So Space Cadets starts then, not with a big bang but a slight whimper. I don’t have a problem with the essential mean spiritedness of the show: people who want to be famous deserve everything they get, which includes a lot more than looking a bit silly. However the show still seems to be unsure of how its own format is going to work. In last night lauch show were were led through segments showing how the Russian base was created, and the selection process of the contestants. However it was very disjointed and very few individual personalities came out. Except one.

Fat Steve the Actor. Fat Steve, The Actor, is in on the gag. He is a mole in this gang of potential space tourists, and his role is to make sure that the rest of them keep believing the hoax. However rather than an adjunct to the show, he has already become its defacto star: because he is so rubbish. Not being able to go on the run, crapping himself abseiling, just basically being a wimp. Which leads us on to the big question.

Space Cadets is a hoax. A reality TV hoax. When the eventual participants realise it is a hoax they will probably be pissed off. However they will have experienced, for two weeks, the absolute belief that they will be going into space. The actor who accompanies them has no such belief. All he knows is he is getting paid okay money for doing a 24 hour performance for three weeks, spending five of those days in a very confined space. Who is the joke on again?

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