And disaster was not long in coming to call
Why do people say, “I hate to be an I told you so.” It's such a cop-out. Actually, everyone loves to be the one who is proved correct whilst their buddies are all proved wrong. It's human nature – get over it!
This is exactly what has happened to the producers of the programme 10 000 BC. I told them it was not going to work and I was right.
After seven weeks in a programme which should have lasted for four months, it's just about over. The “tribe” has lost more members and those who are left are struggling to make any impression on the environment.
What's gone wrong?
In the first instance, the programme designers set up an entirely false premise. To recap – they had 20 people put into a stone age environment and (supposedly) left them to sort out how to survive.
First point: the tribe had two days of instruction from a “Stone Age survival expert”. So, what it took our ancestors 20 000 years to learn the hard way the tribe was supposed to learn in two days? This was never either going to work or be a fair test.
Secondly, the tools provided to the tribe were inadequate to make for an interesting test. Example: much play was made in the first programme as the tribe struggled for a whole day to get a fire going without matches or a cigarette lighter. This was completely unrealistic. Our ancestors had fire. No doubt they had methods of making fire if they had to. But, what they most probably did was keep the fire “at home” going. So a day was wasted when the tribe should have been doing more important things. Consequently they were way behind before they started.
Leadership has been a real problem. The producers should have stayed with the team for at least a week to identify possible leaders and prepare them. Instead the archer got the job and he has been singularly unable to make an impression on many members of the group. Why? He is too soft. He's a conciliator. He's a man of his time – that is to say our time. A good example would be his dealings with Amir. Amir is a waste of space. He has contributed nothing to the success of the experiment. In the last show, he calmly announced that he was only prepared to continue with the experiment if he was provided with a mobile phone call home each week and at least one hot meal per week as well!
Oh, did I mention that the producers had to step in and provide food so the tribe did not either starve or quit altogether?
Steve has been either unable or unwilling to tell Amir to go away. The tribe think that more people means more success – actually they need less people and more skills!
Steve is an archer – a hunter. He should be hunting. Instead he decided to bank on fishing as the food saviour. There is a small lake about 2 hours walk away. The lake has fish. The tribe have no way of catching them. They tried to make some hooks out of bone from the deer. They don't work. In any event they had no way to leave the bank and get out on the lake where the big fish are.
Again the producers should have provided them with hooks made by the survival expert. They should not have been expected to re-invent the wheel. They should have been provided with a boat – made to stone-age specs. Then they could have then sent the girls out on the lake to fish whilst Steve went hunting. With some sort of secure food supply they would stood some sort of chance. Instead, all they managed to do was to make less than adequate traps to catch crayfish. The caught six or seven in two days. Disaster.
They may make it for a little while longer – with the help and intervention of the production team. But, as an experiment in Stone Age living it has been a very poor test. The tribe have tried but have not really been given a realistic chance.
Good TV but poor premise.