Former “Special Ops Mission” star Wil Willis returns in new History competition series

Wil Willis as seen on Military Channel's "Special Ops Mission"
Wil Willis as seen on Military Channel’s “Special Ops Mission”

Former Army Ranger and decorated Air Force para-rescue specialist Wil Willis, who previously gained fame on TV through the series Special Ops Mission and Triggers on the former Military Channel, will return in a new competition series debuting this summer on History. Called Forged in Fire, the program will feature world-class bladesmiths re-creating many of history’s most iconic edged weapons, from the Japanese katana to the medieval broadsword and ancient throwing blades like the Chakram.

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“In each episode, four master bladesmiths will put their skills and reputations on the line, trying to avoid elimination while using traditional and state-of-the-art tools and machinery to turn raw metal into authentic working versions of classic bladed weapons of yesteryear. In the hands of these gifted craftsmen, every weapon is not just a lethal instrument of war, but also an elegant work of art. The colorful histories of these weapons will be told throughout the forging process. Then the weapons will be assessed and tested by a panel of internationally recognized judges. … Joining Willis will be a judging panel of renowned experts: J. Neilson, a Pennsylvania-based Mastersmith who has been making knives and edged weapons for more than 20 years; Doug Marcaida, a New York-based hand-to-hand combat specialist who has studied and mastered fighting styles and techniques around the world; and David Baker, a California-based authority known for replicating period-accurate weapons, from submachine guns to samurai swords, for both museums and films.”

Production on Forged in Fire has begin in Brooklyn. No specific premiere date this summer has been announced yet. (UPDATE 5/5/15: History has announced that Forged in Fire will premiere Monday, June 22, at 10pm ET.)


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