Todd Sampson goes to new lengths in season two of BodyHack.
Todd Sampson goes to new lengths in season two of BodyHack. Channel 10

This hour of TV will shock you

TELEVISION networks usually go out of their way to turn you on to their shows.

Whether it's mouth-watering food or jaw-dropping renovations, it's all about what you like and want.

In contrast, the return of Todd Sampson's BodyHack will repulse you. The adventurer and advertising guru even found himself gagging when he was sitting next to a cannibal from India's mysterious Aghori monks of Varanasi.

"I'm not certain how it will go down with viewers. I was surrounded by dead bodies and death, but it was so beautiful," Sampson tells The Guide.

"I was giving a piece to camera explaining how, from their perspective, a dead body is the same as a flower - they both turn to ash - and just as I'm saying that the smell was getting to me. It was hard not to judge. It really tested my ability to stay focused in the moment."

Sampson admits the scene, where the man is shown eating part of a dead body, does and should come with a warning.

Todd Sampson with an Aghori monk in Varanasi, India in a scene from the TV series Body Hack 2.0.
Todd Sampson with an Aghori monk in Varanasi, India in a scene from the TV series Body Hack 2.0. Channel 10

"The first episode is a bit of an exercise in open mindedness and not immediately passing judgment," he says.

"I was nervous they (Channel 10) would want to cut some stuff out but their view was it is what it is. The whole purpose of embedding with these people is to show their world, not re-frame their world.

"Nothing is gratuitous, but is graphic. Context is important and this is all part of the story of their lives.

"I'm really uncomfortable with claims of the most shocking hour of TV (in Ten's promos), but this one should come with a bit of a warning."

The rest of the episode is just as eye-opening, if less revolting. Sampson meets a group of marijuana-smoking Sadhus practising different acts of suffering, or Moksha, for their faith including India's famous "Rolling Saint".

Todd Sampson embedded with India's Sadhus, or Hindu monks, for his TV series Body Hack.
Todd Sampson embedded with India's Sadhus, or Hindu monks, for his TV series Body Hack. Channel 10

"He rolled with John Lennon, literally. Rolling around in s--- on a street in India with him was one of the more colourful but in some ways disgusting parts of it for me," he says.

"People are afraid to get stomach bugs when they travel to India. I was literally spitting dirt and faeces out of my mouth rolling with this guy. I just didn't want to die."

Surprisingly, Sampson says the show is family viewing.

"I know this is going to sound weird to you, but it's a family show," he says. "The premise of the show is we better understand ourselves by understanding others.

"My girls watched that first episode with me and they just wanted to talk about it. They asked about the religion, Hinduism, and ask 'So is that what they do?'.

"I think it's important for us to try to understand others, especially in this Trump era of closing off our borders and retreating back into our worlds. There's something to learn from them even though they're out on the edge."

 

Todd Sampson also embedded with Iraqi special forces last year during their fight against ISIS.
Todd Sampson also embedded with Iraqi special forces last year during their fight against ISIS. Channel 10

For season two of Body Hack, Sampson also embedded with Iraqi special forces during their fight against ISIS, trained with Kung Fu masters in China and lived in the rainforest with Amazonian hunters.

"I'm super proud Ten is willing to take a risk on a local, factual documentary series that's not a mainstream show," he says.

Todd Sampson's BodyHack 2.0 premieres on Thursday at 8.45pm on Channel 10. 



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