On Space Cadets…

There’s an article in the Independent newspaper today that I’m trying really hard to convince myself isn’t true. If it is true, it sounds like one of the cruelest things I’ve ever heard of. A group of people chosen for their suggestability are going to be convinced that they are going to experiencer a near-space mission, trained in a fake Russian military base, and then convinced they are orbiting the planet for four days in space where they will perform experiments.

But they’re not going into space at all. In fact, the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated at enormous expense in an institution somewhere in England. The poor suckers they’ve found to inflict this ‘prank’ upon will find out the truth live on television in front of millions of people, just as they think they’ve completed what must seem to be one of the most important and impactful and life-changing experiences of their lives.

I have a tendency to identify too heavily with people on television and in films, which is one of the reasons I find media so compelling as well as one of the reasons I can’t watch embarrassment-based comedy. But I think if I went through such an experience of stress and striving – all in the aspirant desire to do something as astonishing and meaningful an experience as a space mission – I’d be devastated by the idea that it had all been a set-up. As a friend of mine said, the experience would be like one of those sudden context shifts that’s so disorientating and fascinating when suddenly realise where you are having been lost in a strange city, except that afterwards you’d go catatonic and never trust anyone ever again.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they’ve specifically gone after people who are prone to suggestion – which seems to me like actively taking advantage of the good nature and innocence of people – in order to ridicule and humiliate them in front of the nation. The idea of a cynical media hack celebrity consoling a contestant devastated by the revelation by the idea that at least now they’ll be on the cover of Heat magazine… God the whole thing makes me almost physical nauseous.

Who knows. I might be wrong – the whole enterprise might be in the best possible taste and all the people involved might not be permanently emotionally crippled by the idea that they could have such an experience pulled out from underneath them by monstrous inhuman cynics out to make a quick buck from advertising revenues. I’ll probably watch an episode or two before condemning the whole enterprise out of hand. But I’ve found the concept alone profoundly disturbing and a significant and unpleasant shift from Big Brother towards something much much darker and malevolent.

You can read all about the project in the Independent article: Unreality TV: The final frontier. After that, why not explore The Google News related stories. It’s been on Boing Boing too, I see, although they didn’t seem to find it as repulsive as do. So just to remind you all of what the hell they’re doing – here’s a quote to help you get your head around how unpleasant the whole ‘enterprise’ is:

Several months ago, the channel advertised for “thrill seekers” to take part in a new reality TV show. A hundred applicants were invited to London for an interview before being put through a series of psychological tests to ascertain how suggestible they were.

Although the term space cadet is slang for someone who is distracted from reality, Shirley Jones, the show’s executive producer, insisted the contestants were “not stupid people”.

“Suggestibility is a psychological term that has no link with intelligence or gullibility. People who have a creative mind tend to be quite suggestible. All the tests we did have been done in conjunction with a psychologist,” she said.

117 replies on “On Space Cadets…”

Stating that the contestants are “not stupid people” is a subtlety which will be the first to be lost on the millions watching the show. I can’t imagine how one would see the humorous side of the situation when they are prepping for a space walk, and then are confronted with the fact they’re the centre of a very very expensive joke.
Having said that, i don’t know what appalls me more: the fact that these people are made fun of, or that someone came up with such an idea, and millions are spent on it to make it happen. Millions… that means there are demographics saying that such a show will be profitable, there is an audience for it. A sickening thought…
I watched Network this week, brilliant movie from 1976, watch it if you haven’t yet, and in relation to this news, still very current. All this makes me want to scream: I’m mad as hell, and i’m not taking it anymore!

It’s Capricorn One in reverse! After spending some time wondering how anyone could be taken in by this, I got thinking more about how they’re going to structure the programme. After the ‘launch’, I’m not sure how much drama can be squeezed out of four people in a small box doing scientific experiments. What would happen if suddenly there was a ‘fault’ with the shuttle and they had to deal with the possibility/likelihood of dying on re-entry? It’s pretty clear that the production company is concerned with the audience, rather than the participants. Would they go that far? If they would, the last thing they’d do is tell the audience in advance that it was going to happen.

As someone who is both into space exploration and ‘alternate reality gaming’ (which is not *terribly* dissimilar from this), the entire idea disturbs me. The strange thing is that I almost feel like I’m being a prude for being disturbed.
My main problem with Space Cadet is the same as what’s already been said – I don’t like the idea of people being duped in such a way, even if their friends and family claim it’s OK. It’s clearly not for their benefit, it’s for the benefit of an audience who are laughing at what they do.
I also find it a shame that Channel 4 are blowing millions on an elaborate fake space mission. There was a time when people were interested in real space exploration and space science… here, it’s just becoming some kind of joke.
Much is being made of how Space Cadets is groundbreaking and revolutionary. It is neither. It’s the worst kind of hoax, a hoax that has no heart and tells no story. I suppose it’s easier than actually attempting to make something entertaining and with a story – but they just settle for importing such things from the US.

Some more thoughts. It may be that this is just a double-bluff, and the contestants are all in fact actors. Pretty lame if so.
Also, no amount of IMAX technology will get around the fact that if there are windows of appreciable size on the spacecraft (that the contestants can get close to), it will be plainly obvious that they are just 2D images.
Finally, the reaction of people on various reality TV forums I’ve looked at on the net suggests that some people seem to think it’ll be marvellous, but interestingly that an equal number are discomfited by the idea. Typical Channel 4/Endemol trying to shock people.

On a height of 100 km, i don’t think you’ll have any working of perspective, and even if there is, the participants are led to believe that gravity is still working at that height. I think it’s common knowledge that space officially ‘starts’ at that height. These contestants must be very suggestible.
And how are they going to explain the fact that on a trip from England to Russia they will experience no jet-lag?

My initial reaction was much like yours, and the commenters above.
But part of me also thinks… these are people who have volunteered for a reality TV show. However suggestible they are, maybe they’ve decided that the usual levels of reality TV humiliation are worth the fun / fame / money that will result? Does anyone really think these people have signed up without it occurring to them that they might be made fools of?

I’ve found the concept alone profoundly disturbing and a significant and unpleasant shift from Big Brother towards something much much darker and malevolent.
Yes – it’s the Far Side “time to go home, Eddie” cartoon brought to life – and played for laughs. Horrific on more than one level.
“The idea came out of Endemol’s comedy production arm Zeppotron, which also made Nathan Barley”

Double-bluff. At least, I hope so. I think it’s got tremendous potential for a true Chris Morris table-turning on the audience.

Phil Gyford: I don’t see it that way. If they’d volunteered for Big Brother (crazy freak show that it is), I wouldn’t be particularly sympathetic. But these guys have volunteered for what they think is a reality TV show of people preparing to go on a serious space mission. I imagine that to the contestants, it all looks very serious. Sure, they might be expecting some fun and fame (not sure about the money), but it’s not the same kind of shameless self-promotion that you see on other reality TV shows.

It appears to me to be some elaborate hoax that Jeremy Beadle might have perpetrated ten years ago writ large. But I don’t think Beadle was ever this cruel, his pranks I remember involved some awful appearing to have befallen the hapless victim which when revealed the relief they had allowed them to laugh at the joke played at their expense.
This is the opposite though the contestants will have their illusions of this profound moment in their lives shattered when the truth is revealed.
We’ll have to wait until the broadcast until we can pass a real judgement on the show. But at the moment the concept is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

This is GREAT. I love reality TV. It’ll be like The Joe Schmoe show, excpet more evil.
It was poetic watching Joe Schmoe’s entire reality unravelled before is very eyes on global TV.
Watching a group suffering the same fate will be infinitely better.

I’m curious to how they’ll react too, but I’m sure it’ll be disappointing. Like the ones in stupid shows like Punk’d and Boiling Points. (Maybe they are bad examples b/c they are mtv shows.) I don’t know why the people who get pranked smile when they just took it up the butt.

This sort of reminds me of that movie, The Game. Not the premise, but the idea everything being one big ruse, and the potential devastation at the end of it all.
I always thought that if I were Michael Douglas in that movie, I wouldn’t have hugged Sean Penn at the end. I would have punched him square in the face.

I just want to hack this- really, how would you trash it, make the illusion collapse? This is real truman show stuff, but I am seriously thinking of hireing a light aircraft to tow a banner saying ‘it’s a spoof’ across hertfordshire.
The other thing to bear in mind is the difficulty of running a full motion flight sim for more than an hour or so. These are big hefty machines and they don’t like being thrashed for ages. According to press reports though the dupes have been told various lies about the newtonian physics of free fall space flight, so are expecting about 1g throughout their flight.
Saw a great voltaire quote on a bumper sticker today:
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
I think the slippery slope has just got steeper.

On a height of 100 km, i don’t think you’ll have any working of perspective, and even if there is, the participants are led to believe that gravity is still working at that height. I think it’s common knowledge that space officially ‘starts’ at that height.
Gravity does still work at that height. In fact if you we’re standing on a ladder at say 300KM above the earth you’d be only about 10% lighter.
se here

Am i missing something? Either this has already been recorded, or the contestants will hear about the scam in the media, yes? Or, 3rd option, they’re being kept away from everything as we speak, while they are put trhrough the motions. All bad as far as I ‘m concerned. Anything which relies on people being lied to has to be a bad thing.

if they’re looking for people who have high suggestability it probably involves hypnosis. It is true that intelligent people are easier to hypnotize. In fact, it’s near impossible to hypnotize someone who is mentally retarded.
Gravity does still work at that height. In fact if you we’re standing on a ladder at say 300KM above the earth you’d be only about 10% lighter.
In order to stay at that height they need to be in “orbital freefall” around the earth. Basically all the planets and moons in the solar system are in a sort of “orbital freefall” around the sun. Anybody in a free-falling state feels weightless.
It is, however, still possible to simulate weightlessness for a limited amount of time with a regular plane at heights well under 100km. Basically, the plane has to nose dive at a freefalling velocity.

In order to stay at that height they need to be in “orbital freefall” around the earth.
Hence the ladder albeit an impossibly strong ladder.

These people are destroying society. It seems to me these kind of hilarious “gags” perpetrated on unsuspecting members of the public, invented in a more innocent era, as Electricinca namechecks Jeremy Beadle, and gradually made more cynical by the likes of Mr Trigger Happy & co., are purely designed to stop us trusting anyone, helping people, or indeed interacting with any other human being ever. Eventually we will all, before rushing to a distressed mugging-victim’s aid, check in the bushes for hidden cameras, or someone dressed as a giant walrus. And that, quite frankly, depresses me enormously.

I know people broke into the first (Dutch) Big Brother house while they were filming. Can you imagine the reaction of the contestants if that would happen here?

You guys have no sense of humor. This is absolutely hilarious and I’m glad that they’re doing this. I don’t think it’s any more degrading than the hundred other “reality” shows out there that consistently debase and humilitate their contestants. This is just taking it to the next level.
Imagine what they could do with this! They could simulate an in-space disaster, with engine problems and all the assorted sound effects. Then you suddenly stop all the effects, shine a bright light through the hatch, and when they come out they see a guy in a beard dressed in white who tells them they’re in heaven. Then he informs one of them that they’re going to hell instead, and has a couple of guys in suits haul him away.
Now THAT would be TV I would pay to watch.

are purely designed to stop us trusting anyone, helping people, or indeed interacting with any other human being ever.
Ha! Speak for yourself.

I don’t really think there’s an ethical issue involved. Anybody who joins the cast of a “reality” show knows what they’re getting into; they choose to be on TV for the fame and it’s their right to be humiliated for our entertainment. The fact that hundreds of people audition for these lame shows is just testament to our human nature and their desire for fame and our desire to watch deception at work. I think this show is absolutely brilliant.

fraud: DECEIT, TRICKERY; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting
i’m not sure where your idea of ethics comes from if it doesn’t include a stance on fraud.

What do they do with the rejects — the ones who figure out that it’s fake, or whom succumb to space dementia?
I submit that flushing them out of an airlock would be the most humane means of disposal.

Get off of your soapboxes people. This show is going to make great TV and no harm will come to the contestants.

Great TV? What a PATHETIC comment on the quality of television today! The other “reality” shows (from what I HAVE seen) are a bad enough – showcasing a bunch of moron, show-offs and this has got to be a last throw – an utterly sad attempt to ridicule gullible people (and that’s just the audience) in the name of “entertainment”. Let’s hope it’s the death knell for reality TV shows…

For fuck sake, shut the fuck up can’t anyone do anything fun without someone moaning, a lot worse things go on.

hell, why not tell them members of their family have died, or that there’s been a nuclear attack on new york and london, maybe tell them they’ve got cancer or they’ve only got minutes to live, what a good laugh we’d all have as they completely lose their minds and control of their bowels live on television.

FUN? fuking mental scars. Yeah ok they idiots for wanting to be on reality tv in the first place but being a reality show contestant comes from the golden ticket world we live in, where people become famous for being famous, you cant blame them in some ways, you gotta blame the fuked up media world we have all created. If you dont like it turn off (that will be the only way these shows ever stop), or get project mayhem on them and plan the peoples revolt. I feel really sorry for these people as it could proper mentally scar them. R u in a reality programme now? We have seen the past with reality tv and this is the present if you continue to watch then imagine what the future will bring….

One more thing to add…..not all reality tv is bad..when its intelligent then it can show a side to human nature we might not normally see and make people aware of certain issues (even if it is a slightly exploitive medium). The uk playing it straight was brilliant because it was about how stereotyping is bullshit and showed some real good human nature, im sure theres better ways of presenting such issues but with programmes like that I will let them off!

I’m the Nick who linked Boing Boing’s Mark F. to the story in the Indy, and I used “Truman Show” in my subject deliberately, because I completely agree with you. In the Truman Show, we the audience root for Truman, and the TV guy is an inhuman bastard with a God complex and absolutely no empathy. The heros are the ones who try to set Truman free.
This being one of the most important movies of our time.
At least, that’s how I saw it. Provided this isn’t a double-bluff, I am all for gaming it and making Channel 4 lose millions over it.

But how the hell could you fuk it up, the security etc etc, im surprised no one has formed some sort of group to expose and fuk up this sort of shit. You cant have a revolution without a revolt

I’m seriously worried about some people’s attitudes towards practical jokes. Finding hilarious the idea of convincing these people their lives are in jeopardy etc. It shows a complete lack of empathy and is the worst sort of bullying.
Having said that, I don’t think Space Cadets will be so sinister. I think the contestants chosen will not be ambitious potential astronauts, just media attention seekers whose families are in on the joke and think they will find the hoax funny.
I just think Britain isn’t that cruel, Trigger Happy TV for example is generally in relatively good taste compared to the hideously sadistic and dangerous things I have seen done to people in European and American hidden camera shows.
Well, time will tell, I do hope it’s all in good taste and no one gets harmed though.

Tasteless, seriousley tasteless. If this were just Big Brother and at the end of the show the contestants were just told that the whole thing was actually fake and hadn’t been broadcast I wouldn’t really care, because that show is just for contestants who want instant fame and riches without any of the hard work. This (if it were real) would actually be one of the most incredible and unique experiences ever, but of course it will all be taken away from the contestants live in front of millions of voyueristic viewers.

Lets meet at the arranged place at the time as discussed. Team A to north and Team B south. Diversion is a great thing…

hahah that last comment was not me, most definetly not as I was fast asleep in bed after drinking far too much last night. project mayhem will in fact meet at the back of the local coop..this weeks meeting we shall confirm the colour of our camo gear…traditional gree, sand or other.

I think in some ways that if you sign up for something like this then they will want the media spotlight. I still think its mean, but im really interested in the technical side of the hoax

Oi Si, don’t forget to bring the tea and bikkies when we meet at the back of the Coop!! You know the project mayhem guys like ginger nuts!!

better them than me. Maybe next c4 will drug someone, and when they wake up tell them they’ve died and gone to hell: which would pretty much be a small room with a television playing extreme makeover 24/7.

have someone in a superman suit fly past the shuttle on the last day lol that would be awesome lol

I very much doubt the space cadets are the only ones being fooled. There’s got to be something in the later stages of the series that turns the whole thing around for the viewers.

I was a contestant on this Space Cadet show…got thru to the final 22 but then was not selected as i asked too many questions and was too savvy…funny…wierd and the rest…

Anyone dim enough to think that channel 4 is really prepared to send 9 people into space with all the litigation potential and mind blowing expense that that would involve and that a lack of weightlessness can be explained away with “ah but the craft will only be near space” deserves all the ridicule that can be thrown at them. That’ll learn ’em for not paying attention during GCSE physics.

I know one of the girls on the show called Keri(got a shock when I saw it tonite) and she is a great person who has always wanted to appear on TV. In fact she appeared on a reality show a couple of years back for one of those teen channels. I would say she is prone to suggestability but she is bright and I doubt she would be in anyway mentally scared when the truth is revealed. She would just enjoy the experience and laugh it off.

Having watched first episode I feel we are the suggestible ones – all the ‘contestants’ are actors – it took endemol a while to find this page and start some posts from contestants who didn’t get through etc…
‘Great TV’ it is not – mildly diverting prurience yes, as per most of the ‘demolish people’ reality TV out there – thank goodness there are a few shows that grow people too – much more fun seeing someone realise that they really can do something they always thought was beyond their reach!

Totally agree with Peter B.
These people are not being hoaxed – the audience is, that’s why it’s the biggest TV hoax ever. Quite honestly it didn’t take more than about 30 seconds to work it out as the “contestants” seem even more idiotic than the run-of-the-mill reality shows, idiotic to a formula, I would say.
Anyone who jumped of that bridge in “training” would have been severly crippled or dead. Surely anyone with half a brain could spot a RIGHT HAND DRIVE car with Russian plates?
Bottom line, it’s illegal to effectively detain people ona false premise – that guy in the new recently who use lies about being an MI5 agent to control peoples lives was done for kidnap by decepion, surely this is no different?

This seems more fun than big brother and the likes. It is the first time that something like this has ever been tried out and obviously there will be some miserable critics on about the whole morality of this programme etc. Does it never occur to you that when you sign up for a tv show, you are really just selling yourself for the dream of tv fame? Whatever may be involved is the price to pay. I too think that this may be a double bluff though which could probably make the show funnier! Good luck to c4 and well done for being so innovative. Oh and if there are any producers of the show here, please follow gerry’s idea of superman flying past, now that would be good!!

If the organisers of Space Cadets succeed in fooling the contestants it will be a damning indictment of our society and our education system. Anyone with half an education should be aware that high g forces are experienced on the journey into orbit and you are most definitely in a weightless state whilst in orbit. These effects cannot be faked, at least not for long.
Sadly the bulk of the population seem to be more interested in East Enders,Coronation Street, or the latest celebrity gossip than the way in which our world works and are in no state to hold informed opinions on the serious interlinked issues facing the world such as global warming, environmental degradation, and energy policy.

Presumably all reality TV contestants willingly sign a contract which basically says “we can do whatever we like to you and you can’t sue us” to get round the false imprisonment thing.
Something not mentioned previously – all these people have presumably put their jobs at risk to do this. While BB contestants can expect some earning potential from the experience, I can’t imagine these idiots will get much more than a few post-series interviews before they’re shown the door to obscurity and unemployment.
My first thought was that anyone who volunteers for a reality TV show probably deserves whatever they get – but this seems unusually and unnecessarily cruel. You’d have thought Johnny V would have some sympathy having been through a similar scenario – BBC executives told him he could write successful sitcoms, then showed him the viewing figures and reviews a few weeks later.
New low for reality TV and hopefully the end of the horror. How about some real inventive new ideas for TV rather than just reinventing or deconstructing tired old concepts?

I suspect that Endemol would be able to get the contestants to sign a sufficiently vague and all encompassing contract, which basically allows Endemol to do & say whatever they want… but on the other hand, the idea of a double bluff is intreging… I can certainly see Johnny revealing that he has tricked us all…
BTW, having watched the show last night, anyone who showed any interest in space was discarded fairly early on, and the contestants didn’t know what they were volunteering for.
I look forward to seeing the news reports of a rabble of internet tech-heads invading the base.
rob, not affiliated with anyone at all, honestly

A Britsh registered civil Helicopter and an Abbott self propelled gun (not a tank), in deepest Russia, Nah! its we the audience that are being had on this one :0)
Actors all I say!
Good fun all the same and harmless.
Plus the fact they might have got the Squadron Leader a hat that fitted him, lovley red band round his head tended to suggest his uniform was fresh of the hire companys peg :0)

I can tell you the one girl Keri from Birmingham is definitely not an actress. It would not surprise me if channel 4 have about 3 or 4 reasons to explain the show dependant on what goes wrong or right.
I thought the squadron leader was a bit over the top especially with his bangers & mash. I thought this episode was pretty boring and I will only watch the next one because I know keri.

Assuming you divs are right and this is a double-hoax and we are the victims…what would they achieve? Maybe Endemol installed cameras in all our TV sets and they’ll see the look on our faces. Oh the shame of it.

This is a very poor series, i wouldnt be surprised if all the contestants are indeed actors. The signage is too fresh looking and as for the UK registerd Helicopter with a UK pilot in russia!

Things as bad as this have been done before, there was a program called Scare Tactics hosted by Shannon Doherty, they made people think that they were in life threatening danger and scared the hell out of them, but afterwards they accepted it and most found it funny, the only difference is that this is set over a longer time period. I admit that this could disappoint them majorly, but I don’t think it’ll be that bad.
And in all honesty, as guilty as I now feel, I’m interested to see how it goes, I wonder if they’ll be able to fool the contestants the whole way through, and also if the double-bluff theory is true.
Don’t flame me for being human, curiosity is part of life… but I’d take it back if it really does give them any long term issues, but I doubt that.

I wonder if the contestants in this rather distasteful reality TV show will be suing the programme makers in the event that they do suffer psychological/emotional damage as a result of being so stupendously duped?
I feel genuinely sorry for these youngsters, not an emotion I normally feel for people who take part in reality shows. I only hope they have the last laugh on the TV bosses who thought this whole thing up.

I wonder if the contestants in this rather distasteful reality TV show will be suing the programme makers in the event that they do suffer psychological/emotional damage as a result of being so stupendously duped?
I feel genuinely sorry for these youngsters, not an emotion I normally feel for people who take part in reality shows. I only hope they have the last laugh on the TV bosses who thought this whole thing up.

Oh to have been at the concept meeting and sale of the Space Cadet idea.
It seems to me that the people who came up with the idea have been watching one too many reruns of Mission Impossible from the 60s.
I find the concept offensive and the implications for future TV entertainment rather worrying.
Whats next then?
Filming a show where the contestants believe they have been falsely accused of being a child molester and the show consists of following what happens to them in prison?
My gut feeling is that the viewers of Space Cadets are the ones being hoaxed -I do hope so .Its the only way I can actually believe there is any justification for screening a show like this.

‘Anyone who jumped of that bridge in “training” would have been severly crippled or dead’
Loads of people jump off that bridge. It’s used by Outward Bound in Eskdale.

>>…suspect that Endemol would be able to get the contestants to sign a sufficiently vague and all encompassing contract, which basically allows Endemol to do & say whatever they want…
You can’t write a contract like that. I couldn’t absolve my self of libality for murder because you signed a contract saying I could come round your house and stab you.

>>Loads of people jump off that bridge. It’s used by Outward Bound in Eskdale.
You got a link?

Where the fun in the old Beadle sketches lay was in using some way out stunt to force the victim to suspend their disbelief. It wasnt that their van had appearently just pushed into a harbour or what ever. what was most funny was the fact what happened afterwards was always far frm realistic but due to their wound up state, they would fall for it. Also though many people thought Beadle Cruel, one important factor was the reveal where Beadle would come out in disguise in the hope they would recognise him and gradually make it more and more obvious until they got it.
The point was that by the end of the stunt, no matter how many pointers they had to be given, the victim was allowed to work it out for themselves and so be in on the joke rather than being left feeling humiliated and a right muppet.
Likewise with Space Cadets.I would hope once they go live with the launch that the show willget sillier and sillier.
The victim’s ‘training’ is in fact conditioning them to suspend their disbelief. The entertainment comes from seeing how much can be thrown at the victims until they cop on.
The Key point is that the show should lay it on thick until they do work it out. What would be cruel is for Endemol to play the show straight right to the wire and then to expose the hoax themselves at the end leading to the humiliation (and possible mental destruction) of contestants live on TV.

I smell a huge rate on this one….
Ive seen NO live footage..(was this filmed eons ago)
johhny vaughan keeps saying “oooh we’ll have to be quiet cus they are behind us in the barracks” I just do not believe him for some reason as in big brother there are the two way mirrors they use in the live broadcasting and there isnt even a cut to live footage, the satellite show still no live footage as far as i saw unless i feel asleep and missed those bits. I dont know if there is a double twist cus i dont know if they would be intelligent enough to do this, plus there have been posting showing the exact location and telling you the exact location repeatedly on tv, would they really risk the “millions” they have spent to have a repeat of a big brotheresque flyer over and fuking the whole programme up, its as if they are baiting people to go and try to fuk it up maybe knowing damn well this was recorded months and months ago. Project mayhem shall not be baited. Project mayhem shall use an insider to add a device to the feed to the “earth” screen and transmit from outside at the appropriate moment hard core pornography pre watershed if possible, thus fuking up their shite programme and costing endemol thousand in fines and a tv ban!

Seismik:- Not sure of the show’s schedule but I believe it goes live on day 5 or 6 on or just before the launch into ‘space’.
Their training runs longer than the show. I cant remember how long their training is but runs for either 10,15 or een 20 days, but most of the training is already in ‘the can’ as it were.
While we are on day two, the victims have been there two weeks or so and we the audience are supposed to be playing catch up.
Yes it does smell a bit as the victims are aware right from the start that they are being filmed for a TV show, I see no reason why they couldnt extend the show for the duration of their ‘training’ as they only have to generate enough footage for a 1 hour show a night.
If the hoax is on the conestants, in reality their training is nothing more than conditioning them to suspend disbief.
If however the hoax is on the viewer, they might not want to run to the extra cost of scripting and shooting the extra footage considering that the training condensed into 5 nightly shows will suffice to fool the public.
The approach endemol has taken is different to all their other reality shows in that on other shows, the nightlies have all been summaries of what happened that day since the previous show.
It also seems suspect that JV has been very vague as to those timings or even a lack of willingness to cut to live shots. Add to that rumours and posts on the c4 forums that the activity at the base has already been completed and local contracts for taxis etc finished it does make you wonder.
Ive also noticed that other than initial media articles on the show’s contestants. The press, havnt picked up on the show since. which cosidering the novel idea seems surprizing, unless they know something we dont.

I was wondering last night, what did they do with the contestants during the two weeks ‘quarantine’ before the show aired? All very strange. Unlike the programme itself, which is tedious and silly.

You cant hide the fact that this sort of thing goes on all the time. The suggestable people of the world might at last find a true awakening.

They were supposed to be quarantined somewhere off shore, they didnt elaborate, but if we the public are not the ones being hoaxed, a large part of the time we were originally told they were quarentined they were infact on base filming.
What got me was that they tried to show the great lengths they went covering their tracks changing wall sockets on the base etc, then they show the russian numberplates on a british vauxhall, when in fact wgile General MOtors does have outlets in Russia. the european sourced GM cars go under the Ope; Badge not Vauxhall. Even if the car badge didnt get them asking questions, surely the steering wheel being on the wrong side would.
Some of the other things that dont hold true.
They say the shuttle they are using is the set used for space cowboys. Now there is a big diference between something being built to fool a camera and to fool a person close up. eg, materials and detail. Not to mention the fact that to fool people, the set needs 4 sides and appear solidwhereas a film set can be pulled apart to allow the camera in and probably minus a ceiling to allow studio lights.
The other thing is that the entire set would have to be on a gimble of some sort so the whole thing moves to simulate motion and that wouldnt fool anyone. What we have seen in the hanger though is JV walking round what could possibly be a small simulator or one of those commercial simulator rides that can simulate rollercoasters etc.
Mt point is that the two ie the film set explanation and the simulator dont go together.
The other thing that I havnt worked out is how they plan to get them from the training area and into the ‘shuttle’ without exposing it as a mockup

Two episodes in and Im astounded that they are still blissfully unaware of the silliness of the whole situation.
Whilst the obvious daftness of the weightless thing is harder to prove to yourself because you have to delve back in to the wonders of Newton’s laws, no-one seemed to question the complete lack of existence of horizontal take-off space craft, or that the Wing Commander has come straight off the set of an old Dr Who episode.
Although the programme is ridiculous and exploitative to the extreme, at least the competitors will find the fame and fortune that drove them to apply for an unknown reality show, although I think that I would rather be poor than be publicly known as that gullible.

Once you start listing the anomalies the story does get a little thin. If squadron leader Wizard Prang had left the RAF nine years ago (or even 20 minutes ago to join a ‘STAR’, a supposedly civilian organisation, he would not be entitled to wear his uniform. One you’ve left the service you’re a civilian. I also wonder if the 48th Fighter wing F-15s screaming overhead from nearby RAF Lakenheath will be mistaken by our Space Cadets for Russian MiGs or Sukhois! Also wondered if they’d changed the bogs. Armitage Shanks might be a bit of a giveaway!

What I find puzzling is the editing,for instance the getting off the bus scene where they used cutaway reaction shots.The whole business of curly head not being on the passenger list-this was so badly done and why?That would have aroused my suspicions straight away;Why is the wing commander guy in RAF uniform if he’s working for STAR?!!!!!!!!!!!!etc.etc.etc Vaughn is a joke,pretending to be filming live etc.I’m not against the concept as such but its so badly done-I ‘m sure the contestants are all actors or know the truth,and its been filmed as a normal production would complete with scripting,re-takes etc. and its a double bluff.

Look out for the vitc timecode in an underscanned monitor…. ALL the answers are there….. Literally read between the lines… Endemol are deeply concerned by this technical lapse.

I was really enjoying Space Cadets till about 9.15 tonight when the truth suddenly dawned “it’s the biggest hoax in TV history”. Of course it is. I thought I was extremely clever till I went online and discovered everyone and their dog has already seen through it. Is the programme really going to run for ten days? I’d be tempted to send one of them up to space for real as a final twist. Mind you, accidentally burning to death on re-entry may be considered a bridge too far… or maybe not.

Finally, proof.
I brought up this subject on another board and a poster there posted the following.
I’VE GOT PROOF THAT at least two of the non-actor contestors are actually actors.
First Ryan McBride…an-mcbride.html
was in a ‘National Blood Service’ advert, the man who supposedly saved Gorden Ramsey.
Second Keri Hasset…eri-hasset.html
is registered with the performers directory
I’d like to thank h2g2 members who supplied the information.

Initially I thought this was a really tastless idea for a show, and felt bad for the contestants. Then I saw them. All the annoyingness of Big Brother contestants, only these will be in a simulator. How novel! Anyway, now that I’ve seen the show I wouldn’t be the least bit suprised if it does turn out to be a joke on the viewer, particularly seeing as one of the ‘non-actor’ contestants is in fact an actor in a TV advert. Hmmm…

….gordon ramsey has rumbled it!
..the advert about donating blood!
…that guy!
…”this guy saved my life when I lost my pancreas” (gordon)

Well i thinks its been well and truly rumbled.
Channel four/endemol are blatently keeping an eye on this and other forums (all of a sudden JV has been surrounded by large plasmas showing ‘live’ footage after a few comments here and on other forums, plus look at the posts above for the one from a guy claiming to be from the final 12 who didnt get through, blatently endomel trying to stick their fingers in the leaky dam wall) so another pointer endemol, show some actual live and let johnny go in there and interview them everyday, why not, they know he is presenting the show so how would that blow it.
Like I say this has been rumbled, done and dusted

i’m sure that the scottish guy was in the PC World advert!!
we have to admit, this has been one of the best shows on television – not for the content which has been absolutely terrible (i switch off after 5 mins as it’s so boring) but for the idea of it.
When I first started watching it I thought, like the majority of people, this was a harsh thing to inflict on these poor people who’s only problem is not being too bright! We, as intellectual snobs, had a good laugh at them – “Haha, I can’t believe there are people like this, etc…”
Then the show ends and we realise it’s these people who are now laughing at us! They’ve really showed us that appearances can be deceptive.
Someone on this said it was “the biggest TV hoax in history” and they are completely right. Not because they’ve duped 12 contenstants into thinking they’re being sent into space, but for conning the whole country into laughing at them.
I’m really interested in what’s going to happen in the media when this show finishes – i’d like to see some “before and after” pieces from high-profile journalists from The Sun, etc… who harshly criticised the “contestants” in the beginning as they do and now are made to look silly for once!
please please please let this be what i think it is – a great practical joke!!

Yeah, there’s no doubt Endemol would read boards like this because it’s the first search that came up when I was looking for Space Cadets double-hoax. Presumably they’re doing the same. There are also no chats with the relatives about how Johnny is such a good laugh, he’s going to love it when he finds out, we’re all behind him. And have you noticed that there are no premium phone lines? The one text number is charged at STANDARD RATE? Endemol? No extra charge for the texts? Ha ha ha! Legally they can’t charge people for premium phone lines when they’re deceiving them about the reason they’re calling.
Endemol, we all think you’re incompetent dicks.

I think were been hoaxed too, I cant believe that people will be stupid enough.. mind you people still watch big brother.. hmmm..

I now have no doubts. Listen to the denial Johnny Vaughan gives at the start of this episode. Nothing contradicts the fact that they have auditioned for real people to hoax the public, and as a reward they get a holiday to the Russian Cosmodrome Space Park for training. JV says:
1. There are two actors amongst the cadets
2. All the other cadets are 100% genuine real people
3. They’ve been here training for 3 weeks
4. All the cadets came here with the full blessing of their family or best friend
5. At the start of the project I told the recruits they were going to fly to Russia and train at a genuine space camp. They will do this once this is all over, we will make good on our promise.
Now, here’s the key bit – before he says that, he fakely denies the hoax claims:
“they all think they’re going into space and we know they’re not, they think they’re in Russia and we know they’re not: these are the two major untruths the show is based on. ”
in other words, he’s saying what he’s just said is untrue, ie, the hoax is on the public. Apart from the other silly things, like there’s no live E4 footage, no stories in the tabs by people who know the contestants, no high-priced opinion polls by phone and text, and all the bad acting in the thing, this carefully worded explanation by JV takes away all doubt.

i just thought it was quite a funny hoax idea. but im really surprised at the amount of hole picking from people on here. This discusion is actually more fun than the show (which is a bit dull really) perhaps the hoax is that they really do send them into space! haha

It’s got you all talking about it though, hasn’t it!
It makes good TV, plus the cadets will actualy get to go to the real S.T.A.R in Russia and experience a 0 gravity flight and be given some cash. So I don’t think they will feel foolish.

I know some of them are actors but actually one of the ones who ISN’T supposed to be an actor is in an advert (for blood donors i think) so that raises an eyebrow. Is the whole hoax a hoax? Or is it just a coindence he was deemed a gullabale enough twonk?

The Channel 4 programme is: 1. an appalling waste of money; 2. an encouragement to the already barely literate and hardly numerate masses to believe in even more bad science; 3. a disrespect to fallen astronauts and cosmonauts, who have given their lives in the conquest of space. They should take this rubbish off immediately as it is very bad taste. However, it does show just how gullible and utterly ignorant some people are; how can they possibly believe that the Space Shuttle – which by the way is GROUNDED until May 2006, orbits at only 62 miles altitude (AIRCRAFT, e.g. X-15, can and have flown higher than that), and how can they fall for that load of rubbish they were told about microgravity – noone in astronautics uses the word ‘weightlessness’ anyway. Well, people ARE stupid and ignorant – I met an English girl at the weekend, and told her my company outranks NASA on Yahoo for astronautics news – her reply was: “What is NASA?” They are going to pay these idiots ¬£5,000 each – it would be far better to send them on GCSE Physics courses. Channel 4, masters at broadcasting the excreta of the tv business, have really excelled themselves this time.

I watched last night – the “lift off”, preceded by “the Press Conference”. If nothing else told those gullible idiots that the whole thing was a set-up, that “press conference” should have! As a journalist myself, it was the most unconvincing press do I have ever witnessed!

Having read the posts i am surprised that there are so many people who have not got the show yet!Its a FAKE we know of the “actor” on board but keri is a actress as well and ryan is a actor too.How can they not notice how the “capcom” is talking about the banking turn and the “craft” has not even taken off.It is just to see what crap endemol can put on tv and the public still lap it up! They have gone out of their way to do stupid things that would blow it if it was a real programme and out of the 2 remaining actors they chose the one that can not keep a straight face.Also its funny that when they have showered or washed on the craft they are not even damp(wonder if that is the way out of the craft) as the curtain to the shower/toilet never moves when sm1 is in there even though it is ment to be a tiny space.

My God the show has us all guessing – all shall be revealed in due course. Of course it seems crazy that individuals would not suspect however, ever seen Beadles about or Noel Edmonds GOTCHA. All very convincing. Its an interesting twist that the laugh is on the public, watching reminds me of Orson Well’s hoax in the 40’s.
I am hooked and it seems a fun idea which I am sure all those concerned will in time have a great laugh about the whole thing. Certainly a story to tell the kids.
I say chill out everyone and enjoy the ride……

Yeah, it’s a fake. Last night’s show seemed to be orchestrated to end in a cliff-hanger. A moth was meant to be in the studio (there aren’t moths at this time of year anyway) so they couldn’t get the projections going. Conveniently this was right at the end of the show. The joke’s on the tv viewer’s gullibility not the contestants. Johnnny V constantly telling us how gullible the participants are but I think it’s viewers’ they’re conning – it’s just a lovely story we’re buying into.

I’m utterly convinced that it’s actually the viewers who are being fooled.
If these “contestants” really were unsuspecting individuals then their profiles would be true.
However, you would think that at least one of them would exist on the internet somewhere!
Billy Jackson is supposedly a semi-pro footballer – so it stands to reason he’s probably won a few cups here and there – but no, there’s nothing anywhere on the internet.
The same goes for Louise Nisbet – represents Kent in both Basketball and athletics – so how come she’s not mentioned as having won anything????

Oh yeah noticing the cock ups last night if indeed it were us the public being fooled would they really of played those mistakes – am sure they would simply do it again without mistakes – dont tell me a double bluff!!!
I am sure this is not US being taken for a ride…..cant wait o find out!!!

This show really is the worst pile of rubbish i have ever witnessed, the fact they spent ¬£5m on it makes it even worse. are the contestants the most stupid people they could find or is the joke on us, difficult to decide, we’ll find out soon. though the fact that the space ship looks like one of those low budget japanese hotels, the space ship moving and no sound or the gravity thing really makes me think no one can be that be stupid which makes me think the joke is on us, or is endemol just highlighting the awful british education system. – looking at the ship now and think if they spent ¬£5m on this they must be paying johnny vaughn and the rest of the team ¬£4.5m because it truly does look terrible, i mean look at the ¬£45 microwave you can buy in curry’s they use to cook with!!!

Have watched around 30 mins of the series altogether out of curiosity. My reaction on hearing of the series was disgust that people could be ridiculed so publicly and that we have reached a new level in bad taste.
Having seen short sections last night and tonight I am pretty sure that the whole thing is a double bluff. Personally – I hope it is.
One: for the sake of those involved as I don’t want to see them humiliated.
Two: to get something back on all those people who love reality TV and the humiliation of those involved.

Keri is signed up to an agency for extras, but there is a big difference between actors and extras. Every wanabee TV reality person is probably signed up to be an extra as they are desperate in any little way to appear on TV. Keri god bless her couldnt act her way out of a wet paper bag. If you were to ask anyone who knows her like myself she is just being herself on the show.
The only reason I am watching it is because of her, otherwise apart from a few witty comments by Johnny Vaughan it is quite dull and it is not as clever as it makes out to be. Its just a big practical joke and the equilavent of Channel 4 masturbating for its own pleasure. When people look back on it they will come to realise it was money very well wasted.

I think it’s a double-hoax, but I don’t think they’re actors. It’s like this – they’ve put that ad in that paper, just like they said they did, but when the wannabes have come for the audition and got through, they explain that they’re making a programme about viewers’ vulnerability and reality tv and if they manage to fool the public, they all win a trip to the Cosmodrome space camp in Russia. Johnny Vaughan now mentions that at the start of every show – he didn’t when it began. If they all get a space holiday anyway, it’s not that much of a wind-up for them anyway, is it? But it isn’t a wind-up for them, it’s a wind-up of the viewer. They’re real people because actors would be too easily identified. Although obviously a couple of them are extras actors who want to be famous, because as said right above, people who would do anything to be famous will reply to ads like this.
Thought the conversations with friends and family were _very_ fake. Are we to believe that bloke really trusts his tubby mate Pete more than any relatives? He hasn’t got a single brother or sister? If you were asked who people could contact for you, the person you trusted most in the world, would you nominate your tubby mate Pete?

I can confirm that it is definitely not live, they finished filming on 7th of December. The crew have all gone home, and at last we can get a taxi!

I dont think that they would go to all that effort and money just to fool us…I know someone who had to comb the area for English rubbish!

hehe i love the fact that people are on a forum having searched for it typing in the word space cadets and then start moaning about how its all fake and rubbish blah blah!! there have been a lot of shows spending much more than £5 million and they would never provoke peoples reactions like this!! Fantastic!! Job done i think!
What is fake anyway? Life is all pretty fake right?

just highlighting the awful british education system.
Most Britons would use a capital ‘B’. When we get as bad as the US, then we’ll worry.

I really don’t understand why people here seem so intent on bringing down this show. All who entered would have signed some form of contract allowing C4 to do what they have done. I normally hate reality TV, but this is absolute genius!! I’m sorry, but whether or not people are actors is irrelevant, it’s amusing to watch, especially to laugh at the fellow Bristol boy. I also doubt that Keri is an actor (in the show itself, at least) as, doubtless she has applied to an acting agency as an extra, but anyone can do that: I’ve appeared in casualty many-a-time, but that doesn’t make me some kind of bluffing actor employed by channel 4 to fool the general viewing public. I don’t think C4 are stupid enough to do that in the first place.
Please, put down your conspiracy theories and just relax!! If you don’t like watching this kind of thing, then don’t bloody watch it!!!
Another thing: Please shut up about the supposed harm that’s going to come to the contestants; it’s complete rubbish, more damage is probably done on a nights binge drinking!!

I wonder who still believes the double hoax theory me thinks its genuine!!!! Great show and great fun. Those guys loved it its a bit of fun on a massive and very clever level…….

In reply to Matt’s comment about why we’re all on here – thanks for the revelations about the double hoax (….or not!).. In fact I only found this site because I like Charlie, and can’t find any info about him on the net…
But hell, it is quite a boring show otherwise, I agree 🙂

Only watched the show once in Uni, couldn’t forget the guy with the big hair. Saw him on the blood donations ad etc…. Just sayin that the whole show is a double bluff cos I’m sure that, had he been a regular non actor guy, C4 wud’ve done a background check on him to make sure he aint been on any TV show/ad, so to not to give it all away? IMO, the whole thing is havin a laff on the people who watch realtiy TV! Can’t wait till C4 has a massive laff at the Sun reading members of our nation!

I heard about the show through a mate at work. Spent the last 5 nights downloading it… Watch the first episode and i’m like, these people all seem so fake, they have to be actors. Look up the show on google, read up about the ‘double-hoax’ theory at wikki, then look that up on google as well and find this forum! jeez, didn’t think i was the only one…
But seriously, the way they interact with each other, the comments they make at the camera – they smile and laugh far too much.. Saying they casted gullable morons wasnt good enough. Seemed fishy the first 5min into it. Didnt anyone else get this vibe?

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