Many viewers tuned in to Derren Brown: Apocalypse last night on Channel 4 with a sense of nervous anticipation. The build-up to the show promised that for one man, the world as he knew it would supposedly end. The basic premise was that Derren Brown had chosen a man (who had applied to be on the show) who displayed signs of laziness, apathy, and general lack of lust for life, and would throughout the course of the programme make him realise the error of his ways. This involved convincing Steven that the world had been hit by virus-ridden meteorites, and that he was one of the lucky few who hadn’t been infected, meaning that he needed to escape the zombie-like others who had succumbed to the virus. The programme is to be continued next week, when we will learn Steven’s fate, and his reaction to the whole set-up.
My first reaction to the show was to question the morality of such an arrangement. How is it Derren’s place to judge whether somebody is not living life properly? And does the end really justify the means? Surely the therapy that Steven would have to go through after this programme would cancel out any character-building ‘progress’ that had been made.
However, a little Twitter-research presents a different response – the whole programme is fake. The evidence? Apparently, Steven Brosnan, the lacklustre twenty-something, is an actor. Various sources claim to have found the casting-call profile for Steven, as well as Facebook photos revealing that he had been filming on a BBC set. This casts a very different light on the two-part series, and it certainly avoids the morality issue if Steven was not as unsuspecting as Derren made him out to be.
Whether Derren Brown or Channel 4 will respond to these findings remains to be seen, but in the meantime a number of viewers have certainly been disillusioned.
Image credit: http://derrenbrownexposed.tumblr.com/