A survival story can sound like an odd premise, when combined with the many prospects of teenage angst. But ‘The Wilds’ is one show that somehow does justice to this train of thought. Starring Rachel Griffiths, Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Sarah Pidgeon, and Erana James, it explores the trials and tribulations of a group of girls who get stranded on an island when their plane crashes. We were curious to know whether the events shown were inspired by real incidents, so we went on a fact-finding mission. Here’s everything we uncovered!
Is The Wilds Based on a True Story?
No, ‘The Wilds’ is not based on a true story. The creator, Sarah Streicher, said this about the premise – “Coming of age is not for the faint of heart. It can take as much grit and fire to survive our teenage years as it would to survive, say, on a deserted island. ‘The Wilds’ grew from that notion, and it’s afforded me an opportunity to explore teenage-hood in all of its perils, joys, and heartbreaks.”
Sure, combining a survival tale with teenage drama sounds a bit bizarre. However, Streicher has done a great job of selecting the best elements from both genres to present a story that is equal parts gripping, heartbreaking, mysterious, and captivating. The first girl we meet is Leah Rilke, who is being interrogated by an investigator and a trauma expert about the entire ordeal. Through this conversation (and various flashbacks), we find out that the parents of these girls signed them up for a female-centric retreat called Dawn of Eve, which is run by Gretchen Klein.
They are all facing emotionally distressing situations that they’re unable to deal with. For example, Leah is depressed after breaking up with her boyfriend, even though she lied to him about being underage. Then there’s Dot, who is the sole caretaker of her ailing and dying father. Rachel is a diver who is hopeful of making it to the Olympics, but she constantly trains past her breaking limits. Her sister, Nora, tries to look out for her, but in the end, she is quite helpless about the entire situation herself.
There are also other characters like Fatin, Shelby, and Toni who bring their own baggage to the table. Eventually, to ensure their survival, the girls must work through their own issues and collaborate. Talking about the filming process, Jenna Clause (who plays Martha) said, “I won’t lie, the elements are pretty harsh. I feel like 15 per cent of our acting wasn’t acting — we were actually freezing. It was cold, we had sand in our eyes, we’re soaking wet all the time. It was pretty rough.”
However, she did accept that these conditions also made the cast a lot closer. Clause added, “We were all friends off screen and hung out all the time. We were all so encouraging and supportive of each other. Whenever one of us wasn’t getting a scene or (was) getting frustrated, someone would come and console us, help us and reconnect with what’s really happening and ground ourselves.”
We don’t want to give you any spoilers, but we will say that the plane crashing is not accidental. Many have compared the show to ‘Lost,’ but we think that ‘The Wilds’ manages to set itself apart owing to a compelling storyline and powerful performances. This is one series that holds your interest because of the brilliant writing.
Read More: Where Is The Wilds Filmed?