Thursday, April 20, 2006

ESCAPE TO THE LEGION: Escape To The Legion - Part 2

No other military force retains the chilling, enigmatic mystery of the French Foreign Legion. It's been painted as the definitive military machine; the harsh last resort for men on the run; and the ultimate boys own adventure. In Escape To The Legion we will aim to marry the historical appeal of Lad's army with the genuine living-history experience of Frontier House.

Led by explorer and former SAS trainer Bear Grylls, a group of mainly British men will be placed in a Saharan Foreign Legion Fort where for 4 weeks they will experience a compressed Foreign Legion training programme led by 3 full uniformed former Legionnaires. The filming will follow the daily ups and downs of these recruits as they attempt to turn themselves into viable Legionnaires.

Traditionally the Legion has been a place for men to escape a past they'd rather forget. You get a new name, a new identity and the chance to start again. Bear will round up a diverse band of 11 men (this is the FOREIGN legion after all) who've realised they desperately need to change: ex-philanderers, ex-cons, bored wage slaves, bankrupts and sad divorcees, all looking for redemption and personal transformation in the harsh life of the Legion. Their backstory will be filmed and intercut throughout the series.

Escape To The Legion will also identify and film a number of former Legionnaires who are mostly British who will talk about their time in the Legion. Their experiences will underpin the veracity of the contemporary experience. Bear's role is of chief motivator. He'll inspire his comrades through the tough times. The challenge is for the whole company to make it through and be presented with the iconic 'kepi blanc' after a series of punishing trials. But by the end of it all, can our disorderly rabble really emerge with the resolve and self discipline to change their lives back home?

Our constructed, all-purpose Legion experience will draw on the most punishing and iconic aspects of Legion life over the past 40 years. And most importantly it'll be helmed by real, war worn, grizzled ex-Legionnaires. Escape To The Legion combines the dramatic tension of the greatest Legion literature with a real contemporary experience of potentially life changing proportions. At last we'll really find out what it to means to run away to join the Foreign Legion.


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