We’ve seen the toughest among us survive without food, clothing or shelter. But can they survive without light? Discovery Channel, a pioneer of the survival genre, announced today it has ordered DARKNESS, an all-new series featuring one of the most advanced and comprehensive tests of mental and physical survival ever captured on television. Inspired by extreme training scenarios conducted by the U.S. Military, Department of Defense, and NASA, three strangers each episode will push themselves to their absolute limits in complete darkness – enduring days buried underground while navigating prehistoric cave systems, ancient subterranean cities and centuries-old abandoned mines.
“This is a series that will look and feel like nothing else on television,” said Denise Contis, Executive Vice President of Production and Development at Discovery. “It is the next iteration of the survival genre that could only belong on Discovery.”
Exploring a wide range of locations, while deprived of their most valuable sense, participants will attempt to locate each other, find and ration food and water as well as explore and map the darkness and find a way out. But can they battle against the intense mental and physiological effects of prolonged light deprivation and make it through?
The participants – who have never seen each other in the light of day – will need to become intimately familiar as they work together in confined spaces with no privacy, struggling to combine their diverse skill sets as they attempt to escape from the darkness. They’ll need to work together as a team to overcome the risk of hallucination, sleep deprivation, spatial and temporal disorientation as well as extreme social tensions and environments.
If successful, they’ll re-emerge to the surface and see each other for the first time. But only the toughest will have what it takes to make it through. “Our fear of the dark is primal and universal, and never before have we tested its incredible power for a television audience,” said Electus CEO, Chris Grant. “DARKNESS is a new evolution in the survival space, and we honestly do not know how this will turn out, which makes it a must-watch show and makes Discovery the perfect partner.”
Documenting a project like DARKNESS has only become possible in recent years thanks to the latest advances in infrared, thermal and remote imaging technologies. DARKNESS will be produced by a highly-specialized team specifically trained to shoot in extreme environments with minimal interference. In order to keep the experience as immersive as possible, participants will also be outfitted with specialized custom-designed camera equipment enabling them to document their own experience without any exposure to light.