By merest happenstance, I saw the first episode of the new series on the 1'st of January. They were still advertising it as showing later in the month, but as I was flipping through the programs I caught it just in time.
Les Stroud is using the same format as the first series. It's a good one, where he does his own filming and works alone. He's not staying out for as lengthy a period as he used to, but it doesn't hurt the show. The first episode was on some island in the Grenada chain, and it was really good. I will admit I was shocked at how old he looks. You get used to yourself turning all wrinkly and gray because you see it in the mirror every morning. Then, when you see someone after a long period of time passes, the change over the years is really startling.
He's a little slower and less energetic, which I can relate to. On the other hand, he hasn't lost any of his interest in what he's teaching, and the man still takes risks I wouldn't consider for a pot of gold. Unlike all these folks who travel with a crew and medic, etc if he goes over the cliff, all he has is his satellite cell phone which rarely seems to work.
I'm glad the show is back on. There's been so much appalling schlock dumped into the genre that it's getting embarrassing. "Dude, You're Screwed", "Naked and Afraid", "Castaway" and the ilk all strike me as cheesy game shows without a host.