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2005 A Space Oddity

blow me up
Friday November 18
Lost in Space

A new Pommie reality TV show is aiming to pull off, what they say will be the biggest hoax in TV history - by persuading a bunch of Bozos that they have been blasted into space.

The new Channel 4 series Space Cadets has been under wraps since the idea first came about 18-months ago.

Nine wallies..I mean people are currently being held captive in a secret location with no contact with the outside world. They believe that four of them will be selected to blast into Outer Space as astro tourists and that in preparation they will undergo intensive training in Russia courtesy of the Ruskies Space Tourism Agency. But in reality the group will be trained for space in a disused airbase in a secret location in the UK. Trés Cool!

Unbeknown to them, their shuttle will be a secondhand Hollywood set, made originally for the Clint Eastwood fillum Space Cowboys from a Nasa blueprint. It consists of three sections - a cockpit, a mid-deck where they will they eat and sleep, and a laboratory, where the team will carry out experiments - some of them for real, others more Lost in Space.

The cockpit has four windows, which are really giant digital screens using graphics three times the resolution of high definition television and better than the visual effects used in The Matrix. They'll provide the cruel illusion of a view of Earth from space including a hurricane over Mexico and a glimpse of the UK on a cloud-covered day.

The launch sound has been created by a Hollywood sound specialist while the shuttle will tip and rock in the process. The craft is fitted with hydraulics to give the impression of takeoff.

Channel 4 admits that the joke could be on them if the participants smell a rat.

Three narcs have been imbedded in the group and will be able to report back on whether there are any suspicions.

The contestants answered an advertisement for thrill-seekers to take part in a new T.V. Show. They were chosen because they tended not to ask questions, and showed the psychological trait of suggestibility during psychological testing. (Read: gullible.)

In order to convince them that they are going to Russia for a fortnight’s training, they will be taken on a helicopter night flight.

But in reality they will fly for hours around the UK, on a carefully mapped flightpath over the sea and unpopulated areas so that they do not recognise anything.

Programme-makers have had to make meticulous changes to ensure their actual destination, the disused military base in the UK, resembles Star City, the cosmonaut training centre in Russia.

Every electrical point, manhole cover and lightbulb has been replaced with the ridgey-didge Russian version, and even the smell of cooked cabbage will be introduced. Cooked cabbage! Is that what astronauts eat?

During their training, 20% of what the participants learn will be fiction and 80% real in preparation for the experiments they will conduct while orbiting the Earth.

Apparently the producers won't need to recreate weightlessness because the trip is described to the Bozos as being to Near Space where gravity still exerts a pull.

Channel 4 took a real astronaut inside the fake shuttle, who told them "This is the cheesiest thing I've ever seen!". No he didn't. Apparently he was well impressed and said it looked just like the real thing. "The cadets will lift off horizontally as on some other space tourist missions". Horizontally?? What the fuck! Do they mean the astronauts will be lying down or that the rocketship will end up in France? I'd better get prepared.

Programme-makers have created “a cosmos” with the help of Imax technology, but they admit the cadets may go up there and just say that's bullshit man and have to return to Earth in more ways than one.

The show, presented by Johnny Vaughan, has been created by Endemol, the company behind Big Brother.

Channel 4 says: “We’ve taken a big risk with Space Cadets, and we don’t know who will have the last laugh.

“But we’re hoping it’s going to be a really entertaining and unique event in the schedule – a real treat in the run-up to Christmas.” Yeah right. That or a fizzer.

“We are trying to pull off the biggest practical joke in TV history by convincing the Bozos they will be Britain’s first space tourists.”

The cadets will receive £5,000 for every day they spend in “orbit”, but they will not know about the dosh until they come down to Earth. Ha Ha.

Four of the final line-up will be selected to go on the first “space flight”, including one of the three narcs, and more than one flight could take place.

The nightly 10-day series begins on December 7 at 9pm. I can't wait. "Oh look...there's the Dogstar".

Go HERE TO THE BBC for the full story.

And for more links to this story go to www.sirlinksalot.net/ukspacecadets.html

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