Friday, 10 September 2010

Derren Brown's 'Hero At 30,000 Feet' Programme.

WARNING: This post is VERY boring.

Did anyone see this? I'm sure it's on 4OD if you wanted to but missed it.
Anyway, if you didn't, Derren Brown took a very shy man who wouldn't say anything if there was a fire in a room because he wouldn't want to be the one to bring attention to a situation, and over the space of thirty days turned him into a man full of confidence who offered to help land an aeroplane.
Now, there's been some backlash against this programme. People have been saying on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc, that the show wasn't real. It couldn't be. It was so unconvincing and badly acted, they said. Someone (I'm pretty sure it was Andrew Collins) even cited the music they chose to soundtrack certain parts of the show as a reason it couldn't be real. Now, whatever your opinion of it, you cannot cite bad soundtracking (and some of it really was terrible) as a reason to believe something is fake. Bad acting, yes. Bad music choices, no.
The one scene that seems to be cited as sure-fire proof tho, is the train tracks scene. In this scene, Derren Brown puts his volunteer into a straightjacket, gets him to lie down on some train tracks and then ties up his legs, just as a train is about to come. He then offers little help to the guy to get himself free, but this guy doesn't really seem to be panicking that much. He seems to be a bit startled and worried, kind of like if a vicious dog was barking at him and trying to bite him but was still firmly on a lead, but not really anything approaching panic.
Now, is this bad acting, or is it just that maybe people just sometimes react to things in ways we wouldn't expect? Is it bad acting, or is it that in fact, there are so many individuals that surely there can never be a standard way of responding to any situation no matter how intense or grave?
Anyway, back to Andrew Collins again, his problem with the train tracks scene seems to be that he just doesn't believe that there is any way that Derren Brown would be allowed to do this (I'm filling in the blanks here. He hasn't explicitly said that this is his problem with it.). Now, this is an interesting point. Would a tv programme ever be allowed to take a member of the public and put them in such a position of danger?

I could go on biting into the details of this programme, but it just be me repeating myself agiagn and again. It all just boils down to whether you believe it or not.

Personally, I think Derren Brown is far too intelligent to drop the ball like this, but there are some bits that just don't seem right.
Now, my theory is that if this whole thing was staged, it was staged to act as a trigger. At the end of the programme, Derren said it was time for someone else's journey to start and started a clock to count down from thirty days. I reckon that there could be another show coming up telling about how people who've watched this programme have had their own experiences of changing something in their lives over the course of thirty days, starting from the day this show was broadcast.
Though, writing that and reading it back, it does seem a little far-fetched.
Maybe it is all real and just because of the way it was presented, or because of the high profile Derren Brown has now, people just want to not believe in it, want to pick it apart, want to find fault in it.

One thing is for sure. This programme has got a lot of people talking about it and thinking about it. So no matter what this show was, it has been very clever in the way that it has got into people's heads.

Derren Brown, you're in all our heads, aren't you, you little bighter.

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