By Whitney Matheson, USA TODAY
From Man vs. Wild to Survivor, everyone has their favorite survival TV show.
Me? I’ve been a Survivorman devotee since the beginning.
The epic series, which ran from 2004-2008 on the Discovery Channel, followed the intrepid Les Stroud as he got dropped off in the wilderness and attempted to make it on his own for several days.
Several things made Survivorman unique, but the main element was that Les filmed everything himself. Nothing was fake about the show; this guy really could get swallowed by a bear in the middle of nowhere. Often Les would walk farther or investigate places he didn’t need to, just to get a good shot for the camera.
Of course, being a career survivalist takes a serious physical toll, so an exhausted Les had to give it up after three seasons. But next month he’s back on the Discovery Channel with a handful of new episodes.
In the eps, Les tries to survive on an uninhabited island in Mexico and in the Norwegian mountains for 10 days at a time. Once again, his bag contains 65 pounds of camera gear and his trusty harmonica — and little else.
In this scene from one of the Norway episodes, Les says trekking down a mountainside is “one of the most dangerous situations I’ve ever been in”:
And here’s a strange moment that’s pretty typical of Survivor: Apparently, Les has hurt his foot, so he turns to a “healing plant” and a soda bottle for some relief. (While muttering to himself, you can hear him say, “Yeah, I could use some more food.”)
Survivorman returns to the Discovery Channel Aug. 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Take note.