Monday, November 21, 2005

Best "reality TV" show idea ever: As the article notes, this is the "mother of all practical jokes".
Space Cadets, which hits British television screens next month, is the latest ambitious experiment in 'reality TV'. The show's organizers have rigged a Hollywood space-shuttle set with all the sights, sounds and shakes of a genuine space flight. But, unbeknownst to the participants, the craft will never leave the ground.

In attempting this mother of all practical jokes, the production team has equipped its 'spacecraft' with surround-sound speakers that play a soundtrack of whooshing and humming engine noises, and a hydraulic platform providing realistic jolts and shudders.

The craft's interior, modified from the set used by Clint Eastwood in Space Cowboys, will feature windows that give super-high-resolution images of Earth, including a simulated hurricane over Mexico. (Hopefully none of the adventurers will remember that the Atlantic hurricane season usually ends in November.)

...If all goes to plan, the producers may tell the crew that they are going on a space walk, before throwing open the shuttle door to reveal the volunteers' waiting families. "We want to make sure that everybody who goes is mentally and physically strong enough to do it, and to cope with the aftermath," Jones says.