Category: Press Pack Article

Location: The series was filmed in the protected desert area of Wadi Rum in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Jordan. Also known as the Valley of the Moon it’s a dramatic desert landscape of sandstone and granite and has been the backdrop for many epic feature films – from Lawrence of Arabia to The Martian & recently Dune. The base, known as the French Fort, was originally constructed as part of a set for a 1998 French TV production. SAS got access to the fort via our fixing company and the Royal Film Commission, Jordan. The series was produced with the assistance of the Royal Film Commission, the Jordanian military and with the permission of the Jordanian Royal Family.

Climate: This is our hottest and driest series yet. Filmed in the Jordanian desert in October 2021, temperatures peaked at over 35˚C during the day and, at night, fell as low as 5˚C. Previous series in hot climates were shot in Ecuador (typically humid & rainy with highs around up to 32˚C) and Morocco (with highs of 30˚C during filming). It rained only once (very briefly) during our whole filming period (only 2% chance of rain on an average day in October), which was unexpected but refreshing!

Each recruit carries a bergen (or military rucksack) weighing 35 lbs which contains:

A bivy (dry) bag
A sleeping bag
A travel pillow
A compass
A water bottle
A 2L hydration bladder
Sunglasses & sand goggles
A notepad & pen
A headtorch
A toothbrush & toothpaste


Each recruit has a kit consisting of:

2 long sleeve t-shirts
2 digi camo trousers
2 pairs of socks
2 sets of underwear
1 neck buff
1 cap
1 pair of desert boots
1 fleece pullover
1 windbreaker jacket
And their bergen (rucksack) containing items listed above


Sleep: Recruits sleep on a standard issue camp bed – they each have a sleeping bag & a small camping pillow (43 x 27cm)

Washing: If recruits want their clothes washed, they have to wash them themselves! They have no clothing to sleep in so stay in their combat clothing at all hours, day and night. They must be ready to go at all times, just like in the military!  They can wash in a rudimentary outside shower.

Meals: Recruits are given 3 meals a day, prepared off site and brought in, but it’s up to them to portion the food and distribute evenly and fairly between themselves.

2 hard boiled eggs and 2 pieces of dry toast

1 jacket potato with kidney beans
Ham/cheese roll

Boiled chicken/white fish/mince meat - with rice
 Pasta & vegetables
Boiled cabbage & potatoes

Transport: Recruits were driven by local drivers in GMC Yukon vehicles. They were sometimes hooded whilst travelling so they didn’t know where they were going.

The farthest task location was 120km north of camp (over 2hr drive) called Little Petra. Little Petra is in an arid, mountainous desert region 1,040 metres (3,410 ft) above sea level, which is North of the ancient ruins of Petra.

Many of our task locations were in the Wadi Rum desert surrounding the base – including the ‘milling’ task (hand to hand combat) on open salt flats, the marksman task, which took place in a nearby derelict compound, or ravine crossing which was took place over a 150m high rocky ravine in the immediate area.

Water tasks took place 70km south of Wadi Rum in the coast’s main city, Aqaba. An old and mostly derelict port gave us plenty of task locations, for tasks including backwards dive, a tower abseil & a drop into the sea from helicopters, followed by an impromptu ‘beasting’ (repeated drill exercises) on an old military training beach.




The off rig action – comprising most of the tasks – is covered by 7 cameras – there’s a director of photography, a camera operator and a team of self-shooting producers & directors as well as the drone team. We use 2 Amira cameras, five FS7s, a number of GoPros alongside our boom mics, underwater mics and radio mics on each recruit and DS. The drone team shoot with 2 drones (an Inspire 2 and an FPV, first-person view - this is smaller, able to navigate through tight ravines and reach 0-62mph in 2 seconds)

Back on base the action is covered by a fixed rig set up where we have 40 cameras covering all areas of the base. To capture sound we have 60 atmospheric mics (alongside the 30 personal mics) and the set up takes an incredible 30 km of cabling. 

The editorial team captures the action from a gallery whilst technical crew are in a further 3 cabins – sound, camera/machine room & ingest – where all the recorded material is processed.

The whole operation runs 24 hours a day and takes a team of up to 150 people including local crew.


Episode 1 – Brotherhood
Episode 2 – Belief
Episode 3 – Mindset
Episode 4 – Reliance
Episode 5 – Leadership
Episode 6 – Capture