Mention the word “manhunt” to me and the first thing that comes to mind is a male model search, or the term for an activity for ladies “on the prowl.” The next thing that comes to mind are the 1993 film The Fugitive with Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford, and the 1998 film Enemy of the State with Will Smith.
Discovery Channel’s new TV series, Manhunt with Joel Lambert is more along the lines of the latter two. Ex U.S. Navy Seal and escape and evasion expert, Joel Lambert is dropped off in locations in the Philippines, Poland, Panama, the United States, South Korea and South Africa; from there, elite tracking units of each country have 48 hours to find him before he reaches his secret extraction point.
Joel has to escape in places where the conditions and elements of the various terrain alone (sans the highly skilled pursuers) have dangers of their own: lions, rhinos, giant leeches, bears, typhoons, steep cliffs, rocky shorelines, harsh heat and urban chaos.
Episode 6, “Escape the Jungle” was shot in the Philippines. Here, Joel goes up against the Philippine Army Scout Rangers. This episode was previewed for the local press last week and I was impressed at how our skilled Rangers didn’t use tech of any kind for tracking through the mountains of Sta. Rita in Pampanga.
The Scout Ranger contingent was also the leanest team Joel had to go up against and they pretty much just had their two bare boned trucks and an old tape measure. When it came to tracking, these men didn’t need any apps, they were the apps.
In each episode, Joel has to use his wits and training, the survival items in his backpack and anything helpful that presents itself in these harsh areas to be able to make it through. He has to hydrate, eat, hide, run and rest. He also has to create diversions and do what he can to throw off and put more distance between him and his pursuers.
At the press preview, he did mention having his producer (former British military) and a cameraman (untrained in survival and evasion skills) who, though we don’t see them, factor to into the whole exercise of escaping.
In some episodes, Joel makes it to his extraction point and makes an escape, in others, he concedes to getting captured—though he won’t say which ones.
Find out starting tomorrow on Discovery channel.
Manhunt with Joel Lambert premieres on tonight at 8 p.m. on Discovery Channel.