Tough Guy Or Chicken?

7:30pm Wednesday, September 1 on Prime

Japan

Documentary Series

The five young Brits travel to Japan for their final challenge tonight. They have six days to become Buddhist Yamabushi monks and take part in one of the toughest pilgrimages on the planet, to the summit of a sacred mountain – all under the watchful eye of Miyagi-San, their Master. The Yamabushi is a centuries-old sect that seeks enlightenment by experiencing nature at its most raw, and the Brits have arrived just in time for the Okugake (an extreme pilgrimage to the top of a treacherous mountain ridge that is at the heart of the Yamabushi’s beliefs). It involves four days of climbing, interspersed with physical and spiritual trials including the Nishino Nozoki, being hung over a deadly precipice while answering questions about your beliefs. Over the centuries, many monks have been injured and even killed on the pilgrimage; now our team has just six days to take it on. Before the boys can start this quest though, they need to learn how to live the ascetic life of the monks through meditation and prayer, and prove their mettle by chanting ancient mantras under an icy mountain waterfall. For Nick, it is his chance to complete every single challenge of their journey. For Ben… well, he is still waiting for that one handshake. And for all the boys, the long, silent journey gives them a chance to reflect on how their four-month epic journey to take on the natural world has changed them as people.

7:30pm Wednesday, August 25 on Prime

Documentary Series

Bangladesh

The penultimate challenge is also one of the most deadly. Our team of five young men have come to Bangladesh to learn to catch venomous snakes. Master ‘Snake King’ Shoporaj Dholu has just six days to train them up, and keep them alive. Dholu comes from generations of snake kings. He is a Bedey gypsy, a caste known for its snakecatchers, snake-charmers and snake-medicine. Our five Brits have arrived in the Bedey village of Rahmatpur at just the right time. Dholu is planning the season’s first snake-hunt, for deadly cobras, and if they are good enough he has agreed that the outsiders can accompany him. First, though, they will have to prove they can catch rats and lizards, that they can handle milk snakes without getting bitten, and that they can keep their heads when confronted by a deadly cobra, all while surviving 45 degree heat in 100% humidity.

This time, Reuben looks to be in pole position – he actually loves snakes. But Nick is still determined to retain his incredible record; still no challenge has beaten him.

7:30pm Wednesday, August 18 on Prime

Documentary Series

Bahamas

After the pain of the Amazonian jungle and the arid heat of the Namibian bush, our five young adventurers come to Paradise – the Bahamas. Unfortunately for them, their challenge lies underwater. Top shark expert Jeremiah Sullivan has taken on the task of turning the five rookies into shark-wranglers in just six days. Jeremiah has been diving with sharks for 35 years. He was the first man to be photographed holding the dorsal fin of a Great White, and as a day job he tests chain-mail shark-suits by getting bitten.

To impress Jeremiah, the boys have their work cut out. They have to prove they can swim strongly enough to deal with the attention of a two-metre reef shark, show they can handle the mental pressure of a shark feeding-frenzy, and finally handle sharks directly, attempting to put one of these deadly creatures into a hypnotic state where it can be cradled like a baby. Climber Reuben is not sure he is prepared to risk losing a limb, and Easton’s form as a swimmer is pretty weak. Even top water-sports athlete Ross has a tendency to get sea-sick when the water is not in a swimming pool. A tough week all round, then.

7:30pm Wednesday, August 11 on Prime

Documentary Series

Namibia

After two months on the road, the five young Brits arrive in blistering heat of the Namibian bush for their fifth challenge: to join the Ju-Wasi tribe of San Bushmen on a traditional hunt in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth. The hunter-gatherer way of life practiced by the African Bushmen goes back to the dawn of humanity, and they are supremely skilled in surviving in a place that has little food, virtually no water, and arid, baking heat. Top hunter Du’ee has taken on the task of turning the five Brits into expert trackers and hunters in just six days… if they survive that long. They all have to learn to take food wherever they can find it, seek out muddy water in any crevice, and make fire to ward off predators. Easton might be feeling pretty good after being named Carlito’s top tribesman in the Amazon, but how will he deal with the heat? Will Easton still be at Nick’s throat after spats in Mexico and Brazil? And can veggie Ben really hack it as a hunter?

7:30pm Wednesday, August 4 on Prime

Documentary Series

Amazon

Weeks into their global adventure, our five young Brits have to join the boys of the Jaminawa tribe in the Brazilian Amazon and endure six days of a jungle initiation to become men. To succeed, they must follow the rules of Jaminawa shaman Carlito, who has taught generations of young boys the secrets of the jungle – the hard way. The modern world is fast approaching the edge of Jaminawa territory, and Carlito is intent on keeping ancient traditions alive for the next generation. He is taking 10 local village boys into the jungle, to learn its secrets and commune with its spirits. For the first time, Carlito has agreed to take a group of outsiders. If the Brits are to emerge from the jungle as Jaminawa men, they will have to do everything that Carlito demands of them.

It means taking successively strong hallucinogenic brews to enter the spirit world, involves hunting for crocodile, sacrificing a snake to obtain its secrets, and finally going through a trial by pain to atone for the snake’s death. So far, Ben and Easton have failed every task; this time they simply have to man-up. But since Nick conned his way through to the end of their previous challenge, our group of adventurers have not exactly been best of friends. How will they cope when the pressure really builds up?

7:30pm Wednesday, July 28 on Prime

Documentary Series

Mexico

Tonight the lad’s third mission is to head into the jungle of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and become cave-divers in a vast network of largely uncharted, pitch black, under-water tunnels. This place was once a centre of the ancient Mayan empire, and the openings to this watery underworld were sacred. Deep in one of the caverns, close to an ancient temple, a Mayan graveyard contains suspected victims of human sacrifice. The boys have just six days to prove themselves to their trainer for the week – top cave-diver Sam Meacham. If they do, they will assist him in an archaeological expedition to explore this mysterious site. For cave-divers death is an ever-present threat, and the boys will have to show they can overcome extreme claustrophobia, intense scuba diving drills, and an ability to never panic. After failures in Ecuador and Siberia Ben and Easton are desperate to complete a challenge, but it looks like money’s on top water-sports athlete Ross for this one.

7:30pm Wednesday, July 21 on Prime

Documentary Series

Siberia

On the second challenge on their epic journey, our five adventurers travel to the Siberian Arctic. Here they are to become Evenki reindeer-herders, a people who have survived in one of the most hostile locations on Earth for thousands of years. This is about learning to deal with extreme cold, without home comforts. The Brits arrive in a world that’s lifted straight from the ice age – but for locals it’s what they call spring. And it’s one of the busiest times of year, when reindeer herds need to be corralled and then moved to new pastures. The boys have just six days to prove themselves to their trainer for the week, Evenki herder Nikolai Mikhailovich.

To become Evenki the boys have to learn to control a reindeer sledge – the only reliable form of transport in a place where motor vehicles crack and fuel freezes. If they satisfy Nikolai they’ll travel out to the herd, setting camp in bone-snapping temperatures, and attempting to fish through a metre of ice. Come through it all and they face the ultimate challenge to stay out all night, guarding Nikolai’s herd from local wolves. Question is: Will vegetarian Ben cope after his experience in Ecuador when only meat is on the menu again? Has Easton recovered from his altitude sickness and his injured pride? And can Reuben learn not to ignore everything his trainer says?

7:30pm Wednesday, July 14 on Prime

Documentary Series

Ecuador

Five young men have taken on the challenge of a lifetime: to spend four months travelling the world, taking on some of the most deadly creatures and hostile places on the planet. This is the very start of their epic journey: travelling high into the Andes they have to become Chagras, the weathered, hard-as-nails cowboys of Ecuador. Here they’ll take on the deadly, local, fighting-bulls – many of these aggressive creatures end up in bull rings all over South America. The Brits have arrived at the busiest and most dangerous time of year – the rodeo.

This is when thousands of fighting-bulls have to be rounded up from the mountainous foothills to be counted, branded, and vaccinated. They have six days to prove themselves and if they’re good enough, to take part as one of the locals. Top Chagra, Gerardo, has the task of training them up. To become Chagras the boys have to learn to ride like chagras and use a lasoo, practising skills to avoid being impaled by a charging bull. But it’s a tough crash course. How will vegetarian Ben cope where slaughter and steaks are a part of everyday life? What about new age traveller Reuben, who isn’t used to following orders? Can any of them deal with the threat of altitude sickness at 4000m… or the heavy drinking of the local Chagras?