Ten reality show contestants have come to the end of a year-long stint in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands, only to discover that the programme they were making hasn’t been screened for the last seven months.
Eden was launched by Channel 4 in a blaze of publicity last year as a new kind of reality show (albeit similar in tone to Castaway, broadcast in 2000), with 23 participants who signed up to live in Cul na Croise Bay, in Ardnamurchan in the Scottish Highlands, with the aim to build a self-sufficient community in complete isolation.
Filmed by the contestants themselves, as well as by some fixed cameras, they began in March last year, with the first episode going out on 18 July. However, the series was axed after just four episodes – the final one being broadcast on 8 August – but it seems that the contestants carried on, blissfully unaware that no one was watching.
Ten of the original 23 contestants made it to the end and we can only imagine how annoyed they must be. On the other hand, maybe they discovered some inner peace and true meaning to their lives while they were there, so it was completely worth it.
It is unclear if Channel 4 will ever broadcast more of the footage.
The situation is reminiscent of the famous ‘Japanese holdouts’ who carried on fighting even after Japan had surrendered in the Second World War – either dogmatically believing that the military surrender was not technically complete, or simply because no one told them as they were in remote locations. The last two confirmed holdouts were Intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda, who was relieved of duty in the Philippines in March 1974 and Teruo Nakamura, who surrendered in Indonesia in December 1974.
Well, it’s a bit like that we suppose. But – let’s be honest here – probably not really comparable.
UPDATE: A relative of one of the contestants has commented on our piece on Facebook, giving us some more insight into this story: