NBC's Siberia: Part of Your New Reality?

Siberia Premiere Recap NBCDon’t feel bad* if you briefly mistook NBC’s Siberia for another disposable summer reality series. With a cast of 16 “contestants” getting stranded in the Russian wilderness, a rugged Aussie host declaring it “the most extreme adventure ever created” and Survivor-esque camera work abounding, you wouldn’t necessarily have expected that “elimination” would be just another word for grisly death at the hand/claw of a (pack of?) nefarious, possibly mutant forest creatures.  

Yep, this show is a scripted, fictitious slice of horror imaginging reality as a literal (as opposed to figurative) death trap. 

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The opening sequence was nifty: All 16 players blindfolded and helicoptered into a desolate patch of Siberia, then forced to abandon their belongings and race to a reconstructed, turn-of-the-century camp where a group of settlers mysteriously disappeared back in 1908. The last two to the outpost faced immediate elimination (though we never saw Berglind and Harpreet actually re-board the chopper, did we?)

That left us with 14 “players,” who, as our host pointed out, would be able to split a $500,000 grand prize among however many of them didn’t wave the white flag and ask to go home before the end of winter.

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Personalities and tensions emerged as early as Day 1: There was Johnny, an arrogant loner who’d smuggled in a lighter in his sock and chose to sun himself on the roof rather than help gather water, find food or make fire. There was Esther, the manipulative model who casually hid path markers to improve her own chances. And then there was Tommy, an environmental activist so nice that he helped injured geek Daniel make the hike — worries over his own potential elimination notwithstanding. Oh, and what to make of Sabina, who seemed to magically appear at the encampment first — without anyone seeing her get there? (Is she perhaps a ghost? Or a producer in disguise? Or an alien? Or a mutant? So many possibilities!)

A first-night campfire brought the players together — until animal noises of indeterminate origin drove everyone terrified into the cabins. In the morning, Daniel found a three-legged frog; Irene and Miljan found a weird, locked shed; and Annie, Natalie and Tommy set off to try to find special mushrooms they’d learned about from “The Revealer,” a giant metal box programmed to spit out clues and helpful items over the duration of the game.

You could tell things were about to get not good — and not just because Victoria had to go and say “We don’t want a Lord of the Flies situation on our hands.” Natalie and Annie returned to the camp with mushrooms — but no Tommy, who’d wandered deeper into the forest than they’d wanted to go. Cue: A camera guy with a giant, bleeding head wound, muttering in Russian, who was quickly led away while confusion built among the contestants. And cue our host, coming out and sharing that Tommy was badly injured. “Unfortunately, it’s fatal,” he added. What to the what-what?

And thus ended Episode 1 — with grouchy older dude Sam declaring, “Nobody’s supposed to die: It’s a game,” and the contestants having to decide whether to drop out and take home a consolation $5,000 or stay in the game despite a lack of any detailed information about what happened to Tommy. We the audience, though, got one final bit of found footage of Tommy and the cameraman fleeing from some unknown, apparently terrifying presence — the soon-to-be dead man’s screams the final note of the unsettling, spooky Siberia premiere. (*Also, don’t feel bad if you miss the Peacock net’s Love in the Wild, either. And by “you,” I’m mainly referring to myself, BTW.)

What did you think of Siberia? Grade the premiere in the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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116 Comments
  1. Bobby says:

    I loved it personally and can’t wait for more. I don’t feel like it got a lot of promotion, and airing against Under the Dome probably doesn’t do it any favors. But I’d be fine if we just got one season since the premise would work that way. Can’t wait to see how everything unfolds.

  2. Sandra says:

    Yeah, was definitely interesting. Don’t believe in “Tommy’s” accident, think that it was a hoax to scare players. Blood on camera man was so not real looking , should have hired better makeup artists!

    • Smoky says:

      After that happened I started wondering if this was actually a reality survivor show or not. I was fooled until the cameraman came in bleeding…well, just after it. I was thinking they wouldn’t just stand around yelling and whining, they’d have him down with people trying to control the bleeding. And then the footage at the end with the unseen “thing” and the screaming Tommy that gets a final “Crunch” yeah that’s not how things kill, and it’d be fairly odd not to get a shot of it. Well, happy to hear it’s not a real reality show where that happened, but now it’s on my list of “Possible supernatural fun” lol However, I have to say “Scenes from the next” are not looking promising. =/ If anything they look like they’ll be stupid.

    • K. J. Doll says:

      I hope you are right…I feel that if true program should be cancelled

    • K. J. Doll says:

      Oops… My comment which went under Smokey’s is actually in response to Sandy’s…K.J. Doll

    • Innocent Jo says:

      Well, the blood obviously looked fake, but you have to realize that the show is scripted. It’s fake people! In my opinion it would have been better If half the “players” were reall people, not actors, but still it’s pretty cool. Really enjoying the hunger games vibe!

      • andres figueroa says:

        I just got done watching a new episode and the colombian girl said she was forced to frame johny on burning the litle shed with the food.

  3. Ben says:

    OK, so it’s Survivor: Blair Witch?

    • Ben says:

      It pretty much sounds like Survivor for people who hate Survivor. Also, reminds me potentially of Harper’s Island but without the mass murderer. Or maybe with the mass murderer. Who knows.

      • number42is1 says:

        +100 for the Harpers Island reference. the single greatest one season show ever!

        • Joseph says:

          The thing about Siberia is that it is so unique that you really can’t compare it to other shows. That’s what makes it great. Sure, it has some Survivor elements because it’s a reality show and they’re in the wilderness, but it really has no parallels other than that. So I definitely agree with you on that one, Ben. People who don’t like Survivor will immediately assume this is based off of it, but in reality it’s far from it.

          And agreed! Harpers Island was such an amazing show. I actually plan on watching it again soon! One of my all time favorite shows. Although Siberia didn’t remind me of it at all…. Instead I thought of Persons Unknown. Anyone seen that? It got cancelled after one season, but that was also an amazing show.

          So to anyone who enjoys Siberia, I highly recommend you watch Persons Unknown. :-)

      • Brian G. says:

        I hate Survivor and LOVED Siberia but I tend to have the worst taste when it comes to television. The fact that I loved Siberia means the entire cast should get their resumes updated (quite literally maybe one in ten shows I like make it past Season 1… I’ve never seen an episode of CSI and I didn’t think Lost would make it past the Pilot LoL).

  4. phil says:

    No way it was real, come on do you think if someone had died they would air the show.

    • aaron says:

      he didnt die. the host said that it was a “fatal injury”. tommy didnt really die.

    • jen says:

      ummm, you people realize this show is scripted, right??

      • dysturbed says:

        Of course people know that it is scripted but they also know that it is presented as being real (in the context of the script) and that in that (scripted) reality, the show supposedly is still being filmed with the intention of airing.

      • AnnaJuist says:

        I have a feeling people that think this is a “Real” show…also believe that “Wrestling” is real…LOL Or that this show is actually taking place in Siberia ;-) The acting is so bad….it actually makes Blair Witch look real :-)

        • Sorry but some wrestling is real, I didn’t believe it until I watched with my long time fan of a husband. The recruiting shows that get the wrestlers on the show. A lot of that is real and they do get hurt….Yes this show is fake, we know some or most of it is scripted but I am sure I will cont. watching. I don’t like that they are letting them believe someone is dead though it’s tacky….

  5. Riley says:

    Liked the pilot a lot. I found it really interesting that Sabina had zero interviews and only appeared in group footage. Only person shot that way I think. Plus she picked up that knife. Very curious what her story will be.

  6. Sokratis says:

    Very interesting. Its like Cloverfield, the ‘reality’ series

  7. Adam Bramble says:

    I will continue watchin

  8. C. T. says:

    Very very interesting, i loved it , i cant wait to see more i will be watching for sure.

  9. Chris says:

    At first I thought it was terrible. But when I realized it was fake I am waiting impatiently for the next episode

  10. Brianna says:

    Why does my favorite character have to die. : ‘ ( I kinda think it was fake, but at the same time in the back of your mind you think ‘what if it was real?’

    • turnersims says:

      Haha, exactly! I thought it was real up until the arrogant guy pulled out the lighter, then it hit me that there was no way any of it could be real… They wouldn’t let someone in with a lighter! And then I was assured it was all scripted once all the strange things started happening. Throughout the episode I was rather suspicious because the camera angles were too good for a reality show and something just felt…. off. But yeah, in the back of my mind I was hoping for it to be an actually reality show because the concept just looked really cool. :P

  11. number42is1 says:

    So help me understand this… Is this a reality show with fake deaths and the contestants dont know OR is it a drama/suspense with actors ABOUT a reality show with deaths?

    • Eli says:

      The latter.

    • John says:

      Seriously! Geez!

      • number42is1 says:

        OH! ok genius.. please explain it to me.. how did you know.. without a doubt that it was a show and not reality?

        • Midori says:

          If people die on a “reality” show the studio would be sued, the show would never air.

          We really are de-evolving.

          • number42is1 says:

            sigh…. so what you are saying is that you cannot read english? no worries I will explain.. it is either
            1) a reality show where they FAKE A DEATH and the contestants DO NOT KNOW and it is all par of the game
            OR
            2) its a drama/suspense with actors ABOUT a reality show
            either one of those is plausible and honestly the former would be so much cooler but too much like whodunnit.

          • Drew Melbourne says:

            It is a scripted television show, but it’s possible that it’s a scripted television show about a reality show in which deaths are only faked.

          • turnersims says:

            Very true, but you misread Number’s post. Like they already clarified, s/he said that it COULD be production pretending it’s a reality show to the contestants, but the viewers know it’s all fake. That could very well be possible, but it’s obvious it’s not. It’s clear that everyone is acting, and possibly improvising a bit (I doubt it’s scripted word for word).

            Whodunnit is pathetic. I don’t like how they’re pretending it’s a reality show, when clearly it’s not. Sure, some of it may be real and not entirely scripted, but most of it is and they’re obviously acting. It’s not reality if you’re being told what to do and say! At least in Siberia, the writers are toying with us in the beginning, but assume most of us have the brains to realize it’s all fake soon after.

        • Internet person says:

          Also in the end credits it wouldn’t have writers and make up artist. Additionally if someone died they would at least have an in memorium thing.

        • fitzmi says:

          3 legged frogs, unidentifiable animal growls plenty of “fake” hints. To recap: stupid tv

  12. johansvonangus says:

    Wow number42is1, are you a dick much!? The show is fake made to look like reality. Look it up on IMDB they are all actors and you can see their resumes.

  13. Wendi says:

    Of course it’s not real – it’s a scripted drama, meshing Lost with the inventiveness of Hollywood ‘reality’ tv. It’s about grabbing viewership, and kudos to those oh so creative minds that make fine use of the tools of their trade – they are to be admired albeit with an amused perspective.

  14. Aly says:

    You guys, it’s not a reality show. It’s a TV Show about a reality show! I was screaming at my TV the whole time saying how dumb these people were to be in this reality show.. then at the very end it hit me it’s a television series!

    • AnnaJuist says:

      LOL “Screaming” at the T.V (Ditto)…..I was hoping it was going to be a “Real” show…like that PBS special from a while back…but then I could tell that it was scripted, because the acting was so very Bad. Now it’s just another sorry show on SyFy. :-( I’d rather watch the cheesy SciFi movies, they are more entertaining.

    • Innocent Jo says:

      Exactly what I did! No overexaggerating in the screaming part. Then I was like there is no way in hecks a tv show would let someone die in it without being sued. 😍

  15. T. Moore says:

    As a self professed reality geek I liked the Pilot episode and will continue to watch. It seems to be a combination of “Survivor and the Discovery Channel series from a few years ago “The Colony” All the stereotypical reality show people seem to be represented. If you keep in mind that this is a “scripted” show about a “reality” show gone horribly wrong then you should enjoy the horror/mystery aspects of the show. Really weird how Sabina was just there in the cabin when the first 2 guys got there. How did she get there? Was she even there at the helicopter when everyone got dropped off? I’m interested in finding out what’s going on with her.

  16. Babygate says:

    I was looking forward to this but the time is terrible. I already watch Mistresses and Under the Dome. Unless NBC airs an encore at other time, I won’t be watching. But sounds interesting…

    • Laura says:

      I watch both of those also but just watch through my cable network’s on-demand channel. They have all three so I just pick which one I want to watch live and catch the other 2 later. You can also check Hulu.

    • amalusha says:

      I saw that SYFY IS going to do an encore on Saturday 07/06 at 8:00 pm

  17. L.D. says:

    Wow I was wondering for a while about the authenticity of the show but I just saw all their profiles on IMBd. They are all actors. Regardless it is still an awesome show and I can’t wait for more episodes.

    • UM68 says:

      Funny thing is all of the actors use their real names on the show Siberia except the girl who plays Carolina (the gorgeous brunette with the long hair) – her name is Joyce Giraud

  18. vi says:

    that was mysterious how the camera man was found but tommy didnt appear cus tommy should have followed him back home

  19. Shari M. says:

    I got sucked in and didn’t want to – so that says a lot for me to watch the whole pilot. Enough mystery to watch next week. The one phrase I remember from the host was that he said “This is a Social Experiment” Which says to me that unlike a reality show that HAS rules in place – this is “put the rats in the maze without rules, toss in some drama, stress and alledged terror and see what happens” Kind of a cool idea for a scripted show. I’m glad there’s a script – love that actors are getting hired again and tired of all these “reality” stars with no talent becoming celebs!!

  20. Lyndahh says:

    I watched…but cannot decide if I want to continue. I am sooo confused!!
    Have not yet deleted the episode as now I want my husband to watch it and see what he thinks…at least I will have someone to discuss this strange pilot with.
    He has watched every single episode of Survivor, so his opinion will be quite interesting.

  21. Nikki says:

    I enjoyed reading this witty exchange more than the show.

  22. This was one of the most impressive debut shows I have EVER seen. I was drawn in just to watch it as a reality show… When I realized it was a scripted horror I was blown away at how well it was done. I’m excited to see the rest!

  23. Shipxnjsjxbb says:

    I thought that it was a real show because of the people’s emotions and how they dealed with stuff. until I saw that nobody even decided to make weapons…I know that I would have. Then, the three leged toad/frog? I thought that it was fake, but you really don’t know, so I didn’t let that be one of my reasons. Anyway, the cameraman’s so called blood, looked so fake. Then, when we got the footage, and you heard the loud CRUCH, I knew that it was fake because animals would just tear you up, not bothering to break bones. Unless if it was a person, but either way, the person could have just stabed him. And the acting for the footage just didn’t look real. And FYI, who wouldn’t think of purifying your water besides just one kid?

  24. becky says:

    Like most of you I thought I was tuning in to watch a reality show where something had gone “terribly wrong”. My thoughts by the end of the episode? I have to agree with the promotional text. However, I was intrigued enough to Google it to see what everyone else thought. First show I ever did that for!

  25. Victoria says:

    At first I had thought that it was a reality show, but when Sabina was the first one at the cabins it seemed suspicious (how would she get there faster than the guys?) along with the fact that she had known that there would be a knife there on the window ledge. Also that Johnny knew exactly where to go without looking at the flags. When the two had gotten evicted at the end we didn’t see them leave or even hear a helicopter, so I think that the shed that the people (I forget who) found in the middle of the field that was locked is going to hold the people until someone else finds it or opens it. When Tommy’s camera man came back ‘bloody’ it looked fake and if he was actually seriously hurt then the camera man most likely wouldn’t have left him alone in the wilderness where he got attacked in the first place. In the previews at the end it had showed that all the guys wanted to leave (which makes no sense to me) and the button was broken. In general I find the show is hard to believe, but I think I’ll continue watching to see what the show turns into.

  26. Isnt there enough real blood shed going on in the world? This is trash! I will never watch it again!

  27. cheryl says:

    I thought when i watched this that it was Real.. after the accident,i went online to see if it was real or not.i’m so glad its not.. as someone said if ther was really a death they wouldn’t have aired it. will not be watching it again, i’d rather watch survivor.. at least its real reality tv, this is just acting.. dumb show!!

  28. Karen S. says:

    don’t know yet if I will continue watching. I know it is scripted and the “deaths/murders” will be faked, like with any movie where a character dies, but I recently watched Who Done It? where a cast is staying in a mansion and one by one they die. they have to find clues to try to figure out who did it. Sort of like Clue for television. They even have a butler! :)

  29. Laurie says:

    Tommy is not dead. They claim that none of them knew each other. If you look at the Facebook page of Tommy Mountain, he is friends with Berglind. Since she was eliminated the first day for arriving at the camp in last place and Tommy “died” the next day, how did they become friends on Facebook. If you don’t trust me, go check it out at: https://www.facebook.com/tommy.mountain/friends Her name is Berglind Icey, how coincidental that she was from Iceland on the show.

  30. tyler says:

    It could have happened because in season 3 TV show ” the colony” someone really die when they were making the show

  31. Trenia says:

    I think its real people, but the things that are happening are to mess with their minds and see how much they can take before they go bonkers

  32. Dave says:

    The characters were too weird to be real contestants, especially when you realize the hot pchicks are wearing make-up and the dialogue is so obviously scripted.

  33. Trish Dupuis says:

    Well I can’t wait to watch more because I need a good laugh. I was excited to watch the show, and even after finding out that the show was taped in my own Country somewhere in Manitoba, I was still willing to give the premise of the show a shot. Much to my disappointment I should’nt have. The fake noises started to early and the threat of a death in the first show was a whole lot to soon. Needless to say I don’t think I will be watching the series unless there is nothing else on.
    Thanks for reading. Trish from Canada

  34. gunkyd says:

    When the “host” came in to announce the supposed fatality, I thought he said “Tony” and because I had no idea who Tony is, I assumed it was the cameraman. So I googled and found this site. Thanks for explaining it!

  35. daxamaru says:

    I’m so disappointed in all these fake shows. I thought I was gonna see real legitimate survival situations. Not fake ass ppl doing a fake ass show. Owell guess ill just lump it in with the Kardashian’s you know as garbage.

    • Donna says:

      I was so disappointed as well. I tuned in weeks late–watched past episodes on the computer. I REALLY THOUGHT i was seeing a live reality show –people really putting their lives on the line in Siberia for a small fortune. How devastating to find it all a fake! I will not be watching again.

  36. Dana says:

    This is a scripted show. It is a supernatural drama ABOUT a reality show called Siberia. There are no actual contestants nor is there a $500,000 prize.

  37. Manny says:

    Aw i really wanted to see real people surviving in that wildness with Siberian tiger.

  38. Josh says:

    It’s all scripted with all the contestants being actors.. Which making it into something it’s not is lame. Won’t watch again

  39. Amanda says:

    Ill stick with Bear’s new realty show much better.

  40. Kwinns says:

    Really disappointed with NBC, bad acting with a worse script. I wish people wouldn’t argue that this could be real, some rich executive said “Lets make this as cheesy as we can.” and you’re encouraging em! So it is a social experiment, not on tv but how many of us dont bother to research or believe the truth even when its proven because our tv said so.

  41. SpankyDoodleDandy says:

    Prior to watching, did not know it was scripted and with actors. When i first turned it on, looked interesting. The more I watched the more I was convinced it was B.S. So, just before bed, I trotted upstairs to the computer to look it up…..Thanks for confirming my instincts. First time watching, as well as my LAST. EPIC FAIL!!!!
    And to think I missed “Under The Dome” for this crap.

  42. Claudia says:

    Liked the show but the blood on thrvcameraman looked fake. They never actually showed Tommy’s shoes on the stretcher. I don’t think he’s DEAD!!!!! But I probably will continue to watch. It has me curious??????

  43. wendy b says:

    By far the dumbest show I have ever seen. I’ll never get that hour back

  44. Kincols says:

    The acting sucks.

  45. Dave Herod says:

    When they are eating the deer , Not! it was chicken, deer meat is not white or greasy.

    • Debra says:

      It even looked like the old man was eating a “drumstick”! You’re right. Deer meat is very lean, not fatty or greasy! Thanks for the insight.

  46. Debra says:

    The show is interesting, but really quite fake! You don’t run from a tiger, cause if there was a tiger…you wouldn’t be running. And what was that thing last night that supposedly got to a tiger as the “actor” was “wondering” what could do that to a tiger? Wonder what they are really getting at the end of all this?

  47. Debra says:

    you’re right, deer meat is really lean, not greasy…and it doesn’t have a “drumstick” like the old man was eating! It’s a really dumb show, but I admit I watched it. Who’s the dumb one now?

  48. lorie says:

    Anyone notice the car driving behind the trees on this weeks episode…

  49. lorie says:

    Its a white car…

  50. Jimmie says:

    People can hunt for deer a long time and not see any, let alone find two, an unskilled shooter makes one shot with a bow and arrow and hits the sweet spot and killed it! Too many coincidences. I too wondered if this is actually in Siberia. Can you see these people surviving being buried in snow and then living off the land? (somehow my TV didn’t record episode 2).

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