History Channel // 2010 // 450 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // May 28th, 2011
Fear is driven to new heights.
History Channel's exciting new TV series Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads pits three experienced truck drivers against India's most dangerous roads. Driving old trucks that are by far not as safe as the American models they are used to back home, Lisa Kelly, Rick Yemm, and Dave Redmon are forced to conquer a bunch of nasty, incredibly dangerous roads as they attempt to deliver heavy loads to remote locations in the Himalayas. In a country where someone dies on the road every 4.5 minutes, these three truckers are in for the biggest challenge they've ever had to face.
Ice Road Truckers Deadliest Roads: Season 1 (Blu-ray) revitalizes the brand by introducing new locations and following these courageous drivers as they must battle a horde of troubles during their life-threatening assignments. While the first part of this first season focuses on a route with nicknames such as "Freefall Freeway," "The Cutouts" and "The Ledge," the second half of the ten episodes included in this set follows Rick, Dave, and Lisa as they fight their ways over the crazy Rohtang Pass. Each of these routes comes loaded with unpredictable dangers, and the only way to survive out there is to stay clear of any mistakes.
One of the reasons Deadliest Roads boasts incredible suspense throughout is the fact that these three American truckers are clashing with a culture so much different from their own. As most of the compelling footage shows, roads are pretty much without rules in India, and people over there drive like there's no tomorrow. At the end of the day, their aggressive driving and overwhelming desire to constantly pass vehicles without caution puts everyone else at risk and only adds to the stress of the American drivers.
The other thing Rick, Lisa, and Dave have to wrestle with are the deteriorating conditions of the roads. Stretching to tricky parts of the Himalayas, these roads are poorly serviced, totally jammed, or often closed by fatal landslides, snow, or rain. Most of the roads are just too narrow for two-way traffic, causing many trucks and cars to slide off the road and drop down massive cliffs. Fighting both nature and India's worst drivers, our truckers must utilize their patience and expertise as truckers to stay alive and get their loads to their destinations on time.
IRT: Deadliest Roads benefits from a fast pace, fascinating locations, three energetic drivers, and lots of tricky assignments. Cameras mounted all around and inside the trucks give viewers a pretty good sense of how dangerous driving is up there, and the show's vibrant editing assures a constant presence of suspense. My favorite bits of the series: watching the drivers repeatedly lose their calm over the insane driving by the people sharing the road with them. Trust me, you're in for a lot of heat at times.
On Blu-ray, Deadliest Roads looks pretty good. Everything on this show was shot in HD, but the footage captured by the smaller cameras mounted on trucks doesn't always look as sharp and clean than the images recorded by the cameras operated by the crew. For what this is, though, the image quality certainly does the job, and the same applies to the audio transfer. After all, this is a show about truckers driving some nasty roads, so dirty images only add to the realistic feel of the whole thing. In terms of bonus features, the last disc includes some additional footage.
Fans of Ice Road Truckers will find it very easy to fall in love with History's IRT: Deadliest Roads. It adds new life to the concept, boasts tons of suspense, and introduces viewers to a driving culture so much different from the one we are used to. I like to think of myself as a solid driver and all, but I'm not quite sure I'd be ready to face off with these roads.
Deadly indeed, but definitely not guilty.
Review content copyright © 2011 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: History Channel
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)
Running Time: 450 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* IMDb: Ice Road Truckers
* Official Site