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May 29, 2017

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Drive to survive!

Stuck in extreme environments such as near a volcano, in a desert, rain forest or mountains, how would you manage to return to civilization with no more than a four-wheel drive vehicle? Isolated from the high-tech facilities, modern infrastructure, safety nets and political order of modern society, how would you survive in harsh environments with limited natural resources and food supplies?

If you are unsure of the answers to all of the above questions, the Discovery Channel's latest series "One Car Too Far" may be just the show for you, as you watch adventurers Bill Wu and Gary Humphrey put their intelligence and creativity to work in the ultimate survival experience. The all-new five-part survival series will take you to the most extreme parts of Chile and South America to enjoy the beauties of nature and also to experience hardship in severe environments, every Friday at 9 p.m. beginning Sept. 21.

Earlier this week, Bill and Gary shared some of their perspectives with PrimeTime. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation.

What is the format of the new series?

In order to show the audience techniques of how to survive extreme environments in Chile and South America, we take different approaches to film the series. In each episode, we put our car in accessible places, so we as adventurers could use it to explore terrains including glaciers, jungles, forests and highlands, and to survive dangers posed by nature in different areas.

What do you hope the audience will gain from watching the series?

As we try to use a four-wheel multipurpose vehicle to get rid of all the obstacles on paths back to civilization, we also add comedy elements while turning the series into an educational television program. Through watching episodes in the order they come out, the audience will be able to learn the hosts' creative survival skills and also witness the process where two guys with completely different personalities work together to achieve the same goal - to stay alive.

What sort of challenges did you have while filming the series? How did you overcome those challenges?

Bill: Not being able to trust Gary at the beginning made me feel like a fish out of water. Whenever Gary instructed me to perform some survival skills I was not competent with, I felt insecure because it is hard for me to trust someone I don't know.

Gary: At first, I though we couldn't make it. After suffering from starvation and lack of sleep for so many days, we finally made it and solved problems we faced. The audience could never imagine how many cups of ramen noodles, cold fishes, candy bars, nuts and dried fruits we had eaten during the filming process.

What goes through your mind when faced with a do-or-die survival situation?

Gary: We have both been in this situation before. Everything slows down. I reacted with what I need to react because I know I must get out of those places.

Bill: Whenever I meet difficulties, I always ask myself to calm down and play the character of Sherlock Holmes. I'm always prepared for the worst scenario, so that Gary and I could finish our mission with fewer troubles.

Do you have any expectations for the series?

Bill: If someone saves a person's life after watching this show, this series will be very worthy for me. I expect the audience to learn survival skills rather than watching it as a survival show.

Gary: I used to live in the U.S. for two years. Seeing so many children there spend so much time watching television shows, I feel heartbroken. So, I hope this series can stir up kids' imaginations and raise their interest in becoming television producers like I am. ■

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