Sixteen finalists battle for one of eight places on a unique expedition to South America in the footsteps of Sir Walter Raleigh.
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More than 8,000 children
have applied for just eight places,
on one adventure of a lifetime.
An extreme expedition in South America.
Turn to starboard!
They'll attempt to follow in the footsteps
of the great Elizabethan explorer Sir Walter Raleigh,
who travelled where no Englishman had been before,
in search of El Dorado, the Lost City of Gold.
400 years later, the team will have to grapple
with the same tough terrain...
and come face to face with the same alien wildlife
as Raleigh encountered on his journey into the unknown.
We've reached the top.
Led by survival expert Ben Major
and record-breaking adventurer Polly Murray
this epic expedition will push the eight young explorers to the limit
Oh, my God!
Who's got what it takes for the adventure of a lifetime?
-It'll be unbelievable.
-I really want this.
It would mean the world to me.
You're our Serious Explorers.
the toughest-ever Serious boot camp...
I really can't do this.
..as the would-be explorers face their worst fears...
Oh, my God!
..and battle with the coldest conditions for 100 years.
I ruined my chances but I couldn't breathe.
It's November, and all round the country
100 young would-be explorers are waiting anxiously.
They've already battled through three intensive auditions.
Now just a phone call stands between them
and one of 16 places in the final round.
Come on then.
Regan is especially nervous.
He's been obsessed with the rainforest all his life,
and keeps a variety of reptiles as pets.
His bedroom is even decorated as a jungle.
The pressure, the pressure.
Expedition leader Ben makes the call.
It's bad news actually.
You will be getting very cold next weekend in Dartmoor.
Yes! I did it!
I got through.
Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh!
PHONE RINGS Hello?
Hi, is that Regan?
How are you doing?
-Congratulations, you're through to the last 16.
Oh, my God, thank you. Yes.
One more question... Am I dreaming?
In the coldest December for 100 years,
the final 16 head to Serious bootcamp,
in the south-west corner of England.
It'll be the toughest 48 hours of their lives as they try to prove
they've the courage and will-power to cope with the Raleigh expedition.
It's going to be cold, it's going to be wet.
We're going to push you and it's how much you, as individuals, want it.
Each knows only half of them will get on the money-can't-buy trip.
It would mean the world to get in. Literally, the world.
I'd do anything to get through, I would.
I'm just going to keep on going and pushing forward through it all.
You're never going to get to do anything like this again.
The extreme weekend begins with a rude awakening.
Morning, girls. 6 o'clock, everyone up and out in two minutes.
Morning boys. Wakey, wakey, rise and shine.
The freezing pre-dawn workout is just a taster
of what's to come during bootcamp...
Head towards the sea.
..as the judges find out who's got what it takes to survive
the gruelling five-week expedition.
Three, two and under.
I can't feel anything.
but it's a good challenge to go in the water when it's minus two.
We really want to see serious attitude, determination, guts,
and hopefully the tasks we've set over the next 48 hours
will test them to the limit.
The expedition to Guyana in South America
will take the young explorers where no children have been before.
Including an amazing abseil down the 200-metre Kaieteur Falls,
one of the most powerful single-drop waterfalls in the world.
So, back at bootcamp, the first serious challenge
will test the 16 finalists' head for heights.
Oh, my God! Arghh!
It's a terrifying 30-metre abseil over a sea-cliff.
Oh, my gosh!
Although it's safe, Chanelle finds it hard to go over the edge.
-Left hand away from the caribiners.
-My heart's racing.
Start walking down.
Oh, no, I'm going to fall. Argh.
-All right? Don't worry.
-I'm really bad at this.
-You're doing brilliantly.
-I'm really scared.
She's paralysed with fear.
Ben tries a technique to get her to trust the rope.
Take your left hand off the line. Stick it out at right angles.
Take your right hand off the rope. Out to the side, like a crucifix.
Now look back.
Can you see the sea over your head? Lean back, have complete faith.
-Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh.
-Good girl, that's fantastic. OK. OK?
In your own time, control yourself and start walking down.
-I'm doing it.
-Once you're over, you get a feel for it.
Oh, my goodness! It's so pretty down there.
I feel really proud of myself for doing it.
Just, wow. It's the only word that can describe it. Wow.
The others force themselves over, to impress the judges.
Lean back. Brilliant. You're going nowhere, don't worry.
-You're not. Look around and smile.
I'm too scared to walk around.
Oh... Did everyone else make this much fuss?
I'm, like, twisting!
Michael has to overcome a fear of heights.
I feel like I'm in the Army.
Usually I'd get nervous, start panicking.
I stayed cool, positive attitude. Really chuffed with myself.
Last is reptile lover Regan,
trying to fulfil his ambition to get to the rainforest.
-No, you're not.
He's the most nervous of all the finalists.
Heights are my biggest fear. I've always been scared of them.
Now you've chucked me in at the deep end.
All I want you to do is lean back a little bit
so you feel tension in the lines.
-I can't do this.
We're going to go for a walk.
Really lean into it.
I really want to do this.
Good stuff, Regan, fantastic.
Regan's determined to keep his dream alive.
Keep coming. I know you're scared. But I know you can do it.
I know YOU know you can do it.
It's all in the head at this point. Yep?
Good man. Fantastic.
It's all right, OK.
You've got to lean out.
-Will you talk me down?
-That is brilliant. Keep leaning out.
I really can't do this.
Mate, you're doing it, yeah?
Regan, you've got it sussed.
It's a phenomenal achievement.
Amazing, I was so scared. I'm still shaking.
I never thought I'd do anything like that.
Oh, my God, I did it. I actually did it.
Standout of the morning was Regan, who was petrified.
What was amazing was he stuck at it to conquer one of his biggest fears.
Guyana will be full of astonishing animal experiences.
The rainforests of South America are teeming with creatures,
large and small, beautiful and deadly.
Back at Serious boot camp,
the 16 finalists face an exotic animal room, to see how they cope.
Animal expert Nick Baker lies in wait for each applicant.
Jake B has no idea what's to come.
-Are you worried?
-Erm, I can smell,
like, horses and stuff.
You're fine on that front, no horses here.
Would you like to remove your blindfold?
Oh, my God! Oh, my God, I'm terrified of snakes.
-I don't know, but I am.
I've got total control. I won't let anything happen.
-I have to hold her?
-Would you like to?
-Give her a stroke.
-No. Look at that.
-Do you see the muscle? It's really strong.
The boa constrictor suffocates its prey by squeezing.
I don't like its head.
You hold all of it, I'll keep the head.
He bravely tries to overcome his fear.
-Support his weight. I've got the head.
-It's solid muscle.
-I don't think you're scared of snakes.
-You're not phobic.
-But I am terrified.
-I've noticed in the last few minutes,
getting to know it, you've changed. You did brilliant.
-That's one of my worst fears.
-That's why I've got a snake out!
'I held the snake, and I couldn't believe it.'
But I feel more than brilliant.
It's that good.
Oh my. Jeez, that's hairy.
Others, like Michael, are also nervous with the creatures.
-Get over your fear.
-It's quite nice. I thought I'd never say that.
Remove your blindfold.
-How will Chanelle fare?
Do you like these things?
-I love it. I've got a pet snake.
-What is this?
It is. How do you know?
-It's warty rather than smooth.
Regan, welcome to my jungle. My smelly jungle.
And Regan is also in his element.
Oh, yay! I love all these!
But Sammy has always had a major spider phobia.
All right, Sammy, if you'd like to remove your blindfold.
Oh! Oh, my God!
Scary. Oh, my God, nothing should have eight legs.
That's a big spider.
Did you want to hold it?
-Can I keep my gloves on?
This is very delicate, this spider. I'm worried about the spider.
Sammy doesn't want her phobia to spoil her chance of going to Guyana.
Hold your hands back. I know you can do it.
-You are shaking like a leaf.
-Oh, my gosh!
OK, that's one foot.
Can I please look away?
I won't let you take your hand away, but you are safe.
You're doing really well.
She also conquers a long-term fear.
I'm lifting him up now, OK? You're clear.
It wasn't so bad, it was just the thought of the spider.
I thought you were brilliant.
The finalists are rising to every challenge.
Even a terrifying high-wire walk.
Absolutely brilliant, well done.
It's making life tricky, because they're all too good.
We've still got 16 strong contenders.
Having seen others succeed,
Nikita is determined to complete the high-wire challenge.
This is like the hardest one.
Fantastic, Nikita, you're doing brilliantly.
But, with the wind whipping up, she's got her work cut out.
I'm going to fall, I don't want to fall.
-Slide your left foot along.
-I can't, I'm going to fall.
The wind's horrible, oh.
Don't worry, Nikita, you're OK.
Nikita feels she's ruined her chances.
I'm not even afraid of heights.
Can I explain something? It was a brilliant effort.
You gave it your best shot and you couldn't quite reach that next one.
Ben's impressed with her spirit. But can it keep her in the running?
Among the challenges, the eight explorers have a 20-mile trek
to the top of a tabletop mountain.
At 10,000 feet, Mount Roraima is one of the wonders of the world.
Back in Britain, the finalists face a climax to the boot camp,
trekking across Dartmoor National Park.
It also includes an early-morning swim across a frozen lake.
Tonight changes from fixed activities to an expedition in itself.
That's when you see what people are like when they're tired, cold, wet.
So everything can change overnight tonight.
-We are splitting you into teams, girls and boys.
And we are racing to our campsite.
-Guess what's waiting for us.
Jake, you're at the front, shine your light.
Weighed down by poles, it's a test of teamwork
as they trek three miles.
Work together to make this go quicker.
We can do this.
They've been going 14 hours, but they put in a huge effort
to catch the judge's eye.
Let's be motivated by the food waiting for us.
Look where you're going.
The boys arrive just ahead of the girls.
We did it, guys! Yeah!
You're running a little bit late.
It's 9pm when they have supper.
Most think they've finished auditions.
Today's been the hardest, the most amazing thing ever.
I really hope I've got through.
They think it's over. We haven't started yet.
4am. Minus three degrees.
Good morning. Have we got a lot of dead bodies?
And another unexpected early wake-up call.
-I thought you might be.
The teams have to navigate three miles
to Sharpitor, one of the highest points.
We're going to head west. I want you to take me to Sharpitor.
I'm dreading it. It's walking for... three hours it's going to take.
-Guys! You missed your turn.
-Do any of you know where we are?
On their way is an eerie lake, Crazywell Pool,
full of ice in the sub-zero temperatures.
As the finalists arrive there,
Ben and Polly break the news of the nightmare in store.
This is your ultimate challenge, all right?
This is nasty.
One at a time, you will be going across this lake.
It looks so cold.
It's so extreme, if attempted, experts must be on hand for safety.
I don't like the look of the ice, it looks scary.
But I'll just have to do it, won't I? Phew!
Absolutely terrifying. But you've got to do what you've got to do.
One of the boys, Jake W, decides he's not up for it.
I want to do this, but I'm too cold to jump in freezing water.
I really just can't.
The boys go first.
Even in wetsuits for protection, it's still unbelievably cold.
-Back of the neck.
-OK. Forward. Happy?
In you go, mate. Straight in. Quick is best.
Sam is first to brave the icy water.
-Well done, Sam!
-Good effort, Sam.
The 30-metre swim leaves them completely numb towards the end.
OK, give me your hand.
Give me your hand. You've done it, mate.
Good effort. Good effort, Michael. Brilliant.
-Straight in. Good stuff.
-Good boy. Good boy.
-Well done, Nick. That's it. How was it?
-I can't feel my legs.
-No, I know, that was tough, wasn't it?
All the first boys astonish the leaders.
Well done, Jake.
More confidence than a polar bear there.
I thought the first two or three would have gone in,
come out and bottled it completely.
But straight in, straight across.
That sets the bar that high for everyone, because that is amazing.
Wow. How do you feel?
You've done it.
But Conor is finding it hard to rise to the challenge.
Water over the back of the neck, water over the back of the neck.
Can I just skip this, please? I'm really finding this difficult.
You've done the hard part, which was getting in the water.
-You're in now.
-I didn't want to do that though.
It's up to you, Conor. Had enough?
-Not going to go?
-Definitely not? Last chance.
-I really can't.
Watching the boys, Sammy is getting more and more nervous
and she drops a bombshell.
-I can't swim at all.
-You can't swim?
-Well, I could, but I can't any more, no.
-Why? Because it's too cold?
No, it's a long story. I used to be able to, but then I got a fright
because something happened and now I just can't do it.
By an awful coincidence,
Sammy had a very scary experience on a frozen pond near her home.
Skating with friends, one of them
went through the ice and nearly drowned.
We were all skating across and one friend fell in
and that was very scary,
so ever since then I've not liked swimming or being in water.
It's a real blow to her chances,
as everyone on the expedition needs to be able to swim.
Put your hands here.
Tuck them under your armpits.
After his dip, Jake B has very cold fingers and toes.
-How you doing, buddy?
-My hands are really hurting me.
He's checked out by expedition doctor Henry.
It's like very bad pins and needles.
As he got out and was heating up,
the blood was going back to his fingers and toes,
causing the pain and numbness.
Ah, we have a smile. Excellent.
Now I've warmed up, I'm fine. I'm just going to carry on.
Let's get this walk finished.
Oh, God. Oh, God!
It's finally the turn of the girls,
but sitting still for an hour has chilled them to the bone.
So you're freezing now, basically?
Nikita is simply too cold to be able to swim safely.
Your fingers are blue and you're not even in the ice,
so I'm not that happy to put you in it.
No, but I want to do it.
It's the second time Nikita's missed a task
and she sees her expedition dream slipping away.
-But I want to do it. Everyone else has done it.
-I know you do.
I really do want...
OK, go, go, go!
Like most of the boys, the remaining girls show
incredible courage as they try to book their ticket to Guyana.
-Oh, get out my way!
One by one, Sammy sees each of them make it across.
My hands are burning.
Get out of water. Don't linger.
That was horrible.
And she takes a massive decision.
Despite her fear of water, she's going to go for it.
I'm really scared, because I've got a fear of swimming,
but I'm pretty sure I can do it, so I'll give it my best shot.
OK, Sammy. Let's go.
But will she be able to overcome her phobia?
Go in a little bit deeper.
OK, that's the hardest part, I promise.
Go for it! One, two, three! Go!
Well done, Sammy. Brilliant.
Keep going, that's great.
Keep going. Good girl. Fantastic, Sammy!
Halfway over, the freezing water starts to affect her breathing.
She finds herself gasping for air and has to be rescued.
Well done, Sammy.
I've ruined my chances, but I couldn't breathe.
Can I just say, absolutely 100% effort.
Fantastic. You have ruined no chances whatsoever.
Yeah, but so what?
It's freezing cold water.
Yeah, but I'm really disappointed in myself.
No, you mustn't be.
As the sun rises, the 16 finalists summon up
their last reserves of energy for the final hike up Sharpitor.
And every one of them makes it to the top.
A big, big round of applause for all of you. Well done.
Which makes the morning's big decision incredibly tough
for judges Ben, Polly and series producer Marshall.
This is probably, to me,
the strongest 16 finalists we've ever had.
I'd hate to get this far and fall at the last hurdle.
I like him a lot.
I like him, but...
'To go on now would be amazing.'
Whoa, explosions, fireworks in the air.
To me, it's going to be an either/or for these two guys.
-What about girls?
I've got butterflies in me tummy. I really want to get it now.
It's a choice between... Yeah, this one and this one.
For that last slot.
To me, it means...
I guess, no words can explain how much it means to me.
Final decision, yes.
The finalists are brought together for the last time.
Isabella - Y.
-They're split into two groups of eight.
-Nikita - X.
They head into two separate rooms.
Sky - Y.
Let's have a group hug.
Oh, my God. One more person to come.
And, last but not least,
Jake - BX.
Good luck, everyone.
It's been...a most incredible weekend, all right?
You've suffered trials and tribulations.
But I'm really sorry, you're not going to be joining us
on this expedition.
Really, really sorry.
-I'm so sorry.
-I'm so, so sorry.
I'm so sorry.
Guys, it's been a really long, tough weekend,
and you've all done exceptionally well.
The expedition is going to be far, far tougher,
and you're our Serious Explorers!
CHEERING AND SCREAMING
Regan showed great determination to achieve his rainforest dream.
I'm going to go! Yes!
Sammy's courage in overcoming her phobias was exceptional.
I thought I wasn't normal.
Oh, my God!
While Nikita didn't always succeed,
her guts and character did impress the judges.
Oh, my God. That's the best feeling I've ever felt!
Michael, the oldest at fourteen,
demonstrated great leadership skills.
I've swum through an ice-covered river for a reason now!
Oh, I'm so happy!
Megan's positive spirit shone through in the worst conditions.
I'm really, really, really happy now! I love everyone!
Josh hardly put a foot wrong as he rose to every challenge.
It's a dream come true.
Despite being the youngest at just 12,
Jake B displayed outstanding bravery.
Oh, my God. I'm over the moon, man. This means the world to me.
Chanelle's determination to succeed was an inspiration to everyone.
I'm so happy. Like, tears of joy and everything.
I'm just...really happy!
Next time on Serious Explorers...
..Nikita reaches dizzy new heights.
I'm at the top!
CHEERING AND CLAPPING
But life on the ocean quickly hits a low.
Oh, I feel so sick.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Sixteen finalists battle for one of eight places on a unique expedition to South America in the footsteps of Sir Walter Raleigh. To test how they would cope with the extreme adventure, the finalists are pushed to the limit in the toughest ever Serious boot camp.
The would-be adventurers face terrifying challenges, from tightrope walking hundreds of metres above the raging sea to confronting snakes and tarantulas. In the coldest conditions for a hundred years, the audition concludes on Dartmoor with a swim across a frozen lake.