- Mayday (TV series)
Mayday Also known as Air Crash Investigation(s)
(National Geographic Channel)
Created by André Barro Narrated by Stephen Bogaert for Canada and the USA
Jonathan Aris for Australia and the UK
Country of origin Canada Language(s) English No. of seasons 12 (11 in production, 12 greenlit) No. of episodes 98 (List of episodes) Production Running time 40–50 minutes Production company(s) Cineflix Productions Broadcast Original channel Discovery Channel Canada
National Geographic Channel
Original run September 3, 2003– present External links Production website
Mayday, also known as Air Crash Investigation(s) in the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia and Air Emergency and Air Disasters in the United States, is a Canadian documentary television programme produced by Cineflix investigating air crashes, near-crashes and other disasters. Mayday uses re-enactments, interviews and computer-generated imagery to reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to each disaster for the audiences. In addition aviation experts, retired pilots and crash investigators are interviewed explaining how these emergencies came about, how they were investigated and how they could have been prevented.
Cineflix started production on 13 August 2002, with a CDN$2.5 million budget. Cineflix secured deals with France 5, the Discovery Channel, Canal D, TVNZ, the Seven Network, the Holland Media Group and the National Geographic Channel, to take Mayday to 144 countries and 26 languages. The series was received well by critics and nominated for a number of awards. Sharon Zupancic won a Gemini Award for her work on the Mayday episode, "Lockerbie Disaster" UNSW's senior lecturer, Raymond Lewis, conducted a study on teaching strategy loosely based on the series. Lewis' results indicated using the strategy had "a positive effect on learning outcomes."
The series features re-enactments, interviews, eyewitness testimony, computer-generated imagery, and in nearly all of the episodes, cockpit voice recordings to reconstruct the sequence of events to the audiences. Several passengers and crew members (whether they survived the incident or not) are picked and actors/actresses play the role of those passengers and crews throughout the flight usually starting from boarding of the flight. The flight routines in the air traffic control, cockpit and cabin are recreated on screen starting from departure up to the moment of the emergency. At the moment of the emergency, external view of the aircraft from different angles are recreated to show the effect and what had happened to the aircraft. The responses and reactions of the passengers, crews and air traffic control leading up to the eventual crash or emergency landing are then recreated. All the scenes in cockpit and air traffic control centers are recreated using the actual script obtained from the cockpit voice recorder of the aircraft and other recordings made at the time.
Throughout the episodes the victims or relatives and friends of victims are interviewed. In addition aviation experts, retired pilots and investigators are interviewed on the evidence and explain how these emergencies came about and how they could have been prevented.
Production and distribution
Cineflix started production for Mayday on 13 August 2002, with a CDN$2.5 million budget, after Channel Five commissioned the six-part one-hour series. To keep the costs down most of the production was kept at Cineflix's Toronto offices in Toronto, Canada. While in production the series was sold to France 5, Discovery Channel and Canal D. On 2 June 2003, Cineflix announced that they sold the series to TVNZ, the Seven Network and the Holland Media Group, later on 22 October 2003, a month before the airing of the first season, Cineflix announced that they secured a major international deal with National Geographic Channel to take Mayday to 144 countries and 26 languages.
As of 27 August 2011[update], a total of 75 episodes of Mayday have aired including five "Science of Disaster" specials and three "Crash Scene Investigation" spin-offs. Thirteen episodes are now currently under production for Season 11.
Season Episodes Originally aired Season premiere Season finale 1 6 3 September 2003 22 October 2003 2 6 23 January 2005 27 February 2005 3 13 Late 2005 Early 2006 4 10 15 April 2007 2007 5 10 9 April 2008 Mid 2008 6 3 16 December 2007 6 January 2008 7 8 4 November 2009 Early 2010 8 2 Early 2010 2010 9 8 8 September 2010 27 October 2010 10 6 27 February 2011 28 March 2011 11 13 12 August 2011 N/A 12 13 Expected to be 2013 N/A
The series was received well by critics. Paul Mavis from DVDTalk recommends Mayday as "Harrowing and surprisingly emotional" and continues with "Never exploitive, [Mayday] not only ratchets up the suspense with its well-done action scenes, it validates them by showing us the human side of these horrific air disasters." Franck Tabouring from DVD Verdict said "It's a well-produced show with plenty of compelling information about tragic accidents, telling how some people survived and others didn't."
Sharon Zupancic won the 25th Gemini Awards for "Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series" for her work on the Mayday episode, "Lockerbie Disaster". Season five of Mayday was nominated in the 24th Gemini Awards for "Best General/Human Interest Series". A number of Mayday episodes was nominated in the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards, including: "Air India: Explosive Evidence" and "Fatal Distraction" in 2009; "Missed Approach" and "Miracle Flight" in 2008; and "Flying Blind" in 2004.
University of New South Wales's senior lecturer, Raymond Lewis, conducted a study on teaching strategy loosely based on the series. The study was done with prospective pilots studying the Aircraft Systems for Aviators undergraduate course. The results of the study shows "the use of air accidents and incident scenarios had a positive effect on learning outcomes."
- ^ a b c Mavis, Paul (15 April 2009). "Mayday - Air Disasters". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/36956/mayday-air-disasters/.
- ^ a b c d Mavis, Tabouring (23 April 2009). "Mayday - Air Disasters". DVD Verdict. http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/maydayairdisasters.php.
- ^ "New Cineflix science series Mayday starts production" (Press release). Cineflix. 13 August 2002. http://www.cineflixinternational.com/home/article/61.
- ^ Luke, Donna (1 January 2003). No Borders. Interview with Susan Zeller for Realscreen. http://www.realscreen.com/articles/magazine/20030101/summit03.html.
- ^ a b "Cineflix goes global with popular science series Mayday. Germany's Prosieben latest channel to acquire the show" (Press release). Cineflix. 2 June 2003. http://www.cineflixproductions.com/news/show/35-Cineflix-goes-global-with-popular-science-series-Mayday-Germany-s-Prosieben-latest-channel-to-acquire-the-show.
- ^ "Cineflix International strikes NATGEO deal for new popular science series Mayday" (Press release). Cineflix. 22 October 2003. http://www.cineflixproductions.com/news/show/26-Cineflix-International-strikes-NATGEO-deal-for-new-popular-science-series-Mayday.
- ^ a b "Mayday premieres on Discovery, Wednesday, September 3 at 10 p.m." (Press release). Cineflix. 14 August 2003. http://www.cineflixproductions.com/news/show/32-Mayday-premieres-on-Discovery-Wednesday-September-3-at-1-p-m-.
- ^ "Mayday - Popular Cineflix series returns to Discovery Channel with two new back-to-back episodes, Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 8 pm ET" (Press release). Cineflix. 1 December 2004. http://www.cineflixproductions.com/news/show/51-Mayday-Popular-Cineflix-series-returns-to-Discovery-Channel-with-two-new-back-to-back-episodes-Sunday-January-23-2-5-at-8-pm-ET.
- ^ "A New Season of Mayday Takes Flight, April 15 on Discovery Channel" (Press release). Discovery Channel Canada. 30 March 2007. http://ctvmedia.ca/discovery/releases/release.asp?id=9399.
- ^ "Discovery Channel Sends Out a Mayday Call – Season 5 Launches with Air India Tragedy, April 9" (Press release). Discovery Channel Canada. 25 March 2008. http://ctvmedia.ca/discovery/releases/release.asp?id=10185.
- ^ "Never Take a Safe Landing For Granted Again – Discovery Channel Presents Season 7 of MAYDAY and DAILY PLANET’s "Flying Things Week" in November" (Press release). Discovery Channel Canada. 15 October 2009. http://ctvmedia.ca/discovery/releases/release.asp?id=11730.
- ^ "Buckled In and Cabin Baggage Safely Stowed, MAYDAY returns to Discovery Channel for a 9th Season, Sept. 8" (Press release). Discovery Channel Canada. 13 August 2010. http://ctvmedia.ca/discovery/releases/release.asp?id=12811.
- ^ "Air Crash Investigation TV Listing (UK)". National Geographic Channel. http://natgeotv.com/uk/listings/weekly. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- ^ Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series, Gemini Award, 2010, http://www.geminiawards.ca/gemini25/catpop.cfm?catid=5004
- ^ 24th: Full list of nominations and winners, Gemini Award, 2009, p. 6, http://www.geminiawards.ca/gemini24/press/GEM24FullListNominationsandWinners.pdf
- ^ "Awards". Canadian Society of Cinematographers. http://www.csc.ca/awards/. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- ^ Lewis, Raymond (December 2009). Air Crash Investigators - comments on a pedagogical strategy to increase intrinsic motivation in order to enhance student learning.. http://aaee.com.au/conferences/AAEE2009/PDF/AUTHOR/AE090098.PDF.
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