Russia, that country where everything is possible and vodka flows from the fountains in the squares. Perhaps we have a somewhat distorted image of the country, but the truth is that there are enough anecdotes around it to believe anything. However, in 1997 they were not joking in the Russian TV channel TVN.
The Intercept is the name given to a program that was broadcast until 1998 and consisted of a single season of 24 episodes of 35 minutes each. The objective was that a participant had to steal a car and escape from the police, as if it were a game of GTA V. If he succeeded, he would take a vehicle home, specifically a Daewoo Espero. Such was the success of the program that around 60 million people tuned in to watch the broadcasts.
Most striking of all is that the General Directorate of Road Safety of Russia lent itself to this experiment. What was pursued was to demonstrate the slim chances of escaping from the police, since we are talking about chases with real agents participating. They transmitted the information by radio to locate the thief and thus catch him. In this way, it was intended to reduce the high percentage of vehicle thefts, which it achieved, but it ended up being canceled due to financial problems of the producing company. Here you have a broadcast program.
However, it had many peculiarities The Intercept. The stolen cars had beacons to locate them and the only rule imposed is that they should not violate traffic laws; if they did, they would be sanctioned with stopping for 60 seconds. In some chapters the problem was added that the cars did not have gasoline, having to choose the contestant if he picked up a can in a designated place or managed on his own to get the precious liquid. On the other hand, the thieves had a walkie-talkie to listen to the police’s conversations and anticipate their movements.
There were ploys of all kinds that we can recreate in GTAsuch as painting the car to camouflage it, hide it so that they would not locate them and even jump from one train to another in motion. Although there were ordinary people participating, on occasion the police were put in serious trouble. Vladislav Barkovsky, an expert driver, gave a lot of trouble, just like a real car thief who participated. In total, only three contestants fulfilled their purpose, so you can already imagine the result of running from the police in real life.
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