Derren Brown: The Specials
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The original and most infamous of Derren's live stunts caused nationwide controversy and had viewers terrified. In a secret location, a member of the public selected from a nationwide search is asked to load a real gun with only one bullet. The gun is passed to Derren, who must work out what chamber contains the live bullet, whilst firing the other chambers against his head. Will his skills give him the power to dodge the bullet?
Derren uses the cover of a motivational seminar and documentary to see if he can persuade a group of businessmen and women to steal £100,000 in what they believe is an armed robbery. How much will it take for him to make a responsible human mind cross into dangerous and criminal behaviour? One of the most compelling and disturbing hours of television to be shown for many years.
At the time of broadcast, this was the most complained about show in television history, and had the nation cowering behind its sofas. 12 students take part in various stages of a séance using a variety of Victorian methods – from automatic writing and the Ouija Board, through to a chilling possession in the climactic dark seance. Viewers watching live will also contribute with their own experiences at home. Brilliantly challenging the myths of spiritualism, will Derren find a modern audience any more sceptical than the terrified Victorians in this roller-coaster of an experiment?
Posing as an anonymous tipster, Derren repeatedly predicts, twenty-four hours in advance, the winners of horse-races and sends those tips to a single mother from London. She starts to bet and win increasing amounts, until she bets every last penny she has in one final race. But is there really a perfect system? Derren explains his fool-proof method for guaranteeing a win every time, and takes us galloping through the limits of our perception up to an edge-of the seat finale.
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There were four 'set ups' on two DVDs and given that they were all equally entertaining, the product was very good value for money.
The Seance was outstanding entertainment. I was also able to explain to my daughter what was happening with the oija board before Derren did which made me feel like a clever dad! I found Derren Brown's hypnosis skills throughout the DVD to be phenomenal - he just touched people and they went into a hypnotic state.
We all enjoyed The Robbery too and it shows that many of us can be pushed to do illegal things. The preamble to the big robbery was the group of subjects going in to a newsagents and pinching sweets. It was hilarious. In the 'Robbery' Brown also replicated the famous Authority experiment whereby subjects think they are delivering an increasingly massive electric shock to another human being. I found this to be an important education for my daughter.
My family were fascinated by Derren's horse racing and gambling trick - but I'd seen this programme before, still clever though.
Derren Brown is always entertaining, often comes up with a surprise ending and I feel comfortable that he has behaved ethically towards his subjects.