Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Off the Grid: Million Dollar Manhunt (History Channel)

Hey there Apocalypse Hub-bers - did any of you catch this new show? I missed the first 10 minutes of it but the rest was pretty good.

From what I got from it, they have two participants who had to complete specific tasks (I believe there were 4 total, each one had to be completed in order to move on to the next)  armed with only a cellphone and a credit card. The real challenge was to try to evade 4 experts from tracking them down. These experts are basically using the grid - surveillance cameras, cellphone gps, credit card tracking, and various other methods to catch the contestants. 

Should the participants succeed - they are to be rewarded a million dollars.

Sounds easy enough right?

Keep in mind the trackers have expertise in various fields.

The team:
Kevin - human tracking expert
Rob - a hacker
Matt - corporate security IT specialist
Dave - former Navy SEALs

Matt and Rob stayed at the homebase and did all the surveillance / tech stuff while Kevin and Dave were out in the field. 

As for the contestants for the premier episode, they got really careless in their approach for completing each task. For their first one, they were given a call number for a book in the library that held a clue - their first mistake was storing this number in the cellphone. Really? You're in a manhunt show!!! And yes, as soon as they got to the library they accessed that stored information on the phone which only confirmed their location.

This led them to a drycleaners in which they had to pay up to retrieve a piece of clothing that had their next clue. They managed to convince the clerks/owners to delay scanning the credit card for a little bit to buy them time. At their next stop they weren't so lucky. The associate scanned their card to pay for the photo prints even after he said he'd delay it for a little while.

You'd think the contestants would grab the prints and assemble it elsewhere (it was a puzzle clue that revealed a phone number). Nope. They stuck around until they figured out the puzzle. Meanwhile, the tech experts called the shop and actually convinces one of the contestants to reveal info about the puzzle clue.

So do the contestants succeed in evading their trackers and win the coveted price? No, they don't.

We were discusssing what we would've done differently if that was us trying to keep a low-profile and this is what we came up with.

Main thing is to ditch the phone and get some cash. 

1) We would've turned off the cellphone the entire time, committing the call number to memory instead. I probably would leave the phone where it would be found by a total stranger, which would throw off the trackers for a little while.

2) If we were going to take the chance of using the credit card we would've only used it once and would have withdrawn cash.

3) We probably would have used the majority of that cash to pay someone else to retrieve the photos and the train ticket.

4) We probably would have planned to split up if they were hot on our tracks then meet up later on.

But that's just me.

Show synopsis:
America has 30 million cameras recording four billion hours of footage each week. Everyone is being watched. Now witness host and master tracker Kevin Reeve give two everyday Americans the chance to escape this surveillance and win one million dollars. Contestants race to complete simple tasks and evade Kevin and his highly-trained team of trackers hunting them down with cutting-edge technology for the largest prize in cable television history.

Cool premise for a show. Will definitely be watching it again.

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