From March 2006 through November 2011 Bear Grylls stranded himself — and his crew — in remote locations for Man vs. Wild. The 73 episode run — plus four specials — was loaded with adventure.
For fans picking a ‘favorite’ episode could be like choosing between children. Grylls explained that he does have one that he loved more than the rest.
As he detailed in his book Never Give Up, a Season 5 shoot in Poland is it. The show took a different approach to the survivalist showcase it usually highlights by going full apocalypse. The entire show is at a disused Nazi U-boat dockyard.
Grylls said that it really was “epic to shoot.”
“It was a fun chance to make the whole thing feel a bit more like a movie,” Grylls wrote. “(There was) some cool elements. Doing parkour and backflips off rooftops, swinging in through windows and getting wedged in narrow ventilator shafts.
“It meant we had to ‘produce’ the show a bit more and plan it carefully. What it lost in spontaneity of charging down scree slops and crossing rivers we gained in a more scenario-type survival.”
It opened with Grylls entering on a Specials Forces-esque craft and jumping into a suspended cargo net. The episode also featured up cables, elevators, and some rigging of explosives that would have made MacGyver (the Richard Dean Anderson version) proud.
It featured a lot of variety not often shown on the program. The shoot was in old warehouses, hidden tunnels, fuel dumps. The historical — and apocalyptic vibe — was palpable.
Grylls said it was an approach to a show that he did not think would happen on Man vs. Wild.
“We all loved it,” he wrote. “It broke the mold, and we did something totally new with a well-trodden format.
“I was go grubby at the end of filming; caked in grease and oil and grime, that it took a whole week to look normal again. And I have generally set a pretty high benchmark for getting dirty.”
Bear’s new book Mind Fuel: Simple Ways to Build Mental Resilience Each Day is available now, you can order it at this link.
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