History went and flipped the script for one of its most popular shows. The “crazy new twist” the network’s been advertising amounts to sort of a paradigm shift for Alone, which debuts its new season on June 15th. As many a sarcastic internet commenter has noted, the Alone Season 4 new rules eliminate the “alone” part of the show in favor of an isolated buddy system: while contestants are still isolated and subject to everything the local flaura, fauna, and climate can throw at them, they’re now buddied up with a family member of their choosing.
For starters, here are the Alone Season 4 new rules, straight from History itself:
7 pairs of family members travel to Northern Vancouver Island, a remote and rugged region of British Columbia known as the “Wet Coast”. Each duo will be separated from their loved one and dropped miles apart with 2 ultimate goals; navigate the brutally thick wilderness in an attempt to locate their family member and survive as long as they can, completely isolated and alone. The participants will only have the contents of their small backpacks, enough camera gear to record their experience and 10 tools split between them. Once reunited, each team must create their own shelters, pull food from the ocean, overcome harsh terrain, bitter cold, drenching downpours, contend with a host of deadly predators and each other. They will truly be on their own. No camera crew. No gimmicks. Last team standing wins.
As far as the Alone Season 4 location goes, it looks like the show’s producers decided that one major change was enough. The show will return to its Seasons 1 and 2 roots with the Quatsino Sound region of extreme northwestern Vancouver Island. The island is like Canada itself in that the overwhelming majorty of its population lives far to the south: Victoria and Saanich, its two largest cities, account for two-thirds of all Vancouver Island’s people. By contrast, Port Hardy, the largest settlement in Quatsino, is home to 4,008 people. So this season’s contestants aren’t likely to find much companionship beyond their one family member.
One new cast member ready to dispel any talk of the show going soft is 23-year-old Bradley Richardson, who competed with his 19-year-old brother Josh. Brad recently shared a few of his thoughts on participating under the Alone Season 4 new rules on his YouTube channel. One interesting bit of information he revealed is that family members were dropped off in different locations and had to find each other. And, because Vancouver Island is “a very brutal place to have to survive,” just meeting up was no easy feat.
“We actually start ten miles apart,” Brad began, “and we have to find each other. I’m not gonna go in depth into how long that takes, but, in an environment like Vancouver Island, moving 20 yards can take you 20 minutes–it’s such a thick and dangerous forest to walk through.”
Brooke Whipple, another Season 4 contestant, concurred in her own YouTube reveal. “Have you ever been on Vancouver Island,” Brooke asked, “and seen the vegetation, and the dense, unbelievably impenetrable forest that place is?”
Fans and skeptics alike can soon see for themselves: the Alone Season 4 new rules debut Thursday, June 15th at 10 PM on History.
(Photo credits: Alone Season 4 new rules via History)