Doomsday (series review)

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The end is coming …eventually.

National Geographic Explorer has two new series on television: Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Castle. This is a series review of both of them. Doomsday Preppers begins its third season. Doomsday Castle begins its first.

(NatGeo) Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.

National Geographic’s experts evaluate water, food, shelter, security and “x-factor” evaluate each prepper’s situation to determine how long they are likely to last. 

The series popularity took Nat Geo to film Doomsday Castle, a reality show like Doomsday Preppers that follows one family’s adventure, building a survival castle.  A man known only as “Brent Sr.,” gathers his family and moves into a fortified castle to ride out any impending scenario. Eight episodes will document their efforts in planning, building, fortifying and training for anything up to and including a zombie apocalypse. 

The family intends its castle to act as a refuge where the family will be safe from marauding neighbors and others — who will all be shot on approach— once the power grid goes down and it’s every man for himself.

Since all of the locals know where the castle is, the family will have to mow them down along with the hoards from the city who want to horn in on the stored food and to hide behind the defensive measures.
Personal Thoughts – Doomsday Preppers
The Doomsday Preppers all seem like generally nice people who are concerned with the world around them coming down around their ears. There are some weird people who built a gallows to deal with members of their compound who got out of line. A guillotine might have been a better choice but both the noose and the blade have historical precedents.
A small minority of the preppers are religious people preparing for the end of the world who have decided to live disarmed and have their faith defend them. The producers should have a duty to broadcast their locations because I’d go there first (armed) to move the faithful along, capture and then sack their compound. Think of all of the English monasteries that were sacked by Vikings… you get the picture. Stupid people die first and a lot of Christians were eaten by lions in the Colosseum.
It’s better to have and not need than need and not have.
Personal Thoughts – Doomsday Castle
I would have called it a cabin in the mountains and would not have made it look like a castle. I would have likely fortified it, but would have made it appear less imposing. In a doomsday scenario, a real castle provides a challenge to assault where a “cabin” with no advertising around might be by-passed by the zombies. This castle has a drawbridge, moat and parapets. A castle provides a challenge and despite preparations, one anti-tank rocket from the local National Guard Armory will take the place down. Two or three will take it down faster.

They needed to site it on top of a hill (which it is) and clear ALL of the trees and brush for at least 500 meters to provide effective fields of fire. The mountain needs to be cleared “smooth” so that there is nothing for an attacker to hide behind. Land mines and area denial devices should be a part of preparations if you are serious about defense. Actually copying old castle designs and defensive measures works today (remarkably) unless they have anti-tank rockets or learn to build mortars (indirect fire weapons that drop explosive shells on your roof and eventually burn you out or blow you up. The family builds a trebuchet later in the series, which is a much better offensive weapon than it is a defensive weapon. When you consider that a mortar can be constructed easily from materials available in any hardware store, the castle wouldn’t last long (sorry Brent Sr.)

“Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man.” – General George S. Patton

If that sounds harsh, I tip my hat to Brent Sr. for working with his children to teach them woodcraft and survival skills. Even if the world doesn’t end as anticipated with a massive electromagnetic pulse or EMP-generating nukes, the time that the kids spend with each other and their father will make them richer for the experience.
Children benefit from camping time with their parents even if there is no castle in the scenario.
Hint to Brent Sr. In the event of zombie apocalypse, consider taking over and defending a Costco that is sited next door to a Cabella’s build a high wall/corridor between Costco and Cabellas and you’ll hold out longer than anyone in the reality shows. Additionally, preparations are less expensive than buying land and building a castle on it — but maybe not as fun?

15 thoughts on “Doomsday (series review)

  1. Didn't they ask why the castles faded to nothing? Because they won't work against gun power, which has been discovered for some time now. Boom! No castle.

  2. If they don't have it, you don't need it. And if you need to survive for years, you could graze on Costco and Cabella's (jointly) and live mighty well. The Costco has high castle walls and you can shoot the zombies from high on your parapets.

  3. You and I will form the core of a foraging army that will sweep from survival camp to survival camp. Like locusts.

  4. You must have my house bugged. I saw the Castle preview and laughed…and set to record. But I said to the clan, "if they were serious, they should build a cabin in the mountains"…well, if they were serious they wouldn't be on TV. My cabin would be hidden though, one that says "go away, nothing to see here."

    I watch Doomsday Preppers all the time – they use the goofiest people they can find, but at least once a show you get a good idea. Like just the other day while watching I learned not to live in California or Florida…

    Food and water stores run out, you prep by learning how to survive…

  5. Living in California or Florida means that you'll end up as "soylent green" to feed the hungry zombies.

    Doomsday preppers as with most reality TV, relies on the shock value. Most of these people would be better served enjoying living in their cabins and vacationing in the out-back rather than hoarding and fortifying. I'm not anti-hoarding or fortifying, but you also have to enjoy your life while waiting for "the end" to come.

  6. An EMP attack would likely rapidly escalate winding up with a full on nuclear exchange… the castle would be right in the path of serious radioactive fallout.

  7. I don't have a problem with being prepared. However, a full on nuclear exchange would likely need to "nuclear winter" and another ice age. Read up on the last one. there were ice sheets over 3000 feet thick over North America 15,000 years ago (just a heartbeat in geologic time). Providing that you survived the "full on nuclear exchange", it would be better to have the castle near the equator.

  8. For the record, "Anonymous", who is afraid to come here with their name and info, has been abusive and comments beyond this one were deleted for that reason. Fair and reasoned disagreement is encouraged. Childish anonymous posts are not.

  9. NOTE: I've had more spam from this blog post than from any other (and to date there have been more than a few here on Virtual Mirage). If you want to make it here on the reply and exchange area from this point, I request that you NOT be anonymous. Usually I entertain those, but not with the hostile and rude anonymous replies that arrive here.

    Thank you, The Management

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