‘Doomsday Castle’ TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Published 1 year ago by , Updated September 2nd, 2013 at 9:27 am,

Doomsday Castle Family with castle Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Preparing for an apocalyptic event – or “prepping” – has been on the minds of thousands of people for generations. For some, it’s nothing more than putting away several weeks’ worth of water, food and fuel to survive a natural disaster.  But for others who take it WAY more serious, it’s all about being prepared for a cataclysmic event that could change life as we know it.

Imagine yourself in this scenario: terrorists – either foreign or domestic (think Jericho) – have set off a nuclear device on US soil causing the world as we know to spiral into chaos. The resulting Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) blast wipes out everything without a shielded circuit board – no computers, no cellphones, and most unmodified cars all stop working.

Doomsday Castle Propane powered jeep and castle Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Think EMPs aren’t a legitimate threat? EMPs can be triggered by numerous events including solar flares. Solar flares, like the one that just missed the earth a couple weeks ago and the one scientists predict will hit in September 2013, are a major concern. How would you eat, drink, and survive if an EMP strikes? Well if you’ve been prepping for years for just such an event, like Brent Sr., you travel high into the hills and take refuge in your fortified EMP-proof castle.

Brent, Sr., along with five of his ten children – Brent II, Ashley, Lindsey, Michael and Dawn-Marie – have taken to the red clay-stained hills of Carolina to build a reinforced castle complete with booby traps, murder holes, an underground bunker, a trebuchet and of course, a drawbridge spanning a fire moat. National Geographic Channel has created a show, called Doomsday Castle, that follows the family as they work (and occasionally fight) together to finish building their father’s dream. Instead of following the exploits of multiple families as in Doomsday Preppers, the spinoff focuses solely on Brent, Sr.

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THE FAMILY

Doomsday Castle Brent Sr. Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Brent, Sr. – For the most part Brent, Sr. is a quiet man – that is until you talk to him about prepping. Senior isn’t ashamed or embarrassed to talk about building an enormous castle to protect his family against what he perceives to be a real and viable threat. Even though he’s essentially been working on the castle alone for 14 years, he now spends as much time with his children at the castle as he can. He wants them to know as much about sustainable survival skills as he does, in case an EMP disaster were ever to occur.

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Doomsday Castle Brent II Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Brent II – Brent II, or B2 as he sometimes likes to be called, is the exact opposite of his father. He’s loud. He’s brash. He often does things without thoroughly thinking them through – which can sometimes lead to dangerous situations (see the battering ram incident of episode one). B2 hasn’t always gotten along with the rest of his family and was estranged from everyone until he started helping with the castle. Still, he has a lot of ingenuity and creativity brewing in his brain – and he’s eager to prove his worth to his father.

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Doomsday Castle Ashley Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Ashley – Ashley is oldest of the girls working on the castle right now but the castle hasn’t always been the most important thing in her life. She’s got a beautiful singing voice (she and her brother Michael wrote a song about the castle), has interests in fashion and one day hopes to become a model or singer/songwriter. Being involved in “girly” things doesn’t mean she isn’t willing to buckle down and do what’s necessary to survive. She’s smart and easily adapts to changing situations – she’s also a master at smoking meat in the homemade smoker (a smoker she built).

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Doomsday Castle Lindsey Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Lindsey – Like her father Brent, Sr., Lindsey’s goal in life is to be successful in business and she recognizes the importance of knowing basic survival skills. She can easily identify many plants in the wild that have healing properties. She has a strong personality and will make it her goal to prove you wrong if you tell her she can’t do something. I told her she couldn’t give me $100 but I’m still waiting for her to prove me wrong.

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Doomsday Castle Michael Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Michael – Michael and his twin sister Dawn-Marie are the youngest members of the castle but no one buys into their father’s vision more than Michael. Just talk to him for a few minutes and it’s easy to tell he fully believes the castle is the right thing for him and his family. Michael is still learning a lot of the survival skills he needs from his father but his background in construction and trees comes in handy on a daily basis. Like his sister Ashley, Michael is a gifted musician who can sing, play guitar and even do a little rap-eoke.

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Doomsday Castle Dawn Marie Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

Dawn-Marie – Dawn-Marie (don’t leave out the hyphen when writing her name or she’ll correct you) is the self-proclaimed “tough girl” of the family. She’d rather be roughing it in the castle or woods than anywhere else. She’s kind of no-nonsense and gets straight to business when it comes to prepping – and in that way she’s more like her father Brent, Sr. than any of the other kids. She’s quite handy with a crossbow and maintains the family’s sustainable garden.

Continue reading about the Castle and Its Defenses

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Doomsday Castle Castle Side View Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

THE CASTLE

Whether you agree or disagree with prepping, there’s something absolutely fascinating about building a huge medieval-style castle on top of a mountain. The family has picked a very strategic location for their fortress – it’s only accessible by four-wheeled drive vehicles with one way in and one way out, and they have the high-ground vantage point from every angle of the mountain. With their series of booby traps (more on that in a bit) and a simple, but effective, alarm system, there’s really no way someone can approach the castle without them knowing about it first.

Brent Sr. has been working on the castle since 1999 (he was concerned about Y2K) and just finished putting the roof on a few months ago. It stands 34 feet tall with all the walls made of cinder block filled (not capped) with rebar and concrete. With over 6,000 square feet of living space – not including the 30,000 gallon fuel tank converted into storage space buried under the castle – there’s more than enough room for Brent Sr., his children, grandchildren and even a few friends to survive the roughest of times. For now, the family resides in two bedrooms, a dining area, a living space and one bathroom.

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FOOD SOURCES

Doomsday Castle Ashley and Lindsey in front of castle Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

The castle has its own sustainable garden, which the family maintains with the help of survival garden expert Rick Austin. They use it to grow food as a means to replenish/supplement their food stocks of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) – of which they have several years supply. The mountains surrounding the castle are filled with plenty of deer, rabbits and rattlesnake (yes, you can eat rattlesnake) as well. Not only can the pelts of the animals be tanned for various uses, but the meat is a welcome relief from eating pasta out of a bag.

The family is all about finding new uses for old items, so they’ve built a smoker from an old oven (which actually works surprisingly well), a food dehydrator from an old wooden greenhouse and a chicken coop (for eggs and meat) from Dawn-Marie’s childhood dresser.

Doomsday Castle Ashley and Lindsey with smoker Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

They can slow roast all that meat in one of two large roasting pits in the castle. They also have a functioning kitchen in the living quarters. Though the family doesn’t have much, if any, access to ice, they do have a plentiful supply of water on hand from various sources – rain collection and solar-powered wells. The water runs through several filtration systems and is stored in a 500 gallon tank underground – giving the family ample water for drinking, cooking and showering.

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WEAPONS & PROTECTION

Doomsday Castle Booby trap Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

It would be silly to build a castle and not fortify it from intruder attacks. To that end, the castle has several advance warning systems set up throughout the winding drive leading to it and it multiple areas of the surrounding woods – sneaking up on the family isn’t going to be as easy as you might think. That’s just the first line of defense for them though. If somehow an attacker does manage to make their way up the mountain without tripping the warning system, then they’ll have to deal with the multitude of booby traps dotting the mountain side.

Doomsday Castle Portcullis Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

The traps range from disorienting to maiming to deadly and if they don’t kill the attacker, then they’ll definitely slow them down. Assuming the attacker is still foolish enough to advance on the castle, the family literally has the high ground with shooting positions atop the castle behind the classic crenelations running the perimeter of the roof.

Even if attackers make it to the castle, they’ll still have to cross the fire moat (still being built as of this writing) and breach the steel-reinforced drawbridge just to enter. If they somehow manage to do both, then the family can drop the heavy, steel portcullis and attack through the murder holes on either side. Murder holes are holes cut into the roof above the entrance where defenders can pour scalding water, hot oil, fire guns or drop explosives onto the attackers.

Doomsday Castle Trebuchet in front of castle Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

To go along with their barrage of bullets and booby traps the family also has a trebuchet at their disposal, built by Brent, Sr. and Dawn-Marie. Personally, I would have built a ballista (a giant siege weapon that fires either large bolts or a multitude of arrows) as a last line of siege defense but their trebuchet is impressive – flinging projectiles with great force and distance.

Doomsday Castle Zip line Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

If all else fails and invaders do find a way to overtake the castle, the family has several ways to “bug out” or escape. They can either quickly rappel down the side of the 34 foot walls or zip line to safety some 100 yards away to an outpost they have built in the woods. From there they can all rendezvous at a predetermined location.

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CONCLUSION

Honestly, I went to visit the castle with every bit of skepticism I could muster – I even considered wearing a tinfoil hat on the tour – but after spending a few hours talking with the family, they’ve changed my attitude about prepping. Now, I’m not going to start building a castle in some remote location of the United States but living in Florida – hurricane central – I realize that I’m woefully unprepared for when a natural disaster does affect me. There’s nothing crazy about setting aside some food, water, money and other necessary supplies in case everything around me starts falling apart.

Doomsday Castle Paul and the family Doomsday Castle TV Series: Prepping to Survive the End of Days

My final thoughts about Doomsday Castle as a show: It’s a solid, if slightly cheesy, spinoff for NatGeo that follows an interesting and genuine family while they do something other people think is crazy – prepare for an unknown disaster. I know I’ll be watching each week to see what’s in store for them.

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Doomsday Castle airs on the National Geographic Channel Tuesdays at 10/9 Central.

Follow me on Twitter @MoviePaul and tell me how you would survive the end of days?

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  1. Frankly, I’m jealous and I hope to amass enough wealth in time to do something similar. I would LOVE to have a super fort somewhere I could run to in case the s**t hit the fan.

  2. Throw this spammer-scammer in the castle’s fortified dungeon-outhouse!

  3. I could take that castle out with a couple bull-dozers and a wrecking ball. And I could take those girls out on a date! And as far as looking “survival-istic” with the bows and arrows, they are not that practical in an attack unless your name is Hawkeye, William Tell, Robin Hood, or Green Arrow. Just tell these guys to get a better job and don’t take this hobby as anything more than it is…Wal-Mart is hiring right now. Give me a good old crud sandwich and a gun in my underwear drawer so no-one steals my shorts, and I will survive just fine!

    • So, you’ll get me a job working at Wal-Mart working with you?

    • Hey, jerk face! It’s not like your going to have a wrecking ball in the end of days, and from the nature of your response, you wouldn’t be smart enough to use it. This is a reality television show about a family of survivalists that don’t give two craps about what you have to say. If they did take the time to read the comments on this article, you’d just be some retard on the internet who thinks he’s better than everyone else. If you train hard enough(and I’m sure that they have), you can use any weapon in an expertly fashion. Why would they need a job when this show is going to pay them for doing what they love?
      Mr. Goldilocks, I’m sure that you don’t have your head so far up your butt that you’d think anything you said was appropriate or smart. Also, I’m sure that you also know that, just by your attitude, none of those girls, thinking properly, would ever date you. So before you open your big mouth, stop and think about what you have to say. If you wouldn’t say it to your parents or grandparents, don’t say it.

  4. OMG!!!! OMG!!!!! Please God not another “reality” show!!!! For the love of Christmas stop!!!!!!! How is the theme of this stupid show going to work. Do we really need more end of time the sky is falling chicken little crap on t.v.? Here’s an idea how about a reality show about how to stop reality shows, isn’t there anyone out there who can write, act, produce, and deliver a show worth the time and energy it takes watch it. Please enough already.

    • Best way to stop any T.V. show is to just turn it off. I know there are some silly things on television these days, but how else does anyone expect them to fill up the ridiculous amount of air time they have now ? Television always had a certain amount of bad to mediocre stuff on, there is just whole hell of lot more it now.

  5. I cant believe Screenrant. Really? the only way I could see The #1 Independent Movie & TV News Website give this thing a remotely decent review is if they were getting paid for it.

    It’s a cheesy, if slightly solid show.

    I watched approximately 20 mins of this garbage before I had to go kick my cat and vomit. OK I didnt really kick the cat.

    “and genuine family” If you mean they are in it for a buck I guess you would be right.

    This is a scripted/setup show and they were paid money to portray. This is based on the NatGeo “survival” angle they have clicked over to.

    His claim to fame and the reason he wears the BDUs… he was in the Military for four years instructing Infantry.

    I have read two stories on the reason behind this first was the Y2K scare and I also read EMPs. Something his father was preparing for also….

    The Blonde running into the woods…. I thought I was going to get away didnt think anyone saw me…. unless you count the camera crew that was following you……

    Please pass on this drivel and take slayers advice. Silly does not even begin to explain this show on NatGeo…. which has apparently taken a turn for the worse.

    • I know right? They must have been paid to post this crap

      • @fleming – Don’t insult me/us please. This wasn’t a review of the show and I only posted my thoughts on the show at the end of the article. The rest of the time was spent looking at the show/family/castle.

        Are you saying I’m not allowed to enjoy cheesy shows? I LOVE cheesy shows and movies. I actually own films by The Asylum (yes, I’ll be buying Sharknado). We don’t have to agree on what’s worth watching but no one here is a plant for the channel.

        Paul

    • @Aknot – This article is about the family and show…not a review. My thoughts at the end are mine, they don’t have to be yours. If someone else had written the article then maybe they would have felt differently. We don’t cover much “reality” shows on this site but I dig the shows on NatGeo, Discovery, A&E, History but deplore the shows on MTV, VH1, ect.

      You’re never going to have an actual reality show on TV because reality is boring. Reality on TV just means there are actors involved – and who cares if the people on the show make money to be on it? NatGeo is paying them to build the castle, the family has been doing that since 1999. They’d be doing it whether the cameras were around or not.

      As for the genuine family part – I met the family and spent time with them. They are exactly how you see them on TV, especially Brent II. Are the situations they’re put into setup? Absolutely. Why? Because watching someone push a broom around is boring.

      Paul

      • Paul,

        Watching someone push a broom around if real is real. Do you watch a Documentary because you want to see the good guy win in the end and everything come up roses?

        Do you watch a SITCOM to see a drama?

        So with that logic a reality show should be somewhat real.

        As for you meeting the family that’s really great did you set that up on your own or was it through NatGeo? Was it just you or was it like a press event?

        What I am getting at there is they probably showed/told you what they wanted you to hear and report back.

        If this was all on your/SR dime and there was an effort to see the real events/people I apologies. However Im thinking not.

        As for your review as a writer for SR you represent them. This is not your independent blog and while I do realize you are not SR as the entity you are a representation of them.

        As for ‘reality’ shows and the coverage why doesn’t SR cover MTV, VH1 etc.? (not that I like them either) Im assuming they are deplored because they are not what they seem and do not show a true representation of the people…… just like the shows on NatGeo etc.

        I dont like ‘reality’ TV at all. It is a cancer on TV and even dribbles its disease into society.

        • @Aknot – You’re absolutely correct. I went on a set visit and that’s 100% on me for leaving it out. I’ll go back in and modify the post to reflect that.

          I was trying not to make it a review but adding my thoughts on the show, even one sentence, made it that. My apologies. There was no misleading intended, however my thoughts on the show remain the same.

          Paul

          • Paul I respect your opinion and have defended your right to have that opinion.

            But im also allowed to have an opinion of your opinion. ;)

            I have no doubt the people are decent and or a good/great family. My speculation comes in with the whole ‘real’ thing.

            I think it started out as something and got spun into what it is now based on the success of all they other reality crud on TV now and to make a buck.

            So I hope it didnt come across that I disliked the family as a whole.

            • @Aknot – I suppose I’m easy to entertain lol. And no, I can’t stand Lizard Lick. It’s a bunch of people yelling at each other and that type of reality show doesn’t interest me….well, except Ax-Men. Now if Doomsday Castle starts going that route then I’ll turn it off but watching some people build a castle is very interesting to me.

              I think you’re right about Science Channel reality shows though – except for Man Hunter. All of those shows where the person has to hide/run/escape from someone else while a camera crew follows them around always seemed silly to me. The pursuer only has to look for the boom mic to find the person lol.

              Paul

      • You’re never going to have an actual reality show on TV because reality is boring.

        And to touch on this.

        Reality TV lost a lot in the conversion from the first time it was imported from overseas.

        And no reality is not boring. Watching someone else life is boring unless you can inject reasons why they are, funny, stupider, less well off, better off etc then you.

        Watch some stuff on the Science channel. That is reality, heck even Myth Busters is reality just not every second of their show. The events, setups and results are real. (unless someone shows me otherwise?)

        That is reality TV.

        Doomsday Castle and any other touted reality TV (even the Duck show) is not reality.

        this is a cheap jab and meant to be humorous….
        I bet you watch and follow Lizard Lick…. ;)

  6. ugh way to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and from a educational channel no less. Take a good long hard look in the mirror MURIKA, because your tv shows are making you all look like a bunch of redneck idiots

  7. Also what Solar Flare in September are you referring to? I checked the link you referenced and there is no mention of a September Solar Flare.

    I do know some happen about every 11 years (learned that on reality TV :D ) based on a Solar cycle but the only one I am hearing about recently is associated with Edward Snowden……..

    • @Aknot – Google “solar flare september 2013″ and a bunch of articles will come up. It’s info from Snowden so it’s probably a bunch of hogwash but it’s still there.

      Paul

  8. Hopefully they give away the location, non-mobile easy to loot for food places, with a handful of idiots defending are prime targets where there really an apocalypse.

    p.s. Yes EMP’s are real, but they don’t blanket the whole freaking world, an EMP in New York City would have a coverage that would destroy (potentially, it is just an over current) electronics line of site. An Airburst EMP (HEMP) would have a farther line of site, but still would not plunge into the dark ages, unless a hell of a lot of airburst happened, and then we are all gonna freeze to death anyhow.

  9. No. No, I will not be tuning in to crap like this.

    And if Screenrant is going to cover reality shows now, I’ll not be tuning in here anymore either.

  10. Here’s a Review of the show by Nat. Geo’s ‘Best Prepper’ from ‘Doomsday Preppers’

    http://williamesimpson.com/can-survivalists-and-preppers-benefit-from-reality-tv-shows

    Cheers! Capt. Bill

    Capt. William E. Simpson – USMM
    Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus
    http://www.WilliameSimpson.com

  11. This is just another example of an out-there family using reality TV to fund their wacky antics and self-serving pursuits. That ‘castle’ is not more than a cinder block shack with a basement. Honestly, my house was built in 1962 and it is more defensible than that! As flashy as it might look to have a bunker and a moat, I would much prefer a roof! And a trebuchet… on a mountain top? Hope you enjoy killing branches on your own property with your completely useless siege weapon. Just pray to God that when someone comes to kill you and take all that you have, they don’t get wise and turn your cute little trebuchet against you. Idiots. And by the wag, the fact that everyone you know apparently knows the location of your super-secret getaway is not a good thing. Enjoy being murdered by your former beat friends.

  12. If Brent Sr. Wants to sell his daughters breasts,he should at least put them in bikinis. Complete drivel.

  13. What state is the show filmed in? Near what city? Is the location supposed to be undisclosed?

  14. As a fifteen year serving member of the canadian military i have to say this show is one of the worst ive seen in a long time. Common sence says if you are building a secure location telling everyone about it is the last thing you do. And it should be underground as all surface dwellings will be the first things destroyed or overrun by the massed hordes. Another reason why “reality tv” is far from it.

  15. The trebuchet is nice but be ready to burn it before you hunker down.
    What you need is:

    DIXIE GUN WORKS MC0606 NAPOLEON CANNON BARREL $695.

    At 150 pounds. This smooth bore black powder cannon has a 3/16″ steel liner with a 2 1/4″ bore dia.; 1/4″ vent hole . Diameter is 5 1/2″ at the breech, 4 1/2″ at the muzzle with 2″ trunnions.
    Overall length is 36″
    Shoots a standard pop can filled with cement , cannon balls or grape shot.
    You could use a dozen,You should get a good price break with that many. That puts 3 to the North, 3 South, 3 East and 3 facing West!

    With the reloading time of black powder and 3 guns you should be able to sustain a reasonable rate of fire.

    With only one or two guns they have plenty of time between shots to advance. But one is better than none.

    Cost you less than 10K for everything including building the swivel mounts, powder, fuse, shot and paint. Have a way to reload under cover !!!

    Anti personal, Anti vehicle, good standoff range and who wants to face cannon fire anyway.

  16. I quoted this article on my blog today: http://www.ashleysevier.com

  17. This television series was good 1-5 I would give it a 4 and its not only educational to people but it has “everyday” people and that is good because in any Apocoliptic event you could be stuck with any clueless person anyone with out outsdoorsmanship or idea of tactics. So be greatful ! And remember anything can happen like U.S. our government was shut down for a long time and January it could happen again and our economy could collapse then what? You’ll all be hoping you listened to some of these shows that aren’t some hillbilly white trash shows : Honey Boo Boo or Duck Dynasty. But even them people make more money so they can have whatever they want . So be happy you have educational shows to provide you ways to become better aware of all the world-wide things that are happening and how you can prepare for the future.

  18. The show has been progressing in a more personal way than I would like. While the interaction of the group is important, full episodes have been dedicated to inter-sibling rivalry and is counter productive. (have you watched “falling skies” a great end of times production which gives equal time to inter personal entanglement, but also represents the practical side of every day life). Here are a couple of things that would help the show (in my opinion):

    1. Medical training and organization of the supplies. A good training course (such as “Patriot Nurse” on You tube) would be a good way to go. Your paintball facsimile showed that injuries are going to happen. Having a combat medic kit (or several stashed around the property) would give you a great basis for survival should someone get hurt; showing how the medical supplies are stored and categorized in an organized manner would show the seriousness of the show.

    2. Paint ball training is effective, but shooting the real thing on a regular basis is just as important. Should have a dedicated shooting range and kill house so that you can train how you anticipate that you will have to defend.

    3. Having a dedicated area in the castle for Ammunition and ammo reloading, with a safe powder magazine is very important. I would go so far as to make a hidden entrance into the armory and have several reloading machines set up so on those cold winter nights the “armorer” could be putting out your own ammunition. Everyone could be trained to do weapon maintenance and help with loading, but someone needs to be dedicated to being an armorer. Showing the organization and attention to detail would go a long ways to a serious show on prepping.

    These are only a few things that would help… hope you take it as a tool and not as an unconstructive criticism.

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