Five Hundred Fun Ways to Die
A game show competing for the most outlandish and brutal methods of death before a live studio audience, Five Hundred Fun Ways to Die began as an offshoot of a Sparnell Armed Forces campaign to combat a growing stigma against Conscription, until it took on a life of its own.
Originally orchestrated by Sparnell Fleet Command as a publicity stunt and means to desensitize Sparnelli citizens to the concepts of death and dying, Five Hundred Fun Ways to Die has taken on a life of its own. The original version of the show focused on deaths which might be encountered during service within the Sparnell Armed Forces, showing actual deaths and then interviewing the deceased both before and after their resurrection. Now in its sixty-third season the show has since morphed into a game show style presentation, with contestants pulled from the audience competing for the most spectacular on-camera deaths imaginable.
Citizens across Sparnell submit their names and genetic samples for a chance to serve as live audience members, with winners of the lottery receiving two tickets for a specific viewing of the show and a questionnaire on their interests, Family values, and death preferences. Members of the audience are then chosen as actual participants and contestants during the show, supposedly at random on the day of filming but in actuality the selection occurs at the same time as the original drawing, to allow time to grow the reconstruction clones required for resurrection afterwards. The chosen few are then presented with one of the experiences from their list, either in front of the audience or with a film crew to holographically project their death into the studio if their chosen method cannot be adapted to the available studio space. Audience members will rank each death on a scale including such traits as the bravery of the contestant, their adherence to their Family values during the event, and the creativity of the method chosen. Winning Sparnell Families earn further fame and glory, while winning contestants are guaranteed a placement as a return contestant and co-host in the next episode.
The famed and beloved Host Selkirk Nero helms the popular show, with his superior officer Vice Admiral Vox providing support and logistics. Unfamiliar to most, Nero is still on active duty within the Sparnell Armed Forces, serving as a Lieutenant within Admiral Vox's PR machine. In addition to the host, contestants, and audience members, Five Hundred Fun Ways to Die also employs a skilled filming crew, a full time Afterlife Planner to assist with the clones and resurrections, and an assortment of contractors to not only prepare each contestant's clone but also to prepare the wide variety of deaths planned for each episode.
A new episode is filmed once a month for eight months, to allow time for the cloning process. Each episode airs a month after it was filmed, to allow for editing and additional interviews with contestants and their Families. The off-months between seasons are used to compile the lottery of hopeful contestants, organize the requested death methods for the selected few, and tour Confederation territory with meet and greets involving past contestants – both favorites and least favorites – to aid publicity.