Emmerdale Survival Week: Who Won’t Make it Out of The Woods Alive?

Emmerdale is amping up the adventure and shocking turns of events for “Survival Week”, airing Friday, Nov. 12 through Wednesday, Nov. 17 on ONE.

A key group of villagers are heading into the wilds of Northern England to team up for an exciting survival challenge organized by Priya and Ellis. However, someone won’t be returning from the trip.

Manpreet, Charles, Victoria, David, Meena, Andrea, Charity and Mack are all participants in the challenge, along with Paddy and Marlon, who arrive late to the event but try to catch up with their team members. The participants are all heading for first prize in the centre of the maize maze but, while they all climb dizzying heights and traverse white waters to get there, who’s plotting the untimely demise of another?

There are many twists and turns this week but one thing is certain, it will end in tragedy for at least one person as Meena’s reign of terror takes hold. As Survival Week begins, we hear Meena’s voice:
“It was meant to be a day of fun. And it was, to begin with. Everyone was really up for it. Competitive but friendly, you know? A lovely atmosphere. It was a trial run, so I suppose we imagined the odd thing might go wrong. But not this. No one could have imagined this.”

Paige Sandhu loves taking on the role of the sociopathic and manipulative Meena Jutla. “She’s a dream part and I love playing on the fact that she’s a psychopath and she doesn’t feel emotions the way the rest of us do,” she says. “I’ve loved figuring that out, doing the research into it, understanding what that would feel like.”

However, there is one Emmerdale villager that Meena feels something for. “It’s interesting that she’s not able to feel love for people but the one person she can feel any semblance of love for is Manpreet,” Sandhu explains. “It’s fun to dive into that and to go to these places that you wouldn’t ever do in normal life.

“The manipulation is a fun thing to play and the fact that she’s constantly wearing a mask. The only time that mask is taken down completely is when she’s about to murder someone and then the victim is the only person that gets to see the real Meena.”

Will survival week fully unmask the real Meena as several cast members end up in danger and fighting to stay alive? Filmed over six weeks, this is one of Emmerdale’s most ambitious weeks of drama full of twists and turns and stunts involving river rapids and a custom built maize maze grown specifically for these episodes near Emmerdale village.

Director Duncan Foster knows viewers will be on the edge of their sofas for this high-adrenaline special event, and while he had a defined vision for these episodes, there are a few Hollywood blockbusters that provided some inspiration. “The River Wild with Meryl Streep was an inspiration for the rapid stunts. The rapids have been the hardest thing for us to shoot because in England we don’t have the Canadian Rockies so we’ve had to try and recreate that,” notes Foster, adding, “There’s maybe a touch of The Shining in there as well.”

“Generally, though, I do like to keep things original and try not to copy. I want it to be my idea. I’ve wanted to create moments where I can make you jump and create tension and fear and adrenaline rushes and then heartache.”

So, what can Emmerdale fans expect from this set of thrilling episodes?

“To be scared, to be shocked, to hopefully be misled at various moments. It may leave you with a sense of frustration but it’s going to be brilliant.”

Bring it on. We can’t wait. Emmerdale’s Survival Week airs Friday & Saturday, Nov. 12 & 13 at 7:30pm ET, as well as Mon. – Wed., Nov. 15 – 17 at 7:30pm ET. You can also catch up on the week’s episodes with our weekly Emmerdale Omnibus every Sunday from 4 to 7pm ET.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at one particularly harrowing stunt featured during Emmerdale’s Survival Week.

Images: ITV

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