TV Highlights

What was on Saturday 25th October

Hardcore Heroes

Discovery Channel - 10pm

Who's in it?

Blending eyewitness accounts with fiery reconstructions that looked like outtakes from Backdraft, the first episode of this rousing series got us rather hot under the collar.

In a nutshell

Over in the US, this series was shown on the American Heroes Channel. We're not kidding – there is a channel that's actually called that. And it should give you a good idea of exactly how bombastic and bolshy this particular programme is. Granted, it's about real life people doing incredible things, so if anyone's worthy of a bolshy OTT show, these guys are. Even so, it would have been hard for us cynical Brits not to smirk a little bit at just how over the top it the first episode was last night.

The star of the show was a firefighter who gazed up at a burning inferno before stepping right inside to rescue a child. Yep: an actual child in peril, that's how much of a hero this guy was. The fact that he ended up carrying a molten playpen out of the hellish blaze with his bare hands only served to make all of us at home feel even more inadequate. The man deserved a standing ovation, let's face it. And suddenly the idea of an American Heroes Channel didn't seem so silly after all.

What's the verdict?

Proving that action heroes can and do exist in the real world, this programme is a bit like 999, only with less Michael Buerk and more Hollywood-style effects to get our nerves jangling. It's enough to make us want to put on some 80s hair rock and play air guitar, frankly.

Star rating: 3/5

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07-07-2011