Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown November 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm

We all survived. Steven is a finer Steven than before: despite a week of negative Twitter speculation reported disingenuously in the Sun, he really did do it and he really is a better man for it. For those wondering what has happened to him since, Steven now works as a teaching assistant in a special-needs school, a job he finds much more rewarding than the series of positions he held before. And I think in time he’ll make an excellent teacher. For now he’s keeping his Twitter and FaceBook set to private, but I’m sure before too long he’ll open them up and you’ll be able to ask him about his experience.

The show was, as many of you spotted, The Wizard of Oz with zombies. Our Dorothy (you’ll have noted the Kansas Autos sign on our mechanic’s van who visits Steven’s house) did not seek a place over the rainbow, but nonetheless had to learn that there is no place like home. With some extra motivation and carpe diem thrown in: L. Frank Baum’s message that you don’t need to go looking anywhere further than your own back yard always struck me as a little limiting. After the tornado/apocalypse, our Dorothy encounters Leona – of course a cheap play on ‘lion’ – to discover courage and responsibility, a scarecrow (Iain) who becomes indecisive and necessitates a new alpha-male in the group, and a tin-man (Danny) who, having no heart, makes it necessary for Steven to find his own. The Yellow Brecon Road awaits to take Steven to salvation, but it is Oscar Zulu from Emerald Communications – the wizard (ahem) behind the curtain – who provides the noisy, army equivalent of his hot air balloon to take them away. You’ll have spotted the graphic on the side of the helicopter. Like Dorothy, Steven is left behind: before he can return home he has to say what he has learnt from his experience, and what he has known all along. Which he does, movingly, in the video tape he makes for his family. To encourage this moment, we had him see the others do the same and held the camera held back from him until he was ready. That done, and his lesson learnt, cue the deus ex machina of the phone call (I know now I should have floated down in Glinda’s bubble for absolute authenticity) and he’s magically transported back home to a life now dramatically reassessed.

Writing a show with an unscripted, unwitting central character is a strange and demanding task. My co-creators Iain Sharkey (himself a freaked-out participant in my Séance programme many years ago where we first met) and Stephen Long worked on the idea with me in the first instance, before Mark Gatiss got involved to help find possibilities for narrative. The massive bulk of the extraordinary writing task was then shared by Iain and a gifted, lovely writer called Ben Teasdale, both of whom gave heart and soul to the project. Sharkey can be seen starring as the first we see of the ‘infected’, behind the window in the red tag building. His condition of butt-nakedness-save-for-a-backless-hospital-gown was sadly lost in the gloomy lighting of the sequence, but I’m sure it added to Steven’s growing sense of deathly horror.

For my production team to make it all happen took a level of dedication and love almost unheard of in the industry. Working 30 days without a break, spending nights awake in Steven’s shed waiting to pull a plug to his television, they were stretched beyond anything one would expect anyone to put into making a television show. Samuel Palmer and Dave Struthers in particular – both brilliant and talented core members of our little family – deserve special mention here. Dave’s Twitter feed over the last week was a tirade of fury at the glib, uninformed assurances of fraud after the endless work he and Sam put into the hugely demanding job of secretly filming Steven over such a long period of time. I bow to the extraordinary level of commitment and resolve shown by the whole team, who were bonded above all by a desire to do right by Steven. It was a formidable show to make.

And it’s not over yet. Next week brings two more shows under the banner Derren Brown: Fear and Faith. In part one, airing this Friday at 9, we follow the first members of the public to take a wonder-drug, developed for the military, that completely eradicates the experience of fear. It was another astonishing journey. I hope you enjoy it.

November 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Without a shadow of a doubt the best thing you have ever done. Your work has left me stunned before but I am utterly mesmerised by this. Well done Derren.

November 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm
kevin says:

This was great TV and if people dont walk away with something from it then they have missed the point

November 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm
John brunton says:

Thank you again Derren for classic tv long may you continue to make them

November 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm
Craig Gunn says:

Cracking two shows with a very big lump in throat moment when Steven goes downstairs when he wakes up and as for this accusation it was all false that’s just hot air (not a Pun on Oz) I’ve been lucky to been a selected as an auditionee for a show and know for real you can not fake it through what Mr Brown does.

November 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm
Marcin says:

What a great piece of work! I can’t wait to see Fear and faith!

November 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm
Danny Watson says:

Truly a spectacular feat of creativity and perseverance, I am honoured that it was shown in the UK, and that I witnessed a man’s life change for the better in one (two-half) TV special. I was moved tremendously when Iain gave his last speech and most of all, when Steven sacrificed his ability to see his family again for Leona. Props to Derren for giving this gift to us, the public, and well done to Derren for keeping a close eye on Steven, and creating this whole thing, I imagine there were sleepless nights involved. A big well done to the actors, I kept forgetting it was just a charade (Deception over 9000!?), and a huge well done for Steven for seeing the light at the end of the zombie infested tunnel. I appreciate the hours spent making this program.

November 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm
Deky furlong says:

Incredible !!!

November 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm
Tam Whyte says:

Thoroughly enjoyed both episodes, thank you.

November 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm
Amanda says:

An amazing and touching show Derren, I was lost for words last night! All the hard work truely paid off. So sad that people feel the need to try and taint Stephen’s experiences with scepticism. Hopefully they were all watching last night and realise their stupidity now. Well done to everyone involved 🙂

November 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm
Eddie says:

if this was for real i have to take my hat off to you ,,,because i found this a very very powerfulll piece of television ,,well done sir ,channel 4 give this man the doh as i have never watched anything beloning to this lad before but trust me i will in the future ,,DERRAN GOOD ON YOU You have taken the tv back from the reality shows and fly on the wall docus .

Eddie Glasgow ,,,, we have Zombies here tooo good luck with your next adventure you have me hooked sir .

November 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm
Lieneke says:

This show was nothing short of incredible, the speculations are todays news and tomorrow we will be linning our bins with them, but lucky enough nobody actually belives everything they read. Derren your work is increadable, the planning you and your team do is amence. Congratulations for such an epic show and for saving a life that would have otherwise been wasted. x

November 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm
Fred Riding says:

As a sound tech who works in theatre, I always grab a little of the applause in my head, and store it, as my own reward for working backstage. So often, crews of talented people are forgotten purely because they are not seen. On behalf of technicians everywhere, thank you for acknowledging the dedication these unseen people put in. This show was obviously a HUGE team effort, pulled off to perfection 🙂

November 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm
Alisha says:

i loved apocalypse cant wait for next Friday to see what else you are going to do with the fear pill! and i would also love to be in one of your live audiences!

November 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Dear Derren.

I don’t know if you will ever read this but first let me tell you this: I love you, your magic and (most of) the things you do.
Apocalypse however is not one of my favorites. I don’t know if its real or not (how could I?) but what I do know is that I don’t buy I. I, as a viewer, don’t accept that this could be 100% reel and that Steven is not, at least on some lever, playing along and knows that he is a part of a show.
And I think thats the importent thing – not if it ‘s real or not – but that we as an audience feels “Could this be true?”. If fe feel, and think, that – then you have succeeded.
I know that you know this better than I do.
Looking forward to the fear and faith-special!

November 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm
Ashley says:

Another fantastic show that got me on the edge of my seat as always. A truly remarkable story. I seem to become an even bigger fan of your work after each thing I watch and very much look forward to next weeks show.

November 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Have been a fan since ‘Mind Control’ , seen him twice, and been indirectly involved in one particular element of a show myself. After so long doing what the man does, working hard with his team on all his projects, it is stunning to me that people still want to tear down projects just because they seem impossible – isn’t that what being in his line of work is about, making one wonder, and in many cases with Derren, think? Long term fans can see all the reasons the idea of fakery is ridiculous, and I do not need to mention them all here. I am always taken by how down-to-earth, sincere, warm and genuine the man is in his work; to have remained so after all this fame and popularity is in itself quite magical. I do hope that doesn’t change. It surprises me people don’t see that fakery would be a complete waste of his time and long-developed talents.

Safe to say I look forward to the next project, and remain excited about seeing what he delivers on the next tour . If you have not seen him live yet, do! It is always a great night’s entertainment and he works, apparently tirelessly, to ensure you are given the fullest sense of wonder, creepiness, and sometime startling, goosebump-inducing beauty you wouldn’ t imagine possible. I recommended it especially for people who claim fakery, it might just be enough to make you reconsider your view of the man.

November 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm
Rob says:

What a brilliant show this was. I have just finished watching the second part and can undoubtedly say it was more gripping and emotive than any film or show i’ve ever seen. How does Derren keep out-doing himself? These ideas are simply genius!

November 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm
Bea says:

Loved this, it was right up my street! What a fantastic idea to get a person to appreciate what/who they have. I almost wish every one could have that experience. The Second episode made me cry, was so sweet. Well done Mr Brown!! 🙂

November 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm

– I don’t buy “it” and “we”, not fe, feel –
Sorry for the spelling mistakes.
I’m from Sweden so my english isn’t 100% and there is to much blood in my coffee circulation system right now.

November 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm
Suzy says:

Just wanted to say how fantastic the show was – you all did amazing, especially Steven. Be proud of yourself and ignore the negative twitter, you should all be very proud of yourself! cried like a baby watching Steven step up to the mark! well done! xxx

November 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm
Dan says:

It was a fantastic show, never seizes too amaze me. Great work and fantastic actors used, if I was in Stevens shoes i would without a doubt react a completely different way!

November 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm
Michael says:

Although this was quite an extreme way to show him the value of life, I do envy what he had. A chance to witness the end of the world, and then come straight back, no consequences.

November 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm
Alice says:

Loved the show! It was fantastic. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next and I hope to see you again on your next tour. Keep up the good work, and the dancing zombie video is hillarious! =D

November 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm
Roz says:

wow, those zombies must have been ded a long time, they’re doing the macarena! 😀

November 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm
Lindsay says:

Wow,I really enjoyed it. What a great idea to link it to the wizard of oz. Thank you for entertaining us and changeing Steve’s life to help him achieve more for himself. My favourite parts were the look on your face when he took Leona’s hand for the first time and told her to come with him. The second was after he woke up at home and just hugged his mum for ages. Ahh job well done x

November 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm
Mark collins says:

you are a total entertainer. Thanks :o)

November 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm
druidbros says:

What an amazing program. It inspired me too. I so wish to see Derren come tour the states. Pretty please Derren? (Yes thats a WOO reference).

November 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm
victoria says:

Fantastic show as always. Shame on the doubters…they obviously have never seen you live.

November 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm
Emilia says:

I cried at the end when he hugged his mum, this program deserves an award it makes me want to change my life as well

November 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm
Andy Linton says:

Yes, it was stunning TV! I admit not to spotting the Wizard of Oz refs until very late!

I have a couple of little technical questions – and I don’t mean this critically, I’m not one of the conspiracy theorists.

But I wonder how you miked up Steven, his audio was always good. And how did you get messages to the cast – particularly Ian, who didn’t have any hair to cover an earpiece – without Steven spotting earpieces/belt-packs etc.

Thanks! And well done to all concerned. Truly masterful.


November 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm
Sophie says:

It was beautiful.

November 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm

The speculation frustrated me greatly, the grander a scheme you create, the harder it is for people to believe/accept. Ironically for me, I have always found your work incredibly frustrating trying to completely understand and know what you do, however, I believed/accepted Apocalypse more than I felt I logically should have. If only this could be done on a grand scale, total recall style. Well Done Derren. (P.S who done the composition work? Give him my compliments!)

November 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm
Josh Mallon says:

It was an amazing show, I’m not sure as to why people are doubting it. It’s quite clear his reactions were real. Brilliant work again, Derren.

November 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm
stephen ashby says:

Really enjoyed the show and with much of Derren’s work there is always an underlining plot. Loved reading about the link to the wizzard of oz. Keep up the good work

November 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm
esther says:

haha being a zombie looked like so much fun! i wish i could have been involved with this incredible project, however i did still enjoy the program it was so moving and i cried when stephen hugged his family! it was beautiful and a masterpiece!!! well done derren xxxxx

November 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm
Alison Owen says:

In an age when humiliation TV dominates the schedules what a breath of fresh air to find something humane, character-building and just plain old heart-warming on the schedules. More please, Derren.

November 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm
Holly Y says:

I thought Apocalypse was one of the most amazing things ever done for TV. It made me believe in humanity a lot more as it seems everyone has those fundamentally good qualities inside of them. I also feel sort of inspired to be a better person too. I just watched part 2 and I lost count of how many times I cheered out loud or burst into tears for Steven. Well done to everyone who made this, it was an honour just watching it.

November 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm
Ina says:

I really enjoyed the show, could watch 10 hours of footage of Steven in this incredible situation. However, I would disagree with some editing decisions. Especially – there was a bit too much of Derren Brown (never thought I would use this phrase) and of repetetive explanations of what’s going on. Well, but who am I to judge.

Anyway, I just hope there will be a DVD with a lots of material that has been cut.

November 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Maxine says:

Absolutely amazing!!

November 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm
Jane Proudman (@JaneProudman) says:

Brilliant! The best entertainer of our time with another great and original idea, only wish it had been longer, I’m sure there were some great bits cut out

November 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm
Maxine says:

Absolutely brilliant!!

November 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm
Margaret Ollier says:

Brilliant that,s all I can say. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Very emotional end 🙂

November 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I’m ignoring the doubters, as the finale was excellent… Moving and evocative, as you say, it would be pointless to use stooges.

Excellent work, all the best to Steven, and congratulations to you and the team for pulling it off!

November 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm
Beate Veronica says:

It was an amazing journey to be “part of”! Don’t forget all the positive comments you’re all getting, inbetween the negative ones. I know it’s easier to remember the bad ones, but most of “us” was amazed by your show!!

Hats of for everyone involved! To those who used every hour of the day for days, to make this the great show it was!! Sorry for all the !!!! but it’s needed 😉

xxx from Norway and from someone who found a way to watch it together with all the Brits (ahem). I will buy the DVD when it’s out 😉

November 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm
Berber Anna says:

I loved all the little references, like the final interview being ’28 Days Later’, and of course the Oz references (said the girl with part of Somewhere Over The Rainbow on her wall).

My dad and I agree that if this happened to us, we would assume we were dreaming and act on that presupposition. I do think that must have been at the back of Steven’s mind — it’s only a dream, let’s go along with it, I’ll wake up at some point. Which is good, because that mindset will allow someone to do slightly more drastic and heroic things than usual, and when you find out it was actually real you’ll have the knowledge that you actually did those things and are capable of them.

Lovely show. Looking forward to next week.

November 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm
Robin101962 says:

Massive congrats to ALL involved in a spectacular & moving experience.

DB, those of us who have seen your live shows & met you, KNOW that you & your work are genuine – I sincerely hope that those who were accusing you & the team of fraud will be big enough to apologise.

Looking forward to your next programmes & the 2013 tour! xxx

November 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Mel Mallory says:

I am so curious to find out how much it cost, definitely worth it though! If you read this Derren please spill the beans because I am intrigued! To hire all the actors, make-up, lawyers and stuff must have cost a fortune!!

November 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Rich says:

Actually very moving. Very!

November 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm
Julie says:

Absolutely AMAZING! Waiting for part 2 got me through my week!! I love all your work, I find it so amazing and intriguing! Well done to the entire team for an amazing show!

November 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm
beth says:

hi derren
i think you are the best person alive and apoc is ur best one . cant wait for next friday
dancing zombies are sick and scary

November 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm
beth says:

it made me cry when steven did his video

November 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm
Helen says:

Another totally gripping show – thought provoking and emotive. It’s clear how much hard work has gone into producing this programme. As a clinical psychologist I’m always impressed with the sensitive handling of participants’ emotional and mental health during Derrens’ programmes. I think that Stephen’s journey will inspire many people and encourage the self reflection which we all need in our lives.
Looking forward to Derren’s next tv project and can’t wait for next year’s tour x

November 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm
Alexander Victoral says:

Hi, greetings from Venezuela, first of all, Im a fellow magician (well, still in “larva state”) but you have been a inspiration for me, a friend of mine give me a copy of “pure effect” and even if I dont actualy use many of the efects but the information about performance and many other things in there are golden to me. In a emotional level, apocalypse is your best show so far (In my opinion), there is something I would like to ask you, Ive seen both episodes, in any moment, any of the things you do “haunt” you in any way? I mean, is true, you actualy help them to surpass themself, to be “the better person they can be” but there is parts in episode 2 of apocalypse, where you look like you are realy….I think upset is the word (sorry, english is not my native language).
Anyway flawless show, one last thing, the song in the background, during the bus scene, please tell me who is the composer, I just love it.

November 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm
Arthrur says:

Brilliant!!! Sir! like always. This is from a fan in Chicago. How did I get to watch your show you might ask?…well, lets’ just focus in the fact that you are something else! Cheers!

November 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm
Jennie T says:

It was amazing to watch and emotional, so glad that steven took a lot from what you did to him. Well done everyone that put the show together. As always Derren you are amazing :), Cant wait to watch fear and faith 😀 🙂

November 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm
Becky says:

Apocalypse was genuinely the best programme I have ever watched and ever will. Derren is amazing in ever single show and programme he has ever starred in or created and deserves more recognition for his amazingly twisted work!!!!!!

November 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm
Rebekah Stevenson says:

Iv always enjoyed derren’s programmes and they have as always astounded me how derren unpicks the human brain and mind,not magic but jolly hard work with a bit of trickery thrown in of course .however iv never felt the need to arrange my life around needing to be indoors in order to not miss the show as with any other programme if i miss it then i miss it however after reading the radio times i realised i couldn’t under any circumstance miss this one,i watched the first one from the apocalypse and it left me in an emotional place that i felt i couldn,t miss the second episode even if the world was infact ending ! however during the second show i turned into an emotional wreck my heart strings were being yanked big time ,i went to bed being in an altered state of mind and woke up feeling mighty strange………….its a big thumbs up and very thought provoking stuff well done and thank you for the journey its the best iv ever been on xx

November 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm

This is completely off topic (although bravo on Apocalypse, thoroughly entertaining) but I cant think of another way to contact you. I’m just about to purchase tickets to your 2013 show and although I know you haven’t wrote it yet I’m just wondering if it will be suitable for me to attend as i will be very close to my due date at the time? But I really really really want to go! Any reply, whether it be a team member and not the man himself would very much be appreciated. Will put off purchasing the tickets until then. So please reply because I don’t want them to sell out! Thank you in advance 🙂

November 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm
Tim says:

I just want to check that comments actually appear here.
It will effect my analysis of the whole thing

November 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm
Olivia M says:

Amazing Derren, as always. You never cease to blow my mind. Apocalypse was definitely one of the best programmes I’ve ever seen, it was such an experience to watch and I feel had a transforming effect on me, although I’m sure not to the degree that it had on Steven. So so so so excited for the next episode, the synopsis makes it sound like its going to be another incredible one.

November 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm
Hannah says:

Just fantastic. I’m sure this has the potential to change more than Steven’s life for the better. It has certainly made me think – as all Derren’s projects do – about how I can live more fully and in the moment.

November 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm
ChrisMoore says:

What a great show Apocalypse was. Was out last night so recorded it instead and just watched it, truly moving to watch someone change their life right in front of you. I’ve seen Derren live too which is even more impressive if that’s possible and can’t wait to go again when his next stage show is on.

November 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm
Alyssa says:

I just watched your Apocalypse series, and it’s a significant departure from your de-bunking work; your work making the public aware of the power of covert persuasion — for which I think there is an argument to be made for your use of covert persuasion / lay hypnosis, as the public, in general, is not very aware of these techniques, and they deserve to be.

Though you state a number of times that this show was done for Steven’s benefit — it occurs to me that Steven would have benefited similarly by taking an, “Outward Bound” course, and he wouldn’t have had to have been exposed to lay hypnosis / covert persuasion techniques — techniques not dissimilar to those used by cults.

I very much hope that you continue in the debunking vein in future.

Best regards,


November 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm
yodasears says:

Loved it. Am a fanboy so that was th expected outcome:) On a sidenote Derren mentioned on Twitter that he had to make them Infected, not zombies. It made me laugh because in Australia through video game Left4Dead2 was banned until a modified version was made because the monsters were Infect, not zombies, the distinction being that meant players were killing sick people. Interesting how the context can so quickly reverse the requirements 🙂

November 4, 2012 at 12:12 am
Mark Petkovic says:

Truly insperational derren ! Having watched your apocalypse it truly made me think about my life as well I found myself getting a bit emotional watching it , and I don’t no why !? Keep up the amazing work

November 4, 2012 at 12:40 am
spike says:

i enjoyed the show, really did. the only thing thing that keeps bothering me about it is the the legality. surely stephen must have had to to sign a contract or the show is open to legal exposurse? his family couldn’t give permission by themselves, they could give permission if he was declared incompetant but then there’s no way the show would happen?! what i mean is that if stephen had a heart attack due to stress etc the show could possibly have killed someone and the channel broadcasting it would have been responsible for the the death of someone unable to cope, possibly? just can’t see it happening. any suggestions?

November 4, 2012 at 12:43 am
John Kennedy says:

Wonderful television! It’s unfathomable to comprehend how you pulled off such an elaborate experiment! There were moments where I truly forgot that this wasn’t fiction… well for Steven that is!

There was more heart and truth here than in any so called reality TV show. Steven’s video diary scene was incredibly emotional, both for what he was expressing and also for what he had done to get there.

Many congratulations to all those envolved. May you continue to exercise your creative minds and entertain / educate the public and the individual.

November 4, 2012 at 12:44 am
Alan Hogg says:

A fascinating study of what a human being is capable of when dealing with extraordinary circumstances. The choices Steven made reaffirmed my belief (hope) that intrinsically human beings do make the right choices when faced with the horrors our world can throw at us. Fantastic thought provoking television Derren.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

November 4, 2012 at 2:19 am
Tom Coleman says:

Apocalypse is the best 2 hours of tv I’ve ever watched…You say you call Steven a friend now,same with Matt from Hero at 30,000 ft and Iain Sharkey…are you just making people better so they can be your friend?

November 4, 2012 at 3:04 am
Joe G says:

I’ve always enjoyed what you do, and respect the amount of work that goes into the programs you make. In this one however I’m left wondering where the line is? Although Stephen has undoubtedly gained a new and more rewarding outlook on life, should you and your team have that much influence and control over a person’s life? Although he signed on the dotted line, knowing full well he could be part of one of your programs, it is not like a game show or talent contest where you get what you sign up for, he has no choice and no idea of what he has signed up for. It is obvious from your programs that you take special care to make sure everything is safe and morally done. My questions would be, what for you is your boundary? Have you had one in mind since you first started these sorts of programs? Do you ever wonder what would happen if this type of “out-of-their-hands” program you’ve pioneered is misused? I mean no offense by the questions I ask, I honestly would like to know your opinion from a practical and philosophical point of view. Thanks for the entertainment, and for reading this far. 🙂

November 4, 2012 at 6:49 am
Reginal F Slack says:

Great show. Still not totally convinced. Especially with the over-use of the “Wilhelm Scream” in the final ESCAPE scenario.

Your sound editor either got carried away – I heard it at least 6 times – or the sound recordist forgot to press the “Record Button” whilst filming?

November 4, 2012 at 8:33 am
Beckylisiousb says:

People will always fear what they cannot understand. By making the blanket statement of “Nope. Not real.” they fool themselves into a sense of power by suddenly being one up on the ‘uneducated masses’ who still believe this was done. But really, they are limiting themselves in their lives and their ability to understand. Also, they are just plain talking themselves out of enjoying a truly awesome show for what it is. A masterpiece.

Bravo, Derren Brown.

November 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

This is not only a great show, and a great piece of television – Derren I think you underestimate the sociological contribution. Laying down your life for another is a (perhaps the) great defining character of humanity – we see it mildly day to day in our lives and jobs of service to others but it really happens most powerfully (where life is most clearly in danger) in theatres of war – outside the sight of most of us. We hear about it in the news, but rarely see it. Actually we see it in almost every Hollywood movie and in most storytelling – but then it is diluted by it being a fictional story – and even if its based on a true story, we think the story may have been doctored and the emotions acted out. Here, we saw Steven make that choice, define humanity by giving up his place of salvation. It may have been a script for everyone else, but for Steven it was real! And we saw it. It wasn’t locked away in Afghanistan and reported as the death of another British soldier, nor was it a 20 second item on the news ‘Man rescues child from raging flood’. We saw his face, the agony, the decision. Derren, this is a piece that should be shown and discussed in every school, college, classroom, church and mosque. Thank you, this is a defining piece of Theatre.

November 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Thistooshallpass says:

I think everyone who watched Apocalypse will identify with Steven because most human beings are constantly in a state of self-centred fear, fearing that we will lose something we already possess or that we may not get something we desire. This makes us unhappy and we can’t see and appreciate the good things in life we already have and the things which really matter because we are being continually ‘conditioned’ by the media to acquire things that really only make us happy for a short period of time.

Apocalypse was an amazing piece of work and it reminded me of one of my all-time favourite films “The Game”…Steven will remember and cherish the moment he ‘woke up’. well done Derren and team Derren. xx

November 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm
Alice Hitchcock says:

Loved the show, was amazing! Ended up watching the ending again because the first time I couldn’t see through my watering eyes! Absolutely amazing! Managed to get the entire family to watch it with me live and my mum and sister was scared of the zombies! They looked so real 🙂 And my brother said your like a god (either because you were controlling Steven’s life or because your just brilliant). Can’t wait for Fear and Faith looks so good, hoping to see you live again, please go to London again! I’ve managed to persuade about 10 other people to come with me if you do! And some of them are sceptics I’m trying to persuade, I’m sure you’ll have the jaw-dropping in the first 10 minutes! Look forward to the next show and hopefully seeing you live! I love you and your work! Are you bringing out anymore books? Because I’ve enjoyed reading all the others 🙂 Once again well done on Apocalypse! Freaking Fantastic!
Alice Hitchcock xxxxxxxxx

November 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm
James says:

Did I miss something being explained? When Ian left them then presumably the ambulance became available for Steven et al to use? So why did they set off on foot?

November 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I’ve long been a tremendous fan of Derren and his work. Apocalypse was sensational (in the best meaning of the word), and huge kudos is due to everybody involved, even the people who made the tea, because you were all essential to the success of the whole.

It really was very emotional, and I wish Steven all the best for the bright future he’s beginning to create for himself.

And Derren? BLOODY AMAZING! Keep up the great work. 🙂

November 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm
Don says:

When Stephen chose to give up his chance of safety and instead ran back through the infected to keep his promise to Leona I cheered. Not many people get to find out that in the most terrifying of situations they have what it takes to do the right thing. (Well, outside of war-zones and disasters.) Yes, he was guided to that crucial point, but it was his guts and innate decency that made that happen. Without Derren he might have spent a wasted life never knowing that about himself.

Derren Brown; making the world a better place, one unwitting subject at a time.

November 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm
Hayley says:

I was actually a zombie in the filming of apocalypse (and also in a scene in the next show). Might I take this time to thank you so much for the experience Derren. Seeing face-to-face the genuine horror and fear in Steven’s eyes is something that I will never forget and it was the most amazing experience I have ever been a part of.

ps thank you for the mojito in battersea!

November 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm
Indy says:

Beilliant entertainment, but I can’t help feeling there’s one more thing Derren could do for him. Given Stevens interest in magic, Derren could invite him into the team/family, to start a career in magic with ‘the best’.

November 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Indy says:

I ment Brilliant not Belliant! Lol

November 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Well done on making another incredible show! Really enjoyed watching it, as I do all your programmes, and can’t wait for the next one – Fear and Faith, sounds really interesting. Saw your Svengali Show in London recently, a first for me, and thought it was amazing. I wouldn’t count myself as an impressionable or easily manipulated person, in fact I would call myself a skeptic like yourself, however, I can’t seem to help always feeling impressed by the work you do. Good luck with the next set of programmes. Please continue making more!

November 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm
Emma says:

Just watched the second episode of Apocalypse- brilliant viewing…shame it can’t be done on a wider scale as sure there are many more people out there wasting their lives!

November 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm
Pearl says:

After always being told to shut up about “this Derren Brown guy” , I finally convinced my friends to watch Apocalypse and I think they’ve now become fans as one texted me saying “just watched Derren Brown Apocalypse it was amazing I officially love Derren Brown’s tv programmes”

November 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Julie says:

Absolutely fantastic! My daughter and I were mesmerised from the start! We thought Leona was younger than my daughter (Beth will be15 later this month) so were amazed at the end when she was older than Steven! All of the actors were brilliant! My daughter said she would’ve loved to act the part of an infected!
It was a very moving piece of television; we were particularly moved by the way Steven immediately started looking after Leona while he was trying to come to terms with the situation, and of course the video diary he made and his reaction on waking up at home.
I read your comments on Twitter whilst filming it and was looking forward to it, allbeit sceptically, but it was so much more than I expected. Well done to everyone involved but especially of course to you Derren!
Looking forward to the next live show in Bristol!

November 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm
isabelle says:

derren your awsome without a doubt another awsome tv show you really are good at what you do and making steven see all those things was brilliant truely amazing <3 <3

November 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm
isabelle says:

that was truely brilliant

November 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm
Sabina says:

Well done Derren, Iain, Dave, Stephen and the whole team. It was a very ambitious project and all credit to you for pulling it off with such panache.
Brilliant show, thouroughly enjoyed it and I can’t begin to imagine the amount of work that was put into acheiving it.
You all deserve a nice rest now, hope you get one.
Looking forward to Fear and Faith, was so exciting to be at one of the recordings for it. Will be watching on Friday.
Get better soon Derren, rest up!
<3 xoxoxoxo

November 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm
Sarah says:

Awesome. I cried for about 10 minutes -throughout the reunion scene. The work that went into this was phenomenal. Outstanding.

PS I watched while suffering from flu

November 5, 2012 at 12:58 am
Kath says:

I watched ‘Apocalypse’ from Australia on YouTube. When are you going to visit us Down Under? You have a lot of fans out here.

Also, are you planning to write another book?

November 5, 2012 at 12:59 am
Lauren says:

Well done Derren yet another brilliant pschological tester! I do look forward to seeing you next year on my birthday, sure it will be unforgettable!

November 5, 2012 at 3:02 am
Berber Anna says:

James: You did indeed miss something — when they went to get the CB radio, the ambulance was destroyed (or at least rendered unusable) by the infected.

November 5, 2012 at 10:02 am
Matthew Wood says:

A superb show, very moving and I dread to think how much work went on “behind the scenes”. Well done to all, especially to those who had minor roles so did not get credited. A pox on those who said it was fake.

November 5, 2012 at 11:01 am
Liz-Mari Carstens says:

Dear Mr Brown,

I’ve just watched another episode of ’The Experiment’ here in Australia.

It’s made me think…

I’m a obese woman. I am 1.7m tall and weigh 147kgs. I am 35 years old. I’m a South African that immigrated to Australia. My husband and I have been together since we were 12.

I’m what skinny people call a “jolly fat person”. I’m quite lazy at home, but really hard working at work. I’m too nice for my own good sometimes.

I don’t know why I’ve gained so much weight. (I used to be quite good looking actually.) My husband loves me and I have a beautiful little girl, my life should, by all accounts be perfect.

I’ve tried EVERYTHING to loose weight. I don’t want surgery (I have enlarged blood vessels – so I bleed).

I am killing myself.

If you can help?

Thanking you kindly in advance!

Liz Carstens

Hamilton, Victoria

November 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm
Sadie (Saddo) Moore says:

I hope you have recovered from the “infection” . Its probably PTSD after all that hard work you and the team put in. I know I had a cold after watching the second episode so think just watching it took it out of me!
Well I am just recovering from the emotional effects too, I couldn’t stop sobbing at the end. It was so moving, not just from the point of view of Stevens changes, but from the work, effort and clear emotional relief and bonding you could see on everyones faces at the end. It was a truly amazing feat, that has not only changed one mans perspective on life, it has certainly made me think about my life too. I hope this has made others think too. Well done…… bloody evil genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm
Leanne says:

Apocalypse rocked!
Derren and his wonderful team are very talented and hard-grafting people to have been able to create a boundary breaking show like that. Legendary. Everyone that’s had the chance to work with Derren/ take part in his shows are very blessed indeed. Being one of the ‘infected’ looked like awesome fun, and so clever entwining Steven’s experience around the Wizard of Oz storyline, genius idea! Think I stopped breathing at the end, such a beautiful moment of TV, especially when Steven walked into his living room to find Derren standing there… the look on both of their faces…a few tears were definitely spilled. I also LOVED Derren’s posh communications guy accent!! Got a ‘thing’ for people who can pull off different accents convincingly. ;D
Thank you to the incredible, infallible Mr. Brown, for continuing to make our brains buzz with his brilliance! Much love and respect to you. X

November 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm
Anonymous says:

Brilliant show Derren , Congratulations. You should be proud of this one as I think you have made many younger people ,such as myself, realise the opportunities that we have and we waste. Another good way to make people realise how things could be achieved is by showing people by taking advntage of situations, rushing, and poor attempt to lead to extreme consequences… Regards x

November 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm
Rob says:

After watching part two of apocalypse tonight i would just like to say that i cannot thank Derren enough for showing us the journey that he sent Steven on.
Im sure many people became emotional as the final scenes played out but i feel that the message he got through to Steven has also gotten through to me…..
I am 21 and like Steven once did, i take everything for granted and never let my family know how much they mean to me.
I hope that from this day forward i can go on and change for the better.

Hopefully Derren keeps doing these amazing things and changes more peoples lives.

November 6, 2012 at 12:28 am
Keef says:

Amazing piece of television, but only what i’ve come to expect from Derren, a true masterful entertainer at work. Glad to read about the Oz storyline, think my family thought I was mad when I first mentioned it.
Very moving at the end, yet another persons life you have changed for the better, keep doing what you do Derren, many many people love yr work. Its one thing to entertain its quite another to affect peoples lives in such a positive way.
I read one of yr books recently Confessions of a Conjuror, & something you stated in there about people would be happier if they either give or received kindness rings true, you are a man that absolutely practices what he preaches.
much respect Derren, total legend

November 6, 2012 at 1:07 am
elaine says:

mind bending very cleverly done.

November 6, 2012 at 10:07 am
Matt says:

Was awesome. Have seen part 2 repeats and it’s still an incredible and very moving thing. Your post here is too. Thankyou.

November 6, 2012 at 10:27 am
anon says:

Crying like a baby following part two amazing!

November 6, 2012 at 11:48 am
Miss Kilby says:

Liz-Mari if you happen to be reading this, good luck with losing weight. I’m trying too but find that I have no will power and my self-esteem is shot to pieces…I’m hoping you find your answer.

Derren Brown, You absolute master! “Infected” style zombies happen to really scare the living daylights out of me and I couldn’t watch the show alone but at the end when Stephen was hugging his family I just could not stop myself crying. I love it when the best parts of humanity shine through.
Although if that had happened to me I would probably have really wanted to hit you!

You really do leave me in awe.

November 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm
Helen says:

Just wanted to express my opinion on Derren’s Apocalypse programme. I thought it was fantastic! Very clever indeed.
Derren: Your ability to manipulate people (for the better, especially in this case i.e. Steven and for your audiences entertainment) always seizes to amaze me. Your very good at your job.
Well done Sir for yet another fascinating programme, looking forward to many more!
Very big fan, Helen.

November 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm
Em says:

Apocalypse was absolutely fantastic and wonderfully thought-provoking. As someone interested in end-of-the-world scenarios and what they do to humanity, it was amazing to see you and your team use it to turn Steven into a better version of himself! The amount of care and work that must’ve gone into even just the selection process, let alone everything else, is almost unbelievable and I’m not ashamed to say the end brought a tear to my eye. Well done to you and your team, and congratulations to Steven on his new job.

November 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I commend the effort and skill with which apocalypse was made!!! And it’s so psychologically artistic as well!!! Fantastic effort from everyone involved!!! Love it!!!

November 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm
Kirstie says:

I really enjoyed the show and completely believed it, until the last 5 minutes. I’d love an explanation, because I want to believe that it was all real and that Steven genuinly believed that there were infected people and that his family were in Wales, etc. However, when Derren put Steven into a trance over the telephone near the end of the show, both himself and Steven were wearing completely different outfits to what they were wearing in the next scene when Derren takes Steven to his bedroom and puts him into bed. This makes me think that this happened on a different day and makes me doubt the whole show.
The programme gives the impression that Steven was taken from the field after answering the mobile phone, straight to his home and into bed… but clearly this is not what happened… Please can somebody offer an explanation?

November 7, 2012 at 1:18 am
Rob says:

Thank you for this.

I saw this and it made very clear how I’m wasting my life. I’m not a particularly emotional person but I cried at the end. Because it was a very well told story and it resonated it with me personally.

So once again thank you Derren and the team, I don’t know if anything will change but I’m gonna try and be the best possible person I can be. 😉


November 7, 2012 at 7:58 am
Paul Vernon says:

The show rocked – YOU ROCK!
An entertainer ? – Most certainly
A faker ? – Definitely not

But 2 things semi-bugged me. You answered the one about shaving and Steven’s beard growth and having a razor nearby.
The other ? Well I am sure if that had been me, and I had just awakened after x number of hours sleep and x number of hours on a coach to a concert, i would have wanted to go for a pee at least! Maybe that’s just an age thing.
I did notice that there was a toilet off the room that Steven woke up in. Maybe it was edited out.

The ending had me in tears – well one or 2! And that very rarely happens to me.
Well Done DB

November 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm
Martin Toms says:

You are wasted in showbiz – you should have been an anthropologist! As a University lecturer and sports ethnographer, this stuff is great! Real life Truman Show.
Ever thought of doing something like this on sport though…..?

November 8, 2012 at 12:13 am
Mike Brigham says:

What a fantastic show with very intelligent writing and fasanating insights to the strength within. My line of work is often down to human influences while pulling great feats of courage and inner strength from young boys and men; often in intense situations and its not easy to do. You made it look so easy and made a clear difference. Having seen people grow numerous times it has always been apparent how its a long process, yet you have done so in such a short time. I applaud you and think you could offer a huge benefit to my field of employment, ergo only one word is befitting – Astonishing.

November 8, 2012 at 12:41 am
GeordieJonny says:

i am living in greece and havent seen derren in a looooooooooong time,i did however just watch apocolypse which i had to watch online…it has alot of controversy around it to say the least…….is this fear and faith a new serie or old???i need derren brown to make me realise if im worth a fart or not…………………… in the most beautiful country in the world and it feels like hell…..anyway hope the fear or faith serie is good going to see what it is about and whether ive missed more,havent been to england in a while,i miss british shows so bad

November 8, 2012 at 10:13 am
Danielle says:

Derren you cheeky bugger!! Amazing as always 😉 Come visit us in Sydney some time!!

November 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm
Sadhbh Parle says:

Do you ever worry that if you do things like this too often people are going to start getting suspicious, particularly if they’ve seen your other shows and have gone for an audition?! Apocalypse was stunning television, big fan of yours. Congrats, Derren.

November 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm
Emily Rose says:

The video included in the blog post is scarier than apocalypse part 2. Imagine…stuck doing the macarena foever….terrifying.

Absolutely amazing show though. I have such huge respect for Derren Brown and all the production team behind it. Keep up the fantastic work! Can’t wait for the end instalment of Derren magic!

November 9, 2012 at 3:44 am
Nathan Warrilow says:

Derren.. Apocolypse! WOW!! maybe you should try this on our whole nation? open all of our eyes to the society we currently live in and bring out our courage, compassion, bravery, responsibility and leadership!