Everyone’s favorite extreme travel TV series, Locked Up Abroad, is kicking off another round of new episodes starting tonight at 10pm. The new episodes start off with Locked Up Abroad: Iraq, which follows the story of two foreign journalists kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents in 2004.
Canadian war reporter Scott Taylor and his friend, Turkish journalist Zeynep Tugrul find themselves deep inside post-war Iraq in 2004, on the search for breaking news. After a contact shares a tip on an impending battle between the Americans and insurgents in the Northern Iraqi city of Tall Afar, Taylor and Tugrul head for the action. Yet shortly after the pair enter the city, they seek assistance from apparently-friendly local Iraqi fighters, only to be taken hostage as suspected spies. Scott and Zeynep spend the next five days blindfolded, interrogated and held at gunpoint, fearfully awaiting the life or death ending of their captivity. After four days, Zeynep is finally released, but Scott must stay and face down a final gut-wrenching game of “knife or life,” a series of life or death questions that will determine his fate.
Much like previous seasons of Locked Up Abroad, this summer’s newest installment of harrowing tales remain true to form. They are not so much cautionary tales of “travel gone wrong” as a series documenting individuals who must make do or die decisions. Like in seasons past, Locked Up Abroad focuses on travelers who have covered wars, smuggled drugs or knowingly broken the law. While many of us would find such choices appalling, the series triumphs by not passing judgment on the protagonists despite their flaws, letting them narrate the tale through their own eyes and eventually condemn their own bad decisions as plans go horribly wrong.
It is this objective style of storytelling and thrilling dramatizations that make Locked Up Abroad great television. Check it out tonight, if you dare.