“Wipeout” the TV Show

Tuesday, 13th July 2010 by

The crazy American TV series "Wipeout" is ranked as the third most popular game show in the world1, and for a long time its exact outdoor filming location remained a mystery. Thanks to updates in Google's satellite imagery, the insane obstacle course that sends the contestants flying through the air has finally been revealed.

The show itself has two different versions (and locations) depending on where in the world you’re watching. The original American version is filmed on a ranch outside of Los Angeles, California in a community called Canyon Country.

The British version of the show, known as "Total Wipeout", is filmed on a set located in Argentina. Regardless of where you look, both sets are remarkably similar when viewed from above and interestingly, they're both within 5 km of each other in latitude, but in opposite directions from the equator!

Wipeout Total Wipeout

Since the resolution of the American set is higher (and your slightly biased author is from the states), lets take a look at the set in California. Numerous blue, empty pools can be seen forming a circular pattern that follows the same flow as the show. The set in Argentina is composed to two nearly identical sections running in opposite directions.

The first set of pools is where the contestants compete in the "Wipeout Qualifier" round. The blue pools are all obviously filled with water when the show is taping, but the brown ones to the left and middle are filled with thick mud!

Pool filled with mud

The next empty pool contains a set of planks that rotate in opposite directions during the second round of the show. Contestants must get from the platform on the northern side to the opposite side without getting knocked into the water by the rotating beams. They rarely make it over successfully!

Wipeout Spinners

By comparison, the rotating planks on the "Total Wipeout" set look much less ferocious than their American cousins.

Total Wipeout Spinners

Round three of the show usually takes place on the south side of the set in either the spinning platform to the left, or the baseball influenced obstacle course on the right. Watch out for those spinning baseball bats!

Spinning Platform Baseball Course

The show ends with the "Wipeout Zone", and the obstacles look very similar in both versions. The large "launching" platform is clearly visible on both sets in the southeastern corner. The pool base is not blue like the other ones because this scene is filmed a nigh.

Wipeout Zone Launch Wipeout Zone Pool

Other sites on the set include what appear to be cast and contestant trailers, and to the northern side you can see the prop and maintenance buildings.

Trailers Buildings

Regardless of which version you watch, Wipeout (or Total Wipeout) is a hilarious show and I highly recommend giving it a try.

Thanks to Tim and Neill for the links!

  1. Behind "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" and "Deal or No Deal" ↩︎