Parents' Guide to

Origins: The Journey of Humankind

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Graphic history of humanity will intrigue curious teens.

Origins: The Journey of Humankind Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 8+

Great show about history (and a little science)

This is a very educational and captivating show. A little too captivating maybe, moving a bit too fast and with too much flashy stuff for me. It’s well done and the content is good and my kid likes it. Each episode covers a different topic: fire, money, medicine/disease/pandemics. What’s great is that it doesn’t show just one particular historical moment or one view, but tries to tie in a few concepts to show a more complete picture and how one change can impact another. There are tons of opportunities for further discussion and also for kids to be able to tie concepts to others they already know. It talks about Eg the origin of money, but begins with discussing early trade, the creation of money, slavery, probably more stuff - we are in the middle of watching it. I highly recommend this show. It does have some scary depictions. My kids are pretty sensitive but I think it should be fine by age 8 or so.
age 10+

Family focused - informative & energetic (great for kids, teens)

This is actually a deep, super engaging and informative series. Really well done in terms of the state of the art cinematography and pacing. It is definitely eye-candy rich but it all adds to the effectiveness and the information conveyance (a LOT of incredible facts & insights). Sometimes a bit 'over-done' but generally its actually fun to watch. Don't expect Richard Attenborough or "Nature". Definitely think more like a 2020s 'new' COSMOS (with Neil deGrasse Tyson) squared stylistically -- with a focus on human evolution & society, urban development. On balance, I highly recommend especially if the audience includes kids, families. Each of the 8 episodes is well worth watching. You will learn a great deal that you likely did not know before.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This intense educational series is a fascinating journey through human history that backs its assertions regarding the significance of innovations with solid evidence. Each episode plays out like a dissertation adapted to the screen, as Silva outlines the overriding theme and re-enactments put the concepts into action. By focusing on one dominant influence in each episode, the show makes connections between seemingly unrelated advances to trace the path to the modern human experience.

Despite its hefty learning potential, though, families should consider the graphic nature of Origins' content before watching as a family. Because the show strives for (and, for the most part, manages impressively) realistic interpretations of historical events, scenes of war, tragedy, illness, injury, and death are only minimally amended, so the full range of emotion and physical catastrophe is on display. For curious families with teens and mature tweens, though, this unique series is a revealing journey into human history.

TV Details

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