The Traitors: US Version
January 15, 2023 11:08 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Alan Cumming is the host of the US version of The Traitors (UK version previously on Metafilter). NYT (archive): A blend of “Survivor” and the party game Mafia, “The Traitors” is set in and around a castle in Scotland. Contestants work together through a series of grueling challenges to win money that is added to a final prize fund. Participants are divided into “Traitors,” whose identities remain secret and who choose a player each day to “murder,” and “Faithfuls,” who try to uncover the Traitors’ identities throughout the show. All episodes streaming on Peacock in the US, or on BBC iPlayer.
posted by ShooBoo (5 comments total)
Interview with Alan Cumming about being the host.
• No one spent the night in the castle, despite it being implied. The contestants spent the night at an Inverness airport hotel. Alan Cumming stayed in a house in Inverness.
• The US version was filmed before the UK version.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:04 AM on January 16, 2023

Interesting to see this version after liking the UK one. Am just at the second part. I noticed how Claudia Winkleman seemed to change from being a slightly distant compère figure to someone who appeared as caught up in the drama as anybody else in later episodes . Will be interested to see if that happens to Alan Cummings. It must have been quite a risky show to shoot (Covid, Scottish weather, games going wrong, people needing counselling etc) so I suspect much was learned between the fist version and the second.
posted by rongorongo at 3:36 PM on January 16, 2023

No one spent the night in the castle, despite it being implied. The contestants spent the night at an Inverness airport hotel. Alan Cumming stayed in a house in Inverness.

Given this piece of knowledge, I would love to know how the practicalities worked. As viewers, it is implied that each contestant has their own room in the castle, that everybody retires to bed together, and that the traitors then don their cloaks and sneak back out for their midnight plotting. The next morning everybody comes downstairs to breakfast in dribs and drabs and...surprise X is no longer among them!

But, instead, all the contestants need to be shipped about twenty miles away to their hotel each day - and then back in such a way as to appear they have just come downstairs. However, it is also imperative to film a scene everyday involving the traitors plotting - and, of course crucially, for no faithful to know who is being taken to film that scene. Would love to know the practicalities of how that was made to work!

Aside from this: Fergus is my favourite character in the show: super competant, all-knowing, resembling a Braveheart extra, and ever taciturn. No proper Scottish castle is ever without its Fergus.
posted by rongorongo at 10:53 PM on January 17, 2023

OK, I've (more or less) watched the entire season. I kind of wish that the faithful had more information on who the traitors were. In any case, I was yelling at them at the end. They knew that there were three traitors, and they'd caught 2. Why did they vote at the end not to revote? They were guaranteed to lose! Then when Cirie voted for another banishment (Gutsy move!) and Arie left, telling them that he'd been recruited, that should have clued them in that there was another traitor. But no, they were coasting on "we've won," and not thinking.
I feel really bad for Andie, but after that mistake, they really don't deserve to win.
posted by Spike Glee at 5:28 PM on January 18, 2023

I've now seen all the episodes also. It was good fun. I think Cirie - ever plotting and duplicitous but also hard to dislike - fully deserved her winnings. I created a FPP in the blue about the British edition of the show which aired back in December. The game being played is essentially Mafia - a game invented by Russian psychologist back in the 80s. As such, there has been quite a lot research on the game. Mathematicians say (if I understand correctly) that the faithful and traitors both have a roughly equal theoretical chance of winning - but that the faithful triumph more often in reality. It is suggested that this is because, while traitors may be able to lie effectively - it is very difficult to keep up emotional pretence over a long period of time. Also - if the faithful can remember traitors' voting patterns from early in the game - it is normally a giveaway.

The clothes, in both versions of the show, were very cool. Lots of local Scottish designers involved there. There is a place called "The House of Bruar" - as sort of Harrods of the Highlands - where I imagine many people getting kitted out. A shout out also to 21st Century Kilts who, I imagine contributed further to Alan Cummings' wardrobe here.
posted by rongorongo at 3:38 AM on January 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

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