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Derren Brown's Apocalypse
st_martin_a wrote in psychology
Don't if you watched Derren Brown's 'Apocalypse'?

If you're not familiar with Derren Brown, he's an English TV star who specialises in psychological tricks. Last night's show was possibly his most elaborate yet.

He conspired against a man called Steven, using Steven's family, 250 actors and actresses and a TV production crew to persuade Steven that the world as we know it had come to an end. He began by hacking into his mobile and his TV with news of a possible meteorite strike on the planet. He then used some impressive effects to create what appeared to be a meteorite strike. He then hypnotised Steven, carried him to a disused building which was made up to like an empty hospital and woke him up. Steven was left to wander around the site for another couple of days, surrounded by actors walking around acting like zombies and three other actors who pretended to be survivors like him. It was a little like the Michael Douglas film 'The Game' but it was a documentary and we were all watching it. He also designed it to bring out the best in Steven, who appeared to be transformed by the experience from a lazy young man who used to take everything for granted into a more caring, purposeful, confident guy.

I'm just not quite sure how much of it was as Derren Brown made it out to be. In the past he's claimed to use a mixture of psychology, tricks and showmanship and you just never know how much of each element is used in any of his shows.

Any ideas?

It was great TV.

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sounds incredibly unethical.

yeah, he was very clever the way he played it, to give it a positive outcome but it makes you wander what's coming next.?!

Oh, I missed that. Sounds interesting in a disturbing way.

I'll reserve judgement until I see it...but my initial reaction is that surely it's not right to manipulate someone in that way purely for entertainment.

it probably was unethical but one of the most remarkable things about it was how transformed the guy was by the experience. do the means justify the ends? it was well worth watching though. definately recommend it if you get the chance.

I'll get back to you with my thoughts on it later. I've watched the first ep and it's very interesting so far on many levels.

My gut reaction is to say that this cannot possibly be true. No tv station would take the risk of getting the guy traumatised for the rest of his life, and being sued to Pluto and back over it. Coming to think of it, that goes for quite a few DB shows, so I'm rather certain that a lot is really made up in some fashion. And I guess that that's precisely the point of those shows - to have us guessing.

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I’ve now seen both parts of the show and had time to mull over all the implications and whatnot! I tried to keep an open mind as I watched it.

After the first part you can feel that the show is not only setting Steve up but setting us, the viewers, up as well. The chosen guy was someone who you couldn’t actually like very much at frst, so it felt like he had it coming. I suspect it was all part of the softening up process for us so that when we saw him in an emotional state it didn’t seem quite so horrible.

The things I liked though was, when push came to shove, the guy took responsibility for the little girl and kept his head together when it counted. I suppose this vindicated Derren as he was trying to make a point that the guy needed something to get to grips with his life, change his attitude...and bring out the good that was already in him. He needed something pretty catastrophic to happen and I suppose the end of the world is pretty extreme!

There were times when I thought ‘come on..how could you not find that a set up? It’s obviously not real’ But then the guy had been put under ongoing psychological pressure..so maybe it did seem real to him. I don’t know.

So does the end justify the means? Hmmm. I’m not so sure. You could argue that Steve was transformed by his experience and that it showed him another way to live in a more positive way. And it did that. But it could be argued that Derren robbed the guy of making his own way in the world, robbed him of the chance to change himself by his own efforts. Should someone ever do that?

I suppose the only person who can answer that is Steve himself.









ha reminds me of the truman show. sounds interesting. i'm gunna look for this. but i doubt its authentic.

*edit* just realized i totally bumped this thread. sorry.

Edited at 2013-01-17 01:57 am (UTC)

it's very convincing. definately worth watching.

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