On 8 September 2010, Brown presented a new special on Channel 4 entitled "Derren Brown: Hero at 30,000 Feet". The programme consisted of Derren taking a man called Matt Galley, a normal person stuck in a rut in his life, and throughout the programme encouraging him to take control of his life and achieve his aspirations. The programme was divided into chapters to introduce different stages in his transformation, many of these were done without Matt knowing it was Derren who was doing this. This was done by the cooperation with Matt's parents and girlfriend to set up cameras in his house and make Matt believe that when he met Derren in the dead of night that it was simply a dream.
The challenges he put Matt through were being a victim of an armed robbery, touching a live crocodile, illicitly entering a policeman's home, lying on a train track in a straight jacket strapped to the line whilst a train approached him (the first challenge when he knew he was awake and that Derren was involved in this). And finally being on a commercial aeroplane while the pilot was incapacitated.
Matt had not been on a plane in 10 years and was put on the plane travelling from Leeds to Jersey where the fake game-show presented by Derren was to be filmed. The plane was full of actors but real flight crew and stewards and stewardesses. The crew claimed that the captain was ill and not able to land the plane so they needed a volunteer to land the plane instead. At the last minute Matt volunteered and was then put into a trance by Derren. Matt was then put in a flight simulator and woken up as he walked in and was talked through how to land the plane by a person claiming to be ground control. Matt completed this and then emerged from the simulator, to meet Derren and all the actors involved in the programme plus his family and friends.
Derren responded to skepticism about the show on his blog, noting aspects of the show's production that were edited from the televised version. He also mentions Donnie Darko, Fight Club, The Game and Watchmen as influences for the show.
Production Company: Objective Productions
Year of Publication: 2010