ANTWERP — The underground adventures of village resident R. Craig McGhee will get plenty of light, as he stars in a new show debuting tonight on the Discovery Channel.
Mr. McGhee is one of the four people who team together to chase legendary creatures living beneath the Earth’s surface in the show “Monsters Underground.”
Serving as the team’s tracker, Mr. McGhee said he built off skills he has developed since getting a BB gun for Christmas as a child.
“I’ve been hunting my whole life,” he said. “I love the wilderness.”
He got his chance for TV glory after befriending Bigfoot hunter Bill Brock, who serves as the team’s leader for the show, during hunting and fishing trips.
Mr. McGhee said he thought Mr. Brock was joking when he asked him to join the cast, as he had never been on TV before.
“Not one time in a lifetime I thought I’d get this call,” he said. “Totally amazing to me.”
The show’s first two episodes will air at 10 and 10:30 tonight. The first two episodes follow the team as they track a large bat-like creature called Olitiau in Arizona, and the sloth-like Mapinguari in northern California.
Many of the locations the show filmed at were tough to navigate, between tight entryways and animals that dwelled in some of the caves they were traveling through.
“At 300 feet below ground you start to hear things, and you know it’s not your teammates, and it makes the hair on your neck stand up,” Mr. McGhee said.
As a tracker, Mr. McGhee said the mythical nature of some of the animals and the limited information known about them made it tough to pursue based on routine things such as tracks.
“It’s stressful, but at the same time it’s exciting,” he said.
The other team members are former boxer Jeremy Bates and scientist Casey Onik. Mr. McGhee said camaraderie developed quickly, which was important given the treacherous locations at which they shot.
Mr. McGhee said he was looking forward to seeing the completed episodes for the first time, and is gathering some friends to watch them at his home tonight.
He said he’s hopeful audiences will like it.
“I want season two,” Mr. McGhee said.
While the show’s first episodes will debut on the Discovery Channel, which reaches more than 400 million cable subscribers worldwide, a spokeswoman for the network said no decision has been made about where the other episodes will air.
A preview of the show’s opening can be seen at http://wdt.me/SHUo9G.