HUNTED - THE DEBRIEF
By Oscar Smith
Now, after its third series, the fanbase of Channel 4's Hunted is only growing. The series, in which ordinary members of the public are pitched against an elite team of Hunters makes for tense, nail-biting viewing. With the powers of the state and a whole army of Hunters (all in silver Volvos) on their trail, the 'fugitives' must use their cunning to outwit the 'expert' team of hunters for a whole 28 days, a challenge not to be underestimated. However, the prize at the end of their time on the run is substantial: a share of £100,000.
Series 3 seems to have been the most satisfying yet, with moments of stupidity, mixed together with moments of sheer brilliance, both from the Hunters and the Hunted. Highlights of the series included Peter Bleksley (a former member of Scotland Yard's undercover unit) performing a bedtime story, supposedly to infuriate the fugitives; Bob Ayling's friend handing the Hunters an application form to join the Free Masons and the Hunters sticking their heads down a drain pipe, trying to find a USB with potentially critical information.
Nine fugitives began the series and only four managed to last the whole 28 days, but in father and son duo Bob & Alex Ayling and 'Brothers of Swing' Dan and Joe the series found worthy winners.
A particularly heart-wrenching moment was when Bob and Alex reunited on the quay, about to board the 'extraction ship' on the River Dart. Alex Ayling had become a firm favourite for many viewers. After speaking about a difficult life facing Asperger's Syndrome, during his time on the run he seemed to overcome his difficulty in speaking to people, and he certainly won over the British public. In winning, he also proves his doubters and those who bullied him wrong. As even the Hunters admitted on Twitter: 'Fair Play, Alex'.
Questions still remain about Hunted: Is it Staged? How do the cameramen film it without giving them away? What does it mean by the powers of the state being replicated? Whatever the answers to these questions, Hunted will always be a firm favourite.