SAS: Who Dares Wins season 8 began last week on Channel 4. Twenty men and women were the latest recruits to take on SAS selection. This season the show has moved from Jordan to Thung Ui, North Vietnam and promises the new recruits the toughest course yet.
In episode 1, the theme was Fear. The recruits arrived in the jungle by boat. The DS made them disembark and swim to shore. A beasting followed. After a run to camp the lead Directing Staff (DS) Billy and his team gave a briefing.
After a hosing down the recruits were given their numbers and bergens. The first task was to undress and change into their military kit. After that, they were told to ensure their bergens weighed 15kg at all times. While they did this, the DS sat down for a meeting to discuss first impressions.
Meet the Directing Staff
For the first challenge the recruits had to traverse the ‘trainasium’. Suspended 50 feet above the ground they had to take control of their fears to get across. Before the recruits attempted the challenge Chris gave a demonstration of what was required. Number 11, Zac was first up and annoyed the DS by constantly talking. Halfway across he slipped and was told to jump off as he had failed.
Number 18, Levi faced a similar fate as did many of the other recruits. Number 1, Amelia was terrified due to her fear of heights. She gave it a go but fell off about a quarter of the way across. The DS decided to bring Amelia in for questioning where she spoke of her fear of not being good enough. She explained her feelings came from the breakdown of a bad relationship. Foxy and Chris gave her some advice on how to progress.
The next day, a spot inspection identified that several bergens were too light. The failures led to a beasting which involved water, exercises and carrying their partners. It was too much for Number 20, Charlotte and she decided to hand her number in and Voluntarily Withdraw. The punishments continued so the DS could assess their individual performances. The DS noticed that Zac was struggling to carry his partner. At the back of the pack was Number 6, Stevie who was also finding things tough.
Back at base, the DS decided it was time to call in Number 11, Zac for tactical questioning. He said he was unsure how he was performing and the DS had to keep telling him to stop fidgeting. Chris wanted to know more about him. Zac explained how he had lost his way when he was younger. He bravely spoke about being sexually assaulted and how it had affected him. Chris and Rudy gave him some advice on how to tackle the course.
The final challenge was a waterfall descent. This involved each recruit abseiling down a waterfall as quick as possible while dealing with the hazardous water. The DS called Zac to go first and he made it down safely. Next was Stevie who got into difficulty. We’ll have to wait until the next episode to see what happened.
In episode 2, 19 of the original 20 recruits remain in the Vietnamese jungle, but one recruit is stranded at the top of a 215-foot waterfall. He’s pinned to the rocks and is in fear of drowning. Will he manage to extricate himself? Chief instructor Billy Billingham explains that he’s lost fellow operatives on similar missions.
Later, a breach of camp discipline leads to a ‘beasting’, entailing a relentless series of extreme physical tasks. Not all will survive. Those who remain are subjected to a round of ‘milling’, brutal hand-to-hand combat with their fellow recruits. Can they control their aggression and win the fight, or will they succumb to their opponent’s blows?
SAS: Who Dares Wins series 8 continues at 9pm Monday 30th January 2023 on Channel 4.