'Hunted' viewers complain about 'contrived' start to new series

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·3 min read
The contestants go on the run in Hunted. (Channel 4)
Hunted began with an escape from an island. (Channel 4)

Hunted began a new series on Sunday with the most difficult challenge yet for the show's fugitives - but viewers complained that it looked "contrived" and "staged".

The Channel 4 series pits pairs of contestants, labelled fugitives, against a team of hunters made up of detectives and military and security officers.

Read more: Nadine Dorries' claim that Channel 4 paid actors for reality show 'unfounded'

During the series, they go on the run across the UK, aiming to avoid being caught or tracked and winning a share of a £100,000 prize fund if they make it to the end location.

This year, contestants had a tough start as they were tasked with setting off from a deserted beach on the Isle of Wight, but viewers claimed it was a step too far in the series which already seemed unrealistic to some.

A helicopter pilot looks for fugitives over the Isle of Wight. (Channel 4)
A helicopter pilot looks for fugitives over the Isle of Wight. (Channel 4)

One viewer tweeted: "I like #Hunted on @Channel4. It’s always quite contrived, but the Isle Of Wight start / escape is ridiculous. If the hunters can’t catch them leaving an island ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT then they’re about as competent as a Tory politician."

Someone else asked: "What is the point in putting them on the island, if they can't get off and there all in the same place seems a bit silly."

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Another viewer agreed: "This does feel a bit unfair. Only a few routes off the island. Not exactly a challenge for the smallest police force."

Someone else commented: "How can they not just catch them when they're dumped on an island and the only way off are the ferries, just wait at the port!"

Fugitives hid with members of the public. (Channel 4)
Fugitives hid with members of the public. (Channel 4)

However, complaints about the unrealistic concept weren't confined to the island start point.

One scene showed the fugitives knocking on doors of total strangers to ask for their help in hiding.

A viewer tweeted: "Please help us. We're fugitives on the run and we need to hide!" "Come on in!" Like really? As if you'd happily let two fugitives into your house."

Someone else agreed: "Imagine someone hammering on your front door saying they're a fugitive and need to be let in, you'd be telling them to f*** right off and calling the police!"

The Hunted team of trackers. (Channel 4)
The Hunted team of trackers. (Channel 4)

Things got even stranger when the hunters demanded information from the people who'd helped them.

One person asked: "OK so why is this guy fessing up. They are not the police. I’d just tell them to kindly leave."

Someone else tweeted: "Why would you let the hunters into your house? I don't get this. Why would he let them interrogate him? Surely you'd tell them to f*** off!"

But the details didn't spoil the new series for everyone - one fan wrote: "Yes, it’s scripted and fake and exaggerated nonsense at times but I love #Hunted. Just mindless fun to watch!"

Hunted continues tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.

Watch: Nadine Dorries claims Channel 4 faked reality show by paying actors