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Rumor: Season 38 Theme And Title


What crazy theme has Survivor cooked up next?

The thirty-eighth edition of Survivor is currently filming in Fiji and Inside Survivor has learned from a number of sources that the title and theme of the season will be Island of Extinction.

What does that mean? Why does it sound like the title of a future Jurassic Park movie? Are we going to see a literal Dodo on Survivor? All valid questions. Let me try and explain the best I can.

After each Tribal Council, the eliminated castaway will have a choice to leave the game or go to the Island of Extinction where they will have no shelter, limited food supplies and nothing but time on their hands as they await a chance to potentially get back in the game. They can choose to quit at any time. Basically Redemption Island but without the weekly duels.

Earlier this week Inside Survivor announced four returning castaways would be competing on season 38 and one can’t help but think this twist is a way to prolong their screen-time should they be voted out. It could also act as an incentive for the newbies not to eliminate the veterans, knowing that there is a chance they could come back.

Island of Extinction sounds like an updated version of the original Ghost Island concept which was one of the ideas on the table for season 30 back in 2014. Inside Survivor posted about the old Ghost Island concept last year after a source shared with us a pitch document detailing the theme. In the pitch, Ghost Island is described as a location where eliminated players live together with “a shelter and only meager supplies” while waiting for an opportunity to return at a later point in the season.

The pitch went on to say that those remaining on the island would compete in an endurance challenge both at the merge and on Day 37, where the winner would be reintroduced to the game. It also said that the focus would be on “an entirely new kind of survival – of the mental kind” and that the lack of alliances would create “a new kind of politicking” where people would “try and figure out how to get others to quit” to increase their chances.

It’s unconfirmed as of this moment whether or not Island of Extinction will run exactly like the original Ghost Island concept, but based on the earlier description, it sounds remarkably similar. But would it be enjoyable to watch people trying to make each other quit? It feels like that could turn nasty and uncomfortable very quickly. On the other end of the spectrum, the eliminated players could choose to look at their stay on the Island of Extinction as a free vacation, which could make for incredibly dull television.

What do you think about this theme? Let us know in the comments.

Stay tuned to Inside Survivor over the coming weeks for further updates.

Header Photo: CJ Isherwood via Compfight cc


Martin is a 29-year-old writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing, and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and ET Canada, previously Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull.



  • John Cracker

    Tribe Colors?

  • Taylorg8

    I’ll probably feel better about this when the season comes around, but all I can think is that the editing on this season is going to be terribly lopsided again. I hated the editing on Ghost Island, and I think that was largely due to the Ghost Island visits distracting away from other events and players. Combine this island that we have to cut to every episode with 4 returning players, and I bet there will be a lot of players that we know nothing about for half the season like on Ghost Island. They’re probably doing it to ensure the returning players are on the show for as long as possible.

    I just realized while typing this that if they have someone come back into the game at like 5 or 6 like redemption island seasons, then that just gives that person a ridiculous amount of attempts at making final tribal due to the new final 4 twist… And who does that ultimately benefit? Joe… Okay, I like it a lot less now. haha

    I’ll try to stay optimistic about it though! I’m too negative about their decisions usually. Maybe it will be amazing.

  • Jaden Bartlett

    This does not sound like a good season. The merge…. I could see someone who comes back at merge winning. Chances are the tribe will just want them gone… but there’s a chance they could win. But the Day 37 winner, that’s just dumb. Who is going to vote for a winner that just stayed on Extinction Island for a long time? They didn’t even have to play the game. Survivor is really on a downhill run with themes. Ghost Island was awful, David vs Goliath doesn’t seem like it has too much potential, and now a theme that won’t probably produce a winner who goes to “Extinction Island.” Ugh.

  • Andy Pfeiffer

    Okay, now I can say I’m officially not looking forward to this. Way to ruin a season with both Wentworth and Aubry!

    Seriously, 1) this favors the vets much like Redemption Island did, 2) it’s not going to be good TV since it’ll either be constant ugliness like pre-merge Caramoan / the entirety of Worlds Apart or boring AF, and 3) I thought they knew we didn’t like the idea of someone returning to the game later on! What, did Mike White not talk Probst out of it when he was playing S37?

    We are officially in the Second Dark Age of Survivor. We have been since Lame Changers, really. The show has lost its way again. With so much production interference… it’s highly unlikely we’ll get another saving grace like Cagayan ultimately was (though Blood vs. Water officially started the Big Movez Era).

    It’s still Survivor, so I will watch it, but… it’s just not something to get excited about like I used to, even before HHH…

  • Red

    To me the theme sounds very bad like you pointed out. I don’t think anyone will actually quit and it would be horrible trying to see others try but it would also be boring if they don’t. They might do it like the Outcast way where they don’t show us what is going on the island and only show the highlights when someone is about to comeback. I think that would be the only way it works

  • James

    This would make for a TERRIBLE season and would DEFINITELY ruin the show!!! This is NOT how we have Kelley, Aubry, and Joe return for potentially their last time!! This concept would just be depressing and would take away from the stategy of the show, which is what everyone wants to see! Every Redemption Island season is definitely one of the LOWLY ranked seasons because the people who get voted out aren’t even out of the game yet! It’s more suspenseful and entertaining when the people voted out are instantly eliminated once that torch is snuffed.

  • Gato_wiska

    why cant we have an oldschool twistless season with new location again. Good Lord please make win the lottery. I will sponsor a survivor location.

  • sendibujana

    CBS design it for Joe to win

  • Alex Presser

    Hate the idea, I mean I wouldn’t mind it if it’s just premerge but coming back on day 37 is ridiculous, Fans don’t want to see players get voted out and come back in, when will survivor learn that

  • Daniel Natt

    If they only do one re-entry near the merge it would be a carbon copy of the Pear Island Outcast Tribe, except everyone would know in advance. Lil could have won that except she stupidly chose Sandra to take to Final Tribal instead of Johnny Fairplay.

  • Hart

    I don’t see this working after the merge- the eliminated players at that point would have to go on the jury and attend each TC from then on.
    Another problem I see is someone voted out on day 3, lasting until day 37, and rejoining the game. If somehow they made it to the final 3, the jury would know nothing about him or her.
    And finally, the game is “ outwit,outlast, & outplay.” Seems like the players on the island would only have to outlast the others until the very end. I think when your torch is snuffed, that’s it. Go see Doc then on to Ponderosa!

    • If it works like the old GI concept then the jury would know everything about that person because they’d all be living together on the Island of Extinction for most of the season.

      • Hart

        I was thinking that the players eliminated from the game after the merge would have to go to Ponderosa rather than Extinction Island. That way they would attend TC’s and be aware what was going on in the game. If they kept sending them to EI, they would know what was happening there but not in the ‘real’ game. And the quitting aspect could mess up the jury numbers. Either way I think it would be a mess. Hope they don’t go that route.

  • Henry L

    This is awful. Probst screws the fans once again with his insane rhetoric and pointless, scene-stealy ideas that ruin the game. I don’t know if it is good to finally know exactly who is responsible for all these bad ideas, or if it just makes it all the more frustrating knowing that if we could get rid of Probst, the show might get great again?

  • Isaa

    Anyone who’s not angry at this is not thinking about it. Just like Redemption Island, it’s conveniently debuting in a captain season, and it’s basically Redemption Island made easier with only one challenge to do and anyone in your way being able to just opt out. Imagine Joe being voted out at the first tribal, coming back for merge, being voted out immediately, coming back at final 5, winning immunity, winning the no longer optional tiebreaker, and going to FTC. The only solace I have in that scenario is that any jury with a brain would see straight through it.

  • Tony Masciarelli

    I guess I’m one of the few people who actually didn’t hate the Outcast twist or Redemption Island. I definitely agree that both needed to be executed better, though. Maybe the way Top Chef/Food Network Star does it with a web-only side series, hosted by a notable castaway like Colby or Parvati.

    But this? I’m really not looking forward to it. The concept just sounds incredibly off to me for some reason. Victor Bittercourt probably described the worst possible scenario (and I’m already cringing at the thought of more returnees), but then the whole “psyche players out to encourage them to quit” thing? I’m getting some serious Alicia/Colton vibes here and that bothers me even more 🙁

  • UKDanJames

    Horrific theme. Setting Joe up to win. Why is Probst so against the idea of women doing well and winning their season? He’s ruining the show.

  • Laws

    People hated the Outcast twist. People either hated Redemption Island or were apathetic towards it. What in the world would make Jeff think that this was a good idea?

  • Aaron Oesch

    So does this mean that in theory, there could be more people on this ‘Island of Extinction’ than there are in the game? That seems kind of ridiculous to me.