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Apocalypse: did Derren go too far?

By River Reporter Nov 5, 2012

Zoe Birsdall

This weekend saw the second part of Derren Brown’s controversial show, Derren Brown: Apocalypse in which a lethal infection caused by a meteorite strike has turned the majority of the population into zombies.

The show follows Steve Brosnan, a carefully selected candidate, being set up on his birthday by Derren Brown to believe that the world is being taken over by zombies.

It was one of Derren’s more shocking achievements, following his usual format of selecting the perfect candidate from thousands of applicants, but this time going a step further to Steve’s family and friends to help manipulate him into believing the world was ending.

A question of ethics?

Derren even went as far as to have Steve’s television, phone and internet hacked so that they could control what information he would receive.
This in itself is ethically questionable and illegal in other situations.

As a huge fan of Derren, I am quick to support all of his work. He is undoubtedly a very talented, clever man who can do fascinating tricks. Mind-reading, hypnotism and even predicting the lottery numbers are some of the skills that Derren has under his belt.

But did he go too far this time?

Steve was selected because of his laziness and ungrateful attitude, unpleasant qualities that I’m sure we can all admit to let slip sometimes. But is being lazy and ungrateful a bad enough crime to have your whole family and Derren set you up to believe you are in a zombie attack?

The Channel 4 website states: ‘Our ‘survivor’ is someone who takes life for granted, and has yet to truly value what he has. The adventure that awaits him is meticulously crafted to give him the ultimate wake-up call, and teach him valuable life-lessons.’

The show caused a lot of controversy

Not only did people disagree with the extremity of the show, (I was surprised that poor Steve didn’t faint or have an anxiety attack), there was also a huge amount of speculation that the whole thing was set up.

People believed that Steve was an actor.

Derren was quick to comeback at these rumours and wrote on Twitter:

“Conspiracy theory flying around that Steven is an actor, cos he looks like a guy in a noodle ad. I NEVER EVER fake stunts with actors.

“Plus his whole family/friends would have to be actors too.”

Do you think Apocalypse pushed the limits too far?

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