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December 08, 2005

Space Cadets.

You really do want to read this description of the new TV show, Space Cadets.

They are not so much the Right Stuff as the Not-So-Bright Stuff.

Nine members of the public, specially selected for their gullibility, have been chosen to take part in the reality television series Space Cadets, one of the most expensive - and potentially the cruellest - practical jokes ever committed by screen.

The contestants, who have been hidden from all the publicity surrounding the show, believe they are being trained in Russia for a space mission. Instead, they are holed up in a disused RAF airbase near Ipswich.

Having already undergone weeks of so-called training, which the makers insist was at least 80 per cent accurate, the cadets think they are going to be blasted out of the atmosphere three at a time, the first British tourists in space.

In reality, they will not leave the ground. The illusion of taking off in a rocket and orbiting the Earth will be created by special effects and old Hollywood sets.

Cruel or what?

I was first told about this at a bloggers piss up meet over a refreshing fruit cup a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe the plot line. One Beeb journalist who often writes on blogging matters haas a friend who is one of the trainers....we’re actually hatching some new blogging ideas but can’t do anything as he’s completely out of contact while they film the show.

Anyway, I’d like to think that I wouldn’t be taken in by such a thing. Firstly, I speak rudimentary Russian and I doubt that all of the actors do. Secondly, I wouldn’t believe this line at all:

One effect which proved beyond the programme maker's bounds is weightlessness. The contestants have been told that they are not going high enough to escape the Earth's gravitational pull.

You don’t actually "escape the earth’s gravitational pull" at all. That’s why you go into orbit, not sail off to Alpha Centauri.

December 8, 2005 in Television | Permalink


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I only saw a little bit of the programme last night.

Do these gullible fools think they're going into orbit or just on a sub-orbital flight? I love the fact that they have swallowed the line about 'not going high enough to escape the earth's gravitational pull' as a reason for the lack of weightlessness.

You would have thought that people knew by now that weightlessness in orbit is a result of effectively being in free fall towards the earth (due to gravity), whilst the rate of forward progression ensures that you go into orbit rather than heading 'downwards'. More evidence of the decline of physics in schools, perhaps?

Posted by: HJHJ | Dec 8, 2005 8:58:11 AM

Heh! Oh, the differences between Ipswich and Russia....

For starters, do the "locals" look Russian? probably not. Do they act Russian? Possibly. Do they speak Russian? Maybe.

On that alone, I'd have seen through it. The best way to trip the actors up would be to walk up, give the Pioneer salute of "Bud' gotov!". Any Russian over the age of 28 will know the correct response.

Posted by: Tim Newman | Dec 8, 2005 10:05:36 AM

I hope Johnny Vaughan has pretty good medical insurance as if I were one of the gullibles (which I wouldn't be, not being stupid enough and with a hyper-allergic reaction to Reality TV) I would give him the kicking of his life when I found out the truth. Then again perhaps it would be better if he had no insurance!

Posted by: Pip | Dec 8, 2005 11:04:07 AM

...and they've never heard of zero-g plane trips?

Posted by: yellerKat | Dec 8, 2005 12:24:11 PM

I have never been to Ipswich but am intrigued at how they will make it look like the semi arid Steppes of Semeypalatinsk! ... miles of flatness and nothing around whatsoever... or has Ipswich been ravaged by global warming!

Posted by: Angry_Economist | Dec 8, 2005 12:36:04 PM

This show is a hoax, but on us. One of the 'real' cadets is an actor and here is the proof. My wife did all the work :)

Posted by: lascivious | Dec 12, 2005 9:36:06 PM