TV

Lord of the Flies mania: Evil EDEN isn’t boring anymore

By Kitty Knowles 7 August 2017
Summary

Feel smug as Scotland's hippy commune descends into anarchy.

What kind of person volunteers to leave society (and their smartphones) to isolate themselves in the Scottish Highlands for a year?

Mindful hippies? Adrenalin-chasing outdoorsmen?

That’s what no one wanted to find out when Channel 4 launched and axed Eden last year after just two months.

Why? The show’s 23 volunteers simply proved too dull and dreary to stomach.

Lesson to TV producers: no one watches reality TV to see people getting along, and patting themselves on the backs for their efforts.

Hell cometh

Lucky for you, the peaceful bore-fest didn’t last.

And now, a year on, a new reflective five-part Eden: Paradise Lost docu-series launches.

Make no mistake, this is guilty pleasure-territory, but it’s wickedly watchable seeing the commune descend into Lord of the Flies anarchy (especially from the smug comfort of your sofa).

“This is anything but Eden, it’s f**king hell,” declares deer hunter Glen.

“It’s just so bleak.”

Poor Anton is cast out of the gang.

What to expect

Skipping the early yawn-fest, you’ll be dumped into the Scottish camp two months in.

That, we learn, is two months living on dry rations and seaweed water. (Nothing will make you hug your Häagen-Dazs tub tighter).

And in no time at all you’ll find yourself living a real-life worthy of William Golding fame.

Boatman Anton is hated, and so, isolated, must build a cabin and a fishing vessel of his own.

But did he really sabotage the main group’s dingy?

There’s drama over #apricotgate, when fruit is stolen from the stores.

This yields a simultaneously hilariously and aggressively terrifying wave of ‘fucks’ from army man Jack.

Not everyone can hack it. This isn’t the mindful retreat they expected.

“It’s not like you can Skype or phone, or text,” says outdoor instructor Tom. “You only have what you know in your head to think about.” (Well, duh).

In a dramatic crescendo, the accusations, lies and agendas, eventually lead to a full tilt rebellion against the show’s producers.

And it’s great.

Ali - Eden's very own Junior Doctor.

Worse to come

With few views voiced by women in the first episode, one senses there is worse to come.

“We went a bit feral”, “Just kill every fucking animal,” teaser clips from ‘the lads’ reveal.

“It escalated and then because no one said no it got worse,” says Ali, a doctor, and one of the few women you’ll meet.

Ultimately, if we’ve learned anything from literature, it’s that remote paradise rarely brings out the best in people (sorry Wilson).

“I’m a dickhead,” confesses Anton.

Yes Anton, you appear to be (a bit). But we can’t stop watching, as this dirty fight for survival rolls forth.

Watch Eden: Paradise Lost on 7 August at 10pm on Channel 4