Fearless Planet

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Fearless Planet TV Poster Image
Impressive nature docu is fun and educational.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Scientific concepts like geology and plate tectonics are explained and illustrated for viewers, who learn how some of the earth's most impressive natural wonders were formed and continue to change.

Violence & Scariness

Computer-generated images depict large-scale disasters like volcanoes and tsunamis burying towns and cities. There's some discussion of the dangers that scientists and the show's guest sportsman face in their studies. (In one scene, for instance, a man walks along the ridge of an active volcano while the narrator reminds viewers that one false step could send him plummeting through the newly formed rock into hot lava.)

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fascinating documentary series examines the geological creation of some of the world's unique features, including the Alaskan glaciers, the sprawling Sahara, and the volcanic Hawaiian islands. Scientists explain the subjects' origins and try to predict what the future holds for these natural wonders (using stunningly realistic computer-generated images to illustrate their ideas). This educational series is perfect for families with grade-schoolers who've started to study related topics, but it may bore younger kids, for whom such scientific concepts are still out of reach.

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Adult Written bymonk888 April 9, 2008

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What's the story?

What causes the northern lights? How was the Great Barrier Reef formed? What forces of nature combined to create the Grand Canyon? In Discovery Channel's impressive docuseries FEARLESS PLANET, scientists offer some answers. They explore the geological origins of the Earth's features -- including glaciers, volcanoes, canyons, and deserts -- and describe how natural forces like wind, water, and fire combined to create the landscape we see today. Strikingly realistic computer graphics illustrate how the creation process likely looked and may even help predict the area's future. Extreme sportsman Will Gadd works with local scientists to check out the natural features firsthand, even if it means rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, paragliding, or scuba diving.

Is it any good?

Fearless Planet offers families a dramatic visual tour of some of the world's most impressive wonders, but it's the series' educational quality that really stands out. With flawless CGI effects and layperson-friendly narration, the show makes scientific concepts like plate tectonics, biology, and even geology intriguing and enjoyable. This series is a great find for families with grade-schoolers and tweens; their own burgeoning science knowledge will give them the background they need to understand the basic concepts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how scientists hypothesize about the past and future. What kinds of data do experts collect to study natural history? How do they use that data to find answers to their questions? How does a landscape tell the story of its past? What is the landscape like where you live? What can you tell about your area's past based on what you see outside? How do humans affect natural history? How can we help protect our natural resources?

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