Doomsday Castle, National Geographic’s newest series about a prepper family, continues tonight with a spotlight on building a sustainable water system.
Brent Sr. and five of his 10 children are preparing to survive the end of days in a medieval style castle built somewhere in the Carolina hills. The National Geographic series follows both the logistical and emotional struggles the family endures during the construction of the ultimate off-grid bunker. Doomsday Castle is the first true spin-off in the history of the network. Brent Sr. and his children were featured in the Doomsday Preppers series last year.
Tonight’s episode of Doomsday Castle is must-see for all American preppers. In the episode, Water From A Stone (10 p.m. ET; replay Saturday 10 p.m. ET), Brent Sr. plans two key projects for his children — the creation of a sustainable water system and tactical training. Lindsey and Michael are the first of the brood to engage in weapons training with “Military Mike,” a retired Army ranger. The rest of Brent Sr.’s children help him look for water and devise a pump system to get the life-saving liquid up hill and into the castle. Brent Sr. and his offspring tackle the muscle-straining task of developing an off-the-grid water system with Scott Hunt of Practical Preppers. Off-the-grid families and homesteading folks will not be surprised at how hectic the water system project becomes when the group must adapt to obstacles created by land formations and inevitable tiredness.
Brent Sr. is more than just a father to his Doomsday Castle co-stars; he is also their prepping coach. Those of us who have coached know we walk into the gym or onto the field with multiple individuals and ultimately walk away after the final game as a team. Tonight’s episode of Doomsday Castle illustrates both the need for the children to work as a full-functioning group and the baby steps taken to achieve that goal. While Brent Sr.’s adult children do not work together to the extent that he would like yet, the underlying love between the siblings indicates they will eventually get there and complete the family’s off-grid castle.
Brent Sr. grows visibly and understandably frustrated when his children spend more time interrupting him and arguing with each other than completing the water system project. Brent II and Michael clash over their leadership roles and don’t quite come to terms before the end of this episode.
Brent II earnestly wants to help lead the group and makes strides in curtailing his somewhat confrontational nature during this Doomsday Castle episode. As the firstborn son, Brent II would be the most likely second-in-command, but he does not possess the same level of outdoor skills and weapons training as the youngest son, Michael, who is also spunky Dawn-Marie’s twin.
Brothers often clash in real life under the best of circumstances, so the amped-up atmosphere surrounding the building of an off-the-grid castle in front of millions of viewers only adds to the opportunity for conflict. Both men obviously love their father deeply and want to make him proud. Once they stop competing with one another and work together, Brent Sr.’s stress level will undoubtedly decrease and the castle project and tactical training go more smoothly. Before the end of tonight’s Doomsday Castle episode, Brent II comes up with an idea to help bring the group together which infuses the family’s religious beliefs into their daily lives in the off-grid environment in which they are all still adjusting.
Brent Sr. explained the need to complete the castle to his adult children like this: “When the world is in chaos and consumes the world, our family will survive. Generations of our family will have a safe haven for retreat.”
The castle Brent Sr. has spent many years and a lot of his hard-earned money building provides not just entertaining television viewing, but an educational opportunity, as well. Each week at least one expert in off-the-grid living and/or tactical training teaches the group how to learn new skills or complete projects. As a former Army infantry training officer, Brent Sr. understands the basics of survival and puts his knowledge into action, providing both his children and the audience with integral doomsday survival tips. Food, water and shelter continue to be the primary focus of the initial episodes. While the group works to make their castle a sustainable fortress, preppers across the country benefit from watching a myriad of projects from the planning stages to completion.
Off The Grid News spoke to Practical Preppers company expert Scott Hunt about his experience on the show helping to build the water system.
“When I first was asked to see what could be done for a sustainable water system for the castle,” Hunt said, “I walked the property and was going to try to turn the on-grid community well into an off-grid well until I discovered the two spring heads. I made some basic measurements for elevation, distance and solar output and sat down to design their system. Sharp Entertainment accepted my proposal as long as the family would be involved in all the steps of construction, wiring, plumbing etc.”
The hill that leads to the site is “brutally steep,” so all the work had to be done manually, Hunt added.
“This brought out a lot of the family dynamics!” he said. “They attempted to do things their way thus wasting time in getting the project done. Finally, they realized that they just had to do it my way and did a great job carrying the tools, gravel, clay down the mountain. There was so many things that had to come together for the project in terms of spring water collection and filtration, solar panel wiring, plumbing, re-purposing items around the castle that they didn’t really understand, not that I blame them, what was going on and they doubted whether or not water would ever make it to the top. It was really great to see their faces when the water came flowing out of the pipe and how refreshing it was. I believe that after all their hard work will not take a drink of cold water for granted again.”
The paint ball guns once again come out on tonight’s Doomsday Castle episode. The tactical training leaves a sting not just physically when some of the children are covered in colorful paint, but emotionally as well. Tempers run hot between some of Brent Sr.’s offspring when the attempt to defend the castle during a nighttime tactical training session.
While watching this segment of the episode, I was once again reminded of my coaching days. Just like with my former cheerleaders, volleyball and softball players, Brent Sr.’s children have a varying array of ability levels, with both strengths and weaknesses in specific areas. The devoted father is frustrated, and unfortunately does not have the time to make his kids run a lap around the castle every time they are distracted by their individual desires.
Brent Sr. rotates which children will work together and who will lead the various projects involved with finishing the castle. In all, the former Army officer has 10 children, five from what Brent II’s calls the first family, and another five from the second. Five children are on every episode, two others are featured on one episode, two of the brothers could not make it to filming, and another brother is too young to be involved, according to a tweet posted by Dawn Marie.
Despite the usual trials and tribulations associated with sibling rivalry, I have no doubt the Doomsday Castle crew will pull it together. Their personal issues with one another aside, the newest Nat Geo stars are a family and understand the sacrifices their father has made to ensure the survival of his beloved clan. After recalling what it was like to work with my older brothers while rebuilding something as simple as our parent’s pool deck, I decided to cut Brent Sr.’s crew a whole lot of slack.
Meet the Doomsday Castle Cast
Brent Sr. — This former Army Infantry Training Officer is turning his attention toward prepping and protecting his family. By expending all of his energy on building an EMP-proof medieval castle in an undisclosed location deep in the Carolina woods. Brent Sr. wants to impart his knowledge to his children and help them develop their own survival skillsets to carry on his legacy — even after the end of days.
Ashley — The 24-year-old girly girl of the clan loves fashion and makeup, and dreams of becoming a model, actress or singer-songwriter. This former bartender seems an unlikely choice for a prepper, but she’s relentlessly ambitious, adaptable and willing to get dirty. “We have medicinal and edible plants and entire survival garden. We also have chickens … but there is plenty of game around.” – Ashley chatting about the show with her Twitter fans.
Lindsey — Twenty-two-year-old Lindsey dreams of becoming a success in business, like her father. Lindsey, a self-proclaimed prepper, knows the basics of wilderness survival — including fishing and identifying edible and medicinal plants. Though she and sister Ashley are close in age, the two have never gotten along and are relentlessly competitive. “Prepping isn’t just about having sources but being healthy and fit to defend yourself.”— tweet from Lindsey
Dawn Marie — If the family had a designated warrior, it would be the outdoorsy Dawn Marie. The 20-year-old is tough — both physically and mentally – and feels most at home when she’s out in the wilderness. Dawn Marie has a similar constitution to Brent Sr. and believes that the end of times is near, and will fight for survival by any means necessary. “Usually my dad would wake us up at around 5:30ish, which was miserable, but still kind of nice to have the whole day.” — Dawn Marie tweet about a typical day at the castle.
Michael — Michael is the twin brother of Dawn Marie and the only child to have contributed regularly to building the castle. Michael is hardworking, loyal and close to Brent Sr. Like Dawn Marie, he is comfortable in the outdoors, is capable at orienteering and is skillful at hunting with the bow and arrow. Over the years, he has tried to differentiate himself from his siblings by learning construction skills to help Brent Sr. “Helping my dad move more of his junk. I swear I’ve move so much with him it is passed the point of hoarding.” – light-hearted tweet from Michael about helping dear old dad.
Brent II — The oldest of Brent Sr.’s children, is estranged from the entire family. His confrontational nature has created conflict between him and his younger siblings over the years. Brent is an entrepreneur who has problems working with others. He views the challenge of preparing for an EMP disaster and prepping the castle as a chance to prove his worth as firstborn son. Positive thoughts Twitter share from Brent II – “I am so proud of myself and my family for making it through all this. A family that catapults together stays together … LOVE.”