TV tip: "Utlimate Survival Alaska"

National Geographic Channel

Sundays, 9 p.m.

If you're going to stage a "Survivor"-like TV show in Alaska, you can't just recruit a construction worker from Boston or a nudist from Newport. NG instead has stocked this new show with the youngest person to ever win the Iditarod, a couple of professional mountain guides, an Alaskan commercial fisherman and others who are used to fending for themselves in the wild. On each show, eight men are dropped in the middle of the wilderness by a plane and given a journey to complete. Obstacles include rivers, mountains, hunger, predators and the weather. The most interesting part of the show is the ingenuity used to solve problems. What do you do when you're hungry but can't start a fire? (Eat berries, even if you find them in bear scat, apparently.) How do you stave off hypothermia? (Stick your hands under your buddy's armpits apparently.) The show threatens to leave behind anyone late in finishing the journey, but in the first three episodes that hasn't happened, so I'm not sure at this point how someone actually wins.

- TIM COTTER

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