Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

The Doomsday Castle MacGuffin

Written By: Bob - Aug• 13•13
Doomsday Castle cast, crew, and media. I'm the hot blond beside the hot blonde.

Doomsday Castle cast, crew, Nat Geo staff, and media. I’m the hot blond beside the hot blonde.

National Geographic Channel’s new series Doomsday Castle kicks off tonight at 10:00 PM (ET) . It is a spin-off of the channel’s highest-rated series, Doomsday Preppers, which begins its 3rd season at 9:00 PM.

There are going to be a lot of reviews of the show and the cast’s performance on this episode in particular, and a lot of bad-mouthing of the idea of a castle in the 21st century. It’s an easy slam-dunk for any critic or mocker to make, and I’ll be watching the reviews with some bemusement, because they’ll be missing the point entirely.

Silly English knnnnnnnn-ighuts, Doomsday Castle isn’t about building a castle. It’s about a man attempting to cement together the remains of two families, and leave a legacy he can be proud of, so that he can leave this earth as the kind of father he never had.

Brent Sr., the patriach of the admittedly dysfunctional clan, sat beside me during lunch during the press junket to the castle.  I’m a military strategy, tactics, and history geek (yes, that kind of annoying civilian), and so I asked him why he sunk roughly a million dollars to build a castle, of all things, on a remote mountainside.

After all, he already had a hidden bunker buried in the earth under what is now the castle’s floor. He could have easily built your average mountain vacation house to hide it, or built a home from insulated concrete forms (ICF) that would be as durable as his concrete filled block castle, but not as expensive or time-consuming to make. Why a castle?

His words, as accurately as I can recall them, were, “I couldn’t get my kids to come up here just to build a house. I could get them here to help me build a castle.”

This is a family with a lot of problems, more than one arrest (I’m sure the gossip rags have the stories cued up and ready to run if the show proves to be a hit), and it can be gloriously rough around the edges. All those rough edges aside, they’re trying to mend, and trying to find common ground.

I’m willing to be that if this show makes it big, it because it isn’t really a show about a castle. The castle is a MacGuffin. This could be, or at least should be, a show about redemption and second chances. We’ll see how well they do as the season progresses.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Right_2_Bear says:

    At first blush the concept does sound somewhat gimmicky, but still interesting. Since I don’t watch any TV, I will have to rely on your updates. I hope the family pulls through.

  2. Steve Skubinna says:

    Damn, so it’s like a giant Lego project? All of a sudden I’m interested.

  3. Rob Crawford says:

    There are a handful of “castles” around the US built for similar motives. They’re pretty cool places, even if they have no practical or historical connection to real castles.

  4. Del-ray says:


    After watching the parent show with the wife for kicks, I came to the conclusion that the entire show was made to make fun of preppers.

    From unsafe firearms handling, kids almost burning an abandoned building down, and just weird people in general.

    This guy seemed sincere. A bit out of his league. But nothing a few years of learning can’t fix.

    I hope this show is more then reality TV with guns and a castle…

  5. Comrade X says:

    Entertainment can be found in many ways & places; reality TV is never real (cause everyone is always prepping for the camera’s) however IMHO this type of show is most likely more entertaining than anything that can be found on the likes of MTV, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, etc or even Fox for that matter. My TV watching has been narrowed down to old movies, The Blaze, & outdoors/sportsman channels types.

    National Geographic Channel’s I am sure has a liberal bias like most the rest but one thing I have found with liberals/leftist is most of them don’t have a problem with making a buck even as they themselves have qualms with others making a buck, there is one thing most liberals/leftist have in common; the fact of they being hypocrites!

    So as we wait for the revolution why not when you need a lighter break take a peak at something like this. I think it’s neat Bob gets to be a part of the press junket(BTW I’m jealous & hopefully this leads to some $$ being a consultant or something down the line, this is really all about making a profit by the National Geographic Channel’s so why not share some with us masses).

    Death before slavery!

  6. Catseye says:

    Looking at the picture I just see too many problems for the place to last: trees close to the wall; they don’t seem to have leveled the place before building (it should be down to the bedrock); not enough people to adequately man the walls (hint: you should be able to repel an attack on all four sides at once); etc. But I think it’s the ground washing away that’ll destroy the building. Hope he built a better bunker.

  7. Del-Ray says:

    Wasn’t the bunker an old military bunker that was pretty torn up before he got it? Should be built pretty well.

    As soon as they can get the structure grounded properly…. That was a shocking episode!

  8. Greetings Bob!

    Your perspective is more of a ‘humanist’ viewpoint, which is fine. There problem is there are people who don’t see the show from your perspective and are tuning-it for prepping/survival insights (preppers), who are after all the target market for the genre?

    With that said: Here’s a review of National Geographic’s new reality TV show ‘Doomsday Castle’ by Nat. Geo’s “Best Prepper” (Season 1 & 2 of Doomsday Preppers)

    Cheers! Capt. Bill