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'Law of the Jungle' makes groundbreaking adventure in Antarctica

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Published : Apr 13, 2018 - 15:54 / Updated : Apr 13, 2018 - 15:54

In 2006, American author Andrea White wrote a novel about the survival of five boys in Antarctica. In the book titled "Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083," the contestants in a reality TV show embark on a deadly journey to survive in one of the most extreme environments on earth.

While the author set the fictional story in the far distant future of 2083, South Korean reality TV show "Law of the Jungle" has advanced the date by 65 years.

The documentary-reality show on SBS has set a milestone by sending a team of celebrities to the Antarctic on a survival mission, the first such setting for a Korean reality TV program.

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Producer Kim Jin-ho (L) and three members of "Law of the Jungle" pose for photos during a press event at the SBS headquarters in Seoul on April 12, 2018. (Yonhap)
"It was a big present for me. I felt like appearing in a movie shot in the Antarctic as a main character," comedian and the "clan leader" Kim Byung-man told reporters at a press event held at the network's headquarters in Seoul on Thursday.

Citing the extreme cold weather as the most fearful factor about the place, he said he suffered for days from lasting, acute pains on his hand after only a moment of using water with his bare hands. The coldest temperature recorded was minus 89.6 Celsius in 1983.

The show featuring celebrities surviving in the wild far from civilization premiered on October 21, 2011 and marked 300th anniversary in January. "Law of the Jungle: Antarctica" has been planned since the start of the show, said producer Kim Jin-ho.

"Our plan to go to the Antarctic wasn't realized several times in the past due to schedule conflicts, airline problems and permission issues and so forth. But we wanted this to happen so bad and everything, including weather conditions, helped us (realize it)," Kim said.

Led by Kim, the clan leader, only two more actors -- Jeon Hye-bin and Kim Young-kwang -- joined the team largely because of the limitation on the size of a group.

"Including staff, only around 10 people were allowed in, so I felt very honored to hear that I came across the producer's mind," the actress Jeon said. She had appeared in the show multiple times, where she showed excellent survival skills and adaptability.

Asked about what impressed her most, she said, "When I saw ice shelves melting, my heart started pounding. I didn't believe global warming, especially as we had a terribly cold winter. But it was really happening," the actress said. "I hope many people watch the show and realize the reality."

During a few days of adventure, they experienced extreme cold, wind, blizzards and white night. The actress said she was amazed how everything a human created was swept away by wind or covered in snow the next day.

"I thought our igloo would be gone if and when we come here again. It was as if we, human beings, shouldn't leave anything behind," she said. "Every day there felt like a miracle."

To capture the undisrupted frozen beauty of Antarctica, the program gets a 4K UHD HDR (Ultra-HD High Dynamic Range) release -- the first time for a Korean TV program.

For the four nights and five days, the three completed various missions, such as building an igloo, generating electricity using solar heat and adventuring to reach the South Pole.

For a possible project in the future, the fearless leader Kim eyes -- not surprisingly -- the remaining pole that lies on the opposite end of the Earth.

"The South Pole is easily recognizable because a physical pole marks it. But you need to find the North Pole using GPS. If possible, I want to visit there," he said.

"Just in case I bump into a polar bear, I will bring a case of Coca Cola," he joked. (Yonhap)

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