Where The Wild Men Are (4 x 60′) – Adventurer Ben Fogle lives with people who have chosen to inhabit some of the most remote locations on earth and turn their backs on the daily grind. But who exactly are the people who have the guts to make such a dramatic move? What are the challenges that face them? And what is it that led them to leave behind what most of us would deem “ordinary life”?
Ben visits the following places and live with the people who have ventured there:
Alaska, USA – 30-something couple Bretwood Higman and wife Erin McKittrick moved to one of the remotest parts of Alaska 4 years ago, and have raised two young children in the wilderness. They hiked 4,000 miles to get to their new home and now live half the year in a self-built Mongolian-style yurt – and the other half trekking in the wilderness – accompanied by their infant children. The family chop their own wood for fuel, water comes from an underground well and their dog licks their plates clean. Ben learns vital survival skills to live in the wild – grizzly bear protection, storm navigation and paddling tiny rafts through freezing waters to reach a stunning glacier.
Restoration Island, Australia – Former Sydney businessman, Dave Glasheen, 69, lost $10million in a single day in the stock market crash of 1987. He and his wife separated and his home was repossessed. With his last savings, Dave bought the lease on part of Restoration Island – and it’s here he’s learned to live like a voluntary castaway. This real-life Robinson Crusoe and his sole companion, dog Quasi, inhabit a 100 acre volcanic island. It’s a 40 minute boat-ride away from Lockhart River – the most remote indigenous Aboriginal population in Australia. Ben learns to oyster pick, brew beer, trade fish and dance with the locals in one of the world’s last remaining genuine wilderness areas. We discover a man who lost everything once, but is set to lose it again – Dave is being evicted from his island home and is doing everything he can to stay…
Gorge River, New Zealand – Deep in the New Zealand wilderness lives a family in a place so remote it takes two days on foot to reach it. The Long family are hunter-gatherers who survive off the land and call a ramshackle wooden hut their home. Robert Long discovered the untamed area after dropping out of medical school 32 years ago. He and his wife Catherine have raised two teenagers in complete isolation, educating them at home and teaching them how to live off the land and sea that surrounds them. Ben immerses himself into the Long family’s world, hunting with them, killing pests with them and gaining an insight into a way of life that makes him question his own lifestyle back in so called civilization.
Texas, USA – Former New York fashion photographer John Wells, 53, quit NYC four years ago for a life off the grid in one of the most inhospitable terrains on earth. Hunting deadly rattlesnakes and decapitating dead cows to sell their horns are just some of the delights that now make up his day job, as is fitting in with the eccentric desert folk and doomsday preppers that inhabit the neighbouring Ghost Town. Ben joins John (and his pet rooster Carl) in their humble abode – a small hut made of scrap metal, complete with an outdoor bathroom that doesn’t leave much to the imagination. A far cry from John’s former mansion in New York state.
Channel: Channel 5 / Science
Producer: Renegade Picutres / Group M Entertainment
TX: Spring 2013
Source: Channel 5 press release