It’s slightly rippled with a flat underside.

By | August 4, 2010

No hang on, that’s Boost isn’t it? Never mind.

The Internet’s famous Iain Weaver has bought to our attention a Canadian show called Mantracker, apparently a bit like Interceptor but with Canadians on hourseback. They’re showing it on the Extreme Sports Channel at 10am, 1pm and 6pm (two are probably repeats), it sounds as though it might be interesting. You can find Extreme Sports on 527 on Virgin Media or Sky on 419. And Channel 72 on DigiTurk.

Extreme Sports also has a show called M1 Challenge, which disappointingly is not an extreme footrace up and down England’s premier motorway, but some mixed martial-arts thing.

10 thoughts on “It’s slightly rippled with a flat underside.

  1. Ryan

    Yes, it has been going for a while, I would imagine three or four series so far. Quite popular over here – started on our Outdoor Life Network and now plays once a week in primetime on CityTV network.

    There is a brilliant episode from the first series which involved two ingenious young women and a car. I wish I could find the link…

  2. Chris M. Dickson

    I dreamt about it twice last night, so it may be my new obsession. There’s a lot about it that just goes to show how brilliant, well-designed and ahead-of-its-time Interceptor was, but it works well on its own merits with its own aesthetic.

  3. Andy "Kesh" Sullivan

    Watched a couple of episodes of Mantracker and it’s quite a good show, even though there’s no prize for beating him other than bragging rights.

    Also, a footrace up and down the M1 sounds oddly entertaining…

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yeah I love that sort of thing.

      Although you could let contestants hitchhike, and it would be a really crap version of Pekin Express.

  4. CMD on a different browser

    OK, some slightly more considered, but still rough-note-form, thoughts.

    1) Shows where you see “all of” a game being played feel cloesr to the action than shows where someone has played a game and you see the highlights. OK, Interceptor (“probably”) cheated and did not have a continuous 40-minute clock running; their game was more like 50 or 60 minutes long and there was some similar editing going on. However, it was by and large subtle enough that they could get away with it.

    2) It seems difficult to believe that Mantracker will ever catch the prey before the last give minutes of the show. One of the most brilliant things about Interceptor was that you never knew whether the packs had indeed been zapped or not until the reveal at the end. Even if the Interceptor does get a clean shot in five minutes through the game (“I got you ages ago, missy!”) then there’s reason to keep viewing and keep viewing.

    3) This is a personal view, but helicopters and laser guns will always be much closer to my sense of cool than horses and the outdoors.

    4) Interceptor’s tasks to retrieve the keys were artificial as all get-out. However, they were fun to watch. Having lakes that the contestants can cross but that Mantracker cannot is fine, but not every time. Likewise fences. Likewise forestry.

    5) Phenomenal asymmetry again with Mantracker so short on local information, but the show works in context and it makes Mantracker’s victories much more impressive.

    6) I do like the rough, tough feel to it, the multi-day endurance adventure race aspect of the difficult trek that the contestants face. It does make the Interceptor contestants’ whining (“I’m getting a bit tired, Annabel”) seem like the weakest of sauce in comparison. Good cussin’, too, and glad to see that very little of it is even beeped.

    7) The rough, tough feel is not a fun feel, though, and Interceptor had a sense of whimsy and silliness to it that suited it down to the ground. The Mantracker has his own brand of charisma, but the physicality of the endeavour – while making the enterprise something to be admired – does take away much of the “how would I play the game if I were in the contestant’s shoes?” play-along-at-home-equivalent thought pattern generator that you can often get.

    8) Interceptor‘s music remains unsurpassed.

    And yet – yet! – Mantracker is still a 7/10 show in my book at least, and probably an 8/10 show.


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