Syfy’s fun-looking new game show Total Blackout, based on a hit international format, pits contestants against not only each other, but against their own fears, as they face a series of challenges that are played out in complete darkness.
At a press conference promoting the show a few months back, we watched via night-vision cameras (which is how the action of the series will be shown to viewers) as some fellow critics and assorted TV personalities underwent what contestants likely would experience on the show. In this case, they were in a pitch-black room, and were asked to place their hands into a series of tanks, each containing an object, and then identify the object. In the first tank was a feather duster; the second, live eels; the third, a live, bare, human foot. The reactions as the players encountered these items and generally freaked out was pretty hilarious. Whether that can sustain from week to week remains to be seen, but creator Henrik Nielsen and host Jaleel White (who is also still competing on this season’s Dancing With the Stars) have ideas on keeping the show’s “darkness” angle fresh while mixing in other potential phobias — like when they pretend to raise people up to a very high height.
“Oh, we love that one,” admits White.
“They’re getting hoisted up on a platform,” explains Nielsen. “However, the platform is actually just 2 inches above ground, but they think they’re, like, 15, 20 feet in the air.”
White sums up Total Blackout as “a lot of laughs for the people at home, and a lot of genuine fear for the people who are living it.”
“It’s not us that are their worst enemy,” adds Nielsen. “It’s themselves most of the time.”
Total Blackout airs on Syfy Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT beginning tonight, April 25.
Photo credit: Syfy