There’s been a lot of hype around Survivor Australia’s relaunch.
From concerns about it being too similar to the failed Channel 9 spin-off back in 2002, to not being similar enough to its stratospherically popular American parent, the expectations on this castaway reality were always going to high.
And if episode one is anything to go by, the theme of season 2016 is already clear: it’s similar to both, but not too similar.
Channel 10’s selection of host, Jonathan LaPaglia is about as Jeff Probst with an Aussie accent as you can get.
The choice is comfortable. It’s familiar. And by choosing the brother of one of Australia’s most loved actors and injecting a sense of familiarity, it’s incredibly safe. He also looks confident in shorts, which helps.
Australian Survivor host, Jonathan LaPaglia. Source: Australian Survivor / Channel 10.
Episode one begins with the types of long pans and dramatic music that could easily be confused for a David Attenborough documentary. Waves crashing on rocks, sun peaking through the clouds, crabs crawling along a beach, shots of a full moon.
NATURAL DRAMA AT ITS FINEST.
The remote Samoan island of Upolu, where the castaways have been marooned, again, looks like an extreme version of a familiar place.
And to Survivor diehards it should look familiar, because two seasons of the American version of the show have previously been filmed there.