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Colonial House Picture of the colony
Meet the Colonists Behind the Scenes Interactive History Media Gallery
Behind the Scenes
Introduction Interview with the Executive Producer Colonial Life, Then and Now

Interview With the Executive Producer. Back to questions

Question:

Was there any cheating?


Answer:

There were a couple of things we did that could be considered "cheating." The bugs: We were shooting from May to October, and the bugs were beyond anything I've experienced. It turns out that it would have been colder in 1628, and there also would have been fewer bugs. We didn't give them huge air conditioners, but we did give them bug sprays. Sixteen twenty-eight was the end of a mini-ice age and there would have been many fewer mosquitoes, so we did end up giving them bug sprays.

We also gave them toothbrushes. We started out with licorice sticks which they used to brush their teeth, and about a week in we were getting diary cams where they were begging us -- claiming their teeth would fall out of their heads, they were turning black -- and we thought that would be cruel and unusual to make them go the whole six months. So modern toothbrushes came in.

Glasses: The common folk of 1628 couldn't have afforded eyeglasses. If it was 1628, they wouldn't have been able to see. We decided to break that rule. None of the participants of the series wore contacts, but the people who needed glasses were allowed to wear glasses that would have actually been from a period of 50 to 100 years after 1628. Beyond that, people were allowed to bring their personal Bibles into the Colony, although we did provide some from the period; and there were some modern books found in the colony at one point.

There's some suspicion -- there may have been food from a kayak once, but nothing that we can confirm at this point. One of our colonists felt that he couldn't experience 1628 in a realistic way without going exploring. And he thought exploring meant going beyond the 1,000-acre boundaries we had set up, which meant he ended up encountering the modern world. And we felt that was cheating, and he felt it was exploring as one would have in 1628. So it depends upon your interpretation.

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