Unchained Reaction

At the intersection of art and engineering, Discovery Channel’s UNCHAINED REACTION takes two teams of varying backgrounds and pits them against each other to build an elaborate chain reaction contraption.

But – with Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of MYTHBUSTERS at the helm – the teams are tasked with so much more than creating a mere string of dominoes!  

Premiering Sunday, April 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, the six-part series inspires the teams to utilize ingenuity, innovation and know-how to build contraptions on a massive scale. Making a refrigerator a pendulum?

Totally possible on UNCHAINED REACTION. Catapults? Flying saucers? Guillotines? Yes! Anything goes as long as it triggers the next link in the chain.

With Savage and Hyneman serving as executive producers and judges for the series, UNCHAINED REACTION is fun, big and loud. The dueling teams – made up of artists, rocket scientists, animatronic specialists, engineers and even your average Joe – are provided with identical sets of tools and materials, then given five days to complete a series of mechanisms based on a specific theme. It’s the ultimate build-off pressure cooker, where refined mechanical movements, pyrotechnics and large-scale destruction are encouraged…and expected!

The April 22 premiere of UNCHAINED REACTION features Blecha Brothers, a team of Hollywood set carpenters who have worked in various art departments for television; and Team Crash Space, electronics experts comprised of hackers, programmers, builders, makers and artists. Along with Savage and Hyneman, guest judge Adrian Hightower, assistant professor of engineering at Harvey Mudd College, judge their contraptions based on the theme “Heavy vs. Light.”


Other teams, themes and guest judges this season include:

Team Aerospace, consisting of staffers at Edwards Air Force Base and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center; and Team NAC, a special effects and prop animation company. Guest judge is Adam Sadowsky, president, Syyn Labs. Their challenge theme is “Fire and Ice.”

Teams Freeman, a group of friends from various engineering fields; and T-5, a group of artists who hail from Taos, New Mexico. Guest judge is kinetic artist Bruce Gray. Their challenge theme is “Flight.”

Chain Crew, a team who all work in the auto parts/motorcycle mechanic field; and Team Monster Squad, creature effects specialists. W. Daniel Hillis, co-chairman, Applied Minds, LLC, is guest judge. Their challenge theme is “Speed.”

Super Special, a creative “jack of all trades” team; and Juggernaut, a team of construction workers. Guest judge is Julia Greer, assistant professor of materials, science and mechanics at California Institute of Technology, and their challenge theme “Tools.”

Team InSaign, a group that specializes in working with metal; and Fail Fail Fail Win, a team of mostly multi-media artists who like to break things to see what new objects they can create with the pieces. The guest judge is Rick Baker, Academy Award®-winning special effects make-up artist. Their challenge theme is “Movie Mayhem.”