By | March 9, 2020

With the triumphant return of Race Across The World last night, our thoughts once again turn to the show it reminds me most of, which is 2001 Channel 4 reality show Lost. Especially so after being linked to this Guardian article about the behind the scenes stuff on RATW, which reminded me of the excellent Lost tie-in book which was full of this sort of stuff.

Lost paired up teams of two with a cameraman, dropped them in a mystery location somewhere in the world with minimal money and three days supplies and challenged them to race back to London for £5,000 and the opportunity to do it again. There were three episodes a week, each week being one race.

I haven’t actually watched it in about twenty years (there’s something to think about) but thrilled to discover it’s on Youtube. And do you know what? It holds up really well – it manages to be both raw and slick, and I really like Daniel Pemberton’s soundtracking for it.

5 thoughts on “Lost

  1. Brandon

    I think this series of Race Across The World could run into the same problem as last series, where it focused too much on one aspect of a contestant pairs personality/relationship. Last year banged on about Darron wanting Alex to be more of a “real man”, this year I predict the thing they will focus on too much is Sam’s ADHD but at least that’s relevant to the race.

    1. David B

      Yeah, I think the whole relationships thing is laid on a bit thick. Their story is almost written out for you in episode 1 and you’re just connecting the dots thereafter. Show, don’t tell.

      Further to my posts about this on Twitter, I think the reason why I like Lost more is that RATW covers far too much ground to keep track of. After half an hour, Lost is still on an island next to the starting Island, whereas RATW has blasted through three borders.

      None of which matters, as they’re already casting for the next RATW series.

  2. Chris M. Dickson

    Oh, bless you, Brig! This was reasonably high on the list of shows I’d like to be able to see again and thought that I never would, so thank you very much for sharing. I’m not immediately sure before rewatching it whether or not it’s a better show than Race Across The World – depends how much you enjoy chutzpah as opposed to logistics, as well as contestant grittiness – but I think it’s truer to a vision of low-budget competitive tourism.

    The other reason I’m thrilled to see this is that, as you say, the score is excellent, and there’s one particular track which has been a once-every-two-or-three-years earworm more or less throughout the 21st century. Not only do I get to hear it again and rediscover just how much of a TOTAL BANGER it is, Shazam is now sufficiently good that (a) it can tell me that it’s being sung in Russian rather than, as I had assumed, French and (b) it can identify the song and provide its Cyrillic-language title. It’s the tune that plays as the winning team make it back at the end of the first drop, so to provide a link to the appropriate part of the episode would spoil the whole result of the week. Instead, here’s a link to the video. There’s another version of the video which has Russian Rupert Grint and friends larking around in a pool.

    I really will shout about this all night!


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