CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews the weekend’s TV: Who dares wins? Only if you can do the Fawcett flick
Celebrity SAS: Who dares wins
Young man! We are the SAS crew. I said, young man! Twenty push-ups from you. Hey there, young man! We’re rummaging through our stuff. Because we can, look, camp, but we’re tough!
Head Instructor Rudy Reyes and the boys took the stage again as a foul-mouthed version of the Village People, insulting 14 recruits in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (C4).
The celebs were already starting to look tearful and disheveled. But their instructors were primed, shrunken, and shiny. They turn the ‘special’ into special powers.
“These aren’t Instagrammers in the wild,” Rudy bellowed, brushing a stray lock of hair from his face, like Farrah Fawcett in Charlie’s Angels. His tousled hair reminded me of that vintage ad – ‘Does she or doesn’t she use Harmony hairspray?’
If not only the viewers but the celebrities themselves don’t know who they are, you can bet it’s a cast of real Z-listers
His crew of drill sergeants flank him with their arms folded to emphasize their biceps or tuck their thumbs into their belts. They’re less gloriously haired – though Jason Fox (who prefers to be known by his stripper name Foxy) has gone a bit Paul McCartney with the hair color.
Their vanity was easily surpassed by TOWIE’s Pete Wicks, who looks like the love child of Louis XIV and Lydia the Tattooed Lady. His wavy curls framed the body ink that stretched from his chin to his fingertips.
Pete is on the show with the purest motives, a desire for self-fulfillment: “I want to be the person I believe I am,” he sobbed.
If not only the viewers, but the celebrities themselves don’t know who they are, you can bet it’s a cast of real Z-listers.
Among the vaguely familiar faces were Jennifer Ellison, who was in Brookside 20 years ago, and Ferne McCann, another TOWIE follower. Ferne stated that she approached SAS selection as an act of defiance against social media trolls who mock her appearance. “I can’t change my appearance,” she protested, before pausing as a thought shot through her mind in slow motion.
“I mean, sure, I had a nose job,” she admitted.
Former athlete Fatima Whitbread, who won javelin throw medals at two Olympics, saved the show from futility, in a touching segment when she was interrogated by the sergeants.
Former athlete Fatima Whitbread, who won javelin throw at two Olympics, saved the show from futility
She revealed how sports saved her from the scrap heap when she grew up in a children’s home. But it was adoption, she said, that “humanized” her. She told her story without self-pity and maintained her dignity as the other participants sniffled and shivered. This is what real toughness looks like.
The first 30 minutes of The Capture (BBC1) were as heartbreaking as any SAS assault course. This drama relies on his sleight of hand, which makes us think we are seeing one thing while something else is happening. In one long sequence, starting with a chase and ending with a murder in a hospital, this trick was repeated several times.
In the end, writer Ben Chanan pushed his luck too far. Home Secretary Isaac Turner (Paapa Essiedu) tried to chase the killers and when he was arrested for speeding, the tension subsided into a comic raspberry.
The message of the show is clear: digital data can never be trusted. Not just BBC videos and CCTV footage, but even the voices on police walkie-talkies were fake
But the show’s message is clear: digital data can never be trusted. Not only BBC videos and CCTV footage, but even the voices on the police walkie-talkies were fake.
Despite its complexity and pace, DCI’s Holliday Grainger makes Rachel Carey an intriguingly contradictory character: determined one minute, the next struggling with her conscience.
She also has a sense of humor. When Turner worried that he couldn’t talk to his wife because he hated lying to her, the professionally two-sided Carey was unsympathetic. “Not really my area,” she shrugged.