David Mitchell


That M&W Company and Renegade Pictures for Dave, 29 September 2021 to 21 December 2022 (12 episodes in 2 series)

Wall to Wall and That M&W Company for Dave, 11 October 2023 to present


David Mitchell goes to the great outdoors, and invites six of his comedian friends along to spend time in the great outdoors. While there, David will set them challenges, where the "Outsiders" can win badges.

The contestants bond over a campfire.

Within five minutes, the teams are hard at work chopping down trees. Well, they're attempting to chop down trees. It looks easy when the professionals do it, but the comedians quickly find that it's not easy to be a lumberjack.

Insert axe-head C into tree-trunk R.

Outsiders has a simple basic premise: can our teams can survive in a post-apocalyptic world, one where complex civilisation has entirely collapsed. The only thing that survives is a series of laminated instruction cards.

The challenges are the heart of the show, and they are very variable. Sometimes, we're handling dummies who have parachuted down and been tangled in a tree. Sometimes, we're doing haircuts. Sometimes, we're making mottos for the camp. Sometimes, we're acting the goat.

A goat (left) and Lou Sanders.

We reach the final part of the episode, and David hasn't sat in judgement on anything; that all happpens in the closing minutes. Each team's performance in each challenge is assessed, and those who David thinks have done well are rewarded with his badges. Whichever team has the most badges at the end is the winner of the series.

Outsiders was a bit of a work-in-progress: some challenges made for very poor television (the motto challenge was duller than ditchwater). There wasn't quite enough material to fill the slot, so there were a lot of "coming up" segments - and many of those were filled with the big spoilers.

But let's give credit where we can. Each challenge is gently entertaining, the setup is easy enough for the most casual viewer to understand, and the contestants make a good effort at each of the challenges. The atmosphere is relaxed, it's a friendly competition rather than a cut-throat one. It helps that the stakes are tremendously low, the teams are playing for badges and perhaps a little honour at the end of the series.

The teams' small rewards.

Key moments

David's facetious "no animals were harmed" parody during the first episode of series two:

It's important to say that no bugs were harmed during the making of this segment of the show. It's important to say that because otherwise various viewers will go spare. Obviously we've all driven here, killed god knows how many insects on the way. Who knows what we're trampling underfoot. But in the actual making of this bit about insects, don't worry, none of them were harmed during that. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if we had, but we didn't, and the reason we didn't is so that you can't complain.



  • Toussaint Douglas
  • Ed Gamble
  • Kerry Godliman
  • Jessica Knappett
  • Jamali Maddix
  • Lou Sanders


  • Maisie Adam
  • Fatiha El-Ghorri
  • Darren Harriott
  • Jessica Hynes
  • Phil Wang
  • Joe Wilkinson



Devised by Leon Wilde and David Mitchell

Title music

Oli Julian, credited as "composer"


Recorded at Cuffley Camp Outdoor Centre near Potters Bar.

Chris Heatley is credited as "Bushcraft Consultant"

Web links

U programme page

Wikipedia entry

British Comedy Guide entry

See also

Weaver's Week review, comparing Outsiders to another show.


David stands outside the team camp.


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