Special Forces drill sergeant gives us the inside scoop

2016-06-27 13:03

Johannesburg  - 29 super fit men and women take on the ultimate challenge of their lives in the new action packed series on BBC Brit, Special Forces Hell Week

Over the course of 12 days, the 'recruits' are pushed beyond their physical and mental limits by battle-hardened veterans from the world's toughest Special Forces, from the Navy Seals to the British SAS.

Based on the Special Forces' selection methods, every 48 hours the recruits are put through a set of challenges, each one designed to break them down and every one more difficult than the last. In the end there can only be one winner of Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week.

We chatted to one of the masterminds behind the gruelling challenges, Jason Falla. 

What was your toughest moment training these contestants?

The biggest challenge for me was balancing the fact that we’re making a TV show with being able to legitimately run the type of activities that I need to run. Styling and creating a real environment and making the challenges realistically enough so that they can actually perform them without injury and making sure that the tasks are semi achievable so that they give their best effort.  

How did you conceptualise the challenges?

I was given set parameters, time constraints, logistical restraints and geographical constraints in terms of where I could do it, what I had to be able to do it and who I could do it with. There were also a number of groups that I had to deal with, as people leave the show there was a constant changing of the goal posts.

I had to conceptualise realistic tasks that were military driven and with sound military reasoning,  like moving equipment from point A to point B, to reinforce ammunition and water to refuel the vehicles, something that was a military need. It had to be some form of special forces/operation whether it was operating gas mask, a physical challenge endurance with military reason behind it. I had to convey that military reason to the production team so that they understood it and knew where I was coming from.

What surprised you most about the contestants during the challenges?

Their physical condition and mental prowess – I had heard that they were good physically but I didn’t believe it. When I met them I was surprised – they had good strength conditioning and training in the lead up to the show. We ran some pretty tough training on them and they were able to complete tasks in a way that you would expect from a military guy who goes through that type of training. I thought they did pretty well. 

What’s the biggest reason that make people quit during the challenge?

The biggest one is mental focus and their will to want to continue gets broken from some reason. There could be something going on at home and they miss their family and children. They just physically and mentally don’t have any more to give, and they have to quit. Injuries also force people off. Through training or technique practice they do something that they not capable of and end up injuring themselves.

See a promo here:

Catch the series on Monday, 27 June at 20:00 on BBC Brit (DStv 120).

Read more on:    bbc  |  tv

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.