A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series shows how new species are be discovered through exploration and why conservationism is so important to science. There are lots of facts shared about the creatures the explorers and scientists come across, including spiders and snakes. How the Tepuis were formed when Africa and South America were connected is also discussed. The lead scientist calls what they're doing "Alpha level science," i.e. going out into nature and seeing what can be found there.
The series is an ode to the majesty of nature and the importance of scientific discovery. The nearly 80-year-old biologist in charge of the mission has to overcome a lot just to get to the Tepuis. The value of teamwork and communication are demonstrated; each member of the team clearly respects and listens to each other. The importance of conservatism for scientific advancement is also a central theme, as is the reward of setting out to do something hard and accomplishing it.
Positive Role Models
The climbers talk about reigning in their fears as they literally step into the unknown. They're on a mission to save the area by finding new species and proving it's a biodiversity hotspot that must be protected. The nearly 80-year-old scientist at the lead has trouble even bending his knees but takes on a harrowing, week-long hike through the jungle. His team is very supportive as he runs up against his limitations.
Most of the climbers and scientists are White men. They have an indigenous guide team, and a couple of the members are named, but they don't play much of a part in the film.
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Violence & Scariness
There isn't any violence in the series but there is a sense of peril at times. Tarantulas are shown up close and crawling on someone. Most of all, the climbers face a very real sense of danger at death-defying heights. One of the climbers does fall a short distance but is roped in and fine. A lot of the climbing footage is also accompanied by tense, building music. One of the climbers, Fuco, is almost hypothermic at one point.
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Occasional bleeped out profanity, including "f--k" and "s--t".
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Explorer: The Last Tepui is a breathtaking documentary following a team of climbers as they attempt to explore the never-before-scaled Tepui in the Amazon jungle. The series shows how new species are be discovered through exploration and why conservationism is so important to science. There are lots of facts shared about the creatures the explorers and scientists come across, including spiders and snakes. The nearly 80-year-old scientist at the lead of that mission has trouble even bending his knees but takes on a harrowing, week-long hike through the jungle. His team is very supportive as he runs up against his limitations. The value of teamwork and communication are demonstrated (each member of the team clearly respects and listens to each other), as is the reward of setting out to do something hard and accomplishing it.
Is It Any Good?
Watching people climb death-defying heights into the clouds is thrilling all on its own, but add in the exploration of a never before seen area of the world, plus an aging biologist's race to discover multiple new species there, and the drama is heightened to all new levels (pun intended). Explorer: The Last Tepui is a dazzlingly depiction of the team work that made such a daring mission possible. Many will recognize Alex Honnold from the Oscar-winning climbing documentary Free Solo. While there he was portrayed as somewhat of a rebellious loner, this new documentary highlights his ability to connect with those that are as passionate about the natural world as he is. Along the way he provides compelling commentary about the journey and steps up as a natural leader to the team during the climb,
The real star of the show, though, is undoubtedly the nearly 80-year-old biologist, Bruce Means, who's determined to ascend the treacherous Tepui in order to discover new species and, hopefully, lobby for the protection of the South American landscape he cares so deeply about. Through many trials and tribulations the team teaches valuable lessons about the value of science, conservationism, perseverance and, most of all, the importance of being able to adapt to unexpected obstacles. The conclusion of the journey may feel a little rushed after the palm-sweating-anxiety of the climb and, as is often the case in these types of films, the indigenous crew leading the climbers and scientist aren't given the full due they deserve. Despite the shortcomings, though, this is still a thrilling and visually stunning ode to what people can accomplish together through curiosity, courage, and teamwork.
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