05.12.2019, France, M6
M6 will soon launch its toughest reality show ever: in Forces Spéciales, civilians will undergo tests that usually lead to entrance into the French army’s elite unit. The contestants will be pushed to their physical and psychological limits. In the end, all they will win is self-affirmation – if things go well.
Abandoned on The Island? Adventures on the Pékin Express? Expeditions with Cap Horn? As successful as these shows have been over the years for M6 – they are child’s play in comparison with what the broadcaster now has up its sleeves: in Forces Spéciales, contestants place their lives into the hands of four former members of the French army’s elite special forces unit.
Established during the gulf war, the special forces are always sent on missions that are of special strategic importance and also extremely dangerous. The selection process used to determine which female and male soldiers will be accepted into the program is as tough as it gets, and this also applies to their physical training. Never before have civilians undergone the training, they will face in Forces Spéciales – especially not before running cameras. Nothing is scripted or staged in this new show: there are real elite soldiers, real tests, and real challenges. And nothing can be won in the end – except self-affirmation and experiencing triumphs in front of millions of viewers.
Three women and 22 men will face this challenge in the new M6 series. They will meet at a former military base in the Département Aisne to test their limits. The former elite soldiers Bije (47), Crao (47), Ryan (52), and Victor (51) await their arrival. They spent between 10 and 25 years of their lives serving in the Forces Spéciales, were sent on counter-terrorism missions and worked as military instructors. For nine days, they will throw challenges at the 25 contestants that usually lead to entrance into the elite units. A four-hour forced march carrying a 45 kg backpack, a jump from a height of 15 meters, an obstacle course, and a night watch of an object from a hole in the ground are just some of the challenges. In its announcement of Forces Spéciales, M6 promises that never before has a TV show taken voluntary participants closer to their physical and psychological limits.
There is a model for the new show outside of France: Who Dares Wins has aired on Channel 4 in the UK since 2015 with enormous ratings successes. On average, three million people watch the individual episodes. Inspired by this show, Adventure Line Productions is now producing Forces Spéciales for M6 in 100-minute episodes. The production is intentionally kept in documentary style – during the filming, there was no contact at all between the production team and the contestants or the four former soldiers. The goal was to capture the images of the tests and stress as authentically and genuinely as possible. For this reason, remote-controlled cameras and drones were repeatedly used to avoid any direct influence on the events.
M6 will announce the broadcast date for Forces Spéciales – L’expérience in the near future.