Great that you can see it. I didn't think you'd be able to as for Big Brother you have to be a subscriber to 4 Broadband and live in the UK, so good you can see it!
I watched a few minutes of the live stream last night and then this morning, and one of the funniest things is the "air locks" that they have between rooms. The fact that the passageways are down at the floor level so they have to crawl through (I still cannot believe that they bought the story about still having gravity "up there") and then seal off the air lock after crawling through.
Also funny was watching them eat their food out of those ziploc/gladware reusable plastic containers - I have the same ones in my kitchen, and seeing their clothes in what looked to be those "Space Bags" - the ones you vacuum the air out of - except they weren't deflated, they were just sitting there in the bag. They probably have to seal everything up for "re-entry."
“We could just be in a simulator at the moment and we pull up the shutters and they show us a picture.”
The cadets wake up from their first space sleep to the sound of Duran Duran – “This is Planet Earth” – but none of them see the truth in the song.
Each of the pilots and cadets has a headset with which they can communicate with mission control at Capcorn Crymsk. However, Yevgeny’s headset has failed, put thankfully a runner is on hand to travel hundreds of miles into orbit and deliver him a new one. As Yevgeny gets his new headset from a secret trap door in the back of the shuttle, Drew distracts the other cadets with tails of his childhood – and when they run out, some of his own dance moves!
Now, space travel isn’t cheap – so STAR perform experiments on board for various companies and universities to help off set costs, with the cadet being our experimenters. Each cadet enters the lab one at a time for a test in dexterity – i.e. making balloon animals. Paul is first and manages a poodle. Notably he also blows up a couple more balloons for Keri and Billy – but not Charlie. Does he know?
Billy and Keri both fail to inflate a balloon, and to burst the ones Paul made – while Charlie gets the shock of his life when he gets a visitor in space, who provides him with a balloon and a balloon hat. Charlie confesses he loves being able to have done better than Billy – and the look on Billy’s face when he gave him the hat was classic. More interestingly, Charlie also that he had acclimatised to “space” so much it kind of “broke the dream” when he was interrupted by one of the crew!
With such a small environment there was bound to be a bit of friction – but it’s not the cadets who have the first domestic, it’s the pilots. Yevgeny, actually Alex from Surrey, and Drew, a Canadian masquerading as an American Astronaut, have the classic argument that’s ruined many a marriage over the year. Yes, Yevgeny left the toilet seat up!
Now, almost all of our final four have had a second of doubt at some time – but never seem to act up on them. Keri is spot on when talking to Charlie.
“We could just be in a simulator at the moment and we pull up the shutters and they show us a picture.” She quickly dismisses her own suggestion by saying she know’s it’s real, while in a diary conversation “pilot” Drew says he’s convinced they all know subconsciously – but don’t want to allow their doubts to ruin their experience so don’t let them linger in their mind.
Now, the space cadets believe the world’s media is following their mission – and as such they are now global celebrities who companies want to advertise their products. STAR has arranged for some adverts to be filmed on board for Russian companies.
Paul and Billy are first to plug Chipov, a Russian drugs company. Paul has to act “spaced out” with a “cosmic headache”, which disappears in “lightyears” when Billy gives him Chipov – a cure from the “top of your head to the balls of your feet”.
The other cadets join them for three more adverts:
“Hi – we’re the first civilian crew on Earth Orbiter 1 – your watching KL2, Russia’s only gymnastics channel”
The cadets are then instructed to dance without moving their feet for an ad for Radio Boutico Moscow) “Hi – we’re the first civilian crew on Earth Orbiter 1 – we are loving this funky tune”.
Finally, they have to pretend to be murdering each other for a TV promotion:
“Hi – we’re the crew on Earth Orbiter 1 – and next on KVP4, Murder she Wrote! “
The cadets are supposed to sleep in shifts of three, with at least one pilot awake at any time. However, it doesn’t seem to worry Paul when he finds himself the only one awake. He decides to perform some experiments himself having noticed earlier that he finds it more difficult to exercise in space. First, Paul notes when he eats an apple it doesn’t go brown as quickly as on earth – and then he announces his next experiment - how long until Charlie discovers he’s eaten his ice cream? I’m beginning to wonder now if Paul has worked it out!
We end tonight’s show by blasting host Johnny Vaughan up into space to meet undercover actor Charlie and “pilot” Drew Dawson. OK then, he sneaks in through the door in the lab, where they are waiting while Yevgenny distracts the others.
Drew is amazed they got through the takeoff without suspicion considering the system failed initially – something Charlie didn’t know. Charlie admits it was so realistic at times he wondered if it was a double bluff and he had really been blasted off into space. Johnny mentions the look of amazement on Charlie’s face when they saw the earth for the first and asked if that was good acting or appreciation of the special effects. Charlie tells us it’s all down to years of drama school tuition coming.
We end the show by discovering tomorrow the rejected cadets who didn’t make the mission – but remain at the barracks, will find out about the real concept of the programme. We’re also told that the cadets will link up with the UK TV institution that is “Richard and Judy” and discover the Queen’s interest in their mission.
It’s the penultimate show and time to let our rejected cadets know that even though they didn’t go to space – neither did our successful cosmonauts!
The Space Cadets wake up on shuttle and perform their daily health checks – including measuring height, blood pressure, body fat and lung capacity – as well as weight, with Charlie shocked that the cadets don’t question the affect of the “Anti-Gravity Generators” on their weight. Paul is impressed with his 9.8% body fat, while Keri blames her 27% reading on her boobs!
Now Russian cosmonaut Yevgeny is constantly trying to out act the others and pushes the boundaries one step further by wearing eye-liner, make-up and confessing his passion for transvestism – but tells the cadets not to mention it as his wife doesn’t know!
Obviously, as the first British Space Tourists the mission is getting a lot of coverage in the UK – so it’s time to link up to earth with a satellite message from the King and Queen of daytime TV – Richard and Judy. They pass on their message from “planet earth” and even drop in that the Queen is following the mission with great interest. This really reaffirms the belief of our cadets – there delighted with the message from Richard and Judy, never mind the Queen – with Charlie pushing it further and saying with it being such a landmark event, the Queen will probably mention it in her annual Christmas Day broadcast.
It’s laboratory time and Paul and Keri are testing to see whether you can get electricity from fruit in Space on behalf of a Russian electric company. A number of items need to be tested, most of which contain hidden batteries. Paul actually suggests they probably do, but still they don’t question how exactly this would be useful to an earthbound electrical company!
Now it’s time for the first big reveal. The rejected cadets have remained in lock down in their barracks in Russia – and now it’s time for them to discover the truth.
Johnny Vaughan seems to be in hiding, so it’s left to a couple of researchers to drop the bombshell. First they are told they are not in Russia, but in fact in Suffolk, near Ipswich. They are all completely surprised with a mixture of stunned silence and audible shock. They find out that the man they believed founded STAR, which doesn’t exist, was actually the dad of the owner of the base and discover that the experts were actually actors. One of them asks – “Val?” – to which they are told that he is actually a genuine an ex-member of the KGB Special Forces.
The cadets are told the training was about 80% fact – with the first story the cadets bringing up in response about the dog that died in space. The cadets are told that is actually true – but everything about Minsky the Monkey was made up.
Andrew jumps around claiming he knew it, while others scream with surprise. Ryan is visibly shocked, while Sarah Jane sits in stunned silence.
They are told that amongst them were three undercover actors – Ranie, Steve and Charlie, and of course that Billy, Paul and Keri aren’t in space – but in fact in a hi-tech simulator about 30 yards away!
The cadets, though shocked, take it well and Sarah Jane breaks her silence for a loud scream when they are told that for being such good sports they will all be flown to Russia for a 5-day visit, which will include experiencing weightlessness in the “Vomit Comit”. They have also each earned £5000.
The cadets then join Johnny in the studio to discuss the hoax. They all say they believed in it 100%. Johnny shows them clips of some of them doubting it, but Louise – who got nearest to the truth – says she didn’t push it further as she so wanted to go into space. Ryan was completely shocked by being sucked in by the hoax, while Cheryl says she had no reason to question it.
Sarah Jane says she was so disappointed that she didn’t get into space that her first reaction when discovering the news was being delighted the “successful” cadets weren’t in space either.
They discuss further the belief they were in “Russia”, with Andrew saying they’d go to the toilet at night and couldn’t believe how cold it was. Johnny admits the weather has helped us out a lot (it’s been our coldest winter for years!). Astrid points out even the tampons were Russian, with host Johnny saying he’s not an expert. Andrew then points out the toilet paper was like something out of prison – with Johnny then stating he’d know more about that then (he spent time in prison in the early 90’s).
Johnny discusses the press speculation that they were all in fact actors – heightened by Ryan’s appearance in a “Give Blood” advert. Ryan states he’s not an actor, and was offered £70 three years ago to appear in the advert when he was with his mates in the pub – then paid a further £1000 as he was given a prominent role due to his “ridiculous hair”.
The interview ends with predictions on how the cadets will take it. They believe Keri will see the funny side, but Paul and Billy will be absolutely gutted – though Billy will pretend to laugh it off.
Finally, our rejected space cadets finally get to board Earth Orbiter 1. With the cadets locked in the lab at the back of the shuttle, and our astronauts acting as a buffer in the middle, the six rejects gather in the cockpit and discuss how authentic it feels with the noise and movement of the simulator. They then get to look out on the projection of earth – and their faces show you how easily it is for our cadets to be fooled.
Just one show left now with the big reveal – and if they don’t see the funny side, possibly a few murders too!
“We’d better be in space. It can’t be a simulator – they wouldn’t go to all that trouble!”
It’s the final day and a new space race has emerged – will they figure out the hoax before landing on planet Earth?
With just 24 hours to go it’s time for things to get more surreal. Charlie is given a stink bomb and joke worm and has to convince the others he is space sick – culminating with him passing a worm when he visits the toilet. As Charlie struggles in the toilet on mid-deck, the other cadets move out of the area to give him some privacy as Charlie freaks out at what he has passed. Drew is unconcerned and say’s it’s quite normal for the worms that inhabit your intestines to be passed while space travelling, prescribing some old fashioned rest for Charlie to recover. The others are concerned, especially Keri – while Charlie and Drew struggling to keep a straight face. When alone, the normally calm Drew bursts out in fits of laughter.
If that was weird, next it’s time for the funeral of Russia’s most popular dog. Bimby’s TV show was watched over 10 million people across Russia and STAR has been given the responsibility of putting his ashes into space. After a brief service, the cadets perform a song they wrote earlier for the event (unaware the event was a funeral) – and then Drew is handed the ashes for safe keeping. It seems Drew has butterfingers though and he drops the ashes – with Yevgeny then clearing up with a dustbuster and saying they’ll through that out so Bimby is in space – something Paul says they can’t do.
The whole event though begins to raise suspicions, with Keri and Paul thinking the funeral is a little joke being played on them. They then begin to look further with Paul beginning to ask questions with Charlie. Why do they need to weigh themselves? Why are the windows so small? Charlie keeps quite quiet but gives the odd nod and implies they can tell STAR of their concerns to make future missions better.
Keri and Paul discuss their suspicions with each other that it’s not real – leading to the line of the series from Paul when Keri suggests it might be a simulator. “We’d better be in space. It can’t be a simulator – they wouldn’t go to all that trouble!”
So with doubts at there highest level yet mission control pulls off it’s biggest trick yet – a space walk. With Charlie unable to participate due to his space sickness, Billy, Keri and Paul get into their space suits (the genuine things as worn on MIR) and boarding a small space pod ready to exit for their space walk.
In the pod is a TV screen and presenter Johnny links to them to tell them they are participating in a landmark reality show – but then reminds them of something they were told at the very beginning – things may not always be what they seem. They are then shown a number of them clips from throughout the mission in which they air their doubts and they slowly begin to realise the truth – which is confirmed with a shot of the simulator and screen projection of earth. A mixture of shock, disappointment and embarrassment goes through the cadets minds, with Billy admitting they’ve been got and Paul saying they went through all the training for nothing. It then dawns on them that Charlie was in on it all along.
Johnny then links back and tells them it’s time to return to earth, with them then shown a shot of the studio wall which opens up to reveal the simulator behind it and the production crew moving a small box from the side of the shuttle towards the stage. The cadets realise they are in that box and none of them want to get out.
The door to the pod is opened and rather than in the vacuum of space – they find themselves greeted by Johnny Vaughan and an audience of their friends and family, plus the other cadets and actors.
Still kited out in their space suits, the “astronauts” join Johnny for an interview. They are asked where they think they are – and they are all convinced they are in Russia – so the news they are in a disused military air base near Ipswich. Johnny then asks if anyone them have been here before – but doesn’t have the heart to tell Paul he visited the very same base as a kid.
The actors are revealed to the cadets. They have now realised most of the experts are actors, but not surprised to learn Val is a genuine ex-KGB member. They are shocked though by the other undercover cadets when Ranie and Steve stand up with the other actors. They discover Yevgeny is an English actor named Alex from London
Charlie then joins the cadets and they all admit they never doubted him. Billy says as he remembered him from the very first audition he had no reason to doubt him, while Keri say’s she thought of him as her best friend, so is quite disappointed.
Johnny salutes them for their courage in going up to space, but asks why they never questioned the conditions. Paul points out they had nothing to question, as they’d never been to space before – with Johnny quick to remind them they still haven’t! He admits though he is jealous though as they’ve had the experience of believing they were in space, looking back at the earth.
The cadets are asked about how they feel, with Keri saying she thought she’d realised a childhood dream, so is absolutely gutted it wasn’t real. Billy says even though it was a hoax, he has learned a lot about himself and many experiences have bought out new aspects of his character. He says looking at the beauty of earth made all the problems of the world seem unimportant, something Johnny points out that Buzz Aldrin also said in 1969. Paul is happy to have had some time of work, got fit and given up smoking!
They are then told that they have earned some prizes for their participation – with £25,000 each for their time in space. Johnny reveals when he told them they were going to Russia when they boarded the plane that he wasn’t actually lying – they just weren’t going immediately. He informs them they will all be going to STAR City in Russia to experience weightlessness on a zero gravity on the “Vomit Comit”. Billy and Paul are delighted with this – but Keri says she doesn’t believe him. Johnny admits he even doubts it.
A recap of their best moments comes before the end of the show with the Space Cadets thanked for being such good sports.
And that is that. These reports have been longer than I expected them to be so thanks to everyone who read them – and especially those who replied.
Overall I’ve quite enjoyed this as a one-off series – though must admit the actual mission wasn’t anywhere near as interesting as the build up with the training in “Russia” – but the final reveal was brilliant. If it does appear on a screen near you it’s certainly worth a look, though due to the nature of the show I can’t see the format being sold internationally!
Despite being a nightly watch for me and probably the best new show this autumn, it’s bombed in the ratings and will probably go down on record as the most expensive flop of recent years at a reported £5m.
Anyhow, Satellite Show host Alex Zane has just told us to return next year “Space Cadets 2 – Mission to Mars”, which is being filmed right now!
Yeah, right! And I’m off to have dinner with a Martian!
Check out the official website for more: http://www.channel4.com/spacecadets – with video clips available if you register (for free, apparently!)
What's a sitcom?
Thanks for all the info Brekkie!
I enjoyed reading your recaps.
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