A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Series doesn't shy away from highlighting the flaws and incompetence of the space program, but also focuses on the importance of inclusion and diversity in their recruiting of astronauts. More general messaging on the positive aspects of science and space travel is also represented.
Positive Role Models
Highlights the gender- and racially-diverse crew of space shuttle astronauts, with a strong focus on the female recruits. The astronauts are depicted as brave and intelligent trailblazers who made personal sacrifices for what they believed was the betterment of mankind.
Violence & Scariness
Some fire and explosions, including footage of the space shuttle's doomed launch.
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A person uses "f---ing" during an interview segment.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People are occasionally seen smoking and drinking in archival video footage and photos.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Challenger: The Final Flight is a docuseries recounting the1986 space shuttle disaster and the significant events and people surrounding it. The series gives equal time to the individual astronauts, focusing on their racial and gender diversity, as well as the unique skills and personalities each brought to the program. These profiles are packed with positive messages, offering an emotional, inside look at these real-life role models. Language is limited to an interview subject saying "f---ing." Some archival resources contain footage of people smoking and drinking. Footage of the space shuttle disaster is shown, as are photos and videos showing the recovered wreckage.
Is It Any Good?
Challenger: The Final Flight begins with a scene that'll feel chillingly familiar to many of us who grew up in the 1980s. A teacher wheels a television into her classroom, preparing to watch the live launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger with her students. It's a scene many of us actually lived and will never forget. But while that moment-in-time memory is burned in ours brains, many of the details surrounding that fateful day have been forgotten to time.
Through expert use of archival footage, new interviews -- with victims' families and former space program professionals -- and other rarely-seen resources, The Final Flight not only fills in the memory gaps that have widened over the years, but weaves them into a comprehensive, absorbing account. Brilliantly blending deep dives into the space shuttle program, the exhaustive investigation into what went wrong, and surprisingly emotional, thoughtful, and comprehensive profiles of each of the astronauts who lost their lives, the series isn't another cookie cutter doc, but an exercise in thoroughly engrossing storytelling. Your mileage will vary in terms of how much you'll learn from the series, but even the most seasoned historians will be pulled in by its ability to repackage the familiar subject matter with polish, pacing, and production values to spare.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.