not a series of one-off stunts, which look spectacular on television, but which have virtually nothing to do with military operations. The tasks in this series are much more closely related to the real SAS training, are much more physically and mentally demanding, and much longer in duration. Comparing the two is like comparing completion of a PhD, with finishing 3rd grade of primary school.

I'll start Series 2 now, but I'll only give a summary at the end - rather than an episode-by-episode recap. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes they make relative to Series 1.
Good write up's, thanks, no tear gas used over there ?
 

Vader

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Season 2 - Episodes 1-3

This series is much more similar to the pansy parade we've come to know & love. The beastings & sickeners are still longer & harder than the pansy parade, but the very worst of the endurance stuff is missing - replaced by set piece stunts.

This series is set in the jungles of Ecuador, where the temperature is 35, the humidity 95-100%, and the insects think humans make a tasty entree. It's supposed to be replicating the Jungle Phase of selection, as distinct from the Endurance Phase which takes place in Wales.

The first 3 episodes have seen a multitude of very familiar stunt type tasks, including the helicopter abseil, milling, murderball, searching a building for casualties, and the rope fall/braking. The backwards dive is coming, appearing in the teaser for episode 4.

The toughest tasks have been a 6 hour sickener (until 4x VWs occurred), and doing multiple loops of a 1-mile track through the jungle (at night).

To a certain extent, the environment they're in negates the need for endurance tasks, with the jungle itself sapping the energy & enthusiasm out of many recruits.

No sign of any moles in this series... yet.

Looking forward to seeing what seasons 3-5 hold in store (plus the last 2 episodes of season 2).
 

Vader

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Season 3 - Episodes 4 & 5

Episode 4 had the toughest endurance task of this series. Recruits were divided into two teams, and put through a 10km cross country Navigation Exercise. They had to locate a cache, transport it 2km down river, bury it in a specified location, before climbing a 1000m high mountain. First team to the top won the prize - helicopter extraction. The losers had a 4 hour march home, carrying the winners' bergens (adding insult to injury).

This was followed by the obligatory backwards diving task, and the inevitable Capture/Kidnapping. 6 of the 8 recruits were partially buried in shallow graves, while the other 2 were taken back to camp and culled from the course.

Episode 5 was the Interrogation phase, very similar to the final episode of season 1. I did note a couple of explanations they offered this time.

"Harshing" is about triggering the body's fight or flight reaction. However, prisoners are unable to do either, which results in confusion. That's a valid psychological tactic for starting an interrogation.

"Processing" is used in the 2nd interrogation. This is deliberately non-confrontational, in order to disarm the recruit, who is expecting further aggression (after the Harshing).

Just for giggles, the noises they were played were mostly of crying babies, with the occasional round of machinery noise to wake them up.

25 recruits started the course, only 1 passed the Interrogation phase - and they had no question about passing him for the course. He was given a big thumbs up all round.

Series 3 is apparently set in the Atlas Mountains, in Morocco.
 

Vader

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Series 3

As previously noted, this one is set in the Atlas Mountains, in Morocco. Temperatures are constantly in the mid-30s, but it's a dry heat (unlike the humidity of the Ecuador jungle).

As always, it's full of beastings, sickeners, with the obligatory backwards dive & abseil tasks as well. Unusually, the Interrogation phase "only" lasted for 18 hours, and wasn't the final phase of the course.

This series wasn't quite as tough, physically, as the first series - which was all about fitness & endurance. It was still tougher than series 2, and massively tougher than the pansy parade. If series 1 is akin to completion of a PhD, and the pansy parade is finishing year 3 of primary school, series 3 is completion of a bachelor degree. It was still tough enough to have recruits doing a fireman's lift, up a slope steep enough that some were on hands & knees the first time they climbed it (without another recruit on their back).

The most amusing part was on the "Mountain Beasting" task. This task started with a march up a 5000ft mountain, followed by a descent - before moving off to a lower (steeper) ridge where the beasting continued (including the previously mentioned fireman's lift), finishing with a 5km run back to base. One recruit fell so far behind on the descent, that he was left behind and became lost. When he eventually reached the bottom of the mountain, he saw the others being beasted on the lower ridge (~1km away), thought "bugger that", and decided to walk back to base on his own. The DS & the other recruits returned 30 minutes later. I think you can guess what followed...

Did I mention that his "confessional", played while he was walking up the mountain, was about him being descended from Sikh warriors - and him wanting to prove that he was a warrior too? :think::oops::sick:

As with Series 2, there was no "mole" in Series 3.

The "Resistance to Interrogation" phase is a staple of the UK version, having appeared in all 3 series. Its glaring omission from the Australian version is one of the key factors in me referring to it as the "pansy parade".

Series 4 takes recruits to 3000m altitudes, in the cold of the Chilean Andes. It's also the first series to have female recruits in the mix.
 

Vader

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In other news, the UK's Channel 4 have announced Ant Middleton's replacement as Chief Instructor on SAS Who Dares Wins:
https://tvtonight.com.au/2021/10/uk-reveals-sas-replacement-for-ant-middleton.html

Interestingly, it appears that Billy & Foxy have opted to stick with Ch4, rather than follow Middleton out the door. Ollie had already been sacked, and didn't appear in Series 5. Foxy will be the only remaining original DS cast member, with Billy having joined the cast in Series 2.

The same article indicates that Middleton will be continuing to make the pansy parade in Australia, with a different group of DS (including an ex-Navy SEAL).
 

Vader

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I'm now 3 1/2 seasons into the UK version. Not once have I heard any comments from the recruits, about the lack of food. Nor have I seen anyone attempt to VW simply because they went hunger flat.

It seems to me that the Australian producers have compensated for the lack of physically demanding endurance tasks, by putting the recruits on a starvation diet to reduce their energy levels. To me, this is nothing short of sabotage and cheating, by the Australian producers of the pansy parade.
 

Vader

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Season 4

In 2019 the British Government opened up a range of positions in the military, which had previously been closed to women. SAS selection was one of these newly opened positions. Accordingly, SAS Who Dares Wins added female recruits to the show for Season 4. This had a huge impact on the show, and the way camp life played out - it was no longer a sausagefest, fuelled entirely by testosterone.

One of the first impacts was an unexpected one - with one of the male recruits deciding to VW on religious grounds, after finding himself unable to share the open toilet block (similar to SAS Australia) with females to whom he was not related.

This course was held in the Andes, in Chile. Base camp was at an altitude of 2500m (roughly 300m higher than Mt Kosciuszko), with many of the tasks being conducted in snow above 3000m. This was a mountain winter course, with a lack of oxygen and steep climbs more than making up for the shorter distances of many tasks.

While they did manage to find a whole host of tasks which soaked the recruits, this was the first (only?) series without a backwards diving task.

This series saw the return of "the mole" - but with a twist. This mole was female, the first female to qualify for Sweden's special forces. Unlike the mole in Series 1, her role was revealed in episode 1, and she was frequently shown providing inside information to the DS. She was eventually unveiled, after doing her "VW" as instructed.

This series was also the first to have recruits who reached the end of the course, but weren't selected. At the end of the Interrogation phase, there were still 5 recruits left standing. The two unsuccessful recruits were told that they had been "withdrawn from training" by "The Umpire", departing the base before the 3 victorious recruits were given the good news.

In another first, one of the three to pass the course was female.

As an aside, the UK version doesn't pixelate when recruits' private bits are on display. This season did have one brief shot of side boob. To be fair, a previous season showed a full frontal shot of a male recruit's genitals. You certainly wouldn't see either on the pansy parade.
 
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