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Thread: Space Cadets: Updates on UK space hoax show

  1. #1
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    Space Cadets: Updates on UK space hoax show

    The UK's latest reality show has just begun here in the UK. 12 people have been selected to go through intensive training with the Space Tourism Agency of Russia before a handful of them will be selected for the trip of a lifetime - a five-day mission orbiting the earth!


    Or so they think!


    The participants in Britain's biggest reality hoax may think they are going into space - but in reality they have never left the UK. The Russian military base is actually a disused airbase in Suffolk, while their journey into space will in fact be on a space simulator looking out at a giant IMAX style screen!

    Will they fall for it? Well, with just a few days to go before blast off, they still believe that a few of them are heading into space.

    The show began on Wednesday and is running over ten nights. The first few shows covers the selection and training process, before on Sunday the live space mission begins.

    More details at the official site: http://www.channel4.com/spacecadets - or an unofficial news site: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk


    I am posting updates to a couple of forums so I will make a few posts to get you up to date and then continue with nightly updates.

    So I know people are reading my posts, can you please reply if your interested in me continuing updates on the show.

    Thanks,
    Brekkie Boy.

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    Firstly, a summary of the 12 final cadets - three of which are undercover actors employed to smooth out any cracks in the plot!

    Having received weeks of intensive training in ‘Russia’ courtesy of STAR (Space Tourism Agency of Russia), the following nine contestants have been chosen to take part in the most audacious, complicated and ambitious practical joke in TV history.

    For the next ten nights, live on Channel 4, Space Cadets will follow this group of adventure-seeking applicants, monitoring their progress through the rigorous selection process, the exhaustive training programme and the mission itself, in a TV event that’s out-of-this-world and yet nothing of the sort.



    Name: ASTRID ROBERTS
    Age: 19
    From: Mid Glamorgan, Wales
    Occupation: Works in call centre for an insurance company
    Status: Attached

    In the same school year as Charlotte Church, Astrid loves partying and has bags of energy. She dreams of riding in a Formula 1 racing car, speaks German and does 200 sit-ups per day. She also thinks she is reincarnated and, due to an irrational fear of water as a child, she thinks she may have drowned in a previous life. She says she sees UFOs in the sky but concedes that this is probably due to an overactive imagination. Astrid has had five different jobs in the past year and says she is looking for some real excitement in her life. She could not live without her hair extensions, which she changes every month.


    Name: ANDREW CARTER
    Age: 19
    From: London
    Occupation: Student
    Status: Single

    Andrew describes himself as funny, diverse, confident, outspoken and considerate. He says his style is unique and regards himself as a trend-setter. Andrew is a Christian, if there’s no football on, he’ll go to Church but confesses to only miming the hymns because he doesn’t know the words. An Arsenal fan, he plays centre midfield in a local league team. He finds the R Kelly track I Believe I Can Fly ‘inspirational’ because it gives him self-belief and makes him feel he can do anything if he puts his mind to it. Andrew is scared of moths.


    Name: CHERYL DEARIE
    Age: 23
    From: Glasgow
    Occupation: Housing Association Assistant
    Status: Attached

    Lively, ambitious and opinionated, Cheryl is also impatient and hates being alone. A firm believer in fate, she believes in reincarnation and ghosts – she says a guardian angel visited her when she was aged 16. She fears drowning and fire but feels that taking part in a ‘thrill-seekers’ show of this nature would give her the chance to do something unique.


    Name: BILLY JACKSON
    Age: 25
    From: Kent
    Occupation: Recruitment Consultant
    Status: Single

    Billy is a semi-pro footballer and his ultimate ambition is a to be a footballer or film star. He realises he is too old for professional football but there is still time to hit Hollywood. He describes himself as tall, dark and handsome, funny, outgoing, polite and caring but also one of the lads. The biggest prank he’s ever played was on a new player who joined his football club. The guy was homophobic so Billy pretended to fancy him for half the season to wind him up.
    Billy loves the film Armageddon, hates spiders and the idea of drowning and says his most embarrassing moment was when his ex girlfriend’s dad witnessed him walking down the catwalk in a red silk thong. He believes in reincarnation and wants to return as a golden eagle. Billy does not believe in ghosts but claims to have seen an alien.


    Name: LOUISE NISBET
    Age: 23
    From: Whitstable, Kent
    Occupation: Currently working as secondary school PE teacher
    Status: Single

    Something of a tomboy, Louise is very sporty and competitive and represents her county in basketball and athletics. She lived in Canada for ten months, which she says is her proudest achievement to date. She admits she is afraid of death, ghosts and dislikes the dark, and says she has never done anything bad in her life, as she worries about what her parents might think. She has a sea-horse tattoo – which her parents don’t yet know about.


    Name: RYAN McBRIDE
    Age: 28
    From: Born in Glasgow, currently living in London
    Occupation: Electrician
    Status: Attached

    Ryan is laid back, describing himself as ‘noticeable’, someone who does things on a whim, and his personality as Teflon; being impermeable to insults. He is very proud of a practical joke he once played on his whole family when he asked 10 of his friends and family to meet him at the airport, expecting him to arrive back from Australia. Ryan never appeared - it was his April Fool’s Joke and he was still out in Oz. He believes in UFOs as he says there is too much evidence to prove it and cover-ups to hide the facts.


    Name: KERI HASSETT
    Age: 25
    From: Birmingham
    Occupation: College Administrator
    Status: Single

    Keri has a passion for space travel and her ultimate fancy dress outfit is that of an astronaut. She describes herself as friendly, outgoing and will try anything once, and compares herself to Bridget Jones. She is a team player – as long at the team wins! A yoga devotee, she fears drowning and spiders and believes in ghosts, reincarnation and UFOs. The two things she says she would never do – even if she were paid - is a free-fall jump into water, or sing in front of a group of people. Her strangest job was dressing up as a human eyeball promoting Specsavers.


    Name: PAUL FRENCH
    Age: 26
    From: Bristol
    Occupation: Plasterer
    Status: Attached

    Paul describes himself as a happy-go-lucky charmer who has a good sense of humour and enjoys a wind up either at his or others’ expense. He dislikes heights, deep water and ghosts – which he believes he has seen. One of the best moments of his life was the birth of his niece. Desperate for a crack at the limelight, Paul finds his plastering job boring and enjoys the simple pleasures in life like going to the pub and playing football. His favourite song is Coldplay’s The Scientist.


    Name: SARAH-JANE CASS
    Age: 19
    From: Northumberland Heath, Kent
    Occupation: Currently studying media performance and radio at Luton University
    Status: Single

    A confident, self-confessed chatterbox , Sarah Jane describes herself as a hyper bird who lives life to the max. She is always the first one on the dance floor and to belt out her favourite karaoke song, (Girls Aloud’s Sound of the Underground). Some of Sarah-Jane’s best pranks include kidnapping and micro-waving her old flatmates’ prized teddy bear, and putting cling film over another friend’s toilet. Her hardest test to date has been saying the word ‘butterfly’ and overcoming traumatic dental surgery. She doesn’t believe in ghosts or UFOs and can’t live without her hairbrush.


    CADETS UNDER COVER

    To have a fighting chance of pulling the wool over our Space Cadets’ eyes, we need people on the inside who can influence the genuine applicants and cover up if there are any mishaps! Three of the lucky Space Cadets who were selected for the show are actually actors pretending to be thrill-seeking contestants. At the end of the training period, one of the actors will be “chosen” along with three genuine contestants to blast off in the shuttle.

    Each actor has been assigned a fictitious character profile and they must remain in character at all times. They are played by:



    Charlie Skelton
    Charlie appeared as The Earl in Channel 4’s Comedy Lab. He is also an accomplished writer. Most recently, he has been writing for BBC TV’s Have I Got News for You, the MTV Europe Music Awards and a new BBC project for comic Mark Wootton, having previously written for the award-winning My New Best Friend for Channel 4.

    Charlie is also a journalist, founder of the satirical website The London News Review, and author – he recently co-wrote (with journalist Victoria Coren) Once More with Feeling about his experiences of making an adult movie in Amsterdam.

    In Space Cadets, Charlie plays an eccentric poet who applied for the show looking for new material.


    Ranie Daw
    Australian Ranie’s film credits include Suburban Nightmare, Room for Rent, Half Way There and Minestrone Fats. On stage, Ranie has played the lead in improvised comedy This Is Soap at the Edinburgh Festival, musical comedy Kiss and Tell, sketch show The Comedy Show and drama Live Acts on Stage.

    Ranie’s role in Space Cadets is an Aussie traveller and adrenaline junkie.


    Steve Hester
    Steve’s film credits include Tale I Lose, Bloodlines, Scallywag and Swallowing It. He has also appeared in many theatre production including Blood Wedding, Stags & Hens, The Rivals, Where Did All the Children Go, Arcadia and The Merchant of Venice.

    In Space Cadets, Steve adopts the character of a jobseeker.

  3. #3
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    The first show has just aired - and here is the lowdown.

    If you want me to continue these reports throughout the series, please reply so I can see if anyone is really interested.


    Put simply it was absolutely brilliant - the most entertaining hour of TV I've seen in a long time.

    Johnny Vaughan is the perfect host. He was brilliant during his three year stint on The Big Breakfast with a good hand in sarcastic wit - but since he quit C4 for the BBC he's hosted flop after flop. His return to C4 a last see's him working with a fantastic format.


    The first show was all about the planning and selection process. In June vague adverts were placed for a show called "Thrill Seekers" - though no details on what the show entailed were revealed. Hundreds applied, with 100 selected for auditions in London. Anyone in the forces, police or with interest in space or physics was rejected.

    The main thing the producers was susceptability - and they devised a series of tests to test this.

    Participants were shown a series of random dots and told they formed an image - they did not. They were asked to describe the image, with anyone believing they could see something put through.

    Next a number of eyeballs were put in a jar, with participants asked to state how many they think are in the jar. They are then asked to write this down on a board with lots of other deliberately high guesses. Those that raise their guesses are through.


    The next tests would test for claustrophobia, and involved being strapped blindfolded in a sleeping bag to test "restricted claustrophobia". After this was completed they piled into the lifts ready to move on to the next phase of assessment - unaware that when the lift broke down their everymove was being watched.

    A couple of the undercover actors spotted the hidden cameras and raised the tension by becoming the people you wouldn't want to be stuck in a lift with. Those that became aggitated were rejected.

    The final test in London was about how self concious they all were - basically they all had to dance blindfolded to the sound of silence. One by one they removed their blindfolded until just one person was dancing in the middle of the room. Anyone who's shy and retiring is out!


    Meanwhile, the ex-American air base in Suffolk is being transferred into mission control for STAR - Space Tourism Agency of Russia. All signs of English is removed, with the based refitted with Russian fittings, and the producers off on a shopping trip to Russia for Russian food and supplies.


    The next phase of training was physical - with hiking and orienteering testing the contestants fitness - plus abseiling and a 30ft bridge jump testing their nerve. Actually here it was the actors that found the going tough.

    A night of camping led to an interesting discussion as some of the lads looked up at the stars, and began talking about their desire for space travel, still unaware what "Thrill Seekers" would challenge them to do.


    The finalists were then selected and put in isolation, and then asked to nominate a member of their family or friend they trusted implicitly to make decisions on their behalf.

    The production team then went to meet these people and explained the entire concept of Space Cadets to them, telling them their loved ones would be the victims of the cruelest hoax in TV history.

    They all agreed to it!


    The 12 contestants, including the three undercover cadets, were then gathered at a Kent airstrip to be told for the first time what they were competing for - to be the first televised British Space Tourists. They were given the option to back out, but all boarded the plane to leave for, well Suffolk!

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    Once again, please reply if your reading this just so I know I'm not talking to myself!


    I'm quickly beginning to love this show - it's great to feel so intelligent as our would be space cadets fly around in circles and land just a few miles from where they took off.


    The show picks up with the 12 Space Cadets, three of which are undercover actors, in the plane that's flying them to "Russia". One of them spookily suggests they're not about to land in Russia, but in fact are somewhere near Brighton!

    Obviously excited at the prospect of travelling into Space, they failed to notice that after taking off from Kent, the plane flew towards the North Sea and slowly turned back on itself, doing four loops through the air before four hours later they landed on the runway in... Kent!

    A different airport of course, but just a few miles apart! Here they are transferred into a helicopter which will take them on the final leg of the journey to their Russian Military base at Krymsk on the edge of the Black Sea - or as we like to call it, somewhere near Ipswich!

    Here they are met by a strict Russian military official, who by day is a city banker, but on this night is barking orders at them in Russian. The mis-pronounced names of the cadets are read out and they are ordered to leave the helicopoter one by one and board a waiting bus. All except one cadet that is - poor Ryan. His name isn't on the list!

    He takes his passport off him and leaves him on the helicopter as he steps outside to radio his superiors, with the others looking on wondering what is happening to Ryan. After a few minutes of Russian chit chat, Ryan joins the others.

    The bus then head off for the STAR headquarters - passing a few Russian military tanks and missiles on the way. At the STAR HQ they meet mission Commander James Campbell, actually Richard Campbell posing as a former RAF squadron leader - who as STARs senior British personel, will be looking after the cadets hoping to go on their first mass tourism mission.

    They are welcomed with a shot of Russian vodka and warned that the Russian military that surrounds them don't like surprises - so they are strictly forbidden from leaving the compound!

    It's decked out in traditional reality TV style, with one big dorm and a confidential "diary room". Steve, one of the undercover actors, is amazed how realistic it is. They are supplied with some Russian snacks and drinks, and instructions which tells them it's safe to drink the Russian tap water!

    The next morning and there is an early injury - as Charlie, one of the undercover actors, accidently pulls of the toe nail of Steve, another undercover actor. It's a pure accident, but considering Steve was quite ill during the assessment programme, it doesn't look good!


    Training begins immediately with James Campbell having to train the cadets to believe everything that happens on their five-day mission is real.

    He gets them chanting the STAR motto in Russian, telling them it translates as "We are the Adventurers". Actually, it's literal translation is "It's not Rocket Science".

    He gives them some background on STAR and how it's ahead of the new space race, stating their two years ahead of Richard Bransons plans for space tourism.

    Then, he informs them of the one thing that could see the hoax exposed on day 1 - they won't experience weightlessness!

    Rewriting the rules of gravity, he tells them they'll travel into "near space" within the earth's atmosphere and that they may find it surprising that as they will remain within earth's gravitational field, they won't experience weightlessness. Well, would you know any different?

    The cadets don't, and though surprised, they remain silent and continue with their training. Any doubts are quickly erased when they are promised "one hell of a view!"

    It's all going well until one of the undercover actors nearly blows it with an awkward question. The space cadets are being taught acronyms for the names of the planets - but Charlie buts in "What about planet X?" Campbell is stumbled but quick to point out that it doesn't matter, and in fact Pluto may soon be declassified as a planet.

    Perhaps Charlie's awkward question will actually mean less suspicion around him. Later Charlie confessed he asked the question as at the time he actually believed they were training to go into space. That's how good these guys are - they are fooling the undercover actors!


    And that's show two. Tomorrow more from the Russian base as training intensifies - and one of the cadets is sent packing - to a Travel-lodge down the road!

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    keep writing I at least am reading. I like the way you are writing the recaps in nice short concise paragraphs.

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    I'm reading, too. Interesting concept!
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

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    Episode three and we are now beginning to see more of the personalities of the cadets.

    At the beginning of the show we're introduced to Val - a genuine former member of the KGB Special forces who's responsible for putting the cadets through their paces to be physically fit for the mission. Once again here it's undercover cadet Steve who fails to keep the pace - eventually doubling up in pain only to be picked up by Val and carried round the barracks, with Val repeating their will be no special treatment - "This is not England" he repeats on numerous occassions!

    The other actors aren't prepared for how tough it is - with Charlie admitting though it's hard and painful, it is "slightly fun" - before going onto state he hopes it'll become more fun before he dies at the hand of Val.


    Later that night the cadets beging to worry when one of the girls spots Steve vomitting violently in his bed that night. Paul is quick to see if he's OK, before the other lads come to his aid and take him out to the living space. A producer from C4 then interupts them to say they are taking Steve out of the barracks due to the highly contagious nature of his symptoms.

    With Steve out of the way, concern turns into anger when they realise he may have jeopodised their place in space!

    Steve then joins Johnny live in the studio and explains he was genuinely ill. Since his departure none of the cadets have questioned his disapperance, believing that as he missed a chunk of the training it be impossible for him to catch up. IMO that's one of the weak links gone!


    Now throughout the training period the cadets will attend hours of lectures preparing them for their mission - but they are unaware that only 80% of the stuff they learn is fact. The other 20% are lies - either to cover any cracks in the hoax, or just to make them look stupid!

    Animal Pioneers lecturer Vladimir Negodivic (an actor) teaches them about Laika the dog, who in 1957 was sent into orbit to test space suits, sacrificing their life in the process. The Russians remember him to this day - and this is all true - but actors Charlie and Ranie struggle to keep a straight face, while Cheryl is reduced to tears and has to leave the room.

    Next they are taught about Minsky, a monkey sent into space in 1958 - and as the first Russian animal to safely travel into space they named the city Minsk after her. They are then shown Minsky, who was stuffed and preserved for future generations. They are asked to show respect with a minutes silence. Of course, Minsky never existed!

    Other lectures see them learning commands to communicate with Mission Control. Once again a mixture of true and stupid commands are introduced, with the cadets convinced that the commands "NACAS", "FIDO", "LIDO" and "DIDO" are all important to space travel. I don't think so!


    Back in the barracks and we begin to see how much the cadets want it. Billy doesn't want the feeling of being "nearly there" and fears his more academic rivals, while Astrid doubts she has got what it takes - though would love to be the first Welsh person in space.

    While Cheryl studies alone in the bedroom, Keri leaves her work behind at the table while Charlie and Paul play chess. With Keri out of sight, Paul draws a penis next to her work - causing the first major argument of the series. Keri is furious after working for hours, with Paul protesting "That is not my cock "


    As host Johnny Vaughan walks around the base, he talks about how much the cadets want this and how he pities the poor bloke who will have to meet them as they land back on earth after five days in space to inform them it's all a hoax - before the producers remind him that will be his job! Johnny orders for Val and a couple of kalashnikovs to back him up!

    Finally, our actor Charlie tries to keep up the pretence of his status as a "poet" by penning the song "Christmas in Space". It has the other cadets in stitches - and is possibly the biggest giveaway so far, but still no-one suspects - or do they?


    More from the training camp tomorrow - with our first potential space lovers set to be revealed!

  8. #8
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    These are great recaps...Please keep writing them!

    Normally, I'm not a big fan of hoaxes, practical jokes, etc - I just feel uncomfortable about the whole thing - but in this case, I find myself wanting to read about it. I think I'm more fascinated with how the producers are going to pull it off...

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    We are just 48 hours away from blast off as episode 4 hits our screen – but as our undercover actors let slip that they’re in England and tells one of them they won’t be going to space, will the producers be shouting “Ipswich, we have a problem.”

    First, we’re back to the zero-gravity issue. Our cadets have been told that as they are going into “near space”, they won’t experience the full effects of this – and in today’s anti-gravitational lectures they find out why.

    At the distance they will be travelling they will feel something like 70% of the earth’s gravitational pull – but what about the other 30%. Well, that will be counteracted with three anti-gravitational devices attached to the capsules, meaning while in space they won’t experience weightlessness. A handy device – shame it’s not been invented yet!

    Our undercover actors are amazed the others are buying this, with Charlie saying you could probably tell them these anti-gravitational devices are powered by hamsters running in a wheel and they’d believe it!

    With an intensive training period many of the cadets are busy revising. Paul confesses to camera that he's not very academic and that he's here for the fun of it - and hence, doesn't allow his revising to stop the fun. He also questions what TV viewers would think about everyone advising, saying he could hardly imagine people dropping everything to gather around a screen as Charlie passes him a pen.

    At this point host Johnny Vaughan should be linking to camera - but he and the crew are far too busy watching Charlie pass a pen to Paul on the studio monitors.

    Now, with a hoax as big as Space Cadets they’ve employed a few actors to help prevent it being exposed. Meet Brick, a Hollywood set designed turned space lecturer, who is about to give the cadets their first lecture about the mission.

    Brick is briefed not to tell the cadets about that night’s surprise party, the planned space walk or of course, the fact they are actually in England. He manages to do all three.

    Introducing himself by apologising for not being able to attend tonight’s party, Brick isn’t off to a good start. He then let’s slip the mission may include a space walk – something the cadets, and the viewers, were not aware of!

    Finally though it’s the big secret he reveals – but the cadets don’t spot it. Trailing scarily away from his brief he begins talking about some space simulators used in the movies, and talks about how Space Odyssey was filmed in Hollywood. One of the other lecturer’s points out it was actually filmed in Borehamwood in the UK (incidentally now the home of our Big Brother house) – to which Brick mutters – “That’s right it was filmed here”. Somehow the cadets don’t here his mumbled reply!

    Later in the day they meet the pilots who will guide them on their space travels - one from Russia and Drew, from America. That night they have a party to get to know each other - with work strictly off topic (for the benefit of the actors). Unsurprisingly, the cadets are quick to bring up the subject, with Drew revelling in his role as astronaut as he chats with the girls.

    Now what’s the first thing most people want to know about space travel – how to go to the toilet of course? And our lecturers are sure to cover that as our cadets begin toilet training.

    It’s important to strap yourself in while on the toilet – but as plumbers are on short supply in Suffolk, sorry Space, it’s a maximum of six sheets of toilet paper per visit to prevent blockages.

    Now when the subject of bodily emmissions crops up and the lecturers asks anyone if they don't like particular smells, undercover actor Ranie quickly replies "Andrew" - to which Andrew snaps back "I don't like you either".

    Upon returning to barracks, as Astrid can't believe she's just had a lecture teaching her to use the toilet, Andrew sulks in the bedroom while the others see the funny side. After ranting to the other lads about not liking what Ranie said, Andrew eventually backs down and apologises for his reaction, with Ranie replying it was nothing personal, she just doesn't like his farts!


    Back to lecture and they've let Brick have the responsibility of telling them about the space suits. The cadets will be issued with two, one for lift off and landing, with the other designed for space walks.

    First they are introduced to their nappies - as although there is a toilet on board, during lift off they will be unable to used it.

    Astronauts also have to wear a specially designed bodystocking under their suits to prevent discomfort in their spacesuits - but to save a bit of cash, the producers bought in some rubber suits from a fetish website instead!

    Billy is first to try on the nappy and bodystocking before slipping into a space suit and being asked to do some moonwalking. As more get into their bodystocking fitness trainer Val returns with some special (i.e. of no use at all!) pelvic exercises to get them used to their new garments.

    Back in barracks and the girls wonder if the exercises and bodystocking were just for the benefit of making them look stupid - with Ranie stepping in and saying it must be important to get used to moving in the uniform and that the bodystocking prevents the uncomfortable space suits rubbing against their skin and makes it easier to get into them.

    Back to host Johnny Vaughan who is in shock - one of the undercover actors has actually helped the mission run smoothly!


    Now, with a possible space mission now reality, not fantasy, some of our cadets have been getting poetic to describe their thoughts. Paul and Andrew are first to share their creations, before undercover actor Charlie, who's cover story is he's a poet.

    Even if I could remember it all, it's not worth repeating except for one line - "Paul French will never go to space!".

    The cadets laugh it off with Paul replying "You bastard " - not realising how true the line actually is!


    Now tomorrow could someones unconcious mumblings during their sleep mean the big secret is exposed!

    Who knows, and perhaps we'll never find out as yesterday's promised space lovers were not in tonight's show!

    Anyhow, it's still a great watch and it'll be the last of the training shows tomorrow before we're ready for take off on Monday.

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    Episode 5 – and with launch just 24 hours away tonight we find out the four cadets, including one undercover actor, who’ll be going into space – or a space in a field in Suffolk to be more precise!

    Physical trainer Val, a genuine ex-KGB Special Forces Officer, has been putting the cadets through their paces daily with a tough fitness regime and specialised breathing exercises – which according to Paul are far more difficult than they look. The girls, Keri in particular, begin to complain about the harsh regime – leading to a lecture from Val about lazy Western attitudes and his unwillingness to teach “housewives”

    With Space Cadets the aim of the show is simple – the truth must not be discovered. While on the surface the cadets believe they are in Russia training to go on a space mission, there have been suspicions.

    Astrid in particular finds the experience weird, while Louise and Sarah-Jane go as far to suggest it could be a hoax, even noting the producers are known for comedy, rather than reality (though in fact Endemol has recently restructured with Zeppotron now responsible for all reality output). Paul questions the location, pointing out though it’s cold, it’s not much colder than an English winter. Possibly worth noting Britain is going through it’s coldest winter in a decade at the moment!

    Back in the lecture hall and the cadets find out that they will be conducting some experiments on board, which they believe come from leading research labs around the world, while in fact they are designed by the producers to keep their minds busy while locked in the shuttle! There are four rules with regards space experiments – “Prepare, Read (instructions), Ask (if doubtful) and finally Test – or for short, PRAT!” The lecturer also asks if they are paying their daily respects to space monkey Minsky – to which most the cadets answer yes.

    With Charlie struggling to keep a straight face during the lecture, he begins doodling during the lecture. The lecturer comes over, rips out the page and instructs Charlie to see him after class. Even though Charlie is aware the lecturer is an actor, he admits that he went through his notes adding to them to make it look like he’d done more work.

    Now, with a high tech space shuttle simulator being used for the actual mission, they couldn’t really use it to get the cadets used to space conditions. So instead we had a bit of MDF wood panelling instead. Split in to two groups, they must spend three hours in the space and carry out a number of tasks, including relaxing, performing an experiment, exercising and using the toilet. Keri finds using the toilet too much and sneaks out of the back to using the toilets in the barracks – only to be caught by mission commander James Campbell.

    Now, going into space is pretty exciting – but not as exciting as a Christmas spread. The cadet’s return to find decorations and a Christmas spread laid out for them. Val is a big hit with the cadets, but freaks them out when he guesses what card Charlie is holding as he leaves – unaware they had discussed it earlier.

    With training coming to an end, it’s exam time. As they await the results, the cadets are showing signs of nerves with the knowledge failure could end their dreams. The next day the results are in and at the graduation ceremony they are informed they have all passed the course. After being presented with scrolls and badges, Val reads out a Russian poem in their honour all about their Courage and Endeavour" – well, the cadets don’t know it’s actually one of his mothers recipes!

    Now – when you have only got a shuttle simulator, rather than an actual space shuttle, how do you get away with it? Simple – get the final four on a blacked out coach, drive them through a tunnel straight to a staircase which leads to a pretty impressive walkway that takes them straight into the space shuttle (simulator!)

    So who is going? The cadets are gathered in the barracks – and the first space tourist is named as Charlie, the undercover actor. Paul, Keri and Billy will join him on Earth Orbiter 1 for lift off tomorrow night.


    Now some exclusive news not yet seen on the programme. The reason the rejected cadets haven’t been told the secret is they are being kept on standby in case the first mission is found out.

    And as for the space shuttle itself – well, the participants testing the craft experienced motion sickness as the simulator did it thing – so the producers are happy with that. However, part of the panelling fell off, meaning the cadets could see the studio floor from the space craft.

    The space craft is split into three decks, with the cockpit, mid-deck and laboratory. The mid-deck contains three beds, which they will sleep in on a rota basis, while the laboratory contains a secret airlock for our actors to sneak out and stretch their legs!

    The adventure to nowhere begins tomorrow!

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