Alone Puts Survivalists to the Test

Alfonis Bauer/History

In the new reality competition Alone, 10 men are dropped into the wilderness of Vancouver Island with minimal supplies to fend for themselves against the region’s brutal weather and hungry predators. The premise is simple: Whoever lasts the longest—possibly up to a year—will walk away with $500,000.

Each of the skilled survivalists is separated from the others by impassable mountains or water. The only things to keep them company—aside from the area’s 200 wolves, 1,000 cougars, and 7,000 black bears—are the cameras they’re required to use to film their every move. Some contestants, like corrections officer Alan Kay (right), quickly took to the task in intriguing ways.

“The camera becomes almost like Wilson in Castaway,” explains producer Russ McCarroll. “[Alan] would do things like recite Edgar Allan Poe. He would start singing songs. He would make up songs.”

That’s a pretty clear indication that the greatest challenge may not be what it seems in this show. “Surviving is the easy part,” McCarroll says. “The isolation is the tough part.”

Alone Series premiere, Thursday, June 18, 10/9c, History