SAS: Who Dares Wins
Selection for the SAS is one of the world’s toughest job interviews and physical fitness is one basic requirement, but what’s really being tested is psychological resilience and character as candidates undergo sleep deprivation, interrogation and a series of increasingly complex mind games
Part 1: Character
In this programme, ex-special forces soldiers re-create the selection process for 30 civilian men, with the first episode seeing the recruits arrive at an isolated barracks in Wales and are introduced to directing staff Foxy, Ollie and Colin, under the watchful eye of chief instructor Ant.
Part 2: Weakness
Following a brutal first stage, only 20 of the original 30 civilians remain and the directing staff ratchet the intensity up a notch, applying pressure to isolate and expose individuals who they think are not up to it. The recruits are each instructed to choose the person they believe is the weakest among them and the two with the most votes are then given a chance to prove themselves by being appointed leaders of a casualty evacuation exercise. They also face a series of physical challenges that won’t end until five men voluntarily withdraw.
Part 3: Fear
Chief instructor Ant and his team play mind games on the 12 remaining recruits to see if they have the mental strength to keep going, or if anyone will voluntarily withdraw from the process. They speak to each recruit individually, giving them negative feedback on their performance so far and questioning whether they have what it takes to make it to the end. Those who can keep their resolve face one of the most intimidating tasks on Special Forces selection, diving backwards off a cliff into the freezing sea 12 metres below.
Part 4: Survival
The directing staff have to whittle the group down to six from 11 and have a surprising trick up their sleeve that they think will cause some participants to instantly withdraw. Those who make it through the cull are faced with their biggest challenge so far – an escape and evasion mission designed to prepare recruits for avoiding capture behind enemy lines. They are divided into two teams and dropped off at dusk, having to cover miles of rough terrain overnight in order to hit their first rendezvous point in nine hours.
Part 5: Interrogation
The remaining recruits enter the final stage of the selection and have to endure 24 hours of intense questioning without losing composure or revealing details of their mission. Between interrogations, they are locked in a cell and hooded in stress positions and are subjected to repetitive music at random intervals to maintain a state of severe fatigue. Less than 10 per cent of candidates make it through process in the real world, will any of the civilians make it to the end and prove they have the characteristics needed to be in the Special Forces?