Channel 4 today announced at its Upfront 2015 event for the advertising industry that it has commissioned Hunted (wt), from Shine TV, producers of hit Channel 4 series The Island with Bear Grylls. The new series will dramatically explore the scale of Britain’s surveillance state’s all-seeing gaze.
Going off-grid is now a near impossible task. Our surveillance society catches us on CCTV up to seventy times a day, but the ever-watching eye can see much further than that.
Now everything from cash withdrawals to supermarket shopping, from telephone calls to social media posts are monitored. Our journeys are tracked, our locations are stored and our most personal of details sit on scores of anonymous databases. So is it ever possible to slip through the net in a surveillance nation?
The internet, and sophisticated tracking devices in cards and phones means it is now harder than ever to avoid detection. One expert estimates if you haven’t used your phone, bank account, email or social media for 48 hours, you’re considered dead.
But if you had to disappear tomorrow and become a fugitive, could you escape the tracks of your electronic footprint and head off grid? And just how would you go about it?
Next summer, a group of ordinary Brits will go on the run. They will film their own adventures themselves as they take extreme measures to try to evade capture from our expert hunters. What they do and where they go will be up to them – but with a team of Hunters seeking them out and tracking them down, their task of going dark will be truly tested.
Hunted (wt) is a joint commission between Formats and Documentaries, with Dom Bird and Amy Flanagan overseeing the project at the channel.
Dom Bird, Head of Formats, Channel 4: “I’m fascinated to see if it’s ever really possible to just disappear in a world where we are under constant observation. It is a daring and ambitious social experiment which is hugely exciting for Channel 4.”
Amy Flanagan, Deputy Head of Documentaries, Channel 4: “Part documentary, part thriller, we're very excited to be working with the brilliant team behind The Island on a series which explores what it’s like to go underground in a society where we are tracked, monitored and watched more than ever before.”
Kelly Webb-Lamb, Managing Director, Shine TV: “We are delighted to be working with Channel 4 on this bold and timely new factual format and look forward to seeing whether the British public have what it takes to vanish and outsmart not just the brilliant minds of our Hunters but the weight of modern technology.”
About Shine TV
Shine TV is one of the UK's most successful producers of popular factual television creating series that entertain, surprise and challenge viewers with humour and warmth. Programming includes The Island With Bear Grylls for Channel 4, MasterChef, for BBC1, Idris Elba: King of Speed and MasterChef: The Professionals for BBC Two, The Undriveables for ITV, Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers for Channel 5 and Ashley Banjo's Secret Street Crew for Sky One.